• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.

The Rapture?

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by Smilin, Aug 5, 2002.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Smilin

    Smilin Spirit of the Wolf

    +242
    Atheist
    Married
    I've read many discussions on whether or not the 'rapture'

    will occur.  I'm interested in what facts supported by biblical

    scripture everyone can show me.  First, where does the word

    originate?  what does it imply? and what scriptures support

    or disclaim it?

     

     
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Patmosman_sga

    Patmosman_sga Member

    375
    +3
    Protestant
    "Rapture" is from the Latin "raptizo" used in the Vulgate Bible for the Greek "harpazo" used by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4 (and elsewhere). The word means "caught up" or "snatched away." Hence, the popular picture of the "rapture" with Christians being physically lifted off the surface of the earth to "meet the Lord in the air" and fly away with him into heaven.

    The problem with the picture, however, is that it does not fit the Jewish apocalyptic worldview which forms the context for Paul and other New Testament writers. To begin with the Greek word for "air" in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 is aer, which refers to the ether, the "air" within our immediate proximity. It is not the air "up there," that is, the sky. Rather, it is the air "out there," which we encounter every time we breathe.

    Furthermore, the popular picture of the "rapture" is based on an unbiblical dualism, which sees "heaven" and "earth" as two separate realms or "worlds," the former being good and the latter being evil. So, for God to destroy the "evil" earth, he will first have to "snatch away" all the Christians to the safe harbor of "heaven."

    Biblically speaking, however, "heaven and earth" exist in a duality (as opposed to a dualism) as part of a single created order which God declared "good." However, the fall has affected all of creation, so that it has become less than what God intended it to be. The Christian hope that "creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God" (Romans 8:21) is rooted in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As God raised Jesus from the dead, so he will also raise all the "dead in Christ" to a new and glorious life in a creation fully redeemed and restored to its original splendor, where heaven and earth are fully integrated, God's will done perfectly "on earth as it is in heaven."

    The ultimate realization or actualization of what many well-meaning but misguided dualistic Christians call the "rapture," then, is the restoration of all things in God's created order to their original goodness, complete with all those who died in that hope being raised to life in a glorified body, sharing with Jesus in the victory and vindication that is the resurrection. At the very center of God's "new creation" will be the real and personal presence of Jesus himself, the embodiment and fulfillment of our hope, whom we will see face to face in all of his glory.

    Meanwhile, you can experience all the benefits of "meeting the Lord in the air" by going to church this Sunday. Worship is where "the end" begins.
     
  3. Smilin

    Smilin Spirit of the Wolf

    +242
    Atheist
    Married
    Patmosman_sga:

    You make reference to 1 Thesselonians 4:17,

    Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

    You state:
    The problem with the picture, however, is that it does not fit the Jewish apocalyptic worldview which forms the context for Paul and other New Testament writers. To begin with the Greek word for "air" in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 is aer, which refers to the ether, the "air" within our immediate proximity. It is not the air "up there," that is, the sky. Rather, it is the air "out there," which we encounter every time we breathe.


    Your explanation, as I understand it, is that we will not actually meet
    Christ in the sky? The passage refers to Christians being caught up
    together in the clouds as well? I welcome further response from all.
     
  4. Patmosman_sga

    Patmosman_sga Member

    375
    +3
    Protestant
    The confusion here arises out of the inadequacy of the English language to distinguish between the "air" as in the sky and the "air" as in the wind or breath. Add "clouds" to the picture and it is easy to understand how we, being some 2,000 years removed from the first century Jewish religious culture, can see something entirely different from what Paul intended.

    But a well-intentioned misunderstanding is no substitute for the true Christian eschatological hope. The picture we like to paint by taking 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 out of context, misinterpreting it, and then using that misinterpretation as the basis for our understanding of all biblical texts concerning the coming of Christ in glory is a fond thing, but it ultimately results in the trivialization of the very hope which is supposed to define the life of every believer.

    To understand the "clouds" imagery, we must go back to Daniel 7:13-14.

    Here, Daniel speaks of "one like a son of man" who comes "with the clouds of heaven" to "the Ancient of Days" and is given dominion over all the earth.

    Now, here is something to consider. If this "one like a son of man" is coming "with the clouds of heaven" to be presented to "the Ancient of Days," in what direction is he travelling? This is the language of ascent, not descent. What Daniel is foretelling here is Christ's vindication; his asension into heaven to be enthroned as the King of Glory.

    "Coming with the clouds," whenver it is used in reference to "the Son of Man" (eg. Matthew 24:30, Mark 13:26, Luke 21:27), connotes an upward trajectory, Jesus "coming" from earth to heaven, not the other way around. Likewise, Paul's use of similar imagery in 1 Thessalonians 4 connotes the same vindication, only this time it is shared by "all who belong to" Christ, be they "dead in Christ" or (literally) "alive and remaining into the presence of the Lord."

    When Paul says the Lord "will descend from heaven," it is probably within the same context as Ephesians 4:9-10, "In saying, 'He ascended,' what does it mean but that he also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above the heavens, that he might fill all things."

    This "descent" was his descent to the dead after his crucifixion and before his resurrection. Peter also makes note of this.

    The "descent" of Christ actually began with his conception via the Holy Spirit in the Virgin's womb. It was, of course, not complete until he died on the cross and literally "descended to the dead" in order to pierce the very heart of death itself, and rise again victoriously, leading a host of captives with him (cf. Ephesians 4:8, Matthew 27:52-53).

    Paul's (apparent) inconsistency in employing past, present or future tense in different passages indicates the dynamic tension of living out the practical implications of Christ's completed work here and now while, at the same time, still waiting for its final outworking in the consummation of history.

    Paul was not trying to "encourage" the Thessalonians by simply telling them that "one day" they would all "fly away" into the sky and leave this filthy old world behind. Rather, he was articulating for them a hope for the "future" rooted in what Christ had done in the "past" to give them a reason to live for Christ and his kingdom in the "present." The hope is that, as God raised Jesus from the dead, so he will also, through Christ, do the same for all of his creation, heaven and earth alike; that we will all share in the joy of the resurrection in a fully redeemed, fully restored creation with Jesus himself being personally present among us.

    To be seized by such a hope, one cannot help but actively work to hasten its fulfillment (cf. 2 Peter 3:11-13). But if all we have to hope for is a guided tour through outer space, we have no reason to do anything "down here" but sit around and twiddle our thumbs until the Lord returns. Rest assured, if you are found doing that, he will not be pleased.
     
  5. GraftMeIn

    GraftMeIn The Masters Gardener

    +4
    The word rapture according to the dictionary means a state or expression of ecstasy. This is simply a word used by many christains when speaking about the day Jesus returns, the moment we will all be caught up with him in the sky. Since the Bible tells us to watch for it, and to make ourselves ready for it, and warns us to be prepared. Then yes it will happen! If we say it isn't going to happen then we are calling God a liar. The Bible tells us no man knows the day or hour, only God knows when it will take place. there are many things the bible tells us will happen before this takes place.
    The Bible says Every eye will see him, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Untill I see this happen, then I can rest assured it hasn't happened as of yet. But I do feel the time is quickly approaching.
     
  6. rollinTHUNDER

    rollinTHUNDER Veteran

    +8
    United States
    Protestant
    Married
    US-Libertarian


    I believe the confusion here begins with the one making this case. Don't be led by the blind. Patmosman is clearly a scoffer of the promised rapture of the last days. He doesn't believe in the rapture the way it is taught in the scriptures. He can only see it with his human mind, which can not see it at all. But the righteous will live by faith. He also confuses the rapture with the second coming, like the scriptures he quoted from Daniel. They are not about the rapture, but the second coming.

     Be careful Smilin, we are living in the days where the blind lead the blind. The bible has warned us to not be deceived. Don't let someones lack of faith lead you astray. The Lord is faithful, and He will keep His promises.  

    John 11: 25-26 - "Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; (26) and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

    This says that (at the resurrection), all those who have died and believed in Christ will be raised to life. And all those who are alive at that time and believe will never see death. I believe, I believe!!
     
  7. Julie

    Julie ONLY JESUS CHRIST SAVES

    +3
    Christian
    Prophecies of the Rapture

    1. He is preparing a place for the Saved.

    John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

    2. He will come again.

    John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

    1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

    1 Corinthians 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

    3. He will receive us.

    John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

    4. He will take us to be with Him.

    John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

    5. He will bring to light hidden things.

    1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

    6. He will make manifest the counsels of the hearts.

    1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

    7. Every man shall praise Him.

    1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

    8. The Lord's supper is a prophecy of His coming.

    1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.

    9. He will deliver us from the wrath to come (The Tribulation).

    1 Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

    10. We will be in the presence of the Lord when he comes.

    1 Thessalonians 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

    11. The living will not go up before the dead (dead Christians).

    1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

    12. We will be gathered together in Christ.

    2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

    13. He will come after the early and latter rain.

    James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

    14. The dead in Christ will return with Christ, for their bodies.

    Jude 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

    15. Christ will come quickly (unexpectedly).

    Revelation 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

    Revelation 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

    16. Christ will reward your works.

    Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

    17. Christ shall come for those who look for Him.

    Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

    18. He will come in secret. He will sneak in unawares.

    2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
     
  8. Brian45

    Brian45 Senior Member

    +147
    Christian
    Single
    John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

    And where do you think that will be Julie .

    On the earth or in heaven ?

    Think before you answer .
     
  9. Patmosman_sga

    Patmosman_sga Member

    375
    +3
    Protestant
    Yes, by faith in the Risen Jesus Christ, the living embodiment of our hope and the fulfillment of all God's promises in the past, the present and the future; not by faith in the delusional dreams of a 19th century teen-aged girl and the outrageous writings of a bunch of science-fiction novelists masquerading as theologians. It appears to me that you are greatly confused as to just who is trusting in the promises of God and who is trusting in human "wisdom" (or the lack thereof).
     
  10. mcfly1960

    mcfly1960 Member

    159
    +2
    Protestant
    Many believe Enoch to figuratively represent the rapture. It is interesting that Enoch had lived 365 years when he was translated, which is the number of days in the year of our Gentile calendar, so it could be a figurative representation of the rapture of Gentile Christianity before the tribulation.  Enoch was translated before the Flood, which was the wrath of God on all the world at that time. 

    "And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and was not; for God took him". Genesis 5:23-24

    "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." Hebrews 11:6


    "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints" Jude 14

    "And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in linen, white and clean." Revelation 19:14



     
     
  11. postrib

    postrib Well-Known Member

    508
    +0
    Christian
    Note that no scripture promises us a rapture before the tribulation. Jesus says he will come to gather us together "immediately after the tribulation" (Matthew 24:29-31), and Paul says Jesus' coming to gather us together must "destroy" the Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:1-8). We Christians must go through the coming tribulation (Revelation 13:7-10, 14:12-13).
     
  12. rollinTHUNDER

    rollinTHUNDER Veteran

    +8
    United States
    Protestant
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    I wonder how many are in the flock you Pastor?? And will any of them be raptured, or will they all be left behind?? I also wonder why you continue to stay with a Forum that you originally said was too One dimentional?? This Forum is for believers who have faith in the promises of our Lord, like the soon coming rapture, and seven year tribulation. You can print your stuff in the daily news paper and the your whole neighborhood will believe it, because it doesn't require any faith, only a boring human mind. I wonder how many of your flock fall asleep when you deliver your message?? It sure is a sad thing to think about though, so I'm outta here.
     
  13. Julie

    Julie ONLY JESUS CHRIST SAVES

    +3
    Christian
    "We Christians must go through the coming tribulation (Revelation 13:7-10, 14:12-13)." Not me post, I'm pre.
     
  14. mcfly1960

    mcfly1960 Member

    159
    +2
    Protestant
    When taken in its context, the "Come up hither" heard by John in Revelation 4:1 is another scripture that indicates the rapture.  

    The book of Revelation is addressed from John to the seven churches in Asia (Revelation 1:4).  I believe that Revelation 4:1 and the "Come up hither" is both said to John and the seven churches, as well as to all believers by extension.  The only other time this phrase is used in scripture is in the ascension of the two witnesses (Rev 11:12).

    In chapters 2 and 3 we see the council of Jesus to these seven churches.  Notice that there are seven churches and seven spirits of God.  I believe that this is symbolic of the presence of the one Holy Spirit in all seven churches.  Each of the letters to the seven churches ends with "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches".

    If you notice the last two churches, a lot of emphasis is placed on doors opening and shutting. Philadelphia has a door that is open that no man can shut, a door which once it is shut, no man can open (Rev 3:7-8).  Laodicea has a closed door, with Christ knocking on the outside (Rev 3:20), in which He invites those who hear His voice to open.

    Suddenly, in Revelation 4:1 we see another door, but this one is open and into heaven.  Seated in heaven around the throne of God are the 24 elders clothed in white raiment with believers' crowns of gold, and the 7 spirits of God (Rev 4:4-5).

    Notice in the following passage that the 24 elders are redeemed out of "every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation".  The 24 elders, then, must represent the redeemed Church.  Note that this is before the opening of the seals.

    Revelation Chapter 5
    "6   And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
    7   And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
    8   And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
    9   And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;"
     
  15. postrib

    postrib Well-Known Member

    508
    +0
    Christian
    Note again that no scripture promises us a rapture before the tribulation.
    Note that Revelation 4:1's "come up hither" was spoken only to John over 1900 years ago. This is why there's no coming of Christ or rapture and resurrection of the church found in Revelation 4:1, just as there isn’t at the "come up hither" spoken only to the two witnesses in Revelation 11:12.
    Note that Revelation 3:10 doesn't promise the church a pre-trib rapture, but simply promised the 1st century church of Philadelphia that it would be kept from the hour of trial, which was probably a great persecution in their own time, and they weren't raptured.
    Note that at the time the 24 elders and the 4 beasts are singing they are holding "golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints" (Revelation 5:8); I believe the 24 elders are angelic rulers who, with the 4 beasts, offer up with song the prayers of the saints before God (Revelation 5:8-9). Compare Revelation 8:4: "And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand."

    Do some believe that the 4 beasts must also be the church because they also offer up the song of the redeemed to God? (Revelation 5:8-9)
     
  16. mcfly1960

    mcfly1960 Member

    159
    +2
    Protestant
    In light of Revelation 5:9, where we are told the 24 elders are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb out of "every kindred, tongue, and people, and nation," these are clearly human beings.

    Unless you were thinking of 24 players from the Anaheim Angels baseball team.. :D

    I believe that the 4 beasts represent the heavenly angelic hosts.  They would be singing, too, along with the redeemed from the earth.
     
  17. Smilin

    Smilin Spirit of the Wolf

    +242
    Atheist
    Married
     

    Brian,

    She was simply quoting scripture as I had requested.

    My thanks Julie for your insite.

    Obviously, Brian, the place Christ is preparing

    for us is not of this earth, since he has ascended.

    It is there that we will be with him.
     
  18. Smilin

    Smilin Spirit of the Wolf

    +242
    Atheist
    Married
     
  19. Julie

    Julie ONLY JESUS CHRIST SAVES

    +3
    Christian
    The second coming is in two parts, first in the clouds =the rapture and then when The Lord Jesus Christ sets foot on the earth 7 years later=advent.
     
  20. postrib

    postrib Well-Known Member

    508
    +0
    Christian
    Note again that at the time the 24 elders and the 4 beasts are singing "thou hast redeemed US" (Revelation 5:9), they are holding "golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints" (Revelation 5:8); again, I believe the 24 elders are angelic rulers who, with the 4 beasts, offer up with song the prayers of the saints before God (Revelation 5:8-9). Compare Revelation 8:4: "And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand."

    I believe there will be a rapture. "Rapture" is from the Latin "rapiemur," which is how the old Latin translation of the Bible translated "caught up" in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. But many Christians believe that they will be "caught up" all the way into heaven, and that this will happen before the tribulation, when the Bible doesn't promise us either of these things. It says that we Christians must go through the coming tribulation (Revelation 13:7-10, 14:12-13), that we will be caught up into the clouds to meet Jesus as he descends at the 2nd coming (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17), that this will happen "after the tribulation" (Matthew 24:29-31), and that Jesus' coming to gather us together must "destroy" the Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:1-8).

    I believe we will be caught up to meet Jesus in the air on his way down to set his feet on the earth.

    Because 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 shows Jesus "coming," but doesn't show him landing on the earth, some believe it refers to a part-way coming of Jesus whereby he comes down only as far as the clouds and then returns to heaven. But note that Matthew 24:29-31 doesn't show Jesus landing on the earth either. Do some then believe that Matthew 24:29-31 is also not the 2nd coming?

    Note that 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 doesn't show Jesus returning to heaven. Acts 1:11 says Jesus will "come" just as he left: he won't come only as far as the clouds and then return to heaven again, just as he didn't leave only as far as the clouds and then return to earth again. He went from the Mount of Olives to the clouds to heaven, he will come from heaven to the clouds to the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4). There's no 3rd coming of Jesus.  
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...