Few topics can generate passionate discussion, debate and emotion more than the subject of the rapture. This topic can split groups, it can cause people to level accusations against others and can even cause some to question their beliefs or level of faith. People within or even without the faith can deem it to be pure fantasy. Indeed, movies have been made which, if honest, are fiction. I say they are fiction because the stories came from the interpretations of the creators of the movies. Some may believe it to be real, but say it is wishful thinking based upon the timing of it as professed by their counterparts. So how is one to know the truth of the actual event and the timing thereof? Even though it can be a dangerous topic to address, here I am doing so.
Why do I address this topic today? Because of the state of the world, the activity on the internet, and the "prophecies and dreams" being put forth by some at this time. I am not going to present a teaching on the matter today. I am going to ask some questions to provoke thought on the matter. I ask you to do one thing if you are a believer; consider the questions and ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and understanding. For the unbeliever, remember this conversation and if something dramatic does happen that appears to be the rapture, cry out to Jesus Christ for mercy.
The first question to ask oneself is, "Where did I learn the information that formed my belief on the topic of the rapture?" Why is this an important question? I believe that most Christians have not actually studied the topic. Many choose not to because of all of the confusion that surrounds the topic. Those who have done some study have typically learned it through a teaching at church or on the internet. If at church, it is slanted to the teaching and beliefs of the denomination. If on the internet it is based upon the beliefs of the one teaching. In either case it could also be a false teaching for the purposes of deception. A personal bible study with the guidance of the Holy Spirit is necessary in such an instance as this case. That is not to say that all teachings are wrong, whatever the source. I am saying that one needs to know the biblical teaching on the subject. One needs to seek the truth in this study and not merely look for information that supports the current belief.
The next question is, "Why is there so much confusion surrounding this topic?" Pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, post-tribulation, pre-wrath and any other positions can usually be supported by isolated verses of scripture. Isolated verses are always dangerous when used to promoted a specific doctrine. The context of the verse is important to understand what the individual verse is truly saying. Whole teachings cannot be reliably believed when built upon individual verses of scripture. Likewise, a teacher can use multiple scriptures that slant the argument to the belief they wish to promote all the while ignoring the portions of scripture that may raise questions about the teaching.
Prophecy is not very well taught in many churches today even though prophecy is a substantial portion of scripture. The rapture is a prophetic event that is not well understood by many people. One thing about prophecy is that once it is fulfilled, it is easy to understand the prophecy. Up until that time it is difficult to understand if it is recognized at all in scripture. Generally speaking, the nearer the prophecy is to its fulfillment, the clearer the prophetic event becomes to those who recognize it. Could this not be true in the case of the rapture?
Another question is, "Is the rapture a one-time, isolated event?" To many, perhaps most, the quick answer is yes. Due to the many teachings and the conflicting beliefs, believers have almost always been pressured to declare what their position is concerning pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, post-tribulation, pre-wrath or any other position. What do you believe? Pigeon-hole yourself into one position. If a position is not selected it can be deemed as a position of weakness or lack of biblical literacy. And who wants to be classified as weak or illiterate? The truth of the matter is that many are illiterate on this subject. Some for a lack of caring and some for a fear of the confusion.
"Is the rapture for all believers?" And a related question is, "Who is the bride of Christ? Is it every believer, or some who are ready as opposed to those who are not?" A teaching which is primarily based upon the Parable of Ten Virgins in chapter 25 of the Gospel According to Matthew instructs that only the believers who are ready for the rapture and living their lives totally for Christ are the five wise virgins. The five foolish virgins, the teaching suggests, are also believers but they are not ready at the time of the rapture. Is this a valid teaching? (Bonus Question, no charge)
My next question here is, "Is it possible that there is so much confusion and conflicting teachings because there are multiple rapture events?" If the quick response is no, that's not possible, my question would be, why not? What is that answer based upon? Your current belief? Your life-long teachings? Your deep theological understanding? Why is it not possible? Believers are quick to agree that God is sovereign. We are equally quick to profess our beliefs as though there is no room for our own misunderstanding.
I encourage you to study scripture and seek God on this matter. I do this because I truly believe that the time before the return of Christ is truly short. As a student of biblical prophecy I watch what is happening in the world religiously related, politically related as well as what is happening in space and earth nature. How many of the following items are you familiar with, or even aware of? These are happening at the very moment. The surrounding of Israel; Jerusalem and its division as a world capital; the statements of the Pope that are contrary to historical Christian teaching; ISIS; wars and rumors of wars; earthquake and volcanic activity; the New Madrid fault line; the Shemitah year; the Jubilee year; the economic collapses around the world; the calling of good things evil and evil things good; asteroid threats; trans-humanism; hybrids and Nephilim; religious leaders falling into false teaching and relationships; the morality failure including abortion, marriage failure/adultery, homosexuality and pornography; legislation, presidential decrees and judicial rulings that are destroying our country and bringing about a world government.
Any of those items, and many more, can be put off to the side as exaggerated, conjecture or just not that important. But like pieces of a puzzle, when put together, one can see the grand scale of deception and destruction in the world today. There is really only one thing that we need to know. That is the love of God. Knowing the fullness of the love of God will cause one to worship in spirit and truth, seeking to draw near to God and seeking forgiveness for sin through confession and repentance. The command of God is to love God first and foremost with our whole being, and then to also love one another. We need to be found doing this at the time of the return of Christ. We need to be found doing this at the time of the rapture, whenever that may be. We need to be found doing this now, at this very moment, and every moment going forward.
The final questions are, "Are we truly ready for the call of Christ at the rapture?" "Are we truly living a life of love that can only be possible through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?" If not, we need to cry out to God in repentance and seek forgiveness and salvation. The time is short. Right now, ask God to reveal the truth to you that you may receive the joy of eternal life.