Thursday, June 7, 2007

Rapture Dilusions?

I am currently reading the book, "End Times Delusions," by Steve Wohlberg. The book refutes many of the common place interpretations of the end times, but the one that has interested me most thus far is his view of the rapture. Disclaimer - The following is a para-phrased view of Steve Wohlberg and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Timm Rees. Mr. Wohlberg would first point out that the idea of a “pre-tribulation” rapture did not come about until a 19th century evangelist named John Nelson Darby presented it. He would also point out that the word "rapture," is not actually in the Bible. This is a point made by many when discussing the topic, but many will take you to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." Then they will pair this verse up with 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 where Paul tells us that "..we will all be changed— 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed." There are two problems with this argument; 1. The event described in Thessalonians does not sound like a quite disappearance of millions. There will be "a loud command," and a "trumpet call of God." It sounds rather noisy. Jesus himself describes his second coming as being with a "loud trumpet call." 2. The "twinkling of an eye," in 1 Corinthians, when examined more closely doesn't seem to be talking about a disappearance. It seems to be talking about our bodies changing from mortal to immortal. Verses 53 and 54 go on to say "For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." The third problem with the "pre-trib rapture," is found in 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 3 "Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers... Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction." Clearly this passage states that a rebellion must come and the anti-christ must be revealed. But the accepted "Left Behind" Theory clearly states the rapture happens first, followed by the rise of the anti-christ, followed by 7 years of tribulation. This theory doesn't seem to fit with 2 Thessalonians 2. Again, these are not necessarily my views, but I will say they are very compelling arguments. Please, leave some comments, and please, read up on this topic. I'm sure I'll post more as I finish the book. Questions? Comments?