OUR BLESSED HOPE
The bible tells us the Rapture will be our blessed hope in troubled times. Titus 2:13 “Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of ur great God and Savior, Chris Jesus.” We are living in such times.
Very few Christians has ever heard about the Rapture, even though it is part of the end times timeline. This timeline is evident when we study the book of Daniel and Revelation together. See more https://bibleandrevelation.com/2017/08/17/the-rapture/
FOR THE END TIMES
It is interesting that God told Daniel to seal this book until the end times, when knowledge will increase. When people will be able to understand it. Daniel 12:4 But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end.
I grew up in a Christian home and saw plenty of Scripture, but I never came across bible prophecy as a concept. A God that tells us the things to come, the en from the beginning. Isaiah 46:10 “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.'”
Christians are often accused to be cowards. People who want to escape the brunt of God’s anger. So, is it an escape? The Bible says, yes it is. Luke 21:36 “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen.”
God in His mercy is using people to take the dust of this good news in the end times.
THE RAPTURE IN HISTORY
IN THE BIBLE
The Pre-Tribulation Rapture is not a new concept. It is a biblical concept, embedded in scripture for those who seek will find. I Thessalonians 4:17 “After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
1 Corinthians 15:51 I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye.”
EARLY CHURCH FATHERS
One of the most interesting apocalyptic texts of the early Middle Ages is a sermon by Ephraem the Syrian. It was written between the fourth and sixth century.
It reads: “For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins.
The Shepherd of Hermas wrote about this concept too, during the early medieval period. “You have escaped from great tribulation on account of your faith, and because you did not doubt in the presence of such a beast. Go, therefore, and tell the elect of the Lord His mighty deeds, and say to them that this beast is a type of the great tribulation that is coming. If then ye prepare yourselves, and repent with all your heart, and turn to the Lord, it will be possible for you to escape it, if your heart be pure and spotless, and ye spend the rest of the days of your life in serving the Lord blamelessly.”
THE MEDIEVAL CHURCH, PHILOSOPHY
What happen after this? Philosophy got in the way. By the fifth century AD, the water became muddy and the truth was soon buried.
We read in the Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy: “St. Augustine is a fourth century philosopher whose groundbreaking philosophy infused Christian doctrine with Neoplatonism. He is famous for being an inimitable Catholic theologian and for his agnostic contributions to Western philosophy.” https://www.iep.utm.edu/augustin/
In the name of philosophy, philosophers did a lot of damage to the word of God. This is my believe, because I struggled for years with it myself. It is like bubblegum, you’re going round and round. It keeps you busy, but it never satisfies your soul.
Philosophy always answers your question with another question. It confuses you to the point that you give up on the Word of God. Yet, the Bible says God is not the author of confusion. 1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not a God of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
This is the story about the Albigenses, Lombards, and the Waldenses. Dr. Thomas Ice wrote they were premillennialists. That is to say, they believed in the rapture of the church before the Millennium. No one knows for sure, because there writings end up in the fire. By 1215, the Waldensians were declared heretical and subject to persecution.
Interestingly, Pope Francis apologised to First Evangelicals for Persecution in 2015. https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2015/july/pope-apologizes-to-first-evangelicals-for-persecution.html
What we do know is they had the Bible with them in the twelve century. There is a documentary called “The untold history of the Bible” on YouTube. These people feature in it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmXBj2N9fhY
THE COME BACK
During the reformation the Bible, and biblical interpretation, was restored. Peter Jurieu wrote in 1687 a book Approaching Deliverance of the Church. In this book he wrote: “Christ would come in the air to rapture the saints and return to heaven before the battle of Armageddon.”
Morgan Edwards, founder of Brown University, wrote in 1744 about it. “The distance between the first and second resurrection will be somewhat more than a thousand years. I say, somewhat more because the dead saints will be raised and the living changed at Christ’s appearing in the air.”
It is often said that Darby invented the Rapture in 1830, but that does not stand against the evidence. Darby did a lot of work to dig it up under the dust of history, but he did not invent it.
Sources for Rapture, new invention: