Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rapture Questions and Answers

After tackling the last elephant - Are Christians raptured? - many of you had questions, comments, or were more than willing to share your opinion. I appreciate the feedback and wanted to help clarify some of the questions that were directed my way.

First, again, we as Christians can all agree that Jesus will return - the debate begins as to when that occurs. As a premillenialist, I personally believe that Jesus will return before the thousand year reign (See Rev. 20) . Amillenialists feel a little differently about the matter. Starting with Augustine a few years back, their belief is that the millenium is not a literal 1000 year reign but is merely symbolic. This was actually the predominant view during the middle ages and before the reformation. A third option here is that of a postmillenialist. This view takes the position that there is a literal 1000 year reign, but that Christ does not return until after the 1000 years. Their belief is that the church itself would usher in the 1000 years of peace through the means of evangelism leading to the overall and gradual transformation of the world. This became the majority view during the reformation and some obviously subscribe to this view today. However, the majority view today would probably be that of the premillenialist mindset.

Secondly, as a premillenialist, we could be in essentially one of two camps. A pretribulationist or a posttribulationist. A pretribulationist believes that Christ returns before the tribulation and takes out "raptures" the christians. They also believe that Christ returns for a 2nd time after the 7 years of tribulation. A posttribulationist believes the Jesus' second coming is an event that happens only once at the end of the 7 years of tribulation. After this, Christ sets up his 1000 year reign.

Hope this clarifies a few things for some who were wondering. There is a lot more depth here but I wanted to try to simplify rather than muddy the waters any further.

Blessings and enjoy your Thanksgiving!