Jesus Christ and the Rapture
Before He establishes His kingdom on earth, Jesus will come for His Church, an event commonly referred to as the "Rapture. Christians living at the time of this event will not die, but will be changed to be like Christ. After the Rapture of the Church, Christians will be brought before the judgment seat of Christ. He will reward them on the basis of the works they have accomplished. Its purpose will be to prepare Israel for her Messiah. At the end of the Tribulation, Jesus Christ will return with the hosts of heaven as well as the Church to establish the Messianic Kingdom on earth.
Scofield, like Darby, read the Book of Revelation as a vision of the future, not a fiery dream of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.
Why Are So Many Christians Obsessed With Predicting the Rapture?
The latter view remains, in fact, the most common interpretation of the Book of Revelation by mainstream theologians and was described recently by Princeton scholar Elaine Pagels in "Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation. It's a problem, however, for rapture-minded Christians that the word "rapture" doesn't appear anywhere in the Bible, unless you're willing to think in broadly metaphorical terms.
Rapture thinking is most often traced back to the Apostle Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians, where he writes: "For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of an archangel and the trumpet of God. The dead in Christ will rise first; then we, who are left alive, will be snatched up with them on clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.
First, it's important to note that Jesus himself never talked about the rapture, ever.
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We read in Mark about the "Son of Man coming in the clouds," but this is a reference back to the Old Testament Book of Daniel, where we get the image of a "son of Man" who is actually going the other way, up to meet the Ancient of Days. It's all broadly metaphorical, a kind of dream. In Mark, the oldest gospel, this passage is about the vindication of Jesus as he comes to heaven and is recognized as a true son of the father.
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In Luke 19, we read about a returning king, but close study of this passage suggests that Luke is talking about God coming back to Jerusalem, not about Jesus returning to Earth. It's clear from looking carefully at everything Paul says about the future, as in I Corinthians or Philippians , that he believes only that some day Christians will experience a kind of physical and spiritual change. They will be resurrected, but this is a complex term that suggests not necessarily resuscitation but evolution, a thorough transformation.
In Thessalonians, Paul is writing like the poet he is, creating a spectacular vision of a returning lord who will be given a great reception in the air.
What is the rapture?
The crucial word in the relevant verse is "meet": Those who are left alive will be caught up on clouds to meet the Lord in the air. The word "meet" in Greek is "apentesis," and it means to gather for a reception for visiting dignitaries. Even the idea of being "snatched up" is thoroughly inadequate for the Greek word "harpazo," which is better translated as "gathered" -- a point made by many biblical scholars over the years.
In any case, Paul is being dramatic, imagining a holy reception committee that will greet the returning Christ. And why not?
The Rapture of the Church
Yet it's amazing how scriptures get misused, and relatively new theological ideas -- such as the rapture -- get deeply embedded in certain circles. The rapture is really a plot device for popular entertainment and a bizarre theological teaching in fundamentalist circles, where it functions in a variety of ways.
But it's bad theology, and Jesus himself would have been astonished to learn that thousands of years after him there were such notions afloat. When reading the Bible, it is occasionally difficult to discover if a verse is talking about the Second Coming or the Rapture. It is very important to know how to differentiate between these two events. The event known as the Rapture is when Jesus will return to remove all believers in Christ from the earth.
You can find these events described in 1 Thessalonians and 1 Corinthians The bodies of believers who have died will be resurrected.
The believers who are still on earth will meet Jesus in the air. This event will happen quickly - the Bible says it will happen in the twinkling of an eye. The Second Coming is the event when Jesus will return to destroy evil, defeat His enemy the antichrist. He will then establish His Millennial Kingdom. You can read about the Second Coming in Revelation "I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.
With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns.