Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Rapture

I found it fascinating how the pop culture picked up on the Rapture theme a couple weeks ago. People have set dates for this event for since at least the beginning of last century. I remember it happening a number of times just in the last couple decades. So why did the setting a date this time capture the attention of the general public?

I don't have an answer for that but I do have a couple thoughts on the matter in general. The principle points are: I believe the rapture will happen[1] and I believe no one knows when[2], but I also believe we can have a general ideal of its relative timeliness.[3] The following general overview of events surrounding the Rapture is based on how I understand the various passages in Scripture surrounding this topic.

At some point, a global government with a single charismatic leader will emerge.

For some this will be the best of times. Wars and conflict will cease. Global peace will appear to have been achieved. The middle east will no longer be a hotbed of conflict. The Jews will again have a temple in Jerusalem and will re-establish their daily sacrifices. There will be a single world-wide currency. Commerce will be regulated. People will prosper.

For others this will be the worse of times. If they don't conform to the system, they will be pursued, prosecuted and punished with the death penalty.

After approximately three and a half years, public opinion will turn against Israel. Over the course of several years, the conflict will increase to the point where the world's armies will surround this small strip of land.

It is in this context that the Rapture will occur. The sky will split open, Jesus will return in bodily form. Believers still alive at that point will be physically transformed, dead believers will raise from the dead and both groups will meet Him in the air. Jesus, along with all those with Him, will come to wage war against the global powers. At that point Jesus will establish His kingdom on the earth and rule over the planet from Jerusalem.

Yes, the Rapture will happen. There will be many signs preceding it for those paying attention. They will be aware of what's happening and be ready for it. The thing is, most of the population will either ignore the signs or openly scoff at them. For them, it will seem to happen suddenly and without warning.

I encourage everyone to study this for themselves. Jesus' second coming and the events surrounding it are some of the most written about topics in scripture. I believe they're there for a reason and we need to pay attention to them.

Further reading

Matthew 24-25
Luke 21:7-36
2nd Thessalonians 2:1-12
Revelation, the whole book
Daniel, starting with chapter 7
Old Testament minor prophets

Related posts

The Theodrama in Three Acts
Why War Against the Kings of Kings?
Series entitled "Establishing a Throne"

Footnotes

1. 1st Corinthians 15:51ff
2. Matthew 24:36-37
3. 1st Thessalonians 5:1-5; Luke 21:29-36