Saturday, September 20, 2008

What about the rapture?

I’m working on ordination stuff, trying to nail down my eschatology. There are few things I’m interested in less. If you read the post on Article 11, you may notice I left out the timing of the rapture. I’m going to rewrite it, but I’d love to hear of any readers (if anyone other than my wife still check in…) why you’re pre-, mid-, or post-tribulational in your view of the Rapture.

Here’s the updated “last paragraph” from my Article 11 statement, but this could shift with the winds. Any insight, questions, etc… would be appreciated when it comes to helping me wade through the swamp of eschatology…

Next, His return is imminent and this “Blessed Hope” (Titus 2.13) has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer. Biblical authors do not discuss eschatology for the sake curiosity, but to motivate the church to vigilant and diligent living (Mt. 25.1-13; 1 Thess. 5.1-11). There is some tension when discussing the issue of imminence. On one hand, we do not know when Jesus will return and disciples should be ready (Mt. 24.42-44; 1 Thess. 5.2), but there is an indication that waiting is expected (Jn. 21.18; Mt. 24.2; 24.14). While it is a complex issue, I currently hold to a mid-tribulational rapture due to the broad expectation in Scripture that suffering is often part of the Christian life and there is no guarantee of escape from it (Rev. 12.17; 13.7), but we will not be subject to God’s wrath (1 Thess. 5.9). Jesus indicates a “shortening” of the time of suffering as well (Mt. 24.42-44). This is, however, a complex issue that ought not be a major issue of division within the church, but should, again, motivate us to godly living.

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