Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Looking forward to the rapture, hopefully soon

Paul was the one to reveal the mystery of the rapture to the first generation believers of Christianity and thus to all believers after that. In 1 Corinthians 15:51 Paul begins the revelation of this doctrine by saying, 'Listen, I tell you a mystery..." A mystery in Greek is not something unknowable that is obtuse and only understood through byzantine clues. It means something not known before but is being revealed now. (source).

In a companion verse, Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, "According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep." (1 Thes. 4:15) Paul is speaking of the rapture in this passage. Usually, people skip right to the good stuff, to the next verse about the Lord coming down from heaven with a shout and the dead in Christ rising, and all that.

But think for a minute, if the mystery of the rapture was revealed by Paul and was not written about anywhere prior in the New Testament, what does it mean at the beginning of the verse when Paul says "According to the Lord's own Word...?" When Paul wrote that it always meant that it was in the Old Testament, in His Word that had already existed for centuries. But now that the Lord had come, died, and ascended, the Holy Spirit filled believers also now understood that the Coming of the Messiah was going to be in two parts, and in part two, He would return and get them and bring them to heaven. (John 14:2-3).

So if the rapture is according to the Lord's own word, where was it in the Old Testament? It can be interpreted to be in Isaiah.

"But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast." (Is 26:19-20).

Whatever the source point for the rapture, Isaiah or Thessalonians/Corinthians, it seems that many people feel that it could be very near. And that means being ready to meet Him. If you have repented of your sins, you are ready to meet Him when He comes partway to earth to gather us to Him at the place he has been preparing for us. If you are not ready now, that is a terrible thing, because that means you will go through the Tribulation period which is the worst time on earth that there will ever be and will never be so terrible again. (Mt 24:21). It could well be that you die in that time period, because right away a fourth of the world will die (Rev 6:7-8) and then a third of the remaining world after that. (Rev 9:18). The odds are you will die before you know what hit you and that would seal your fate forever. You will still meet Him, but it will be on His terms in tat case, and you will be forever doomed to hell. If you repent during the Tribulation that will be great but you will still be living through the worst time there will ever be.

Repent now and be ready to meet your Groom. It is the best of all possible situations!

1 comment:

  1. I second the plea Elizabeth has here: repent! Come to Jesus Christ!

    ReplyDelete

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