Q&R with Greg Albrecht – What about the Rapture?
My question is about the Rapture. I was baptized in the Free Methodist Church. I now attend a community church. I watched several prophecy preachers when I was first saved. They helped me a lot, but now I have doubts about the Rapture.
What is your opinion about the Rapture? My grandchildren are asking me about this and I want to speak the truth. Is there going to be a Rapture of the church before the tribulation, after the tribulation or none at all? Also, if the Rapture is to be after or during the tribulation or not at all, why did Christ die?
I know we could never be good enough for heaven and without Jesus’ sacrifice we could never reach heaven. He died for us, for our sins. Do you see why I am having a hard time explaining to my grandchildren?
You seem to be thinking clearly about this topic. There are biblically-based questions about the Rapture teaching:
1. Christians somehow “got by” without believing in a Rapture until about 150 years ago. Why? Why didn’t Christians believe in a Rapture before if it is biblical?
2. Just how biblical is the Rapture? There is one main passage in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, and maybe one or two others depending upon how they are understood. The passage in Thessalonians speaks of believers as being “caught up in the sky” at the Second Coming, but no other details are given. So is this enough biblical evidence to construct elaborate, dogmatic and specific teaching about the Rapture?
3. Why do we need to worry about being left behind (as you infer in your question)? All of our worries about being left behind were answered at the cross and the empty tomb. We are not left behind and we never will be. Jesus will never forsake us.
4. Speaking of being “left behind”—the fact is that the vast majority of Christians today, and for that matter an even bigger majority for almost 1,800 years, do not and did not believe in the Rapture. Will Christians be left behind simply because they do not believe the Rapture and preach it? What does “being left behind” tell us about God and his nature that differs with biblical teaching about God?
5. Are we in the “last days”? Christians, pastors and laymen alike have been teaching and believing that the end will come in their generation—just a few short years, or a decade or two away is the usual message. That message has been proclaimed for over 150 years since a man named Darby came up with a unique way to interpret the Bible, called dispensationalism. What has been the fruit of all this “last days madness,” this end-times “prediction addiction”? When specific predictions have failed (and all of them have so far) many have lost faith. A number have left Christianity altogether. What is the result of continuously being in some high-pitched, feverish state of anxiety, thinking the end is only a few years away?
6. The Rapture teaching causes Christians to be concerned about saving their own necks and those of their loved ones. The efforts that they take to ensure that they will be raptured are far closer to religious legalism than they are to the glorious gospel of the grace of Jesus Christ. All of this end-times madness is just that; it is causing Christians to be mocked by the world at large. It is misrepresenting God. It is causing many to lose faith when prophecies fail and it is causing many to turn inward, worried about saving themselves.
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