There are various denominations of Christianity such as Baptists and Pentecostals, which believe in a form "rapture," and this post is an explanation of this belief, and why it is, according to Jesus, moot. It is only the supposed words of Paul that have Christians in a tizzy wondering when/if they will be "caught in the clouds" with their god, which illustrates Paul's authority over that of Jesus.
In any case, according to the predictions made by Christian fundamentalist Harold Camping, in a little more than a week many Christians around the globe are expecting to be "caught up" with their god in the clouds and be on their way to paradise, while those left on earth go through a "tribulation" period for 3.5 - 7 years (or 6 months if you believe Camping). This is the time in which the rest of us are supposed to experience hardships, disasters, famine, war, pain and suffering--which will wipe out more than 75% of all life before the "Second Coming" of Christ takes place. Yes, their god hasn't learned much from his experiences with Noah, (as killing everything did not do anything to alleviate the problems of "sin."--which is why he had to send himself/Jesus to "save" the world--which also has not worked out too well) but at least this time he isn't planning on wiping out ALL life--including newborns, kittens and puppies. This time he is only going to wipe out 75%-80% of the newborns, kittens and puppies! Yes, this time, instead of killing everyone except for a drunken sailor and his family of misfits (i.e. Noah and kin), he is actually going to let 20- 25% of living things "survive" through it all!* It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside just thinking about it. (Please note the sarcasm.)
Below are some of the verses, written by Paul, which Christians cite to explain their belief in the rapture:
"...and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be raptured (or "caught up") together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air." 1Thess. 4:15-17
"Take notice, I am telling you a secret. We shall not all die but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet call. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall all be changed" I Corinthians 15:51-52
Well, I hate to burst their bubble (I am kidding of course) but according to Paul, and what Jesus supposedly said, there is not going to be a "rapture." In fact, Paul alluded to the return of Jesus within his own generation in the passages above, and in various other passages. (1 Cor 7:29; 10:11; 15:51)
In Matthew 10, Jesus said that he would return within the generation of the disciples. It is in this chapter that Jesus tells his disciples to preach ONLY to the lost sheep of Israel, and NOT to go to Samaria, or anywhere else for that matter, as the kingdom of heaven was already "near":
"These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “DO NOT go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near." Matt 10:5-7
Jesus made it known to his disciples that they would not finish their task, or "taste death" until he returned:
"When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes." Matthew 10:23
"For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” Matthew 16:27-28
" I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened." Matthew 24:34
So what does this tell us? It tells us that Jesus was only interested in saving the Jews--not everyone else. It was only later on, when he was not getting his "message" across to the Jews that the "never-changing god" changed his mind and told his disciples to "preach to all nations." (Matt 28:19) Why? Because by that time, the Jews understood he was a fraud, and his real father was a Roman soldier named Panthera. If he could not convince the Jews, Jesus and his crew had to seek out others who would buy their schtick, which is why they aimed for the lowliest of the low--as they would more likely welcome the "false hope" that was offered to them.
The "rapture" is another form of false hope, and will not happen. A generation is in fact, a generation, and all those people Jesus supposedly spoke to are now dead. This means everything that was supposed to have happened, has already happened according to the bible, and therefore, there will be no "rapture" --according to the words of Jesus. It is those Christians that favor the twisted words of Paul over the words of Jesus that believe in a rapture, as Jesus made it clear he was to return within the "generation" of his disciples.
So enjoy life everyone! The so-called "rapture" is just one of literally hundreds of failed prophecies since the dawn of Christianity. (If you click on the link, scroll down. The "Botched Doomsday Prophecies" are in red.)
I am so looking forward to May 22...:)
I am so looking forward to May 22...:)
.*Understanding End Times Prophecy: A Comprehensive Approach
By Paul N. Benware