The Rapture’s Been Delayed
10 August 2022 Hits:2298
The end of the world is near. Again!
This time the prediction came from a pastor of a Nigerian church but pastors, church and cult leaders have been forecasting the end, the rapture, the second coming for centuries, sometimes with tragic results.
Dozens of people were recently freed from an abandoned school where they were awaiting the Second Coming. The 77 people, including 26 children and eight teenagers, were rescued by police. The raid came after a mother complained her children were missing and thought they were in the church.
An assistant pastor in the church told the members that the rapture would take place in April but later said it had been changed to September 2022. I wonder if the delay is due to staff shortages in heaven resulting from the pandemic? God simply could not get enough angels to staff the rapture, so it’s been put off until September.
People have been predicting the rapture for decades. They really should give up. There’s just no future in it.
Claims like these should be rejected as just another scaremongering tactic that some Christians, sadly, are all too good at. In fact, whenever you hear a Christian leader using fear to motivate you (to obey, give money, or whatever), see it for the ruse it is.
Since becoming a Christian in the late 1970’s, I have witnessed frequent predictions of the end. It was going to be 1983 when the planets aligned. No, it’s 1988 when Israel has been a nation for a generation. Wrong again. And on and on it goes.
The false predictions have caused untold harm to precious people. Individuals had maxed out their credit cards, believing the rapture would come before payment was due. Others sold houses, spent all their money, or resigned from jobs. Some failed to plan for education, convinced the end was near. I didn’t buy a house in my late teens and 20’s (against my dad’s advice) because Jesus was coming back. That is one of my few regrets even to this day.
Wrong predictions cause people to harden their hearts to the truth of God’s Word, just like those who heard the boy cry “Wolf!” I believe that Jesus is coming back but making endless predictions is pointless and counterproductive to the gospel.
So, What is the Rapture?
Paul’s two letters to the Thessalonian church present the most detailed description of what should be called the resurrection. The term “rapture” is not a Bible word.
Paul writes, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 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. Therefore encourage one another with these words” (4:16-18).
Notice the order of events:
- Jesus comes down from heaven.
- The departed “in Christ” rise first.
- The living will rise to meet Jesus.
The word “meet” infers “to escort on a journey.” Followers of Jesus will be gathered from the grave and the four corners of the earth to one point ~ where Jesus is, “And so, we will be with the Lord forever.” Paul tells us to “encourage one another with these words,” not scare the living daylights out of each other.
Until we Meet Again!
Until Christ’s Second Coming, the world will continue as it is. Society will progress as it has for thousands of years. Life will be a mixture of good & bad. As Jesus taught, there’ll be wars and rumours of wars and natural disasters in various places, and the gospel of the kingdom will be preached everywhere.
It’s interesting to note that the vast majority of Bible prophecies concerning the end of the world deal with how we are to live in the here and now. The Bible teaches that the world will end one day, so we must live pure and productive lives in the present.
In the meantime, share the GOOD NEWS about Jesus with people open to hearing it; live authentic and consistent lives that make this world better; love your neighbour and your enemies. Resist getting sucked into these baseless and pointless predictions and look for the actual Christ, not the anti-one!