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Old 04-14-2008, 08:38 AM
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Default Rapture

The rapture has always been controversial, and now even among Bible believing Baptists.
1. What does "rapture" really mean? Is it simply an ascension or a snatching away?
2. Is it in "a twinkling of an eye"?
3. Is it in "a moment", in a time we don't know? Is it imminent?
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Old 04-14-2008, 12:29 PM
Connie
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I don't think the rapture itself is controversial. The Bible is clear that at Jesus' return those who remain alive will be caught up to meet Him in the air.

Quote:
I Cor. 15: 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

1 Thess 4: 13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 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: 17 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. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
The controversy is about WHEN this is to happen, whether it will occur at the Lord's final return, or will be a "secret" rapture of the church occurring some period of time before He returns to earth at the very end, taking the church out of the world while leaving others to go through the tribulation.

I haven't resolved all this myself. In fact I prefer to leave it unresolved for now because I don't think it's going to be completely clear until the events are underway. (I don't think it can occur until "the man of sin" or Antichrist is first revealed, which I believe is imminent -- that much I'm quite convinced of). But I hope others will answer you, so I can follow along as well, because it's always good, and especially in these days, to be familiar with the scriptures relating to them, and I know others here will give you a rich scriptural answer.

Last edited by Connie; 04-14-2008 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 04-14-2008, 01:27 PM
jerry
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I believe the Bible is clear on this issue - but it is one that needs to be studied out.

What is the purpose of the Tribulation? Who are the primary characters in it? Why is the church not mentioned during the Tribulation events in the book of Revelation, and what is Revelation 1:19 and 4:1 teaching/referring to?

Who is this a promise to, and what is it a promise about:

Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:18 PM
Connie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry
I believe the Bible is clear on this issue - but it is one that needs to be studied out.

What is the purpose of the Tribulation? Who are the primary characters in it? Why is the church not mentioned during the Tribulation events in the book of Revelation, and what is Revelation 1:19 and 4:1 teaching/referring to?

Who is this a promise to, and what is it a promise about:

Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Hello Jerry.
I doubt I'm ready to really get in and study this out, but I guess I can make a few comments.

Revelation 1:19 is the Lord telling John what to write, which he goes on to do.

Revelation 4:1 is John's being called up to heaven to witness future events from there. I know this verse is sometimes interpreted to refer to the whole church being raptured before those events, but as written it's not at all clear that is a justified reading of it.

Revelation 3:10 is a promise to those who have kept the word of his patience -- is that all true believers? I know this verse may be taken as evidence for the Lord's people to be removed from the time of Tribulation, but I'm not absolutely sure it's referring to the Rapture. It may be and perhaps this is where I need to do more studying of my own. But it occurs to me that there are other ways God can preserve His people besides removing them from the earth altogether.

The main thing that makes me unsure about the pre-trib Rapture is the idea that believers can be split into separate camps, some raptured, some yet to come to belief during the time of testing. If anyone is a "saint" -- and there are saints during the Tribulation period -- then we are all one body, both raptured and tested. "There is neither Jew nor Greek" also implies this. As Hebrews 11 says, Old Testament saints were also saved by faith, not by works. We're all one body of Christ. How can part of His body be glorified with Him and the rest still on the earth going through martyrdom? What is the rationale for dividing us into two or more bodies?

Also a problem for me about the Rapture is that in 1 Corinthians 15 where this event is described, it is described as far from secret
16 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: 17 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. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Not only is it audible, with a shout and a voice and a trumpet, this event has a finality to it, as the dead are also raised at the same time. Any who are to become saints after this event are treated as separate in many ways from the saints in heaven. I just can't reconcile all this with the parts of scripture about believers as one body.

Last edited by Connie; 04-14-2008 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:39 PM
Connie
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Sorry, that was 1 Thessalonians 4 I was quoting, not 1 Cor 15. 1 Cor 15 describes the same event, the dead rising first, the living saints rising, all changed from corruptible to incorruptible. SO hard to think of ANY of God's people remaining on the earth after that event.
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:41 PM
jerry
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The rapture is God catching ALL of His true church up to Heaven. The saints in the Tribulation are those who got saved during those seven years.

All the dead in Christ are raised, not all the dead throughout history.

The verse says God will keep them from the hour of temptation, not keep them safe within it.

Compare Revelation 1:19 with 4:1.

Revelation 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

Chapter one is the things which thou hast seen - the glorified Christ.
Chapters two and three are the things which are - the churches - the church age is typified here.
Chapter four onwards are the things which shall be hereafter (seeing as the church will be caught up after the church age is over, and 4:1 makes reference to what will come after, it is reasonable to believe that verse is a picture of the rapture - when compared with 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

In eternity, all God's people will be one - they are not so right now. There is Israel, and there is the church, then there will be the Tribulation saints. But in eternity, all will be together in the new heavens and the new earth.
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Old 04-14-2008, 06:35 PM
Connie
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Quote:
The rapture is God catching ALL of His true church up to Heaven. The saints in the Tribulation are those who got saved during those seven years.
But that's what I'm saying. I don't get how "all of His true church" can be raptured while SOME of His true church stay to get saved later. Saints = True church. All one body.

Quote:
All the dead in Christ are raised, not all the dead throughout history.
That includes all the OT saints as well though, those who lived by faith during their lives and, as I understand it, also believed Christ when He preached to them according to

1Pe*3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

Quote:
The verse says God will keep them from the hour of temptation, not keep them safe within it.
True, and your interpretation may be the correct one, but I'm reserving judgment because I still have too many questions about the whole thing.

Quote:
Chapter one is the things which thou hast seen - the glorified Christ.
Chapters two and three are the things which are - the churches - the church age is typified here.
Chapter four onwards are the things which shall be hereafter (seeing as the church will be caught up after the church age is over, and 4:1 makes reference to what will come after, it is reasonable to believe that verse is a picture of the rapture - when compared with 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
It's a possibility in my mind, but not open and shut.
Quote:
In eternity, all God's people will be one - they are not so right now. There is Israel, and there is the church, then there will be the Tribulation saints. But in eternity, all will be together in the new heavens and the new earth.
Unbelieving Israel can't be regarded as God's people. You have to be saved to have that status. I do believe God is preserving and watching over the state of Israel and has great plans for the Jews, many yet to be saved as the end times unfold, but I can't split up the categories of saints as you do. Too much of scripture seems to say something different.

Last edited by Connie; 04-14-2008 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:06 PM
jerry
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No one is part of the church until they get saved. The church age is only a set time in God's program. There are and will be many people saved who will not be part of the church.

Quote:
Unbelieving Israel can't be regarded as God's people. You have to be saved to have that status. I do believe God is preserving and watching over the state of Israel and has great plans for the Jews, many yet to be saved as the end times unfold, but I can't split up the categories of saints as you do.
You lost me a bit here - God Himself makes a dictinction between the church and Israel.

1 Corinthians 10:32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:55 PM
Connie
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There isn't just one "Israel." There is unbelieving Israel, sometimes called "Jacob," and there is the remnant of believers who are saved by Christ. The distinction is between unbelieving Israel and believers.

As Paul said in Romans 9, not all Israel is Israel. There is Israel after the flesh and the Israel of faith. Those who are saved by faith are the true Israel. True Israel is the believers in Christ, both Jew and Gentile. Believing Gentiles were grafted into the stock of Abraham, and are therefore Israelites. I hope there will be millions of unbelieving Jews who will be saved in the very last days, but they can't be saved apart from Christ, for "there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved," and if they are saved by Christ then they are the church, and so are we (thinking of us here as nonJews, perhaps a false assumption I just realized), and in Christ there is no distinction between Jew and Greek.

Quote:
1 Corinthians 10:32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:
The Jews and Gentiles in this quote are the unbelieving world, in contrast to the church of God which is made up of believing Jews and Gentiles. They have different customs and laws, so not giving offense to them requires knowing enough not to offend any of the customs and laws of any of the unbelievers, whether Jew or Gentile, OR the believers.

Last edited by Connie; 04-14-2008 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:08 PM
Connie
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I seem to never quite get it said the first time around, so here:

There CAN"T be "many people saved who will not be part of the church" because the church is the assembly of all believers through Christ, and there is no other church but His and there is no other way to be saved but through Him and all believers in Him together are His body. There is no other category of God's people in the Bible.

So I guess that means that I'm not a dispensationalist!
 

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