Have you ever seen a bumper sticker like this?
Where does that idea come from? It is found here in 1 Thessalonians:
4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Note the exact wording, however. “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
Clearly, Paul was claiming that the return of Christ and the Rapture would occur while the generation he was writing to was still alive. But that generation has been dead for about 1900 years. So the people who have such bumper stickers really don’t read their own scriptures properly. The prophecy is false.
From the book of Deuteronomy:
18:21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
Why is Paul STILL considered a genuine apostle of Christ? If I had my way, all of Paul’s writings, along with the book of Acts (which features Paul), and even the epistle of 2 Peter (which makes excuses for the failure of Jesus to return as he supposedly promised and mentions Paul as a “beloved brother”), would be thrown out of the canon of the New Testament. It is suggested by many Bible scholars that the real Apostle Peter didn’t write “2 Peter” and it wasn’t written until decades after his death. If so, then the epistle is a case of fraud and shouldn’t even be part of Christian scriptures at all.
Not to mention that the idea of a rapture is actually pretty new. It didn’t enter church doctrine until the 1700’s, and didn’t become a popular idea until the mid 1800’s and didn’t REALLY become mainstream until the 1900’s. Not exactly early church tradition. This makes me wonder if it meant something entirely different to the people it was written for; a slang-type thing.
Or maybe it only LOOKS new because the early church, once it became obvious that Jesus was not returning while his generation still lived, suppressed the concept. That would explain why the Catholic Church opposed early attempts to translate the Bible, including the writings of Paul, into the languages of the common people. Seriously, they kept it locked up in Latin for nearly 1000 years! I’d think if you wanted to spread a religion faster, wouldn’t the Church want as many people able to read its scriptures as possible? Once most people could read the scriptures, the Rapture dogma came right back up!
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