Two students in a seminary, or two pastors at a denominational meeting, or two church members are arguing; the topic is typical – is there a rapture or not?
(Disclaimer: my personal belief is that there will be a rapture – but hang with me for a bit if you believe differently)
There is no shortage of opinions on what is going to happen in the future. I get invitations in the mail to prophecy seminars which will end all speculation, because this teacher from Des Moines or Indiana, or South Africa has finally figured it out for the rest of us; she has cracked the Revelation End Time Code.
Despite all the charts, time-lines and footnoting you stumble over in the intensive, impressive presentations on Bible prophecy concerning the Last Days, no matter which theory a teacher holds – rapture or not – at least one side is wrong.
(Of course, it could just be that everybody’s wrong and Jesus has something else planned. But that wouldn’t be at all like Him, would it? He never does anything unexpected, eh?)
“Rapturists” believe Jesus will call the church away from this earth to a meeting in the sky. This is the theme of Left Behind thinking – at some future (maybe today) date the archangel will blow that horn to begin the Great Tribulation on earth – sans believers.
“Non-rapturists” believe differently – that the next great event is the Return of Christ, or that His return is somehow embodied in Christians working to create the new earth.
Whether you believe one way or the other is less of a concern (to me) than how either belief system might affect you. In both (and all the little sub-beliefs) are the seeds of fatalism – the kind of logic that says: I can’t do anything about the future, so I won’t give my best, and I refuse to think about it all.
If you’re a rapturist, fatalism can lead to spiritually sitting on a hill and waiting for the relief of being caught-away with Christ….forget paying the mortgage and those credit cards…you’re outa here!
If you’re a non-rapturist, a fatalistic view might include frustration over political and world events….so much so, that you lose hope and just live with the depressive effects of human experience which is most often two steps forward and three back!
Now, this is not to demean anyone’s theology (or start any arguments – hold off on those cards and letters, folks). I want to present a different perspective for both rapturists and non-rapturist believers…the urgency of evangelism.
Almost all believers affirm God’s hand on creation and His involvement in the affairs of humanity, and that God is somehow guiding/moving events, past, present and future to conform to His will. There will be an accounting and judging time, rapture or not!
In like fashion, most followers of Jesus also affirm that following Him means bending our will to His…doing what he commanded…spreading the Gospel…helping others know Him too.
If these two statements are true…God’s sovereign will and Jesus’ great commission…we have more important fish to fry than how it’s all going to end in rapture or not. Our immediate concern should be for the souls of lost people – not the fatalism spawned by doctrinal wrangling. I’m not certain I ever read in Scripture about rewards for that!
You might be one of those workers in the field or women grinding at the mill. If there is a rapture, shouldn’t you be at work for the Master until He comes? And if there isn’t a rapture, shouldn’t you be at work for the Master until He comes?
For You, Today…
Take away this positive thought – your day will be blessed if you share Jesus with someone. There is a reward promised in Scripture for that!