What the Bible Really Says About the Rapture
What would the end of the world look like in reality? The Leftovers, a new HBO series premiering on Sunday night, makes an attempt to address that question, kind of. In the program, which is inspired on a novel by Tom Perrotta, 2 percent of the world’s population vanishes overnight and without explanation. Almost all of the disappearances are linked to some sort of religious event, and the show explores what life may be like for those who are left behind afterward — with all of the feelings of sadness, shame, and uncertainty that might accompany something like that.
Rapture is never mentioned in the book, and the names of those who have vanished appear to have been picked at random from a large pool of candidates.
Although the word rapture does not exist in the Holy Bible, the concept of Judgment Day does appear in all four of the canonical gospels.
And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive and remain will be snatched up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord for all ever.
- We shall be transformed when the trumpet sounds, and the dead will be resurrected incorruptible.
- It is planned that two ladies will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be abducted and the other will be left.
- 24:40–41; Luke 24:40–41) So, when did the Day of Judgment become connected with a literal rapture of the church’s membership?
- As an illustration of how many theologians are suspicious of doomsday prophesiers, see Robert Jewett’sJesus Against the Rapture (available on Amazon).
- Christians in the United States learnt about it through a Bible from the early twentieth century, and the concept gained popularity among Christian fundamentalists in the country until it became a cultural touchstone.
- The Texan evangelical Hal Lindsey is a prominent figure in this school of thought.
- Lindsey argued throughout the 2008 election cycle that Barack Obama was preparing the way for the Antichrist to come.
However, the concept has definitely caught the minds of many individuals, whether they are self-styled apocalyptic prophecy or simply authors wishing for a big seller. Based on how well HBO’s new series has been received, the concept has a long way to go still. More TIME Magazine’s Must-Read Stories
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Even Jesus wouldn’t buy ‘the rapture’
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- Jay Parini: A new HBO series is based on a novel that explores the Christian concept of ‘the rapture.’ He claims that the rapture concept is a fun television concept, but that it is nonsense invented by a theologian in the 1800s
- The premise is that Jesus would return and gather “saved” people before the tribulation period begins. Parini: The Bible makes no mention of the rapture. Its proponents invent new metaphors based on the metaphors of the apostles.
Note from the editor: Jay Parini, a poet and writer who lives in Vermont, is a professor at Middlebury College. He has just released a biography of Jesus, titled “Jesus: The Human Face of God.” Jay Parini may be found on Twitter at @JayParini. Unless otherwise stated, the opinions expressed in this essay are those of the author. (CNN)- On April 1, HBO will premiere “The Leftovers,” an original television series inspired on Tom Perrotta’s novel of the same name. The story is based on the fundamentalist Christian concept of the rapture.
- As the story goes, Jesus comes and summons 140 million people to heaven, leaving billions of others stunned, perplexed, and grieving in the wake of his return.
- As he pushes a grocery cart, the father of a little kid appears to have gone.
- Chaos erupts in the fictional town of Mapleton, New York – and throughout the rest of the world as well.
- Jay Parini is a well-known sportscaster.
- Jenkins, titled “Left Behind,” had previously been published.
- The first of three film adaptations, which was released in 2000, was the first.
- As if anybody hadn’t already noticed, the rapture has transformed into a commercial behemoth, constantly morphing and evolving to find new and immensely entertaining venues.
The rapture concept is as follows: Jesus is returning, and when he does, he will first arrive before the so-called tribulation period begins, calling those who have been “saved” up into the clouds with him.
Then Jesus will return a third time, this time for a final judgment.
Although it is true that only fundamentalist Protestant churches bother to think about the rapture, it is also true that only fundamentalist Protestant churches bother to think about it.
A theologian from the United Kingdom and Ireland, who lived in the 1830s, was the first to propose the notion.
In 1908, Cyrus I.
Scofield is credited with popularizing the concept.
70, but rather a prophecy about the future.
Elaine Pagels, a Princeton researcher, just published a book titled “Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation” in which she describes her findings.
According to popular belief, the origin of rapture thinking can be traced back to the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, in which he writes: “After all, the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding shout, the voice of an archangel, and the blast of God’s trumpet in his ears.
- “Sexy” is a Jesus film for the modern generation.
- First and foremost, it’s vital to realize that Jesus himself never spoke of the rapture at any point in his life.
- It’s all a dream, or at least a metaphor for something else.
- We read in Luke 19 about a returning king, but a critical reading of this verse reveals that Luke is referring to God returning to Jerusalem, rather than Jesus returning to Earth.
- These individuals will be revived, although this is an ambiguous phrase that implies not necessarily resuscitation but evolution, a complete metamorphosis.
- This phrase contains the essential word “meet,” which means that those who are still living will be lifted up on clouds to meet the Lord who will be waiting for them there.
- In any event, Paul is exaggerating when he imagines a heavenly welcome committee awaiting the return of the Lord to meet the people.
- However, it is astonishing how texts may be misinterpreted, and how relatively fresh theological beliefs – like as the rapture – can become firmly ingrained in specific communities.
However, it is terrible theology, and Jesus himself would have been surprised to hear that thousands of years after his death, such views were still in circulation today. At the very least, he won’t have to go through another episode of “The Leftovers.”
The Rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2:1–10
Faith Baptist Theological Seminary in Ankeny, Iowa, delivered the faith pulpit in April 2002.
The Rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2:1–10
The Context of the Situation “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand,” Paul writes in verses one and two of the letter. In this article, all Bible quotations are from the King James Version. There are a number of things that may be said about these passages. (1) Paul is writing to the believers in Thessalonica concerning the rapture of the church.
- 1 John 4:1), “by word” (a false preacher—cf.
- 1:18), and “by letter, as from us” (a forged letter bearing Paul’s forged signature—cf.
- This “day,” which some Greek sources translate as “day of the Lord” rather than “day of Christ,” alludes to the time when Christ will interfere personally in human affairs by inflicting catastrophe upon the entire world.
- Consequently, the erroneous doctrine was that the day of the Lord had arrived and was already in the presence of all.
- Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come, 229–231).
- We know from 2 Thessalonians 1:4 that these believers were already subjected to persecution, thus this conclusion was not out of the realm of possibility for them.
Specifically, in v.
Daniel’s prophecy (9:26) that “the prince that will come” will confirm a covenant with many for seven years before breaking it “in the middle of the week” is known to those who are aware of it.
By linking him to Daniel’s prophesy, II Thessalonians 2:4 establishes the identify of this individual rather than the period of his revelation.
There have been a variety of perspectives expressed about the identity of the restrainer.
Pentecost identifies five of them, which are as follows: There are five types of restrainers: the Roman Empire, human government and law, Satan, and the church.
The church was the fifth restrainer.
In the first place, the Roman empire could not be the restrainer since such a perspective confines the restrainer to the past, but Paul suggests that the one being restrained (the man of sin) would exist in the future, during Christ’s millennial reign.
Third, Satan is unable to act as a restrainer because a house divided against itself would eventually fall.
Nonetheless, in verse six, something is restricting, but in verse seven, the restrainer is a person, indicating that the church may be participating in the restraining process.
Even though all three Persons of the Godhead are omnipresent, the Father is physically present in heaven, and the Son is physically present at the right hand of the Father.
Please pay close attention to the promise made by the Lord Jesus Christ to all who believe in Him: “If any man thirsts, let him come unto Me and drink.” The scripture says that “out of the belly of the believer will flow rivers of living water,” and this is exactly what happens (John 7:37–38).
- According to 2 Thessalonians 2:7, the Restrainer will restrain “until he is removed from the way.” It has been asserted that this statement cannot relate to a geographical removal, but can only refer to the act of stepping aside (cf.
- A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament (2nd ed., revised and augmented by F.
- Danker from Walter Bauer’s 5th ed., 1979) lists this very verse as an example of this word’s use “to denote change of location,” according to the authors of A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament (page 159, bottom right-hand column).
- Thus, the removal of the Restrainer alludes to the departure of the Holy Spirit from this world, which takes place in conjunction with the rapture of the Church.
- The first option is the one that has historically been offered, and it continues to be the most common viewpoint today.
- This stance will be defended by almost any conventional piece of commentary.
- Edmond Hiebert’s The Thessalonian Epistles.
The second alternative that is feasible sees the “falling away” as a reference to the rapture of the church as the cause of the “falling away.” E.
There are four arguments that, when considered together, appear to imply that Paul was alluding to the rapture when he used the term “rapture” in his writing.
Note that this argument does not imply that the word always or even typically has this meaning in every situation or circumstance.
It’s a difficulty in part because this word is only used twice in the New Testament: here and in Acts 21:21, where Paul is informed that some are accusing him of teaching a deviation from the Law of Moses.
This term or an earlier form is found in Joshua 22:22, 1 Kings 21:13, 2 Chronicles 29:19, 33:19, Isaiah 30:1, and Jeremiah 2:19.
In many instances, the term carries with it the connotation of religious departure as well.
Because of this, it is possible to claim that the word itself was more generic.
There are just three allusions to a theological departure among the fifteen passages, and each of these three is qualified either by the context (Luke 8:13) or by a descriptive word (1 Timothy 4:1— “from the faith” and Hebrews 3:12— “from the real God.” Several of the subsequent passages make it obvious that a bodily departure is intended (for example, the angel who rescued Peter from jail withdrew from him—Acts 12:10, and Paul prayed for the removal of a thorn in the flesh from him—2 Corinthians 12:8).
- By William Tyndale (c.
- It was interpreted by Beza (1565) as “departing.” Reason2: The usage of the definite article (“the”) lends credence to the notion that the falling away is synonymous with the rapture.
- Paul does not refer to a falling away, but rather to THE falling away.
- Using the article in this stanza, Robertson believes that it is appropriate.
- In Word Pictures in the New Testament, chapter four, verse fifty-nine, p.
- However, there is no such reference.
- However, in 1 Thessalonians 4:13–17 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1, there is a reference to the rapture of the church as having occurred previously.
- Verse 3 of the Bible explains that two events must occur in order for Christ’s return to be fulfilled: (1) the “falling away” and (2) the exposure of the man of sin.
- Assuming that this is the way Paul writes, then verses 6 and 7, which describe the loss of the Holy Spirit and the church, would be a more extensive account of the initial incident in verse 3 (the “falling away”) than the rest of the chapter.
- Because Paul’s objective in writing gives weight to the concept that “falling away” is the rapture, it is worth noting that Keep in mind where you are.
- In this letter, Paul is informing them that they cannot possibly be in the Tribulation because two events must take place before the Tribulation can begin: the “falling away” (which is defined as the separation from Christ) and the revelation of the man of sin.
Conclusion According to II Thessalonians 2:1–10, the removal of the Restrainer and the “falling away” pertain to the rapture of the Church, then the passage provides two evidences that the rapture will take place before the Tribulation.
What the Bible Has to Say About the Rapture
A great lot is dependent on your interpretation of the term “should.” Christians do not have to believe in the rapture or even need to believe in it in order to be saved, if that is what you’re asking, the answer is no. Although there is much that may be stated in support of it, the theory of the rapture cannot be recognized as one of the key elements of the Christian faith. When the Philippian jailer inquired, “What must I do in order to be saved?” Paul and Silas said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you and your household will be saved.” In contrast, if you are asking if it is rational, sensible, or biblically supported to believe in the rapture, we would have to respond that it is so.
- The first and most straightforward is found in I Thessalonians 4:13-18: It is important for you to be aware of those who have passed on, brethren, so that you do not grieve in the same way that those who have lost hope do.
- This is why we announce to you through the word of the Lord that we who are living and will be present until the coming of the Lord will in no way precede those who are asleep in their graves.
- And the first to rise will be those who have died in Christ.
- As a result, we will be with the Lord at all times.
- The second passage, I Corinthians 15:51-52, has content that is comparable to the first: Look, I’ll reveal a surprise to you: we will not all sleep, but we will all be transformed – in a split second, in the blink of an eye, at the sound of the final trumpet.
- Due to the interpretation that has been given to these verses, numerous additional passages of Scripture have been historically considered as pertaining to the rapture.
- However, the two examples we’ve provided are the most noteworthy.
- The fact that academics have read these passages in a variety of ways is also crucial to point out.
- The fact that this is one of those topics that, in the words of The Westminster Confession, is “not alike evident unto all” indicates that it is one of those concerns.
- ResourcesIf a title is presently unavailable via Focus on the Family, we advise you to purchase it from a different store instead.
- Justifications for Belief What Every Christian Should Know on a Day-to-Day Basis: The Most Important Truths for Developing Your Faith Christianity at its most fundamental What the Bible teaches is as follows: Clear, simple, and understandable explanations of the Bible’s teachings.
Referrals Insight for Living is a publication of the Christian Research Institute.
What Is the Rapture? See What the Bible Says.
It is widely believed by many Christians that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will take place in two stages. First and foremost, He will return for Christians, both alive and dead, in the “rapture” (read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). It is believed that the rapture, which is defined as the transformation and gathering up of all Christians, dead or living, to meet Christ in the air, would take place in secret since it will be unknown to the world of unbelievers at the time of its occurrence. The consequences of this elimination, which will occur in the absence of large numbers of humans, will, of course, be seen on Earth.
- During the millennium, He will be triumphant over His adversaries and will reign on the earth with His saints, the church, for a thousand years.
- Billy Graham and Franklin Graham share their biblical insights in this article.
- They will then be tossed into the lake of fire, whilst the saved will live eternally with Christ in a new heaven and world created by God in his image (Revelation, chapters 19-22).
- In addition, many evangelical Christians believe that Christ’s second coming and the rapture will not take place until after the seven years of tribulation have been completed.
- At this point, there is disagreement among interpretations as to whether Christ will rule on earth for a literal thousand years or if the white throne judgment and the new heavens and earth would come instantly.
- Some of these events, as well as the sequence in which they occurred, are simply not described in detail in the Bible.
- The specifics of this historic event will be revealed at the appropriate time by God.
- More information may be found in this Bible study by Anne Graham Lotz.
Rapture Bible Verses
What does the Bible have to say about the Rapture of the Church? – Scriptures on the End of the World The Rapture, also known as the Ascension of the Church into Heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:17), is the next major event on the biblical timeline. The Rapture is the event in which Christ returns to this world and takes every Christian who is still alive, as well as resurrects all of those who have died, and transports them all to heaven with Him. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8 that the Lord’s return will be like a thief in the night, and this is a metaphor for the Lord’s return.
But there are other signals of the End Times that we may all be aware of, and they are as follows: Disasters like as earthquakes and epidemics, war and disputes among nations, and persecution of Christians are all indicators that the Rapture is approaching.
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR:These extra materials might be beneficial as you research the rapture and the end times. We hope that it will point you in the direction of scriptural facts on the study of Revelations and the end times.
- Realizing the Imminent Second Coming of Jesus
- What exactly is the Rapture, and is it a biblical concept? What Is the Sign of the Apocalypse? 10 Things Every Christian Should Be Aware Of
- Who is the Antichrist, and how will his ascension be manifested? What does the Bible say about the Mark of the Beast
- Who Are the Four Horsemen of Revelation? What Do They Look Like? Their Significance and Significance During the Apocalypse
Many people are confused and anxious about the time of the rapture because they are unsure when it will take place. People have been attempting to determine the precise day and hour that the prophesy of Jesus’ return will take place for centuries. In order to get answers concerning the rapture, the greatest place to go is in the Bible! Please read and consider the following Bible scriptures about the rapture that we have prepared for you. The Bible contains all of the information we require from God.
Let us have faith in what He has revealed and live a life of delight in the knowledge that we shall spend eternity with Him in paradise!
iStock/Getty Images Plus/RomoloTavani used for the photo credit.
What is the Rapture and When Will it Happen?
There’s nothing quite like an apocalypse forecast to set the news media a hive of activity. The radio broadcaster Harold Camping garnered national attention in May when he predicted that Judgment Day would occur on May 21. It was one of the most well reported prophecies in recent memory, and it drew widespread attention. Naturally, this did not happen.) Others other apocalypse forecasters have been looking ahead to 2012 for several years; some believe the Mayan calendar will bring the world to an end on December 21.
- Eschatology is a popular but famously difficult field of Christian theology, with several difficulties associated with it.
- In evangelical end times studies, the rapture is one of the most hotly debated topics, especially when it will take place in connection to other eschatological events like as the tribulation and the coming of Christ to earth.
- Hultberg was recently interviewed by Biola Magazine on the rapture, its numerous interpretations, and why it is necessary for Christians to take the rapture and its implications seriously.
- During the time of Christ’s second coming, all Christians will be taken up (i.e., “raptured”) into the presence of the Lord in the air, according to this concept.
- It is stated directly in 1 Thessalonians 4:15–17, and it is taught more or less implicitly in 1 Corinthians 15:51–55, and it is taught more or less openly in John 14.
- What role does the rapture play in God’s grand scheme of things for the rest of the universe?
- A major part of God’s redeeming goal is to restore what was lost in Adam, to restore the right functioning of his reign in creation via the vice-regency of a humanity living in appropriate relationship to him (though this involves much more than what I’ve discussed here).
As a result, to the extent that the rapture and the resurrection are linked, the rapture contributes to the restoration of the world.
Remission from this judgment is promised to the church, and the rapture is intended to carry out this promise in a tangible way.
Generally speaking though, when I state that rapture doctrine is connected to church doctrine, I am referring to the fact that the division formed amongst believers by rapture raises the question of how diverse groups of believers are related to one another in God’s wider family of believers.
Exactly why is there such a division among believers?
When I say that it touches on themes of normative Christian experience, I’m referring to the fact that it raises the question of why God would allow the church to suffer in this way.
The church, some contend, will not suffer under Antichrist because God will not allow it to.
According to the many schools of thought, the rapture will occur before the tribulation, after the tribulation, or before the vengeance of God.
Those who hold to the pretribulation perspective believe that God will rapture the church before the end of this age’s last seven years (often called the 70th week of Daniel, from Daniel 9:27, or the tribulation).
It is dependent, in part, on the ability to distinguish between the coming of Christ to rapture the church and the coming of Christ to return to earth and rule.
Quickly following this, the church will be snatched up to be with Christ in the air and will immediately return to earth with him.
Therefore, much as in pretribulationism, a distinction is drawn between Christ’s second coming to gather the church and his ultimate return to earth; but, unlike pretribulationism, the church will be subjected to the last persecution of the Antichrist before being raptured by Jesus Christ.
In your opinion, what are the most compelling arguments in support of this position?
I believe the Scriptures teach that the church In particular, Matthew 24, 2 Thessalonians 2, and Revelation 13 are used to support the first claim.
Without a doubt, both ideas take into account countless corollary concerns and passages.
Is it reasonable for you to assume that the rapture will not be completely unexpected as someone who holds the prewrath position?
Because the prewrath position requires the rise of Antichrist and his abomination of desolation prior to the rapture, it follows that the rapture is not imminent in the sense of being able to occur at any time in this view.
In order to avoid being accused of teaching a “any moment” rapture, I must approach “imminence” scriptures such as Matthew 24:42–44 in a different way than I would if I were teaching a “imminence” rapture.
In essence, according to my interpretation, the Bible teaches the “unknowability” of the date of the rapture, rather than its “imminence at any time.” Until the number of intermediate events and/or the length of time between specific events and the rapture are known, the biblical concept of “imminence” will be maintained.
Do you believe it conveys the idea that Christians are simply looking forward to getting away from the world and leaving it to its own destruction?
Those who make the rapture the central focus of their Christian lives, whether by secluding themselves in a cave awaiting Christ’s return or merely (and gleefully?) preaching the destruction of unbelievers, or by ignoring larger issues that promote Christian unity and virtue — issues that are much more clearly taught and prescribed in Scripture — are those who are overly preoccupied with the rapture.
- In the Thessalonian letters, Paul warned against something akin to the first problem, and Jesus warned against something akin to the second problem in John.
- Evangelicals are seen with derision by the secular world as a type of kitschy joke that makes them appear foolish (the presence of “date forecasters” such as Harold Camping does not help matters).
- As far as the rest of the world is concerned, defending what the Bible teaches is always going to be a farcical exercise.
- What all “date setters” have in common is weak hermeneutics; they employ untenable interpretative procedures that cannot be justified.
- What, in the face of differing views of the end times, do you believe are the most significant eschatological truths or realities that all Christians should hold to in their hearts and minds?
- Things that are unquestionably stated in Scripture and are vital to our faith are essential; things that are less clearly revealed are non-essential.
- That is the church’s blessed hope in the future.
- It is necessary to believe in the resurrection of the dead, with some going to eternal life and others going to endless misery.
- He is the editor and co-author of Three Views on the Rapture: Pretribulation, Prewrath, or Posttribulation (Talbot School of Theology, 1989).
Alan Hultberg (M.Div. ’89) is an associate professor of Bible interpretation and New Testament at Talbot School of Theology. A doctorate in divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School has been bestowed to him.
What is the meaning of the rapture? One interpretation of the rapture has gained popularity as a result of theLeft Behindseries of novels and films. Traditionally, the rapture is represented as the time when Jesus secretly “raptures” His followers away to be with Him, allowing the rest of the world to adjust to their abrupt departure. Obviously, the impact on those who are left behind is profound, and it makes for a compelling movie plot line. Automobiles begin to swerve erratically on the interstate because they are suddenly short of drivers, planes drop from the sky because they are suddenly short of pilots, and certain Chick-fil-A locations are left with a tiny staffing shortage.
- The term rapture can be translated as exaltation or bliss in several languages.
- Over eighteen centuries, believers in Jesus Christ believed that the rapture would occur at His second coming, when He would return, summon His people to live with Him forever, and judge the living and the dead in accordance with God’s will.
- A man by the name of John Nelson Darby, whose beliefs have come to be known as dispensationalism, was the person who promoted this new view.
- Darby, in contrast to the previous eighteen centuries of teaching, preached that Jesus will come in two stages, rather than the traditional one.
- Suddenly, millions of believers would vanish from the face of the earth.
- The key question is: What does the Bible have to say about all of this?
- Or are the two occurrences indistinguishable from one another?
In addition, what will happen to people who are still living when Jesus returns for a second time?
Because we believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead, God will use Jesus to bring those who have fallen asleep to him and reunite them with their loved ones.
Because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding cry, the voice of an archangel, and the sound of God’s trumpet, all at the same time.
Once they have been carried up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, we who are still living and who are left will be caught up with them, and we will be with the Lord for the rest of our lives.
Continue reading in 1 Thessalonians.
This clearly implies that Christians will still be present on the planet at that time, rather than having been exiled from it in some manner prior to then.
When the Lord arrives in His glory to judge the living and the dead, it will be a wonderful time when we shall be taken up to live with Him forever.
Whatever point of view we choose, however, as Christians, we have the same expectation. We are looking forward with bated breath to Christ’s triumphal return, when He will restore all things to their original state.
HomePhilosophyReligion Beliefs in a Higher Power According to Christian eschatology (which is concerned with the final things and the Endtime), the Rapture is the idea that both living and dead Christians will ascend into heaven to meetJesus Christ at the Second Coming (Parousia). Because of the expectation that Jesus would return to redeem all members of the church, many Christians hold to the doctrine of the Rapture. The phrase rapture, on the other hand, does not exist anywhere in the New Testament.
In the following days, “we who are yet living and are left shall be taken up” (in Latin,rapio, which is the usual translation of Paul’s originalKoineGreek) “together with them to meet the Lord in the air” (in English,rapio) (4:17).
Although there are amillennial interpretations of the belief that reject this notion, belief in the literal coming of the millennium, the 1,000-year rule of Jesus Christ after his return, as mentioned in chapter 20 of The Revelation to John (also known as The Book of Revelation), is frequently associated with belief in the Rapture.
Finally, dispensationalism, the concept that God enters into new covenants with his people on a regular basis, has had some impact on the belief in the Rapture, in the sense that some believers in the Rapture consider themselves to be dispensationalists.
With the emergence of Antichrist and the coming of Christ, the Jesuit Francisco Ribera popularized the term “Futurism,” which refers to the future fulfillment of the prophesy of the End as it is described in scripture in the 16th century.
It was during the evangelical fervor of the FirstGreat Awakening (early 18th century) and SecondGreat Awakening (late 18th to early 19th century) in the United States when beliefs in a thousand-year millennium, a new dispensation, and the imminence of Christ’s return were extensively advocated.
The idea of the Rapture persisted throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century, gaining popularity among some evangelical and fundamentalist Christians, as well as among some other Christian and even non-Christian new religious movements, as well as among some other religious groups.
The concept was popular in popular culture throughout the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, in part as a result of the millennialist fervor that erupted as the year 2000 drew closer to its conclusion.
Meanwhile, end-time predictions proclaiming a precise date for the Rapture—most notably, the two days in 2011 foretold by the American preacher Harold Camping—were becoming increasingly commonplace. Matt Stefon is an American actor and director.
Judgement Day and the dead are rising: it must be Saturday
According to the Christian cult Familyradio in the United States, Judgement Day has arrived – precisely on May 21. So, what does this signify, and what can we expect as a result?
Can you explain the Rapture?
The Christian New Testament relates to the second coming of Jesus in a verse from 1 Thessalonians chapter 4: “For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be snatched up in the clouds along with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord for ever.” Here, the Bible is talking about what will happen at the end of time when Jesus comes, on the day that’s commonly known as the Last Judgment.
So why May 21?
Last year, an 89-year-old evangelist from the United States named Harold Camping predicted that the rapture will take place on May 21, 2011, five months before the final destruction of the earth. As far as we know, Camping has attempted to determine an approximate date a handful of times in the past and has come up short. In an attempt to determine when the world was formed and when it will all come to an end, numerous numbers and dates stated in the Bible have been used for centuries. The year 2011 is derived from a computation that predicts that the world would be destroyed 7000 years after the Great Flood, which happened during the period of Noah and the Ark and occurred in 3990 BC.
To be honest, if you must have such dates, I prefer Archbishop Ussher, who lived in the 17th century and said that the world was founded at 8 a.m.
What happened to get us to the hour of 6 p.m.
How seriously should we take this?
That we could predict when the rapture will take place is something that the great majority of Christians would reject out of hand. After all, Jesus himself is recorded as stating that “no one knows the day or hour on which the Son of Man will appear” (Matthew 24:36) and that “the Son of Man will appear at an unexpected hour” (Luke 12:40). The opportunity to have a wonderful time is definitely there – especially when we wake up on Sunday morning and discover why the timing wasn’t quite perfect this time.
Twitter is afire today with the zombie apocalypse. Do weneed to be carefulabout flesh-tearing, brain-eating undead tomorrow?
I wouldn’t be shocked if we see quite a few animals that resemble zombies roaming about the streets tomorrow; a pleasant wave and a hello would be all that’s required.
If you are concerned about the rapture, you might want to think about what you would wear if you are one of the fortunate ones who gets lifted into the sky by the angels.
Any tips on coping with a zombie apocalypse if it does happen?
When it comes to surviving the zombie apocalypse, it’s probably too late to do anything but “eat, drink, and be merry,” as Ecclesiastes suggests.