Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. Matthew 24:3-4
I am going to a church where a belief in a Rapture that will occur before mankind enters the tribulation period. To our church the rapture is a solid doctrine that amplifies the fact that God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Thessalonians 5:9. Jesus said something we need to take to heart, "Watch out that no one deceives you. To this end Jesus warned us not to proclaim anything contrary to what is revealed in scripture or go beyond what is written.
As an Ambassador of Christ my assignment is to take the revealed teachings of Jesus Christ or what is known as the inspired word of God to the world. As an Ambassador of Christ I am obligated not to go beyond the message given to me by the God who has authority over mankind. Adding personal beliefs or deliberately leaving out any part of the message will alter the information that Jesus Christ wants the world to know.
Almost every Christian has heard the word ďraptureĒ and are told it is derived from a Latin word equivalent to the Greek word Harpazo that is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Not being an expert of these languages I cannot validate this idea, however anyone with common sense knows that the meaning of the word determines how words are translated from one language to another.
The American Heritage dictionary defines the word Rapture as the state of being transported to heaven by a lofty emotion such as ecstasy. And for the most part that is the way the rapture is proclaimed in most churches. The Greek word harpazo to seize (in various applications) such as to take by force: it is a derivative of NT: 138 to lift up which is akin to NT:142 to take for one self. After some thought we must ask why are these two definitions completely different?
And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. Matthew 24:31
The angels of Christ will be given a command to gather mankind and they will effectively carry out his command without giving you a choice in the matter.
The second reason is do you belong to Jesus Christ? Did the Father draw you to Jesus Christ through the cross? Do you believe in Jesus Christ and call on his name? When you take communion do you not partake of the emblems of his blood and body in remembrance of his atoning sacrifice? If you said yes to these questions Jesus said he would raise you up at the last day which is at the end of the age.
And this is the will of him who sent me that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. John 6:39
For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day, John 6:40
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6 44
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:54
From the cross Jesus cried out and the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom and earthquake open many graves and the holy people rose from the dead Matthew 27:50-53. When the end of the age comes and the harvest is ripe his voice will be heard by the dead, his command will be echoed by the arch angel and the earth will be harvested. Listen to what Jesus said.
"Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out ó those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. John 5:28-29
Regardless of mankindís relationship with Christ no one will be excluded on the day Jesus resurrects the dead. At that time Jesus Christ will send his angels to gather the fruit of the earth. The bible says.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Matthew 13:39
Those who believe in the rapture say the dead and those alive in Christ will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air in the clouds 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Letís consider that the harvest grown on the earth will be sorted and the bad will be handled differently than the good.
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Matthew 25:31-33
Jesus said we will meet him in the air for a sorting process to separate the sheep from the goats. The evidence of this is seen in Revelation 6:15 - 7:9. Since the day of their wrath has come those who did not obey the Lord prefer to die rather than face the wrath of God.
Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?" Revelation 6:15-17
After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands Revelation 7:9.
On the other hand, God is spreading his tent of protection over those who obeyed him and have overcome the evil of this world with the blood of the lamb and the testimony of their word.
Oh how I wish the rapture was Godís plan because I donít want to go through all that horrible stuff described by men as the tribulation period. While studying the tribulation period I held pre mid and post-tribulation belief and then concluded those views were deceptive because the bible does not teach anything about the tribulation period. We may not be appointed to suffer Godís wrath but I am faced with an abundance of scripture that reveals a harvest of mankind at the end of the age.
Why does God command the locust coming out of the abyss(Revelation 9:4) not to harm those who God has place his seal of ownership on their forehead during the time believers of the rapture say is the tribulation period?
They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. Revelation 9:4
Why did God say when you see 'the abomination that causes desolation' standing where it does not belong?
"When you see 'the abomination that causes desolation' standing where it does not belong ó let the reader understand ó then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Mark 13:14
The abomination that causes desolation is the statue made in the likeness and image to honor of the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived Revelation 13:14.
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 2 Thessalonians 2:3
Will mankind build a statue in the likeness of the man of lawlessness without first seeing him? On the other hand why would God advise his holy ones to steadfastly have patient endurance and faithfulness?
This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints. Revelation 13:10
This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. Revelation 14:12
Jesus also said
"Watch out that no one deceives you. Matthew 24:4
Jesus gave us signs of the end time that are clearly recognizable and discernible by mankind. The bible tells us that the dragon or Satan was defeated in heaven and thrown to the earth.
Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring ó those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. Revelation 12:17
I donít like being at war just because I believe in Jesus Christ. However this is Godís plan and perhaps the war with Satan is the final testing of the saints to see whom we will serve.
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