Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Why Is The Rapture Not Considered Heretical?

How is the doctrine of the Rapture not considered heresy?

There, I said it. I have honestly been thinking about how to ask this question without coming off as offensive or sound like I am calling people the "H" word which has been applied to me as well as has often been applied to some of my friends. I want to make that it is clear I am not trying to label anyone, anything.

One of the main arguments I hear about "heretical" doctrines is that the majority of the historical church did not hold to such beliefs and therefore, they are rendered unorthodox and heretical.

However, the Rapture seems to only date back to around the 18th century as far as I can tell (made popular by John Nelson Darby), and is not even held by most Christians in the world today, and yet it has become, in some camps, crucial and even a non-negotiable doctrine.

Seems to me the scriptures are clear about God coming to dwell with God's people, not God's people going to dwell with God.

What are your thoughts? Would love to see a real discussion around this topic.

i Would love to hear from both sides on this.


Thomas said...

I've always had a similar view. I tend to describe it as a heterodox view, which technically means it falls outside the norm but is short of being heretical.

Anonymous said...

When I was 19 I had great Biblical knowledge, at 21 I totally understood the book of Daniel and The Revelation, as a 30 year old pastor I was starting to see some cracks in my Theology, at 34 I had questions about the local church, at 40 I was questioning most things, at 45 I was questioning everything, at 54 I changed my mind about most of the things I had been taught. Today at 61 I'm leaving my inner city mission, taking my wife out for our anniversary with our adopted African son, when I get home we're going to sit in the yard and talk about the Love of Jesus and His sacrifice for all men. Rapture, post-mid-pre-none, don't know don't care. joe

JustinGaynor said...

I like Joe.

It is considered heretical. Not because people don't agree with the view (myself included), but because the view doesn't agree with the self revelation of God and His view of His good creation for which he sent his Son to die, the creation that groans in travail for the revealing of the Sons of God who are to be it's proper eternal stewards and caretakers under His guidance.

Jkub said...


I think I would see it the other way around. I would consider it more a heresy though it does seem to be the norm or popular among many evangelical types.


That's awesome. Agreed. Thanks for sharing.


I was hoping to hear from you on this one. I'm actually surprised there hasn't been more commentsj and interaction because I know there'd are people om both sides that read. I don't know if I'll take it any further or not for now.

Really what I wanted to point out is the fact that it's not historical and for many people, that seems to be a deal breaker for most other beliefs and doctrines.

paul tilly said...

I know Jesus will return.I do not claim to be absolutely sure about the details. My thoughts are that if God wanted us to know beyond doubt, He would not have left such a cryptic description of it. My guess is He is hoping we will all focus on our neighbors thus making the final chapter happier no matter how it gets written.

Jkub said...

Way to take the middle of the road Paul, haha.

While I am fine with claiming that we just don't know the details, there is a big difference in Jesus coming back to set up the kingdom here on earth than a select few Christians getting sucked up to go be somewhere else.

I think this is one of those things where your eschatology will effect how you live now. I know you are a fan of the environment and taking care of it and I am with you, but if the rapture is a correct doctrine and the world is going to burn up and Christians are going to sound eternity somewhere else... then I think you are wasting your time.

However Paul (the apostle not you) seems to suggest that all of creation is in groaning and longing for things to be made right... If the rapture happens, creation is in for a big surprise and a big let down.

Paul Tilly said...

Well the middle is when you believe something that falls between two beliefs. I am simply saying I have no idea which if either is correct.

I'll try to formulate a better (middle) ground by this weekend. We'll discuss it over wings!

michael j. kimpan said...

interestingly, i brought up this same question with a co-worker who attends another church in our area, and when i stated that it seemed clear to me (as well) that the scriptures speak of heaven coming to earth and not 'us' escaping away to heaven, it was i who was labeled a heretic. sheesh! ;)

Neal said...

good thoughts Justin. I have a slightly different question: Most people that have a rapture theory will tell you that they read the Bible literally. Everyone that I have heard postulating these things uses the Bible as a code - using the Bible as code is the opposite of reading it literally, isn't it?


Jesus says he will return to take us where he is. The dwelling place of Jesus now is in Heaven. He will therefore take us to be with him in Heaven.“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me [that you also may be WHERE I AM]. You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:1-4

So why will God Rapture only his select chosen, the believers in Christ who do his will?

Because those left behind will experience Gods anger for not doing the will of GOD.

"It is because this is the hour of God’s wrath upon a Christ-rejecting world. This is the hour reserved for those who chose to pleasure themselves in unrighteousness, who thumbed their noses at God’s son, Jesus Christ.

And it is also because God has not appointed this church unto wrath, but to obtain salvation found only in Jesus Christ." Ron Hamman is pastor of Independent Baptist Church of Wasilla. Contact him at 357-4229

Remember when Peter walked on water and fell because when the water tossed he grew afraid and he took his eyes off Jesus and so he began to fall.
"Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him."You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31

If you become preoccupied with the things of this world, and with the cares of this world, with false prophecies of Christ's return you will take your eyes of the truth of GOD and become blind to his promises.

Do not doubt the Lord Jesus's return for it will happen soon. Do not let the devil sow doubt in your hearts. Trust in God and God alone.
“It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority." Acts 1: 7

Jesus said after being raised from the dead "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."John 14:2

Remember the Ascension of Jesus "Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."—Acts 1:9-11

Just as the Lord Jesus ascended into Heaven likewise he will return to take us with him.

Jesus tells us in his word to "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." Matthew 25:13

"For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." —Matthew 24:27

The Coming of Christ will be seen by all mankind " Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." —Matthew 24:30

The Lord Jesus will return to redeem those that do his will "And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." —Matthew 24:31

On that day Jesus will first raise the righteous dead."For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first." —1 Thessalonians 4:16

And those that are alive will be caught up to meet him in the air"Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord." —1 Thessalonians 4:17


The day of the Rapture is soon upon us

The disciples asked Jesus
“Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?” He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.” Luke 21-7:9

Jesus has warned us to "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”Luke 21:34-36