RAPTURE READY?: DISPENSATIONAL PREMILLENNIALISM
RAPTURE (from Latin raptus, “catching up”)
The meeting of Jesus and his people in the air, described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18. UÊ Most dispensational premillennialists understand the rapture as an event that will occur before the Tribulation. UÊ A few dispensationalists treat the rapture as an event that happens during the Tribulation, either halfway through the Tribulation or immediately before the final outpouring of God’s wrath. UÊ Dispensational premillennialists understand the rapture of the church and the return of Jesus to earth to occur at different times. UÊ Other views of the end times see that the rapture and return happen at the same time.
Even if you disagree with the dispensationalist view of the end times, there’s no reason to avoid using the word “rapture.” It’s a biblical term that expresses a biblical idea. So, if every view of the end times agrees that a rapture is coming, what’s so different about dispensationalism? Here’s the key difference when it comes to the rapture of the church: Dispensational premillennialists expect the return of Jesus to occur some time after the rapture of the church; all other views of the end times expect Jesus to make his appearance on planet earth immediately after the rapture.
Every view of the end times agrees that the rapture of the church and the return of Jesus are distinguishable events. After all, the apostle Paul himself distinguished them in his letter to Titus: Paul described the Christian life as a life of “waiting for our blessed hope and for the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). y “Our blessed hope” is the confident expectation that Jesus will catch up every believer—living and dead—and transform their bodies at the rapture. y “The appearing of the glory” points to the moment when Jesus returns to earth and reveals his royal splendor to all humanity. © imagedepotpro
Published on Jul 20, 2011
Selected Sample Pages from the NEW Rose Guide to End Times Prophecy by Dr. Timothy Paul Jones, Associate Professor, Southern Baptist Theolog...