==== ==== First aid, freeze dried food, preparedness seeds, long-term food storage kits, veggie packs, meat packs, and more! Be prepared for the polar shift and the 12/21/12 doomsday prediction! http://www.familysurvivalsolutions.com/ ==== ==== ID: 3138402 Author: Wayne Arthur Alexander Date Published: Oct 22, 2009 Title: The Rapture? Summary: I have observed that secular church leaders have a compulsive habit of drawing disciples unto themselves. They prom... Body: I have observed that secular church leaders have a compulsive habit of drawing disciples unto themselves. They promote a philosophy of church that empowers the preacher, not the congregation, teaching that ultimately keeps the pastor/priest leadership in control. The underlying result is that non-respondents are rejected while devotees come under a spell, subjecting themselves to men rather than to God.The apostle Paul proposed that devotees imitate him (1 Corinthians 4:16). However, Paul was not looking for personal followers. Paul encouraging imitation suggests that Christians must first know how to follow Christ. Firsthand knowledge ultimately means that I can follow Christ for myself. This is the direction the apostle is aiming disciples: At the infant level, they need Paul, but at the mature level, they need only depend on Christ. At some point, all mature believers ought to be able to say to immature believers, "Imitate me."Accordingly, Jesus calls himself the Son of God, but never refers to himself as God anywhere in the New Testament. Yes, Jesus is God. I'm only saying that as the Son he learned subordination (obedience) to the Father. As the Son of God, Jesus did only what he saw his Father doing (John 5:19), and taught only that which came from his Father (John 7:16). Jesus wants all disciples to hear from God as he did...to walk with God as he walked with God.So, whom are you imitating?In 1988, many awaited the coming Rapture. I was in Bible college at the time and remember it well. Publications went out detailing the events to occur. Well, the Rapture never happened. Yet, many Christians, imitating their prophets, believed it would. Evangelicals everywhere were speaking of the Rapture, even though scripture plainly tells us that no one knows the time of Christ's return (1 Thessalonians 5:1f). Disciples would know this fact if they cared to believe scripture. The truth is, disciples are afraid to confront God and the actualities of the biblical text. They are afraid to discover truth for themselves, but will believe the charlatans.Prophecies, such as the aforementioned Rapture, are predicted and taught out of fear - fear that is aggressive but hidden, hidden to the preachers as well as to their adherents. Their personal fears pervade their teachings. In this case, it is the fear of persecution. The very idea that God would allow his people to suffer is an atrocity in the minds of most Christians, especially Americans that have enjoyed so much of the world's riches for so long. Unwittingly, this fear has propagated a rapture mentality."The Rapture", as it is called, will rescue an elect few from persecution while the rest of the world, including disciples who weren't spiritually prepared for the Rapture, suffers intolerably. Raptured disciples go unscathed. But I ask you, where are the specifics of the Rapture written in scripture? When have the faithful of God not suffered: the Old Testament prophets, Jesus, the New Testament apostles, as well as others throughout church history? All suffered! Rapture is in
the minds of unfaithful disciples are who are looking for a way out.I once heard an evangelist say on national TV that he was glad he would not be here after the Rapture because he knew he could not endure the persecution that would follow. Can you imagine Jesus or Paul making such a statement? Furthermore, what does this statement say about the lack of faith in the preacher that spoke it?Christian leaders know they cannot withstand the suffering that will come to Christians so they invented a means of escape. Disciples gullibly receive their biblical musings as truth because they too are fearful. We readily accept the lie because we are not prepared to die for Christ. But had we read scripture and trusted God, we would understand that no disciple is prepared for suffering or death until God prepares us for affliction. Disciples suffer persecution but their faith remains in tact because of the strength of God that resides in them (1 John 4:4).Rapture doctrine is not ancient, but fairly recent (circa 1830, see Barbara R. Rossing, The Rapture Exposed [New York: Basic Books, 2004], 22-23). Referencing Revelation 21:1, Rapture teaching speaks of the destruction of the earth "for the first earth and heaven had passed away." Their doctrine negates emphasis, however, on the passing of heaven as well...interesting. Revelation 21 speaks of a new heaven and earth, not because the old heaven and earth are destroyed, but because evil has been destroyed. The removal of evil makes everything new. Armageddon (found only in Revelation 16:16), is a fight against Satan and his evil cohorts.Of course, huge emphasis is placed 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17, with specific reference to being "caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." The word "rapture" is not a Bible word. It comes from the Latin raptus, which is used as an equivalent for the Greek word arpadzo "to be taken away". Why use rapture? Perhaps it sounds more intimidating as a catchword than "arpadzo"."Air" comes from the Greek word "aer". In ancient animism, the air is the place of the spirits "who had to be taken into account". (Werner Foerster, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol. 1, ed. by Gerhard Kittel [Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 1964; reprint 2006], 165). In Ephesians 2:2, Satan currently rules the air. However, when Christ comes, he will take over the power of the air, where evil is removed and the righteous congregate. This apocalyptic, end-times description is used by Paul to comfort those that were misinformed about the end times and the loved ones that had died (4:13-16).Paul used "caught up" language to bring peace to the hearts of Christians anxiously awaiting the return of Christ. Modern preachers use the same language as part of a tribulation strategy that strikes terror in the hearts of Christians.Whom do you believe? I trust Paul. Circa 1830, see Barbara R. Rossing, The Rapture Exposed [New York: Basic Books, 2004], 22-23 Werner Foerster, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol. 1, ed. by Gerhard Kittel [Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 1964; reprint 2006], 165
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