By Jeff Curtis
People right now are not satisfied with where the election sits (at the time of this writing). So, a great many people are speaking as though this is the end of the world. People are writing letters to editor of the local newspaper and professing that “The Rapture” is about to take place. A good sister cut a “letter to the editor” out of a recent Times-Gazette. In reading this letter, about the Rapture, I find it interesting that they are typical of all others in spewing their false doctrine.
When I read this “letter”, I was not impressed with what was written. It was filled with the same rhetoric as they as always use. Yet, the author of this letter said the “Bible predicts,” and never once used any Scripture to prove her point as being biblical.
She did use phrases or language that is used in the Bible, but never once gave the reader a place to turn to in the pages of God’s Word to prove her points. She used phrases that sound like they would could be found in the Scriptures. The problem with this theory / false doctrine is that it is based upon the theory of premillennialism.
This theory is predominant in several religious groups around the country. It teaches that God will send His Son back to the earth to reign in Jerusalem for 1,000 years. This happens only after the Rapture, where God snatches the “faithful” out of the world and takes them to heaven. This is such a dominating doctrine that a series of books and movies were produced several years ago. Tim LeHaye and Jerry Jenkins made a lot of money producing this series of books and movies.
The theory of premillennialism says that those not taken in the Rapture will be “Left Behind,” and given a chance to get their lives right while Jesus is reigning in Jerusalem for 1,000.
The problem that a Christian should have with this is this; it makes a God a respecter of people. This theory contradicts the Word of God. Peter, when speaking the household of Cornelius in Acts 10, he believed that God was desiring the Gentiles to receive the hope of salvation. Cornelius explained why he had sent for Peter and Peter’s response was, “34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation, whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.”
When the Holy Spirit fell on the house of Cornelius, “44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.”
In this text, we see that God is not a respecter of people. So, if God is going to give you a second chance after everyone has lived their life according to the Word of God, how is that fair.
If I know that there will be a second chance offered by God, why should I even try to live a faithful life now. I could live however I may want, knowing God is going to allow me to have a “do over.”
A question needs to be asked here, “How can Christ’s coming mark the beginning of a millennial reign when Paul says it marks the ‘end’ of His reign?”
Another passage that these false teachers use is 1Thessalonians 4:13-14. Here Paul writes; “13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.”
Paul here is teaching, 1) that either the Thessalonians had failed to allow what they had been taught about death and the resurrection. That this should provide for them the comfort they should have experienced. 2) they hadn’t fully understood the subject so that it didn’t bring them the comfort that such hope provided.
Evidently what Paul wanted to do in this passage, was to assure them that not only would their dead brothers and sisters be raised, but that they would be raised to share in the blessings associated with the coming of the Lord in the same way that the living would participate in them.
They teach that this passage, 1Thessalonians 4:13-16, teaches the “Rapture.” Strange, but I don’t read the word Rapture in this verse, we can’t find the word anywhere in the passages of Scripture. Paul wrote this passage because some thought that the return of Jesus was delayed. They also had lost hope in the return of Jesus because some prominent people had died.