Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rapture "Not" Ready

rapture, imminence, bible, prophecy, end times, revelation rapture ready
Are you ready for the rapture? Most Christians would answer "yes!" Unfortunately even though most Christians think that they are ready for the rapture, they are not. The reason is because they think that the rapture can occur at any time and they will be spared from all of the sorrows and tribulations of the last 7 years. Thus in their thinking all they have to do to be ready for the rapture is to be a Christian. Unfortunately and sadly they are wrong because the rapture will not occur until after the sixth seal is opened. Thus any person alive at the time will be faced with the events of the first 5 seals. So is the average Christian ready to live through the first 5 seals? NO! Therefore most Christians are rapture "not" ready.

How do I know that a Christian will have to live through the first 5 seals? Because of what God's Word says, not what I feel, not what this person or that person says, but because of what God's Word says! God's Word is our only source for doctrine. There are many end times theories held by Christians that are in direct opposition to clear Bible passages and Bible principals. One of those theories is the so called doctrine of imminence. Here is what I have written regarding God's Word and imminence in The Coming Epiphany.

Yet another argument put forth by pre-trib adherents is their belief in the doctrine of the imminent return of Christ. They reason that since the apostles were awaiting the return of Christ with great expectancy—and that they may even have believed that Christ could return and the rapture could occur at any time—that nothing has to occur prophetically before the rapture can take place. This includes the peace treaty or any parts of the 70th Week of Daniel.

This is a doctrine that was shown to be false by the apostle Paul himself. In 2 Thessalonians 2:1–3, Paul had to address the Thessalonians concerning a doctrinal problem they had regarding the timing of the rapture:

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. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.

The Thessalonians falsely believed that the Day of the Lord and the rapture were ready to occur (or had already occurred) and that they missed it and were in the Day of the Lord period. Paul told them that they did not miss it. He also told them about two signs that must occur beforehand, namely the great falling away and the revealing of the antichrist.

We have also elaborated on three other signs that need to occur before the Day of the Lord or the Day of Christ: the moon being turned to blood, the sun being darkened, and the prophet Elijah returning to earth. Therefore, since God has made it clear that certain things must occur before the rapture occurs at the Day of the Lord, and since those things have not happened yet, there can be no doctrine of imminence. Christ’s return will not be imminent until the signs mentioned above have first occurred. Van Kampen elaborates on this point:

The return of Christ has never been truly imminent and will never be imminent until the great tribulation of antichrist begins and the surrounding Gentile nations come together against Jerusalem in the valley of Jehoshaphat. Only then are the elect of God told to look for the sign of Christ’s coming which will be seen in the heavens, but only after the earth is first plunged into darkness by the sign of the end of the age.

So while the first-century church, as recorded in the New Testament writings, showed a great expectation and anticipation of the return of Christ, the scriptures themselves tell us that the rapture cannot occur at any time, but only after the signs are fulfilled.
The Coming Epiphany

So the rapture cannot occur at any time. It cannot occur until after certain things are fulfilled, i.e. the antichrist appears and the moon turns to blood, etc. So there is no doctrine of imminence until these things are fulfilled. Thus at this point in time there is no doctrine of imminence!

So unless you are ready to live through the first 5 seals you are rapture "not" ready. Note: Nobody can be totally ready for the first 5 seals but in a future post I will describe steps that you can take to get as ready as possible, or you could read The Coming Epiphany, where I devote an entire chapter to the subject.

On a side note there is a popular website called "Rapture Ready." I posted there years ago until I got kicked off because I posted in their non pre tribulation section about the rapture not occurring until after the sixth seal, I followed the rules. I was being effective in convincing some to see the truth about the rapture. I guess they did not like that so I was kicked off. So much for a healthy exchange of ideas. The ironic and sad thing about the whole matter is that they are rapture "not" ready, and they are perpetuating the false and dangerous pre tribulation rapture theory.

The time is short. I pray to God that Christians would wake up!

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