Saturday, March 24, 2012

When the Rapture comes, can I have your Car?

I wish I could claim credit for the title of this post, but I can't.  I saw it on a bumper sticker one morning while driving to work.

Orthodox Christians and non-Christians may find it funny, but it is dead serious to fundamentalist and many evangelical Christians who are waiting with great anticipation for this event to occur.

What is the Rapture?

The Rapture is the return of Christ to collect the "saved" from the earth.  A trumpet will sound, and then all the "saved" who are dead, will rise from their graves, and then those who are alive that are "saved"  will be instantaneously snatched off the earth ("in the twinkling of an eye") to meet Christ and the risen dead in the clouds to be taken from there up to heaven.

Those who are left behind (everyone who did not make an adult born-again, decision for Christ, prior to this event) will endure seven years of the Great Tribulation under the rule of the Anti-Christ.  It will be a time of terrible suffering.  All will be forced to be branded with the "mark of the Beast"....

6 6 6!

Most fundamentalists and evangelicals do not believe in predicting exactly when the Rapture is going to occur.  But, there have been some major exceptions as we have seen in the last year or two.

When I was growing up in the fundamentalist Baptist denomination, it was widely believed that the Rapture would occur within a generation of the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.  That would mean that Christ would return sometime prior to 1973.

Well, you guessed it, 1973 came and went, and there was no Rapture.

In 1973 I was twelve years old.  I grew up never expecting to go to college or do anything else that adults do.  Why?  Because the Rapture was imminent!  The world was going to end.

No one in my fundamentalist Baptist Church ever questioned the doctrinal validity of the Rapture.  I and I'm sure all the other members of that denomination just assumed that "true" Christians had always believed and taught the doctrine of the Rapture since the days of the Apostles.

I was shocked to find out just last year, that the concept/doctrine of the Rapture has only been in existence since 1830!

The concept of a Rapture was "invented" by John Nelson Darby, a Plymouth Brethren minister, and Edward Irving, a Presbyterian, in the early 1800's!

No one, not even the Baptists, had ever heard of such a concept prior to that time!

I was taught that the Baptists are the descendents of the "true" Christians who were hiding out in caves from the early first centuries AD to the 1600's.  But the Baptists had never taught or even heard of this concept until a Plymouth Brethren and a Presbyterian came up with it.

Presbyterian!!!  They are baby baptizers!  Fundamentalist Baptist don't consider baby baptizers to even be Christians.  So a non-Christian came up with the doctrine of the Rapture!

My, my, my!

The Church was warned by the Apostle Paul to beware of false prophets with new and strange teachings. 

The Rapture is a new teaching (180 years old).

It is a strange teaching in that not one of the early Church Fathers makes any mention of it in their many writings.

It is false doctrine, my fundamentalist and evangelical brothers and sisters!  Abandon your false teachings.  Return to the true teachings of the Bible, as taught by the early Church Fathers, Martin Luther, and the Lutheran Church.


  1. Klaatu Fabrice AquinasJuly 8, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    It goes back even further than Darby. A Jesuit by the name of Ribera promulgated "Futurism" in his In Sacrum Beati Ioannis Apostoli, & Evangelistiae Apocalypsin Commentarij (1585), later expounded by Bellermine.

    Later Alcazar's Vestigatio arcani sensus in Apocalypsi (1614) was published, presenting the preterist view. That view would be cool, except it cannot be supported by Scripture. Also, it is scientifically unsound, as Matt. 24 shows that the "days of Noah" could not come into play by or before 70 A.D. There is no record, especially by Josephus or even Tacitus, that the benai elohim came down a second time on Mt. Hermon, and looked down on the "daughters of men." I believe that that is happening right now, especially with the final coding of the human genome. We are in the "days of Noah."

    A real expert on this, though fond of, but in disagreement with Lutherans, is Bill Schnoebelen. Luther, like the other early reformers was of the historicist school, as am I, although not being sympathetic to the full-preterists, I'm open to partial-preterists. We have yet to witness the Day of the Lord.

  2. This will probably be a anticlimactic, but I don’t believe this doctrine, nor do all Southern Baptists. First i want to be clear that Scripture *does* teach that there will be a “rapture”, just not a secret one. In fact it will be quite visible. But as you have stated, the view known as “Dispensationalism” is a relatively new doctrine that has unfortunately gained a lot of momentum, most recently with the “Left Behind” series of books, and Hal Lindsey’s “Late Great Planet Earth” the generation before that. There are still plenty of Scofield study Bibles keeping it going too.

    As far as any official “SBC” position on the end times, the BF&M simply states: “God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.”

    As you can see, this does not commit anyone who affirms the document to any particular millennial view.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I am of the opinion that the Amillennial position has the least amount of exegetical problems when compared to pre-millennial and post millennial views. But this is a topic that I don’t put too much emphasis on. As I tell the people at the church where I pastor and my students in the systematic theology class I teach, all that really matters is that we embrace that the scriptures teach that Christ is coming again and will judge the living and the dead, and will then begin the process of making “all things new”.

    Pastor Stephen Cavness
    Cave City Baptist Church
    Southern Baptist Convention

  3. (Hi LBE. Look at this - something I found on the net. Nate)

    Catholics Did NOT Invent the Rapture !

    Many assert that the "rapture" promoted by evangelicals was first taught, at least seminally, by a Jesuit Catholic priest named Francisco Ribera in his 16th century commentary on the book of Revelation.
    To see what is claimed, Google "Francisco Ribera taught a rapture 45 days before the end of Antichrist's future reign."
    After seeing this claim repeated endlessly on the internet without even one sentence from Ribera offered as proof, one widely known church historian decided to go over every page in Ribera's 640-page work published in Latin in 1593.
    After laboriously searching for the Latin equivalent of "45 days" ("quadraginta quinque dies"), "rapture" ("raptu," "raptio," "rapiemur," etc.) and other related expressions, the same scholar revealed that he found absolutely nothing in Ribera's commentary to support the oft-repeated claim that Ribera taught a prior (45-day) rapture! (Since the same scholar plans to publish his complete findings, I am not at liberty to disclose his name.)
    Are you curious about the real beginnings of this evangelical belief (a.k.a. the "pre-tribulation rapture") merchandised by Darby, Scofield, Lindsey, Falwell, LaHaye, Ice, Van Impe, Hagee and many others?
    Google "The Unoriginal John Darby," "Pretrib Rapture Diehards," "X-Raying Margaret," "Edward Irving is Unnerving," "Walvoord Melts Ice," "Thomas Ice (Bloopers)," "Wily Jeffrey," "Deceiving and Being Deceived" by D.M., "The Real Manuel Lacunza," "Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism," "Pretrib Rapture Politics," "Pretrib Hypocrisy," "Famous Rapture Watchers," and "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" - most of these by the author of the 300-page nonfiction book "The Rapture Plot," the highly endorsed and most accurate documentation on the long hidden historical facts of the 182-year-old pre-tribulation rapture theory imported from Britain during the late 19th century.


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