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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by StefanM, Dec 29, 2005.
What rapture belief do you espouse?
I do believe that heaven and earth will come together, all creation will be renewed, and evil will finally be defeated.
But I don't think that the "up-down" metaphorical "apocalyptic" language refers to any literal up-down rapture.
It would be misleading to just vote in the negative to say that "I don't believe in the rapture", because that implies indirectly that I don't believe in the end-time renewal and the second coming.
I just don't believe that heaven is located in a direction that we can point with our finger. We use "up-down" language in order to get a handle on the more difficult cosmology of the location of heaven.
(EDIT: The way that most rapture language is used today borders dangerously on gnostic ideas of righteous souls escaping evil creation, rather than the biblical notion of a good creation that is infected with evil. Just MHO...)
Mel Miller - Junior Member 13061
Voted for Post-Trib "Gathering together above"
1. Jesus comes with "ALL the Saints". I Th.3:13
2. Raises all of us on the last day. Jn.6:40
3. No believer faces God's wrath. I Th.5:9
4. "Elect gathered above after trib." Mk.13:27
5. Believers "overcome to the END". Rv.2:26
6. God's wrath only at 7th Trumpet. Rv.11:18
7. Trump 7 "appointed time" for Rapture. "
8. Trump 7 "appointed time" for God's wrath. "
9. Time ends when it is about to sound. Rv.10:7
10. Temple opens as last Plague empties. Rv.15:5
11. No one enters Temple until " " ". Rv.15:8
12. Seal 7 God's Court of Judgment. Rv.8:1-5
All above occur "after the great tribulation"
Mel Miller at www.lastday.net
I believe that the Bible supports:
1) One death
2) One Second Coming for which we will have no warning signs.
3) One Judgement.
All the emphasis on the rapture, the tribulation, the millenium, and multiple judgements takes us away from our principle responsibility to pattern our lives after the Lord Jesus and to win the lost to Him.
While all the discussion is intellectually stimulating, truth is, we don't REALLY know for sure.
So right now, everyone needs to ready for whatever the Lord has in store, and we need to tell them how.
According to Scripture there will be a general resurrection of all the dead followed by the judgment:
John 5;28, 29, KJV
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
Also according to historic Baptist doctrine there will be a general resurrection and judgment as shown in the following paragraphs.
Abstract of Ptinciples
When the original charter of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary was adopted in 1858, it contained the following statement which continues as a part of the “fundamental laws.” Every professor of the institution shall be a member of a regular Baptist church; and all persons accepting professorships in this seminary shall be considered, by such acceptance, as engaging to teach in accordance with, and not contrary to, the Abstract of Principles hereinafter laid down, a departure from which principles on his part shall be considered grounds for his resignation or removal by the Trustees, to wit:
I. The Scriptures
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience.
There is but one God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, having in and of Himself, all perfections, and being infinite in them all; and to Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience.
III. The Trinity
God is revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being.
God from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not in any wise to be the author or approver of sin nor to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures.
Election is God’s eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life—not because of foreseen merit in them, but of His mere mercy in Christ—in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified.
VI. The Fall of Man
God originally created Man in His own image, and free from sin; but, through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby his posterity inherit a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law, are under condemnation, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become actual transgressors.
VII. The Mediator
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the divinely appointed mediator between God and man. Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the law; suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. He was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended to His Father, at whose right hand He ever liveth to make intercession for His people. He is the only Mediator, the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the Universe.
Regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who quickeneth the dead in trespasses and sins enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness. It is a work of God’s free and special grace alone.
Repentance is an evangelical grace, wherein a person being by the Holy Spirit, made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, humbleth himself for it, with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrence, with a purpose and endeavor to walk before God so as to please Him in all things.
Saving faith is the belief, on God’s authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ; accepting and resting upon Him alone for justification and eternal life. It is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by all other saving graces, and leads to a life of holiness.
Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of sinners, who believe in Christ, from all sin, through the satisfaction that Christ has made; not for anything wrought in them or done by them; but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith.
Those who have been regenerated are also sanctified by God’s word and Spirit dwelling in them. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of Divine strength, which all saints seek to obtain, pressing after a heavenly life in cordial obedience to all Christ’s commands.
XIII. Perseverance of the Saints
Those whom God hath accepted in the Beloved, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end; and though they may fall through neglect and temptation, into sin, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
XIV. The Church
The Lord Jesus is the head of the Church, which is composed of all His true disciples, and in Him is invested supremely all power for its government. According to His commandment, Christians are to associate themselves into particular societies or churches; and to each of these churches He hath given needful authority for administering that order, discipline and worship which He hath appointed. The regular officers of a Church are Bishops or Elders, and Deacons.
Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of Abstract of Principles giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is prerequisite to church fellowship, and to participation in the Lord’s Supper.
XVI. The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and wine, and to be observed by His churches till the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate His death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with Him, and of their church fellowship.
XVII. The Lord’s Day
The Lord’s Day is a Christian institution for regular observance, and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private, resting from worldly employments and amusements, works of necessity and mercy only excepted.
XVIII. Liberty of Conscience
God alone is Lord of the conscience; and He hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are in anything contrary to His word, or not contained in it. Civil magistrates being ordained of God, subjection in all lawful things commanded by them ought to be yielded by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
XIX. The Resurrection
The bodies of men after death return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God—the righteous to rest with Him; the wicked, to be reserved under darkness to the judgment. At the last day, the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised.
XX. The Judgment
God hath appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when every one shall receive according to his deeds; the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment; the righteous, into everlasting life.
The Second London Confession 
Chapter XXXI. Of the State of Man after Death and of the Resurrection of the Dead [page 293, Baptist Confessions of Faith by Lumpkin]
“1. The Bodies of Men after Death return to dust and see corruption; but their souls [which neither die nor sleep] having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them; the Souls of the righteous then being made perfect in holiness, are received into Paradise where they are with Christ, and behold the face of God in light and glory; waiting for the full redemption of their bodies; and the souls of the wicked, are cast into hell; where they remain in torment and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day; besides these two places for Souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledgeth none.
2. At the last day such of the Saints as are found alive shall not sleep but shall be changed; and all the dead shall be raised up with the self same bodies, and none other; although with different qualities, which shall be reunited with their Souls again forever.
3. The bodies of the unjust shall by the power of Christ be raised to dishonour; the bodies of the just by His Spirit unto honour, and be made conformable to His own glorious body.”
Chapter XXXII. Of the Last Judgment [page 294]
“1. God hath appointed a Day wherein He will judge the world in Righteousness, by Jesus Christ; to Whom all power and judgment is given of the Father; in which Day not only the Apostate Angels shall be judged; but likewise all persons that have lived upon the Earth, shall appear before the tribunal of Christ; to give an account of their thoughts, Words, and Deeds, and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil.
2. The end of Gods appointing this Day is for the manifestation of the glory of His Mercy, in the Eternal Salvation of the Elect, and of His Justice in the Eternal damnation of the Reprobate who are wicked and disobedient; for then shall the Righteous go into everlasting life, and receive the fullness of Joy, and Glory, with everlasting reward in the presence of the Lord; but the wicked who know not God, and obey not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into Eternal torments, and punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.
3. As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a Day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin and for greater consolation of the godly, in their adversity; so will he have that day unknown to Men, that they may shake off all carnal security, and be always watchful, because they know not at what hour, the Lord will come; and may ever be prepared to say, Come Lord Jesus, Come quickly, Amen.”
The New Hampshire Confession 
Article XVIII. Of the World to Come [page 367, Lumpkin]
“We believe that the end of this world is approaching: that at the last day, Christ will descend from heaven, and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution; that a solemn separation will then take place; that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment and the righteous to endless joy; and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness.”
Southern Baptist Convention [1925 and 1963]
Article X. Last Things [page 397, Lumpkin]
“God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will dwell forever in heaven with the Lord.”
Off topic here responses will be addressed
ON TOPIC at:
Do you believe in the rapture? (Page 7)
Pre-tribulation rapture 34% (10)
Post-tribulation rapture 24% (7)
Mid-tribulation rapture (or mid-70th week) 0% (0)
Pre-wrath rapture 10% (3)
Other (please define) 10% (3)
I am not premillennial/ do not believe in a rapture 21% (6)
I responded "other". I am not sure that "rapture" is the best way to describe what Paul was writing about being "caught up". I am not convinced that the "sevens" in Daniel's prophecy should be interpreted as weeks. Like has been shared by another, I believe that Heaven is not so easily located as to say it is "up there", and that some of the language we must read and interpret should not be taken too literally. I definitely believe that it is God's plan to restore all His creation, to make all things holy. That means that the restored world of the future will not be anything like the world we know today. I give absolutely no credence whatsoever to the Left Behind series - those books are a fiction - plain and simple. As I have learned from C.S. Lewis, God has a way of doing things in a way we cannot expect or predict. I believe the truth about the future of God's plan has many wonderful surprises in store for us.
I responded pre-tribulation rapture of the church because I believe the Bible teaches it.
I'm posttrib. You saying, you believe in pretrib, because the Bible teaches it.
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!
If there is but one "general resurrection", one
could not teach that a 1000 year reign of Christ
separates the "first resurrection" from the
"second death" and still be a Seminary teacher.
The Scriptural explanation is that the "last
day", in God's view is no more than a "single
day"! Peter clearly states that, with God,
"a single day is like 1000 years and 1000
years is like DAY ONE". 2 Pet.3:8.
That DAY will climax with "all things made
new" to begin the eternal Day of God when
new heavens and earth will replace the old.
The entire period is looked upon by God as
coming "like a thief" since 1000 years to
Him is irrelevant to the question of "time".
Mel Miller Junior Member 13061 www.lastday.net
I'm sorry, but that day=1000 years thing needs to be cut down back to context. It's a weed growing out of control that people have used for centuries to try to render anything that the bible says concerning time erronious.
In context, the day=1000 years thing refers to how God can still claim to be coming "soon," because to God, such mesures of time are irrelevant, and he will come at precicely the right time. But it should never be understood as more than that. If we do, where do we stop? Do we say that christ was raised 3000 years after he died? Do we understand God's promise to abraham that his decendents would be slaves in egypt 400 years as a promise that they'd be slaves for about 9 hours?
Now, if there is no rapture seperate from the appearing of Christ, then the ressurection of the dead is going to look pretty funny. Since all the living saints have not been raptured into heaven, God appears with his dead ones. However, according to I Thessolonains, when he appears to take his saints on earth and judge the world, the dead have to be raised first. Therefore, all his dead saints dismount, plummit to the earth at breakneck speed, undergo bodily ressurection, then fly back up, mount their horses, and then everyone goes back to earth again to bring in God's kingdom.
I doubt that our souls are going to act like yo-yo's on the day of the ressurection of the dead.
You are mistaken None of the founders of the initial Southern Baptist Seminary believed in an earthly millennial reign.
I voted "other". Though I am millenial, I'm not convinced pre, mid, mid-week or post trib Second Coming.
This has been used before but I guess I'm "Pan-trib". It will all pan out in the end.
Although I am mistaken about the stance of the
original founders, they would not be able to
disprove that the Millennial Reign of Christ
separates the "First Resurrection" and the "2nd
Therefore, Seminary teachers who hold to the
Pre-Mil position would still be able to teach.
I voted for a pre-trib rapture because that is the one theory that is best supported by Scripture in its entirety. The other views can be supported by quoting a verse here and there, but when everything is put together and Scripture taken in its entirety none of the other positions make sense IMHO.
I recently learned that the "Rapture" concept is a rather new idea - first posited by an American named Darby about 200 years ago. If this is in fact true, does it not raise concerns that we have not heard of this concept from the Church Fathers, such as Luther, Augustine, Jerome, Ignatius, Origen, etc.?
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
The concept of the "rapture" has been in the Scriptures all along.
"caught up" is the greek word "harpazo" (snatch away) which was translated as one of the several old Latin words ot the itala Bible (2nd century) begining with "Rap..." rapto, rapturo, etc around the second century then made it's way into the vulgate.
The debate is over when we will meet Him "in the air" in the scenario of the final judgement of the world.
What's new with the Darby view is that the Second Coming has two stages, one in secret to snatch away the Church, then publicly to judge the world.
Historically it was probably a Catholic dogma but abandoned a long time ago.
There are also those who want to allegorize "in the clouds...in the air" but the whole idea seems quite literal since it is the way He left (Acts 1:9-10) along with the promise that He would return in like manner (Acts 1:11).
[ December 31, 2005, 11:21 AM: Message edited by: HankD ]
None of the Church "fathers" after Augustine
referenced the Millennial teaching that was
held by Justin Martin and Irenaeus. Therefore
there was no expectation for Christ to redeem Israel and restore them to the promised place
of rulership over the nations.
One of my favorite preachers of the 19th cent, Charles Spurgeon, taught the Pre-Millennial return of Christ; but he was a strong opponent of Darby's view of a Pre-Trib Rapture.
Mel Miller Junior Member 13061