Our Current Study:
The Book of Mark
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...Here's An Answer!
(Below we have the questions that have been submitted to us and have prayerfully considered and answered them. If you have further questions, please feel free to submit those and we will get the answer posted. God bless.)
Q: Does the church have a statement of belief on the rapture?
A: The church nor the denomination has an official position on the rapture of the church. There are different options that have been debated in the church since the ascension of Jesus. The major debate concerns when the church will be taken. Some hold that the church will be taken away before the tribulation. Others it will be snatched away during the tribulation. Still others after this catastrophic event.
While I was in seminary I heard persons whom I have great respect for debate which of these theories are correct. I never heard them come to consensus as to which position was correct. All of us have opinions as to which stance to take and I have heard many of those discussed in many different settings. As I turn to Scripture to seek the mind of God I have not found where God has clearly stated that this is when He will take His church from this existing world. I have not found a clear statement of when. However I find this written in 1 Thess. 4:13 – 18 ".Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words."
Personally, I hope that I will be taken away before the tribulation. I don't want to witness the wrath of God poured out upon this world. But I would not take a bullet for that position, nor any of the other positions for I have not found it clearly written in Scripture when. If that was central to my salvation I know that God would have made it very clear. I pray that we are content with our position in Christ that whenever he chooses to come to receive us, either by death or the rapture we will be ready to spend our eternity with Him. If that is not your position I plead with you to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. My desire is to be with each of you in His kingdom forever and ever. If you would like to seek Him we would love to show His plan for your life in Scripture.
In His Grace
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