Today I am writing about the Church and Doctrine the Rapture of the Church.
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” I Thessalonians 4:16-17. (Emphasis added)
We get the word “rapture” from the Latin word for “caught up.” Some people say the word rapture isn’t in the Bible, but it is in its translated form. It has been taught from the beginning of the church that the Rapture is a Pre-Tribulation event. And from it comes another fundamental doctrine the Imminent Return of Christ. Historically speaking these are fundamental doctrines.
Today there is a growth of an old error that teaches a Post-Tribulation Rapture. Now I know some of you may embrace this doctrine or another one called the Mid-Tribulation doctrine. But these are not considered fundamental, but rather errors. While there are selected verses that can be made to support these non-fundamental beliefs the weight of scripture teaches a Pre-Tribulation rapture.
If you prefer one of the other beliefs, that is fine with me. But, please, don’t call it fundamental. And don’t call yourself a fundamentalist. The truth is you are not a fundamentalist if you abandon any fundamental belief such as:
- Deity of Christ
- The fallen nature of man
- The need for a Savior
- Christ being that Savior
- The pre-tribulation Rapture
- And others [not meant to be an exhaustive list]
The Imminent Return of Christ is not, to my knowledge, ever identified as a belief by name. However, if you read the letters of Paul and the other Apostles it is clear they looked to His return in their own lifetime. Throughout the history of the church, godly men and women have looked for the return of Christ in their own lifetime. And we today look for His return, maybe today while you are reading this blog.
Here’s another personal view: If the Rapture is not until after the Tribulation then why get saved now? Why not wait until the Anti-Christ appears and, recognizing that the time has come, then get saved? Preposterous? Yes, but human nature takes such a stance.
Man doesn’t want to face his eternal destiny so he puts it off. And, according to this belief, he still has at least 7 years before the Rapture takes places. So, like so many humans, he relaxes thinking he has time.
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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.