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THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD

WHAT ARE MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THE RAPTURE?



I have been putting a lot of thought about this. With all of the books like the "Left Behind" series and all of the End-Times Prophecy Shows on Christian Television stations, I think that it will be okay for me to put my toes in and wade a little away from shore in this discussion. What I have to say might be against the norms of most so-called Evangelicals but I'm not a normal so-called Evangelical. I'm very much a person that goes against the flow of most thinking. I'm very much a fish that flows against the current and I want to do so to challenge some of the misguided beliefs and thoughts in modern-day churches. Since this page was first posted, I've gotten a lot of email messages and guestbook entries telling me that I've got it all wrong and if I don't change my ways and adopt their thoughts that I'll be going straight to Hell instead of Heaven.

What I first want to say about this matter is that there is too much time and effort given to discussion of the End-Times, the Book of Revelations, and the Rapture. It will happen when ADONAI wants it to happen and we lowly dirt-crawlers on Earth do not have the mind of and authority over ADONAI. What we think will not upset ADONAI's timetable and cause Y'SHUA to come back any sooner than when He should be coming. We have NO POWER!!! over ADONAI and Y'SHUA so the people who think that what they try to do is important in the speeding up the timetable of prophecies are instead wasting precious time that should be used to help out their fellow dirt-crawlers on the Earth and share the Good News of Salvation.

I'm not one who confirms to the belief that before all the troubles begin in the Tribulation all the people who say that they believe in the L-RD will be lifted up and be taken away to a safe place before the true "End-Times" happen. Most Evangelicals are Pre-Tribulationists and they seem to want to look for the "Easy Way Out". There really isn't a true and exact reference to rapture and when it will happen in the Bible.

The concept of "Pre-Trib Rapture" was first thought up by one man in the 1830s, John Nelson Darby, who was a prominent preacher among the Plymouth Brethren. Others feel that it might have started after a vision of a 15-year old Scottish-Irish girl named Margaret MacDonald (a follower of Edward Irving), was later published in 1861. The vision had occurred in the 1830s.

In 1908, the doctrine of the rapture was further popularized by an evangelist named William Eugene Blackstone. His book, Jesus Is Coming, sold more than one million copies. The first known appearance of the theological use of the word "rapture" in print occurs with the Scofield Reference Bible of 1909.

During the 1970s, the rapture became popular in wider circles, in part due to the books of Hal Lindsey, including The Late Great Planet Earth, which has reportedly sold between 15 million and 35 million copies. There are some verses or parts of verses in the Bible that give some vague reference to the concept.

I strongly feel that if Rapture will ever happen before or during the time that Y'SHUA returns back to Earth for his Second-Coming it will happen after the Tribulation period. I feel very much that all who say are believers will be tested in one way or another to really find out whether they are the Real McCoy or somebody just going through the motions. Is that person a "Sunday-only Christian" who basically occupies a space in a pew or is that person one who lives out their faith "24/7/365"?

Another thing that I cannot understand is why ADONAI would allow a person to have a taste of Heaven but didn't allow that person the full-benefits and privileges of Heaven after the "FINAL JUDGEMENT". The Bible says that not all who call out the L-RD's name will be in his flock at the end. The L-RD says in Matthew 7:21

"Not every one that says unto me, L-RD, L-RD, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven."

A true believer knows that their assurance lies within their own heart and not in the knowledge that they have in their brain. People can miss Heaven by 18 inches (the distance between the brain and the heart).

Benjamin Franklin was quoted to have said, "The Scriptures assured him that we will be judged not on what we thought but on what we did." He also said, "That he didn't want to forego religion from any man but he wished it to be more of charity, kindness, and mercy not of the action of attending long services, the saying of long prayers, and the hearing of long sermons. If a man's religion were to consist solely of the latter three things, it would be like a tree being proud to be pruned and watered but not producing any fruit." Keeping this in mind, I tell people that in most Protestant churches there are more bonsai trees than apple trees.

I strongly believe that the real key in if a person will ever enter Heaven can be found in 15 verses in the Book of Matthew right before the "Betrayal and the Last Supper". The verses that I am talking about are Matthew 25:31-46 right after the "Parable of the Talents".

"When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left. "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.' "Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me - you did it to me.' "Then he will turn to the 'goats,' the ones on his left, and say, 'Get out, worthless goats! You're good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because - I was hungry and you gave me no meal, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was homeless and you gave me no bed, I was shivering and you gave me no clothes, Sick and in prison, and you never visited.' "Then those 'goats' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn't help?' "He will answer them, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me - you failed to do it to me.' "Then those 'goats' will be herded to their eternal doom, but the 'sheep' to their eternal reward."
Translation courtesy of Eugene Peterson's "The Message".

What I am trying to say is that the key to whether we enter Heaven or not is how we treat our fellow man. Do you show compassion to whomever who needs it? Do you just "Talk the Walk" or do you actually live it out by "Walking the Walk"? Is your faith just lip service? This is the real key and I hope and pray that you understand and really have the L-RD live in your heart.



SHALOM IN Y'SHUA's NAME



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