For years, I sat under teaching on what may or may not occur as TIME winds down and we approach “END TIMES!” The last thing I want to do is start a raucous, but … just suppose the whole idea of the “Rapture” is wrong. Just suppose! What if Christians today (or whenever the end comes) are required to endure the “Tribulation.” What if “End time” Believers are required, like those in past generations and past civilizations, to stand against vile persecution. What if … ?
In all honesty, I think it is cruel and lazy for various denominations and pastors to build up the hope of such an event without hard evidence. It is very similar, in my view, of popular dependence on government handouts instead of the work of their own hands to provide for their needs. Think about it …
- God wants us to be dependent on Him and Him alone, right? (Matthew 22:36-40; 1 John 3:1-3 (The Message)
- God either is, or He isn’t able and willing to meet every need we have, right? (Phil 4:4-9; Mt 6: 28-30; Luke 12:27)
- God is either changing us, His children, from glory to glory, into the likeness of Jesus, or he isn’t, right? (2 Cor 3:12-18)
The concept of “Rapture” is a relatively new one, arising in the early 1800’s. This is not a theological study stating the impossibility of Rapture, but it is raising a challenge to the MENTALITY often associated with raptured thinking, i.e Escapism!
Jesus came …
to save sinners: “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.” (1 Tim 1:15)
to destroy the works of the evil one: “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8)
to give us life, and that abundantly: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:7-10)
If Jesus came to bring us LIFE, and that abundantly, why would any of us seek to escape the life He has given us?
The “Rapture,” as taught by many local groups may be real, but either way, should we not remain focused on our Source and our Goal = JESUS CHRIST? Should we not be prepared to follow wherever … wherever He leads us whether through the valley or to the mountaintop? Many times, END TIMES teaching distract us from Jesus. We think we want to know exactly what is coming, but let me ask you this …
How many of us are now exactly where we planned to be 5, 10, 25, or 50 years ago? Yea, me either! But GOD’s plan is ALWAYS better than ours. A few more verses to set your thinkers to work. Consider the lives of the martyrs, and believers in other lands like Iran or Nigeria currently. They suffer and die daily for the sake of Christ. Are we “Special” children of God? Of course not! But if our eyes are on Christ, whatever happens comes through God’s loving fingers, right? (Rom 8: 28)
“Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.” Proverbs 16:3
3Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and [a]cultivate faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
And your judgment as the noonday.
Ps 37: 3-6
“Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”