THE RAPTURE (HARPADZO)–DO YOU BELIEVE WHAT JESUS TAUGHT ABOUT THE BEGINNING OF THE END?
Jesus taught such a comforting, hope-filled message of His return to rescue His Church before the Tribulation, that His disciples went everywhere teaching this same truth. When Paul had only a month in a pagan city where he planted a church, the Rapture was central to their doctrine.
The Rapture was First Taught by Jesus
The Rapture is a doctrine started and taught by Jesus, continued and spread by His disciples, and believed and passionately lived out by His Church. The early church heard and understood this doctrine of Christ’s any moment return, and radiantly lived, looking for ways to please Him when He came to rescue them.
James in the first NT letter said that Christ was standing at the door (5:7). The second NT book was I Thessalonians and every chapter shines with Rapture-induced hope-filled expectancy (1:9-10; 2:19-20; 3:13; 4:13-18; 5:23). Paul’s epistles start to finish, are seasoned with the flavor of a focused life awaiting Christ as in Philippians 3:20 where we as citizens of Heaven await Jesus eagerly, as Paul confesses in his last words of II Timothy 4 where he talks about His crown “at that day” when Jesus comes.
Peter says the same, going so far as asking what kind of lives should we live because we know the future (II Peter 3:11 ). John’s Epistles are the same, in I John 3:2-3 he says that this “hope” causes us to purify our daily life looking for Christ’s coming.
In Revelation 3:7, Jesus Christ identifies Himself to the Church at Philadelphia as the One who is True, Holy, and has the unstoppable Messianic Key of David. When Jesus speaks He tells the Truth. When we listen to Him and hear what He says we can have confident assurance that He knows what He is talking about.
Jesus Christ taught repeatedly (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) that His 2nd Coming is to Judge the ungodly. That was the content of every sermon on the future that He ever preached. Each sermon was taught in the context of Israel, was focused upon the Jews, and involved the city of Jerusalem and the nation of Israel.
The Rapture is Not The 2nd Coming
But, when Jesus spoke to believers His emphasis was different. Jesus taught His own born-again children of the faith, three bedrock truths about the Rapture or His coming for His Church.
These truths are that: the Rapture will be a source of comfort; the Rapture will be similar to the Ascension; and that the Rapture will be an intentional rescue.
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