I’ll admit generally I am a person who does not concern oneself excessively with the whole rapture issue…it is interesting, but ultimately I think it is superceeded / trumped / less important by far than the main gospel message for today- and every day – by this I mean the difference between the following two questions:
Correct: Where is my relationship with God today?
Wrong: What should my relationship be with God if / when rapture occurs and why and how is the rapture important?
If nothing else, for this reason I personally, while accepting that issues relating to the rapture are important, they are nowhere near important as what’s happening in a persons life today. That coupled with the fact that we cannot accurately predict the ‘end’ – this is Biblical (though many have tried – this is unbiblical) I look quite unfavourably on ministries, websites and books which spend virtually all their effort, time and money on matters of ‘end times’ and in particular issues related to rapture. The more heavy towards such things, the more I consider it a distraction rather than a help – in some cases to the point of drawing people away from the core of God’s message to mankind.
I think there is more regarding the ‘yes/no’ than the ‘how/when’ – and again is another reason why we shouldn’t focus on the detail too much, rather being satisfied that the ‘yes/no’ is not really in dispute (being a ‘yes’), and the ‘how/when’ is not actually that important relative to today. If true, a result would be there are a large number of websites, books and so forth (including churches) and including some very rich ones which would be better off shut down / never published lest some even actually subtly draw people away from God and relationship with him today, here and now – the Bible tells us that we are not to worry about tomorrow, for today has enough troubles of its own (Matthew 6:34) – I can already hear the fervent ‘end-timers’ desperate to chip in and tell me how wrong I am and how important it is to know this stuff sooner rather than later – at least, for the ‘foreseeable’ future… We will know all things in the fullness of time – don’t try to understand what the statement means, rather, turn to God today, and ask him to lead you today and continue to walk with him from there.
Don’t be ignorant
All this said, it is not wise to be completely ignorant of such things – of course – the Bible does mention it clearly. Someone asked me today where the rapture is mentioned in the Bible – there is one obvious passage that everyone mentions – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and which ‘traditionally’ paints the picture of part of what the rapture might be like. It is probably the most direct description of this issue. However, there are many theologies regarding the rapture – some of these built on very tenuous links to various Bible verses and this I find concerning.
In the end I could see myself getting interested in this subject and spending far too much time studying it. It is important – but I want to be sure not to make finding an answer more important that today’s walk with God.
If you consider this subject critical – why, and what for?