Teach The Rapture?3/2/23 By Tim Buck
Somewhere in the past, a tragic divorce occurred; theologians and pastors decided we must separate the return of Jesus for His church from the proclamation of the gospel. The results of this untimely divorce have led to a dearth of understanding among believers regarding Jesus’ appearing and the joyful anticipation that comes with such awareness.
Confused believers in most churches hear that they will surely die rather than meet Jesus in the air, which directly contradicts the New Testament in passages such as 1 Corinthians 15:51 and 1 Thessalonians 4:17. The Apostle Paul believed there would be many saints alive at the time of the Rapture, including himself, but preachers today are hesitant to even mention the imminent return of the Lord.
The divorce of the Rapture from the gospel has resulted in a near blackout of teaching about our “blessed hope” in churches today. This negatively impacts new believers as well as seasoned saints as it leaves them ill-prepared to live in a fear-ridden society because such teaching provides no prophetic context into which they can place the violence, lawlessness and deterioration of the culture.
The new converts in Thessalonica were so fixated on their soon departure from the earth that when some in their midst died, they grieved unnecessarily thinking they would miss out on the Rapture (1 Thess. 4:13-19). In response, Paul emphasized the primary place of the “dead in Christ” during the rapture telling his converts that Jesus would resurrect them first at His appearing (4:16).
Another sorrowful result of this divorce is that it takes the eyes of believers away from their ultimate hope at a time when they need such a focus. Instead, their eyes remain focused on earthly aspirations.
Few pastors talk about what happens at the moment Jesus returns for His church (1 Cor. 15:51-55; Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Thess. 4:16-17). Even those that believe these things rarely discuss the wealth of biblical content on the Rapture, or on the believers’ instant transformation to receive our glorified body, for fear that talking about the Rapture might hurt attendance.
When discussion on the Rapture ended some thirty years ago in the church and elsewhere, so did the whole body of the doctrine of eschatology. Roughly thirty percent of the Bible is predictive prophecy when written and you can’t become all that God wants you to be by cutting out thirty percent.
When Rapture teaching stopped so did any discussion of the Millennium, Israel’s key end-time role, the world trending toward the Tribulation, the building of the third temple in Jerusalem, the prominence of end-time deception, the push for peace by dividing Israel and so much more!
The sad result of decades of shelving the Rapture is that it’s become almost impossible for the average believer to understand the doctrinal reasons for the times we live in from a biblical and prophetic perspective! And right at a time when people need answers more than ever because they have questions as they observe the turmoil of our times.
So, does YOUR church teach the Rapture from the pulpit? If not, my suggestion is to find one that does! You’ll be glad you did!
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