Cooling Off the Rapture Fever

christreturnedWith people looking to Israel right now, the wars going on around the world and the break of Ebola, people are all fired up about the coming secret rapture. To top this off, a the reboot of the Left Behind films is coming soon and this surely will being about some interest on the subject as well.

Justin Taylor posted a good blog article today on nine arguments against the pre-tribulation secret rapture. While these are standard arguments, there are other resources available in the post that may be useful to understanding the issues surrounding this theory and why it isn’t biblical.


A Few Resources on Dispensationalism

ScofieldCIWhile I don’t have figures to back this up, in my experience there are quite a few churches in the Greater Moncton area that hold to a dispensational hermeneutic which in return leads into the dispensational premillennial pre-tribulational rapture eschatology. At least many would have a good understanding of this approach to scripture and probably some who hold to it but they are quite sure why.  This website recognizes that there are some very godly men who hold to this position yet we do not endorse this hermeneutic or this interpretation of eschatology since we feel it is in error.

I found a link on the confessin’ Baptist website that had a few interesting resources that I thought I would share. There are various video, audio and online book recommendations that were posted there and hence I thought I would share.

The Secret Rapture & 1 Thessalonians 4

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

The text of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 is a key text in regards to understanding the things of the end.  Many in our day are totally focused upon a secret rapture that divides the 2nd coming of the Lord Jesus into two separate events. The reality is that this text is addressing the resurrection of believers at the one event called the 2nd coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I affirm that there is a “taking away” of the people of God but I would disagree that this event described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 is speaking of the taking away of the church for seven years and a precursor to the actual 2ndcoming of Christ. The second coming brings forth the resurrection of the dead, the judgment of the wicked and the cosmic renewal of all things in a onetime event and not multiple proceedings.

The purpose of the text

The texts previously written and those after the text in question were written as a means of encouragement to the believers in Thessalonica especially as a guide as to how they “ought to walk and please God” (4:1) The text of 4:13-17 is no different in that he writes to the believers to exhort them to “not grieve as do the rest who have no hope”. Paul is going to comfort them by explaining the relationship between those who had died  and those who were still alive during the coming of the Lord Jesus. Paul’s message was to encourage them regarding some believers who had passed on. It was not unnatural for them to grieve (John 11; Philippians 2:27) but his point was that they should not despair without hope as do the non-believers.

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