Rapture Teaching: Is it Harming the Church?

trumpetangel
Perhaps you have seen the bumper stickers that claim “this vehicle will be empty in case of rapture.” It’s a nice testament of the driver’s faith, but is it misguided?

I am not going to attempt to explain the wide range of rapture teachings in the church today nor do I plan to endorse one theory over another. I do have a belief on the matter, but it is not relevant to my faith. It’s an interesting study, but that is all it should be. We can save those debates for another day.

The problem with the focus on rapture teachings in the church is that we have created an entire generation of people who expect to be whisked away in the twinkling of an eye when the going gets rough. Whether that happens or whether it is pop theology, does it breed complacency in the church?

It is good to study prophecy, but are pastors fulfilling prophecy by talking about it? Are we becoming a lukewarm church because we are so focused on prophecy that we forget the great commission? Have we forgotten that our purpose is God given and that we are here to live as the body of Christ and not to sit around ignoring the world around us?

God didn’t command us to sit on our thumbs waiting for Him to come get us. He gave us lives to live and missions to tend. We should focus on living as Christians and allow God to work out the end in His own perfect time. He’s going to do that anyway.

People often talk about signs pointing to the end. It is difficult to watch the news and not think there may be some validity to their arguments. Throughout history, we have had good times and bad times. We have endured disasters and celebrated triumphs. We have had wars, famines, feasts, and prosperity. God has always been present. God’s purpose has never changed. By convincing ourselves that we are living in the end times, are we taking our eyes off of our mission?

It is good to believe that Jesus is coming soon. He said he was. The point is to tell other people that same message of hope. What if, like two thousand years worth of believers before us, Jesus doesn’t return in our lifetimes? It would be a waste of our faith to sit and do nothing for Christ. After all, Jesus didn’t come to offer salvation to the saved, he came to save the lost. Now, it’s our job to tell them. He’ll come when He is ready.

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9 thoughts on “Rapture Teaching: Is it Harming the Church?

  1. Good stuff. I’ve grown shakier on the Rapture as I’ve gotten older, and seen more and more of my lifespan behind me. I don’t know that I expect rescue any longer; what I hope for instead is the Grace that will let me face whatever God has in mind with “It is well.”

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  2. It is well indeed. People like to get all worked up over things that are not in their control, and they forget that God is in charge. Grace is the gift that we must share with others.

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  3. You said it well, and I do believe that so-called “doomsday prophecy” can and does lead to a certain level of complacency. I also see that this type of theology becomes too self-centered because being “whisked away” is all about “me” … to heck with everyone else. I want “mine”!!

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  4. You take all the fun out of the popular church game, “Pick the Anti-Christ!” I tend to believe in the rapture, but I’m a lot like Tony. This belief has gotten a little shakier as I’ve gotten older. The way I look at it, it doesn’t matter if I get whisked away or if Jesus just comes back. Either way, I know where I’m headed.I do agree with you about the complacency in the church, but I’m not sure its a by-product of rapture-watching. I think it has more to do with a general lack of commitment and desire for evangelism than anything else.

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  5. Gregory, you are right. Complacency has a lot of causes. Rapture teaching has just become the current popular distraction. I believe in it too, but not in the same sense as the pop theologians.Maybe someone can start a pick an antichrist reality show.Thanks for reading.

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