The Rapture

Trying to Get the Rapture Right, Part 1

I had been intending to write about the removal of the Church (the rapture) for quite a while now. What galvanized me to do so now was a couple of entries by Ben Witherington and Roger Olson about the pretribulational rapture. These men, (like them or not), do not usually write poorly, but their articles attacking the concept of the pretribulational rapture are pretty lame ducks, rehashing the same old populist presentations of Dispensationalism by sniping at Clarence Larkin’s charts, and bringing into the frame the names of Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye, only to mock them.

Now let me be clear about this, although I am a pretribultionist, I am not about to contend for the parity of the doctrine of the rapture and its timing with the doctrine of the Trinity, or justification by grace through faith. I will not die on a hill fighting for the timing of the rapture, be it pre-, mid-, prewrath-, or post-tribulational.

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"Left Behind" Movie Poster Revealed; Tim LaHaye Weighs in on Script

”’It will not cover everything that the first book includes, but will be more specifically concentrated on those first few hours and the chaos of the world in the wake of millions of people vanishing with no explanation,’ according to the official website for the film, schedul

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The Rapture of the Church, Part 11

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When will the rapture take place?

Our Lord assured us that it was impossible to date the rapture of the church. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matt. 24:36; cf. vss. 42, 44, 50; and Mark 13:32-37).

Amazing! Not even the Savior knew the date of His coming again. During the days of His non-glorified human existence—for a third of a century—our Lord set aside the independent exercise of His divine attributes of greatness (omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence), not His moral attributes (holiness, truth, love, etc.). That is the meaning of Phil. 2:7 and 8—He “made Himself of no reputation… He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

Over and over again, our LORD explained: “I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things” (John 8:28); and “the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak…Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak” (John 12:49, 50; cf. 5:20, 7:16, 8:38, 8:40, 15:15, 17:8).

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The Rapture of the Church, Part 10

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Resurrection and Corinthian/Greek philosophy

Why did so many in the church at Corinth have deep doubts about the promise of a resurrection body for believers? The amazing answer is that they did not want a resurrected body! Why not? Because they believed that such a body would be nothing more than what they already had—a weak, often painful, unimpressive thing. After all, they thought, who would really want to live forever in a resuscitated corpse?

Their drastic heresy on the design, function, significance and destiny of the human body, which they had learned from many Greek thinkers of that day, resulted in perverted views of morality and marriage. See how Paul had to deal with this in 1 Corinthians 6:15—“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!” (NKJV).

In spite of the fact that we still possess sinful natures, even after being born again—a sad reality which Paul explains in Romans 7:15-25—the mortal body of the Christian is a divine temple! “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

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