Yes! “Our Blessed Hope” Matters By Jonathan C. Brentner A ten-year-old boy stood quietly peering…
The Rapture is a Myth?
The Rapture is a myth. A lot of people-I daresay the majority-believe that. And their position makes absolute sense when viewed from their perspective. A logical naturalistic, humanist world view dictates that there can be no supernatural events. Since the existing universe operates according to fixed principles of physics, having been refined over trillions of years to the point it now is, nothing can violate those laws. Therefore, supernatural events would be nonsensical in a world where those laws of science which we have so far discovered are immutable. Thus there can be no question that the rapture indeed is a myth.
Now I have said that many people, if not most, believe this about the Rapture. And, as I have also said, they are reasoning from a naturalistic, humanist world view. And thus their presuppositions are logical. But I do not understand is that among this group of disbelievers in the Rapture are Christians ï¿½ or, at least, those who call themselves Christians. I do not understand them because, unlike the non-Christians, their belief is illogical. How can a Christian believe that the Rapture is a myth?
Now, understand that I am not speaking here about the timing of the Rapture. This has nothing to do with whether the rapture is Pre-Tribulation, or Mid-Tribulation or Post-Tribulation. (For the record, having studied rapture timing over many years, I have been moved by Scripture itself from a mid- to a pre-Trib position. It is the only one that makes sense of ALL scripture on the rapture.) No, here I am speaking of those who claim Christ but say timing is not an issue because there is no Rapture-it’s a myth!
Please allow me to illustrate the illogic of their position.
First of all how do they know there is a God? Well the Bible proves it – and not through circular reasoning that some engage in. You know: “The Bible is God’s Word because He says it is and there is a God because the Bible says there is”. No, the Bible proves there is a God by the very nature of its content. It transcends human wisdom, speaking of things beyond man’s ability to answer; and, indeed, it offers solutions that run counter to human wisdom yet, when examined, those solutions are revealed as truly sublime.
Second, how do they know there was (and is) a Jesus Christ? Well, from the Bible. Yes, there are extra-Biblical references to Him, there are records of some of the beliefs of his first followers extant in writings by contemporary (or nearly contemporary) writers of antiquity. And, I suppose, the fact that outside of the far east just about all of the world divides history into either Before Christ and After Christ, or Before the Christian Era and After the Christian Era, indicates He lived. But that invites the question “Why should His life have made such an impact? And that raises the very next point.
Third, what makes them a “Christian”? What is a Christian? How does one become one? How does one know if one has become one? What does that mean in practical terms in your life? There is only one reliable source for that information. The Bible. I say “reliable” source because there are some who have created their own idea of what a Christian is, based on their own philosophy. They append Christ’s name, but have gleaned their knowledge of Him and what he taught from second, third, or even fourth hand sources. Given that, why should the result be any different than that in the old Telephone Game? Remember that? You sat in a circle with friends and you whispered a message to the first person, who then whispered it to the second person, and on and on around the group till it wound up at the first person again. As likely as not, the message at the end of the circle was barely recognizable as the one that started out. It was a hoot! But there is nothing funny about misunderstanding the message of Jesus Christ.
Thomas Jefferson created his own version of Christianity. He had some very fixed ideas in his mind as to what was true and what was not. Using his powers of reasoning, apart from the Bible, he determined that God existed but that after creation he had little to do with it. In other words, Jefferson was a deist. Therefore, for him, only parts of the Bible were true. The rest was myth. So, using a razor blade, he set out to extract from Scripture the parts he believed from the rest. The result is a thin paste up known as the Jefferson Bible. It omits anything to do with the divinity of Jesus, anything to do with eternal life, anything to do with the supernatural. What remains is a document that accords with the teachings of the ancient philosophers from whom he got his core teachings.
Sadly, many Christians are like that. The result is not a bible, or a biblical belief. It is a man-made religion based on man’s wisdom. They have elevated the product of their rational minds above the Word of Almighty God. Now they are perfectly free to do that. We all are given free will. But to then call themselves “Christian” is to totally misrepresent the meaning of the word. Indeed it strips it of all meaning.
The Bible makes clear that a Christian is a believer in Jesus Christ – that he is God, that He came to earth, that not only did He die to set us free from the sin nature with which we are born, but He died to satisfy the death penalty we all were under as fallen creatures, eternally separated from God. Further a Christian believes also that Christ not only offered Himself up to satisfy eternal justice, to thus set us free from our sin nature, translate us from the kingdom of Satan into the Kingdom of God, and to give us the promise of eternity in Heaven as opposed to hell, and that we are born again by nothing more than faith-believing that all God’s Word says about Him is true-but it also teaches that He was raised again from the dead as evidence that His sacrifice was accepted, He ascended to Heaven where He is reunited with the Father and has sent the Holy Spirit (the third person of the One Godhead) to indwell all believers until He returns to set up His Kingdom on earth. Those are the key beliefs that a Christian must hold. To reject or demur from any is to deny the plain teaching of the Word of God.
Now if you believe all of those teachings, how can you separate out other teachings of the Word of God and say, “These I do NOT believe”? Since you know there is a God, since you know there is a Jesus, since you know what it is that Jesus teaches, since you know enough to become a Christian, and since you got it ALL from the Bible, then how can you decide on any other point of doctrine that the Bible is not to be believed? It makes no sense. It is illogical. To do that is to be a Jefferson – it is to elevate your own thinking and word above God’s.
The Bible says that there will come a Day of God’s Wrath and it will be poured out on the earth (Deuteronomy 31:17; Romans 2:5; Revelation 11:18; 14:19; 15:7; 16:19; 19:15). But it also teaches plainly that those who are “in Christ” are not appointed to wrath. (1 Thessalonians 5:9) It teaches that before Christ comes again there will be a catching away of His church-literally His “called out ones”-living and dead, who will be removed from the earth before the time of the pouring out of His Wrath. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:50-57) How can anybody read those verses and then deny that the Bible teaches there is a Rapture? Timing aside, how can somebody do that?
Now the issue of timing is an interesting one and one I will deal with in another article. But let nobody who claims to be a Christian utter so illogical a statement as “The Rapture is a myth”. For if that is an example of your logic, then everything else you logically believe should be called into question, too.