One of the major doctrines of the futurist camp has to do with the belief of a rapture. Futurists are those who supposed the Return of Jesus Christ is yet to happen. See my blog “Confused Christianity” for the futurist perspective. Again, as I have said in my previous blog (Delusions of Rebuilding the Temple) futurists are great storytellers, though having no valid biblical passages to support their claim. They are good at sensationalizing from nothing.
Now, the supposed “rapture” doctrine was taken from a verse found in the letter of Paul, see 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
“Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”
The translation “caught up together” is presented by the futurist camp as the rapture. Here is a summary of their storytelling, at least the most popular version of their narrative:
The rapture of 1 Thessalonians 4:17 would be succeeded by a period of Seven Years Tribulation, after which Christ Jesus together with the church would return. Without going any further in their storyline, I detected an error with their presentation.
The futurists also said only true Christians would be raptured, leaving nominal or professing Christians behind for a second chance to surrender to Christ.
Would any dare say Christians today are better and more faithful as compared to the apostles James, Peter, John and the rest?
If indeed only the faithful ones would be raptured, why then was the apostle John enduring the tribulation and left behind? See Revelation 1:9-10.
“I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet”
Without a doubt, John claims he was already in the tribulation, yet he was not raptured to escape the tribulation as suggested by futurists.
John also said, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day”, literally referring to the Day “belonging to the Lord (Greek #2960)” – an adjective pertaining to the “Day of the Lord”. See 1 Thessalonians 5:2.
“For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”
In other words, John was already in the tribulation, which Jesus Christ in Matthew 24 relates to His soon coming, an event preceding His Return, fulfilling His words concerning the Day of the Lord – God’s Judgment Day. See Matthew 24:15-21.
““So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.”
The reference to Daniel’s prophecy has to do with the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple. See “Delusionsj of Rebuilding the Temple” for perspective.
So what happened? John said the tribulation was happening, occurring in his days. He was suffering, in fact exiled for his faith but not RAPTURED.
Obviously there are loose ends in the futurist storybook. Here is a guide from Scripture concerning prophetic teachings. See Deuteronomy 18:18-22.
“I (God) will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put My words in His (Jesus Christ) mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And whoever will not listen to My words that He shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.”
It is easy to tell a wonderful story that is nice to hear and comforting to the heart. But if it isn’t founded on the truths of the Scripture, then it should be better not to fall into such hallucinations and embrace it as truth.
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