NOTE: I believe that a literal Rapture event will take place. Regardless of what I believe about when this event will occur, I am READY FOR ALL POSSIBILITIES whether that means escaping the Tribulation or having to endure it for some period of time.
I think anyone who visits this site will know from the outset that I believe in an actual, physical Rapture event to occur at some point during these end times. This is precisely why I chose the name "Look Up Fellowship" for this ministry.
I'll admit that I've always kept an open mind, however, about the timing (i.e. Pre-Tribulation; Mid-Tribulation; Post-Tribulation; 2 Raptures interpretations), and have also listened to what some sincere Christians have had to say about us having to experience some of the horrors that are in store for this planet and humanity during Daniel's 70th Week. I guess you could say that I'm still listening - - to some extent.
Why? Because that just fits with the general approach of this ministry, which is to be willing to consider alternate views from other Brothers and Sisters in Christ so that I can prayerfully consider whether or not any of them have any merit. The hope is that one person might have a small piece of the puzzle while someone else has another small piece. Together those pieces make a complete whole and help us to better understand God's plan.
Ultimately, I hope it goes without saying that EVERYTHING must agree with God's Word as found in His Holy Bible or it isn't to be taken as truth.
That being said, my intent with this entry is not to start an intense and on-going debate about the existence or the timing of the Rapture. Instead, I simply want to share something significant that Petros (a community member) alerted me to recently.
The author of an article he referenced makes the case that the Rapture is spoken of quite unmistakably in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Furthermore, the writer provides what I think is crystal clear evidence that the meaning of the Greek noun apostasia has been misinterpreted from its original or more common definition.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 - - "Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction."
Rather than include the entire article here for you to read (it's not long though) I'll give you a little taste of some of the incredible conclusions that are presented. Here are some amazing snippets from this eye-opening piece:
"I believe that there is a strong possibility that 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is speaking of the rapture. What do I mean? Some pretribulationists,like myself, think that the Greek noun apostasia, usually translated 'apostasy,' is a reference to the rapture and should be translated 'departure.' Thus, this passage would be saying that the day of the Lord will not come until the rapture comes before it. If apostasia is a reference to a physical departure, then 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is strong evidence for pretribulationism."
"The Greek noun apostasia is only used twice in the New Testament...The verb is used fifteen times in the New Testament. Of these fifteen, only three have anything to do with a departure from the faith."
"Again, how would the Thessalonians, or Christians in any century since, be qualified to recognize the apostasy when it should come, assuming, simply for the sake of this inquiry, that the Church might be on earth when it does come? There has been apostasy from God, rebellion against Him, since time began."
"I wonder if you have noticed the striking parallel between this verse and verses 7-8, a little further down. According to your suggestion verse 3 mentions the departure of the church as coming first, and then tells of the revealing of the man of sin. In verses 7 and 8 we find the identical sequence. Verse 7 tells of the removal of the Church; verse 8 says: 'And then shall that Wicked be revealed.' Thus close examination of the passage shows an inner unity and coherence, if we take the word apostasia in its general sense of 'departure,' while a superficial examination would easily lead to an erroneous interpretation as 'falling away' because of the proximity of the mention of the man of sin."
"The fact that apostasia most likely has the meaning of physical departure is a clear support for pretribulationism. If this is true, (Dr. Tim LaHaye and I believe that it is), then it means that a clear prophetic sequence is laid out by Paul early in his Apostolic ministry. Paul teaches in 2 Thessalonians 2 that the rapture will occur first, before the Day of the Lord commences. It is not until after the beginning of the Day of the Lord that the Antichrist is released, resulting in the events described by him in chapter 2 of 2 Thessalonians. This is the only interpretation that provides hope for a discomforted people. Maranatha!"
Personally, I found this to be the best analysis of this whole debate that I've read in quite some time. I know that there will be some who will light up the Comments Section and fiercely disagree with me, and that's ok. Like I said, I'm still keeping an open mind - - to an extent - - regarding all possibilities and scenarios (I think it's the right way to approach this topic until I can understand every related passage in the Bible for myself), but this is a pretty stunning case. In fact, I might even go so far as to state that it's a tough one to refute.
In one verse - - through the study of the true meaning of one word - - we seem to have proof that not only indicates that the Rapture is a real, future event, but we also have information that indicates when it will occur along the prophetic timeline for these last days.
Now, consider what we just looked at here last week about Daniel's Timeline and the case for the Great Tribulation beginning in either July 2009 or some time in 2010. Friends, that would mean that the Rapture (holding to a Pre-Trib position as was just demonstrated above) is closer than ever before! We could be talking months or even weeks, but no more than another year or so!
Could it be!?! Is God beginning to quicken the pace of this "unsealing" in these last days so that we will become emboldened in our faith, and share this news with anyone and everyone who will listen? I'm starting to believe that this is EXACTLY what's taking place here.
Please stay tuned the rest of the week because I'm putting the finishing touches on a new series of articles that takes this new revelation regarding the Rapture, mixes it with our findings from the Daniel's Timeline series, and adds an exclamation point you won't believe or want to miss!!!
Until then, keep looking up! Maranatha!!!
***UPDATE 3/3/09 : There are a few excellent comments already submitted in response to this entry. You can read them for yourself, but all make some great points and this is PRECISELY why I've found myself moving from one camp to another when it comes to the timing of the Rapture. No, I don't think it has already happened. Yes, I think it will definitely occur. Will it happen before the start of Daniel's 70th Week? Will it happen Mid-Tribulation at the 3.5 year mark? Will it occur at the end of the Tribulation at the 7 year mark? Will there be 2 distinct Rapture "escape" events? We'll soon find out, but please keep sharing your thoughts on this because there's still I lot to learn. In fact, one community member pointed out that the Daniel's Timeline main website has an entire section devoted to the Rapture that I didn't know about - - thank you. In any event, please check back often this week because I'm going to present some things that could bolster a case for the timing of this event.***
The Rapture In 2 Thessalonians 2:3
"They All Slumbered And Slept"
The Rapture Mentioned In Corinthians
Rethinking The Rapture Series (Parts 1-3)
Rethinking The Rapture (UPDATE)
I'm Still Watching For The Rapture
From Generation To Generation
What We're Praying/Talking About
Our faith in action, or our small contribution in trying to apply what we're taught in Hebrews 5-6 and James 2:17-26 for the benefit of our dear brothers and sisters within the Body of Christ...
Look Up Fellowship Media [LUFM]
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