Rapture Wrath or Not?
By Dan L Baxley
Those who teach the Rapture are not in agreement about the timing of this, supposed, event. Some teach a Pre-Tribulation Rapture and others a Post-Tribulation and still others a Mid-Tribulation Rapture. What they all agree on concerns the Wrath of God.
Jeff Kinley, in his book, Uncovering the Secrets of Bible Prophecy, expresses the view nearly all of the Rapture teachers share, on pages 127-128 --
“Believers are never promised exemptions from trouble, suffering or persecution. We are, however promised exemption from God’s wrath, be it apocalyptic wrath on the earth or external wrath in hell (Romans 8:1).”
(Rom 8:1) There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in the messiah YaHshua, who don't walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
How that verse translates into escaping what is to come on this world, is hard for me to understand. That verse says nothing about escaping the Wrath to come. Yes, it would be nice to escape all trials and tribulations and the Wrath of God. Still, what Jeff Kinley expresses is what is agreed, true Christians will not have to go through, or suffer the Wrath of God. And, how is this done? By escaping this Earth in a Rapture of the Saints up into the Heaven of Heavens – you know, where the Angels live and where the Throne of the Father is and where YaHshua, our Savior is right this minute. As previously mentioned, however, there is disagreement on just when this Rapture is to take place.
Some have used examples, like Noah and his family, and how they escaped. But wait, they were not condemned to death, as were their fellow humans, they survived but they still experienced the Wrath that fell on the world as the flood waters covered the whole Earth. Imagine, the trauma, the frightening events they had to endure – the work they put in on building the Ark, their survival box, bobbing around on the high seas. While things ended for those who were condemned and perished, Noah and his family had to endure many physical and mental strains and stresses. (Gen 6 and 7). This would be a better understanding than one of escape – certainly Noah and his family were not raptured up to Heaven.
Another example quoted by Jeff and many, many others, is found in Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians –
(1Th 1:9-10) For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from Heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even YaHshua, which delivered us from the wrath to come. KJV
(1Th 5:9-10) For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord YaHshua the Anointed, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
(Rev 3:10) Because you have kept the word of My patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
These are the verses used to teach that the Christians will escape the coming Wrath of God. Imagine, is you will, the words in Revelation 3:10, being spoken to Noah – very similar – Noah and his family are forewarned and they believe what they are told and build a boat and are saved from what came upon the whole Earth. But, what about the message to the Thessalonians? “Delivered from the Wrath to come” and “God has not appointed us to Wrath”?
These are the verses that those who teach the Rapture theory hang everything on, making assumptions, hearing what they want to hear to support what they want to believe and want you to believe. They translated in their minds that these couple of verses are a promise to all the Saints/Christians that they will escape what is to come, His Wrath, a time that is coming on all mankind. Then jumping to the conclusion that all Christians must be Raptured off of this Earth and into the safety of Heaven.
I have heard and read that those who do not accept this are Legalist, you know, those who say we should obey the Law, and keep the Commandments of God – after all, they say, the Rapture is for those who accept JESUS as Savior. The first thing wrong with that claim is that JESUS is not our Savior, that is not His Name. You will read in, Acts 4:12, that to know His Birth Name is a big deal, and the fake name, JESUS, is not His birth name, period. Is that being to legalist?
Then some also say, this supposed, legal approach, a position that suggests that the Christians are not clean enough to go straight to Heaven, are preaching a gospel of fear. No sooner is that accusation falling from the lips of these Rapture teachers and they say that if you are not being good, if you are lax in doing good that you may not get caught up in the Rapture. The Late Tim LaHaye used to say that the Rapture doctrine has made more good Christians and kept them safe than any other Christian Doctrine. If that is not a teaching in FEAR, I don’t know what is. Such hypocritical statements and teachings should demonstrate to us who seek the truth what is really going on -- .
In fact, Jeff Kinley’s book, mentioned above, does this very thing. On page 127, he says, “Obedience isn’t the qualification for inclusion in the rapture, Salvation is. Besides the Body is not raptured in pieces but as a whole. Rewards for faithfulness and obedience are given at the bema, which occurs in heaven following the rapture. This view appears to stem from the legalistic add-on to the rapture doctrine, possibly in and attempt to motivate obedience through fear”
Next, on page 129, when talking about the other doctrinal theory of “imminency” (That our Lord can Return at any Moment), “If we knew when the rapture was going to occur (midtrib, postrib), we could simply set out timers and wait for it. But because it could happen at any moment, we are motivated to always be pure and prepared (I John 3:1-3).” Motivated? By what? By the fear that He may come back while you are bad mouthing your neighbor, or buttering your morning toast.
The ”Imminency theory”, is just that, a theory that is easily proven to be incorrect, and this doctrine goes hand and hand with the Rapture teaching, also a theory than be proven wrong as well – sorry Jeff.
I can hear you now – “Prove it”. The Imminency theory is the easiest to prove wrong and when I prove it is wrong, then all you Christians can start being as bad and evil as you want – you know, with the doctrine about His Imminent return, you know the “any moment return”, then no more fear – go have fun. Yes, I am being facetious and a poor attempt at humor, after all, a practicing Christian does their best to live a righteous life and walk in the Words of their Savior and I would take it as an insult to suggest that most believers are kept in line by the fear of His return at any Moment.
Okay, Okay, here is the simple and undeniable proof that He cannot and will NOT come at any moment – Prophecy, Biblical Prophecy, His Prophetic Word prove He is who He say He is and so, He would not do anything contrary to His Heavenly Father’s Prophetic plan. In the Book of Revelation we read, in Rev 6:12-17, about the SIGN of His Coming and the Events that will happen and appear BEFORE He returns and until this opening of the 6th seal is complete, He will not Return. The Sign of His Coming is also called His Wrath, the Wrath of the Lamb. The events are very specific and parallel our Lord YaHshua’s words recorded in Matthew 24:29-31.
Of course, the Rapturist will argue that this event is after the Rapture, you know, the Secret coming? This, of course, is not a Secret but it will be a big surprise because, most likely, most will not recognize these events for what they are, until it is too late to, well, apologize (repent). Just think about it. Read the record in both Revelation and Matthew, then, you decide.
What about the Rapture Theory, can it be proven to be wrong? Yes, but there are many more details and more involved in untwisting the word and the worldly thinking. But, there is one quick example that should give everyone pause and a reason to question this theoretical doctrine – it is actually being taught as Truth – not as a maybe or a theory of a speculation but as a solid Truth – which brings to mind – 2 Tim 3:12-14.
Here is something over looked by many -- A teaching parable looking into something very revealing, the Parable of the Tares, that is Weeds – Read this teaching, Matthew 13:24-30 – here is the last verse – After the Servant Angels asked if they should pull up the weeds (bad people) that are growing up among the good grasses (those deserving to enter the Kingdom). They were told hold off, as this last verse explains.
Remember, according to the Rapture theorist, it is the good that are pulled up, or snatched up first. While the Good Seed are going to be Resurrected, this teaching parable puts thing is a better “light”.
(Mat 13:30) Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather you together first the tares (weeds), and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into My barn.
First the weeds are gathered up to be burned.
This, of course, should give everyone buying into the Rapture Doctrine a reason to take a second, even a third and fourth look at this.
If you want to know more then go to this link for a fuller look into this doctrine of false hope.
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