The Problem of the Rapture

“Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls…Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed.” 1st Peter Chapter 1

Imagine a day so beautiful there is no words that could do it justice and only a joyous ache in your chest because the beauty changes everything about you. It’s an analogy but pretty much sums up why Christianity started in the first place, because it symbolizes the basic design of Christianity: a faith, a hope, and a love because of the day Jesus walked out his tomb and illuminated all days beautiful beyond words. (But here, words are all I have. So try as I will. 🙂

Enter the “Rapture”

Fast forward 2,000 years later and some religious zealots in America invent this weird doctrine that takes that hope (what the Lord’s life means) and say it hasn’t happened enough yet. As though fulfilling the Messiah’s earthly mission, and resurrecting from a crucified death is not the point!? Nope, not for rapture believers. For them, there’s still this time when he’s going to snatch everyone up into the sky and have violent rage on the earth against those he doesn’t.

Let’s me be clear. The rapture and it’s necessary counterparts are false doctrines that corrupt the Christian basis for a life in Christ. Period.

“For this you have been called, Christ left you an example, so you can follow,” 1 Peter 2:21 (my exegetical paraphrase).

Anything that takes your eyes off the prize has missed the point. A doomsday is not the point, Jesus is!

The problem is not the rapture but getting Christian hope wrong. Christ’s resurrection is such a transformative reality it lights the paths of every future step; Jesus now, as he is, is our basis for every act as his beloved. That is the point of the Bible. Weird escapism and masochistic doomsday scenarios move us away from the light made for our paths and move us toward fear. But God didn’t leave us with fear, he left us with love. There is no rapture but the rapture we have in Jesus and that should illuminate the thoughts of our minds and actions; all of them.

The eschatology talk in the Bible is for transformation, action, and hope. It’s the starting point not the ending point.

“Christianity is completely and entirely and utterly hope – a looking forward and a forward direction; hope is not just an appendix.”
-Juergen Moltmann

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