Skip to comments.The Rapture Part 1 (Dispensational Caucus)
Posted on 06/22/2012 12:53:32 AM PDT by GiovannaNicoletta
I remain astonished at the number of emails I receive from individuals who do not believe that the rapture is a biblical doctrine. Such people seem to have the idea that the whole rapture concept is manufactured by popular, sensationalistic prophecy teachers in their attempt to sell books and make money. Thus, they contend that this rapture doctrine has no biblical justification whatsoever. In order to demonstrate the rapture is truly a biblical doctrine, I am commencing a series of articles on the "Doctrine of the Rapture of the Church."
This series will have two major parts. First, we will focus on the "what?" question as we ask ourselves, "What is the rapture?" The two major passages we will use to answer this question will be 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. Second, we will focus on the "when?" question as we ask ourselves, "When is the rapture?" By "when?" we have no intention of assigning a date for the rapture. Such an effort would be fruitless since the Scripture fails to assign a specific date for this event. Rather, by "when?" we simply will try to answer the question "When will the rapture take place relative to the impending seven-year tribulation period?"
What Is the Rapture? In order to answer this question, ten truths about this important event will be discussed. The first four truths come directly from 1 Thess. 4:13-18. These verses say:
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. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 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. 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. 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. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
The Rapture Is an Important Doctrine
First, the rapture is an important doctrine. Many give the impression that the rapture is some kind of secondary doctrine that need not be given too much attention. We are often told that we should focus on the "big ticket" theological items such as the Virgin Birth, the Vicarious Atonement, the Trinity, Salvation by Faith Alone, and the Deity of Christ. Only after these doctrines are mastered should we then consider or contemplate the doctrine of the rapture. Along these same lines, many contend that the rapture is certainly not something that a new believer should give too much time or attention to.
Such thinking was foreign to the mindset of the Apostle Paul. Interestingly, the Thessalonians were new believers (1 Thess. 1:9). In fact, a very short period of time exists between Paul's planting of the Thessalonian church on his second missionary and his writing of the two epistles to them. There were no more than six months to a year between these two events. Thus, the Thessalonian epistles differ from Paul's letter to the Philippians where a little over ten years had elapsed between Paul's planting of the church at Philippi, on his second missionary journey, and when Paul finally wrote to that church during his first Roman imprisonment. The point in all of this is that although the Thessalonians were new believers, Paul never hid the doctrine of the rapture from them. On the contrary, he openly disclosed this teaching to them along with many other doctrines.
In his letter to the Thessalonians, before more fully developing the doctrine of the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Paul briefly mentioned this doctrine in 1 Thessalonians 1:10. Paul obviously believed that the rapture is a foundational doctrine because he mentioned it immediately after discussing other basic doctrines such as the Holy Spirit (1:5) and conversion (1:5, 9). He also mentions the rapture doctrine (4:13-18) just after and before discussing other basic Christian truths such as sanctification (4:3, 5:23) and the dimensions of man's nature (5:23). Evidently, in Paul's thinking, the rapture was just as important as these other truths and deserved the same level of treatment and understanding.
Caucus threads are closed to any poster who is not a member of the caucus.
For instance, if it says Catholic Caucus and you are not Catholic, do not post to the thread. However, if the poster of the caucus invites you, I will not boot you from the thread.
The caucus article and posts must not compare beliefs or speak in behalf of a belief outside the caucus.
There is no tolerance for posters coming onto a caucus thread claiming that they were once baptized into that belief and therefore are still a member of it due to the belief saying they are - even though they are not active in that belief and notoriously dispute that belief on "open" Religion Forum threads. The same holds for those who claim they are members because of their ancestry even though they are not active in that belief and notoriously dispute it on "open" RF threads.
That behavior is finessing the guidelines, it is flame baiting. No dice.
Also, there is little to no tolerance for non-members of a caucus coming onto the caucus thread to challenge whether or not it should be a caucus. Gross disruption usually follows.
If you question whether the article is appropriate for a caucus designation, send me a Freepmail. I'll get to it as soon as I can.
Just so I understand, because this is a Dispensational caucus, only pre-tribulationists can comment? Those that believe in a post-tribulation rapture should not comment?
If you want to check my bent, you might look at
for the doctrines I have been discipled in by that author. I expect some of my thoughts might not be in agreement with everyone elses. I'm open to extending my learning in The Lord, being finite in the Presence of the Infinite. Why else have a discussion?
But in 1 Corinthians 15:31, Paul says: I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily."
By this it can be seen that the first taken up in the rapture, those "dead in Christ," means those who have surrendered their lives to Christ, and thereby "died" to those former lives "of the world," in the same way Paul "dies daily" ... "in Christ Jesus our Lord."
After that, 1 Thess. 4:17 says 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.
Ironically, to Paul, those who are "alive in the world" are not yet "dead to the world in Christ," but nevertheless will be taken up second.
Interesting how to spiritual eyes, the light of the world is darkness - while to worldly eyes, the light of Christ is darkness.
Jesus and Elijah ascended into heaven so why is it such a stretch to believe the rapture will happen?
Thank you for posting this. Often on FR there are those who will not accept that this is an doctrine the early church believed. Good documentation for its early teaching can be found here: http://www.essentialchristianity.com/pages.asp?pageid=21918
A doctrine, not an doctrine. Proofread after editing. Sheesh!
Your contentions dont make sense. If you claim that dead in Christ means those who are still physically alive but have surrendered themselves to Christ and then quote Paul saying we which are alive you have to believe that Paul was not one of those who were dead in Christ.
Enoch was taken also.
Please count me among those who do not believe your assessment of the scriptures is correct.
Those times have come and gone. The scriptures made Christians of that time aware of the signs so they would know when to get out of Dodge.
The scriptures do not support the notion of what is coming; the scriptures support the notion of what happened.
I trust this information will aid you in overcoming your astonishment.
Are you a dispensationalist?
Those who meet that criteria are welcome to join in the "general discussion" within the Dispensational caucus thread. We are not interested in arguments, denial of Scripture, false doctrines that cannot be validated by Scripture, and ridicule of those who believe that the Bible should be taken as God wrote it, not as each individual has adjusted to fit his or her false, un-Biblical doctrines.
If you can meet those requirements, you are welcome to join. Also, dispensationalists hold to a pre-Tribulation Rapture and are pre-millennial.
Anyone who truly knows Christ as Savior has their faith built on His death and resurrection, but we also have the "blessed hope", as He described the harpazo, or catching away, of His church. The doctrine of the Rapture is in the same book as the gospel, and was written by the same God. It is just as much factual as Jesus' death on the cross, and will happen just as sure as Jesus' death on the cross happened.
As for people getting hostile over disagreements, I really haven't seen that. I see Bible-believing Christians get passionate about defending the Scriptures, and therefore Jesus Christ, from unbelievers who attempt to deny Scriptures and, by doing so, deny Christ. It's about God's Holy Word, and whether or not it is absolute, inerrant truth.
Christians get "hostile" and are supposed to get "hostile" when their Savior is under attack from those who will deny Him by denying His Word. It's not about disagreement - it's about defending the One Who paid an incalculable price to rescue us from the consequences of our rebellion against Him and Who gave us the opportunity to be reconciled to Him and to be forgiven and to have the gift of eternal life.
It's not about simple "disagreement" at all.
Dispensationalism is premillennialism and usually includes the belief in a pre-tribulation rapture of Christians.
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