Rapelling Rapture

Posted: 28 September, 2010 in Ponderings
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Since young, I have been greatly intrigued by the Book of Revelation. The final book in the Bible illustrating the apocalyptic future of the end days; the distinctive literary features, prophecy of future events and accounts of visionary experiences and journeys to heaven. The book also brings together the worlds of heaven, earth, and hell in a final confrontation between the forces of good and evil; with characters and images, both real and symbolic, spiritual and material.

In climax, you will read about our hero, Jesus Christ’s triumphant battle and victory over the devil and the final happily-ever-after-ever celebration and the never-ending. The making of a great comic or noval series (I have the complete Left Behind series which I went through twice).

However, during my earlier days, the more I understood and expecting what was to come, the more fearful I felt. The thoughts of even first surviving the long period of plagues, natural disasters and anti-christ tyranny with enormous deaths terrified me greatly. During the tribulation period, one-fourth of the world’s population will die, one-third of the sea and trees will also die, even the moon and sun will look scarily different. Although the Bible talks about the Great Tribulation and Judgement, many believers would rather not talk about it simply because it is a difficult subject and with an uncomfortable outcome. Naturally, even more don’t understand or expect what is to come.

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.   1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

The word “rapture” comes from verse 17, the word “caught up” are translated from the Greek word harpazo, which means “to carry off,” “snatch up,” or “grasp hastily.”  You see, we all believe that Jesus Christ will come to gather (rapture) His people to heaven, but question now is will He come BEFORE / DURING / AFTER  the tribulation period?

Will believers have to go through that period of distress and suffering at the end times? Will a loving God make His children go through such great ordeal?

While there are many conflicting views, I always think other biblical accounts give us good glimpses of what is expected, and more imporantly the character of God. InLuke 17, Jesus Himself expounded the coming of the kingdom or His second coming;

“When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat and the flood came and destroyed them all.

Rapelling Rapture, Amaitermin (Abadiño)“And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business—eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building until the morning Lot left Sodom. Then fire and burning sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.”  Luke 17:26-29

You see, with Jesus’ reference, the two circumstances that the Noah and Lot have in common is this: God ensured the removal of His righteous first before the judgment of the unbelievers happened. Jesus Himself confirmed the same will happen when He comes again.

Suppose you need to fumigate your house with a strong chemical poison due to an infestation, would you forget about your children and pets locked in the house? Of course not! You would want to move them out to a safe place first, right?

If what we’ll do because we love them; then needless to say, that is what our loving God will do too…

  1. I believe you are correct in saying that the rapture will probably take place before the tribulation. It is interesting to note that in Revelation, the first four chapters deal with the churches and then the church is not mentioned again until the end when Christ returns and we rule with him for a thousand years. The tribulation is really a judgment call to Israel as God’s remnant come to believe.

    It is all in place and Christ return is imminent, but just as in the days of Noah, most people they have plenty of time to make a decision. Sadly, that is Satan’s biggest lie of all!

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