So can you really stand when you are all alone?
This question could be important if I am right about my current stance on the rapture. I have found NOTHING in scripture that shows or states that Christians escape the tribulation completely by going away in the rapture. If it comes across like I’m trying to play around with words just to make this an interesting article, what I am trying to say is, what I have seen in the Bible is that believers will take part in the Great Tribulation.
Let me back-track a bit now. I grew up in a family that was BIG on reading. So I started reading quite early. I also read the Bible extensively.
Some part were quite boring to read because we normally read the King James Version and for a 7 year old, reading “…and Judas begat Pharas and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; and Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon…”, it was quite…difficult. However, as I grew older, I came across a ‘challenge’ that will plague you if you DARE to read the Bible extensively – there was a huge dissociation from what was written IN the Bible and what was taught and practiced. So I read commentaries and read books to understand certain things and it is based on my studies that I have arrived at the conclusions I plan to share with you today.
Before I go on, let me say two things: I am still studying and if anyone has a dissenting view, I would love to chat and discuss. However, I believe scriptural discussion should be based on scripture and/or logic as appropriate. Secondly, there have been many favourable comments regarding my writings. While I am thrilled that it is thus received, I MUST warn against a real danger:
Do not LAP up things I say because you think they sound good or well researched. That seems to be the sad plague of many who throng to ‘houses of God’. Like a dog that does not understand the social implication of a shake but extends a paw when it has been trained to hear the command, people tend to give over reason to a person they respect or has some PERCEIVED ‘authority’, whether spiritual, scientific or in any way. I am hoping my articles will help to provoke thought and help the reader think – NOT think for the reader.
That said, I am now going to talk about the rapture and its timing.
MY CASE FOR THE RAPTURE
Someone sent me an email and said that there was nothing in the Bible that talked about the Rapture. I will explain briefly again that the word “RAPTURE” is not in the Bible, like “TRINITY”, but it explains the very REAL future event of REAL believers in Christ being caught up suddenly to meet Jesus in the skies.
This will sound like some badly thought-out science fiction plot, but those who read the Bible for themselves (a quick-shrinking mass) will find there are several passages of scriptures that talk about this unusual happening – as well as other occurrences that are beginning to unfold in our time.
So let’s dive in.
Three of the books in the New Testament talk about this occurrence, as Jesus himself explained the occurrence. Instead of taking you through the whole chapter (and risk you dozing on me like one of my “fans” did!), I have jumped straight through to the exact portions that describe the “Rapture”. Of course, feel free to read the whole chapter – and I will come back to other verses when I start to discuss timing and prophecies. Also get ready for a little BIBLE-FLIPPING!
Matthew 24: 29 – 31: Says the sign of the Son of man (Jesus) comes in the cloud, people see him, he sends out his angels – AND THEY GATHER TOGETHER HIS ELECTS FROM THE FOUR WINDS (which means all parts of the world)
Mark 13:25 – 27 and Luke 21:27 also say the same thing. The Son of man comes, people see him, stars fall, angels fly out to gather his elect (his chosen ones)…and all with the coming of the Son of Man… Jesus.
Quite interesting. However, that’s not all.
It now becomes quite dramatic with the writings of Paul, the strongest and most GRAPHIC being in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 – 17. (Duh! You’re not the only one who finds it hard to pronounce or find in the Bible – use Google!)
Here it says Jesus comes from heaven with a SHOUT, with the voice of the archangel, with the trumpet of God. That’s just heavy! Those dead in Christ rise to meet him – and then those who are alive rise up as well to meet him in the cloud. If this is your first time seeing this, I’m sure it sounds quite unbelievable. But hold on a sec.
1 Corinthians complements this by adding a few descriptions. In 1 Corinthians 15: 51 – 52, it says we will not all sleep (die in old English, just like ‘fallen’ especially when used in reference to a war) but we will be changed and in that split second, our bodies will be changed to celestial ones – and you can read verses 35 – 49 LATER where he elaborates on this “spirituo-physical” change in detail.
Finally, Daniel 12: 1B (1b for those who use glasses and need an eye miracle (jokes))talks about those who will be saved and will be awakened from death (AGAIN) to face different outcomes of glory OR shame.
I have written thus to lay a foundation though I know these things I have said are nothing new to the average “Church”- goer. However, I write as well for people who may find some of these things as strange or new.
With that said, I will go on to explain why I have found nothing in scripture that backs up the popular belief: That Christians ESCAPE the Great Tribulation because they go in the Rapture which comes before the tribulation.
I believe Christians will be IN the Tribulation and I am not writing about this to become popular, but because I believe that understanding will change how we live, perceive the world, fellowships and what is truly important and stand the test of times when times become real hard and bad and brethren betray brethren. I hope to provoke more study on the subject which I will talk about next time on face book or on my blog that you can also subscribe to.
Very many thanks for your time.
To be continued…
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
So can you really stand when you are all alone?