I was curious as to why there are so very few of us?
Also,I was never taught about Rapture when I was growing up.
I only discovered it through Harold Camping.
Do any of you wonder why this teaching isn't more widespread?
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I was curious as to why there are so very few of us?
Also,I was never taught about Rapture when I was growing up.
I only discovered it through Harold Camping.
Do any of you wonder why this teaching isn't more widespread?
Shannon, I think that is the answer, because it's not being taught in the churches. I go to a Calvary Chapel church, and we do believe in the rapture, but it isn't taught in the pulpit either.
Actually, the first time I heard of the rapture was watching Jimmy Swaggart in the mid 80's. He talked about it all the time. Much like your experience hearing it through Harold Camping. But it really isn't being taught much in a lot of churches, and I have attended several of them when looking for a home church to settle in.
There is a lot of criticism of televangelists lately, but one of the good things about them is several of them teach and talk about the rapture. But if believers don't watch televangelists on TV or not being taught in the pulpits, how would they know about the rapture if they don't study the Bible on their own or go to Bible studies that teach about the rapture?
I think it might have to do with the fact that it's also not very easy to teach from the pulpit. The rapture doctrine isn't so clearly explained within a typical 45 minute sermon. Then also, it can be a divisive issue, with one camp saying pre-trib, the next camp saying post-trib, etc.
Just the symbolism itself takes some degree of study and requires dedication and digging that the average congregation might find difficult to sift through.
We all are pretty familiar with the Jewish Wedding Model as it relates to the Church as Jesus' bride, here again, explaining the intricacies might be too lengthy and confusing for those entirely unacquainted with Judaism.
Another factor is the development of Protestantism since Luther. Luther for the mostpart kept to the Roman Catholic allegorized view of end times, and thus all the major denominations springing from the Lutheran church also were/are slow to delve into and teach the rapture. In fact, many Lutheran-era churches haven't changed their stance on the rapture doctrine and still hold to the allegorical view.
I think it is because Pastors and Christians were taught that no man can know the hour of Jesus' coming.
They failed to search the deeper meaning of the word of the Lord therefore no one is watching and searching for the day.
Perhaps they failed to read Revelation 3:3 "Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee."
Base on this verse, If we watch and search the Bible, Jesus will not come as a thief to us and we shall know the hour of his coming. Amen!
shannon marie, I PRAISE GOD that tho you found out about the rapture through Camping, you did not become a scoffer when his dates were wrong - date setting as Camping did is never a good idea, but God even used him to reach some& works in mysterious ways!
You shoulda been here in September/October! Watchers everywhere! I believe they are still "out there", but the fire isn't as hot as it was during those months last year, as so many, many signs appeared to be occurring all at the same time. I guess some are "smoldering", still coming and reading posts occasionally, but hopes were dampened when it didn't occur during the feast days last fall. They are still watching, but maybe with one eye on it, the other "occupying til He come".
The devil hates this Truth ~~
I can't think of a greater joy on earth than being a watcher til our Snatch. What a blessed gift!
. . . Worldly things tend to fade when realizing daily we're sojourners passing through ~~
Hold on luvs . . Spirited hearts, like flint, we're looking up, looking forward to being taken to Jesus ~~ it's in our spiritual dna!!
Joy moves us by faith in the One Who's preparing to come sweep us to the Heavenly Bridegroom~~ oh, evermore His nearness will overwhelm our souls with heavenly bliss . .He is Heaven, and any moment we shall always be with Him, our very God we adore~
RITAN's are blessed to continue asking: "is today the day" . . . no man can take this assurance of the catching away embedded in our hearts. Is watching daily easy? Jesus knew it wouldn't be but assures us over and over it's worth it . .
The devil is insanely furious and jealous that any soul on earth belongs to our Amazing Mighty and Holy God, that we are blessed with such trust and faith over our future Jesus Himself so willingly died for ~~~
It IS any day we shall ever be with our God, close to Him, gazing on the beautiful magnificent and glorious Lord . . soon on His Holy Mountain in His Holy City ~~~ Christ's Heart even now I believe is being felt by all in Heaven with Holy shakings of anticipation ~~ I bet our angels are verrrrrrrry excited!
Short answer is that most folks do not read or study their Bible. If they did, they might learn something.
"Study to show thyself approved under God - a worker that need not be ashamed - rightly dividing the Word"
It seems there will be a lot of shamed Christians when they meet their Lord.
When I was a little country girl in the hills of Virginia, I had a very vivid dream of walking home from the school bus stop. While passing my cousins house, I looked up and saw clouds rolling, approaching and Jesus was in the middle of them. I have technically been a "watcher" since my youth. I think He called me to watch at an early age, in vision and dream. Though it isn't ALL I do, as a Christian, it is part of my "dna" as Donna so eloquently put it. I have believed He will come in my lifetime and I don't think anyone can deter me from that. Not after what I've seen. BTW, I am now 45.
When I was 7 or 8 years old my mom read to me Revelations 21-22. I remember being facinated with the depiction of the River of Life and the City made of gold. I remember bouncing on the couch while mom read it to me. I think it is something in our spiritual DNA.
I've also just been reawakened to it this past December. Its a latent thing in some people, God is waking us up!
People who have let their love grow cold don't look forward to their wedding day so much.
Many shepherds are content and satisfied with their flocks. If the shepherds were digging deeper into the things of God, the sheep would also know about them.
Many older Christians remember times in the past when excitement over an expected rapture peaked, then drifted by causing doubt and damage in the body of Christ who had trusted in the calculations rather than the Lord God. They do not want to be burned again. My wife is one of those. Hopeful for my expectations, but not willing to invest much in the watching. Hope deferred maketh the heart sick.
I had heard about the rapture in my non-denominational charismatic churches in which I began my walk with Christ. My receptionist gave me a copy of 88 reasons why the rapture would be in 1988 which made me look deeper. I found a lot in the Bible that wasn't generally taught, but has been known for a while. And I learned that impressive calculations are usually wrong. As we have seen here, over and over.
I think the timing question is - Is it based on a "special day" or a number count (Fullness of the Gentiles). Or both? I've come to decide that each and every one of the divine appointments that God gave Israel has some aspect which would make it a "good" time for the rapture, as well as the other Feasts celebrate by our Brothers in Adonai.
Or God could start a new "special day" like when Jesus ascended on the 40th day after Passover. And I watch every day. For at least thousands around the world, this IS the day when they will see Jesus.
I got into it because my Dad was into it. He'd heard about the Rapture through the book The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey. Verses he'd never understood as a boy (all eyes of the world shall see the two dead witnesses for three days) he now did (television).
Knowledge and wisdom increasing was of course going to the moon and building rockets.
When it didn't happen in the 70's, my Dad bought the 88 reasons for 1988 book, and then the 1994 book (which I believe was penned by Harold Camping), so I've always *wondered*.
My Dad was convinced he was of the generation. He's 77 now and not in the greatest of health. But even so, knowledge has increased so much MORE since the 70's -- Internet/cell phones/instant information, the more time goes on, the better the odds of the Rapture being right around the corner.
So I got my passion from my father. When the Gulf War happened in '91, I really thought it was time, but of course, I was a young teen and I hadn't studied much other than knowing there would be a big war in the Middle East.
Now that I know so much more about prophecy, it seems so obvious that it has to be soon. But I can't really talk about it with my family/friends, because even though a lot of them are Christian, they don't believe Christ will return for decades or centuries. Their mantra is if no man can know the day nor the hour, why bother watching? Christ will come when He comes.
While it is true Christ will come when He comes, I want to *know* when He'll come, because unlike them, I'm EXCITED to meet my Lord!!! :D
I think about "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. Matt 24:14.
I think the "fulfilling of the Gentiles" is when God has set a limit He has purposed in His heart to reach the soul of man with His spirit, drawing them with His lovingkindness. But He will not strive with man forever. There is a day He will cease and we will be gone to be with Him in the air. "for the elects sake, those days shall be shortened". Increase of evil is causing those days to be shortened. The wrath of God isn't far away. Look at the earth. It just can't be.
Instead of crying in my soup over the "wait" though, I am more inclined to view the waiting as a testimony of His great grace and how far He went for us at the cross. He is truly amazing!
I do know one thing, from my own experience talking with others about the Rapture, and second coming:
Most people don't wanna hear too much about the nearness of WW3, the collapse of everything, the Trib, the second coming, and lastly but most importantly the Rapture.
It is a controversial subject to say the least for most, and nobody except a few are in agreement to the position regarding these subjects here as presented on RitaNow.
Most people, even when shown the scriptures, don't believe in it, don't think it will happen at all in their lifetimes, will happen in a pre-trib and by grace alone, not by any self efforts to attain it.
It also seems to me that being a watcher is indeed a special calling/gift, many are called to it, but few end up doing the job. Its also challenging because those who you love most, don't wanna have anything to do with Jesus, or even if they know him they don't want to know him more (or at least in the way i know him ) or look up to the soon return.
I am a watcher , but even at times i don't want to hear about it, would at times rather to have lived in a simpler, slower and kinder time of history than now. therefore i just cut people a lot of slack, and just lighten up on the whole thing.
Its easy to bemoan how others are not watching, or living a more holy life, its quite another to just focus on what i am called to do, let not my own heart be troubled by what goes on around me or others life/attitudes and to do the next thing God wants me to do.
Jesus washed our feet therefore we ought to wash each others feet, for no servant is above his master.
In the grand scheme of things, not even the rapture will matter, when its all over it will be in the past, the only thing that will count, I think is how we loved, lived and served the Lord, by showing him love and love towards others.
It seems like being a believer, and being a watcher is like being a person who found a gold mine, and the fountain of youth. Then trying to tell others about it, nobody hardly believes it, or they are trying to do things all on their own and want nothing to do with the greatest treasure that was found--and then look at you like you're nuts, a lire or deceived.
Keeping in mind that:
If i speak in tongues of men and angels, do mighty miracles, and know all mysteries, prophecies but have not love, I am nothing.
When The Lion of The Tribe of Judah returns for His Bride, I want to be right there. When He is at the doors, and opens that door, I want to be right there waiting on Him. I do not want Him or the angels to need to come find me or hunt me down.
And you know what brothers and sisters? I bet He feels exactly the same way about us and the rapture.
Unfortunately it seems the Church will be like those who missed Christ at his first coming. You would think the one doctrine needing to be understood would be eschatology. Instead there is confusion and that has only one author. With so much confusion it seems people get easily tired and give up trying to understand. It was most disheartening to even see this in Seminary. But do not throw in the towel and join the team of naysayers. Let us all just be careful in our studies and never lose sight of the crown of rejoicing!
The rapture is a very beautiful event for those of us that are looking for it but either a fantastical or a far off event for those that aren't.
Like BeckaBecks I was turned on to the rapture by my dad. He found the Lord in the very early seventies and has been looking for the rapture ever since. He is the only person in my family that I can have conversations with about the subject because no one else believes or listens. I feel blessed to have him to talk to as a know many have no immediate family to share in this excitement.
I've tried talking with my wife about it over the last few years and even more so lately with everything coming to a head but she wants no part of it either. She's a believer in Christ but she definitely has a worldy perspective. It's understandable though. We have two young kids and she fully expects to see them grow up and have children of their own. Who am I to take that from her. She believes in Christ and that's what's most important.
I suppose it is human nature to look at our lives from that wordly perspective and that plays a big part in why the rapture is unpopular. I do think the Lord has chosen a few to be watchful and yearn for his return and I am so glad to be part of this group.
The reason I think that there are few watchers is that,people just dont wanna hear this stuff. They would like to think that the rapture is like 50 years into the future, so that they can enjoy what they call "the good life" down here. Everyday, this so-called good life is becoming less and less good for people that dont look to the Blessed Hope. While watchers look for Jesus, we can also enjoy life knowing that the life after this will be waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better :)
What a bunch of GREAT responses I agree with all.Espeially the last one about people wanting to enjoy the Good life down here.I cant think of a better place to be than in God's kingdom,this earth is litterbox compared to the new kingdom!
Well.... 2011 was a test run just to see who was awake. There was talk in the news, dates and feast that seem to fit the timetable. I too was convinced that this could be the year!I often wonder just how many people are really looking for a soon departure?
I was stired by the left behind series
Not a day goes by when I don't ask the same question that started this thread.
I'm 51 and grew up in the church. When I was a kid, we were taught about the rapture and Heaven quite a lot. My parents talked about these things all the time at the dinner table, traveling in the car, etc. They were born in the early 20's so you can imagine what they were thinking during Nazi Germany, Israel's statehood in 1948 and the recapture of Jerusalem in 1967. So my parents taught me that the rapture was " any minute". By the time Hal Lindsey came on he scene, it's all we could think about.
So I've been watching since I was about 14 with great anticipation of our blessed hope.
But I have noticed a cycle in the Church regarding this teaching during the last decade or two. There are seasons when the topic was especially "hot" because of world events and because of people like Hal Lindsey. But I believe that many church leaders get afraid of it because even if they teach it well, it still has a tendency to wind up a lot of speculation and date setting. Then, people who are younger in the Lord can get swept up by the excitement and let down by another failed date.
It seems that some churches keep this topic out of the pulpit and confine it to a small Sunday school room where only the die hard Wednesday night crowd will show up for such discussions.
I was a pastor for 15 years or so, and I have to admit, we did not teach it enough and I'm not even sure when we did we taught it correctly.
If I had to do it over again , I would spend much more time on what the Bible actually says about the end of the age, the words of Jesus and His teaching about keeping watch.
The last 18 months have been the most significant time in my life for watching Bible prophecy unfold. I am convinced Jesus' return is very soon. The problem with that phrase is that it sounds cliche, but I think we are so close, it is wrong for people to say he could come back a hundred years from now. When I read my Bible, I cannot rightly come to that conclusion.
So take it from someone who has seen every rapture date theory for the last 50 years....We are now moments away from seeing the King.
I really think the whole concept has come about more and more as technology answered the past questions like Becka's father had, "How can the whole world see the dead witnesses for three days?" That couldn't happen until TV came along and progressed to including international viewing of events as they happen. It would've been such a mystery to figure out prior to this event.
The language of Revelation is really confusing to figure out but gradually it, too, made more sense. In some ways it is still puzzling but just recently it really came together.
Then people started seeing how these things could be possible after all. With that realization more and more began to consider then those signs also indicated we were approaching that season. By the time Hal Lindsey's book came out people were ripe to being ready to hear and accept. It's been a progression preparing us. Now it's before our eyes daily.
This is a recently posted article by Dr. David R. Reagan from Lamb/Lion Ministries. It has great points of relevancy of why studying prophecy is important.
Why is bible prophecy important?
Although prophecy constitutes almost one-third of the Bible, its importance is constantly downplayed by those who dismiss it as having no practical significance or by those who object to it on the grounds that it is a "fad" that takes people's eyes off Jesus.
A good example of what I'm talking about can be found in the immensely popular best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren.1 He mocks Bible prophecy when he writes, "If you want Jesus to come back sooner, focus on fulfilling your mission, not figuring out prophecy." He then goes on to characterize prophecy as a "distraction" and says that anyone who lets himself get involved in distractions like studying prophecy "is not fit for the kingdom of God."
Such cavalier dismissals of Bible prophecy fly in the face of scriptures like Revelation 19:10 which says that "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Thus, if prophecy is properly taught, there is no reason for it to divert anyone's attention away from Jesus. In fact, it should serve to emphasize the centrality of Jesus.
Is prophecy practical? Consider that all the New Testament writers testify to the fact that living with the anticipation of the Lord's return will motivate holy living. What could be more practical than that? Here are some examples:
(Click on above link to continue reading the entire article.)
~Fair Use for Educational and Discussion Purposes~
Thanks for starting this post Shannonmarie. I also am really amazed at how few watchers there are. In Michigan where I am at, my friends don't want to hear about what is happening or what is to come. All we can do is keep watching and keep trying to follow The Lord's Will. I look forward to reading morefrom you. God Bless you and be at peace. We will be leaving soon. It is so close.
Hi Perhaps,I am a Michigander as well.
No one wants to hear about it in my life very much either.Most people think I am nuts when I talk about it.They think we will not see Jesus"in this lifetime" and I have also been told REPEATEDLY "we are to go into tribulation for 7 years" etc.I figure oh well,I try over and over to warn people, they won't listen it's not my fault.God knows i try so thats all that matters.
Thanks Shannon. I am leaving today for a week in Florida, a family wedding. I don't even look forward to going. Maybe I will get raptured from the plane. I will try witnssing there and see how it goes. I am sure they don't want to hear it, but I will use every chance I get to witness. I look forward to talking moe with you when I return, if I don't meet you in the air first. God Bless you Shannon.
So good to read other peoples experiences, I've been a watcher since the 80's and have never had anyone within church which I can share ideas with. I've had a similar experience to the rest of you, with nobody (inside or outside the church) wants to hear about it!!
As mentioned earlier in this post, the last 18months has been a roller-coaster ride of emotions as the fulfilment of many prophecies and signs pointing toward near future fulfilment of others started happening...
Thank God for the internet, For five doves, and for Ritan!! I may be alone in my world, but it's so good to know that I'm far from alone in my views and in my struggles.
I think a lot of Christians believe people who look for the end of days are fanatics. Certain people **cough**Camping**cough** fuel this belief.
My hubby is Christian, and he thinks Revelation is a poetic book full of symbolism rather than realism. He believes the Trib will happen "someday", but because St. John was so "vague" with his symbolism, will we ever truly "know" when we're in the Trib?
(By "vague", he means, how will you know which war is the red horse? How do you know which famine is the black horse? Are the demons rising from the pit Apache helicopters? How can we know FOR SURE??)
So he's of a mind that folks who try to interpret Revelation to modern day happenings are fools.
I'd be willing to bet the farm a vast number of Christians believe this as well.
I am 59 and have been a Christian for 35 years. I was taught about the rapture from the pulpit long before I became a Christian. If I am not mistaken, every prophecy that needs to be fulfilled for Christ's return has been fulfilled. There is nothing keeping Him from coming back at any second. Matthew 24:36 says, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." So it stands to reason that when ANY date is predicted for the Rapture, you can be sure it will NOT be that date. If Christ Himself does not know when He's returning, what makes man think he can know when Christ is returning? I don't understand how Christ, being God, cannot know when He'll return, but if we understood everything about God, then I guess we would be omniscient, too. It does say that in the end times, the love of many will grow cold. Look at all the murders everywhere!! I believe that to truly love yourself as God says to love yourself, you have to know Christ as your personal Saviour. If we do not properly love ourselves, how can we truly love anyone else? People have no regard for human life anymore. The world is going to Hell and going fast. The world is in Satan's control until the Millenium. People don't act like Christians because they are not Christians. And even some Christians don't act like Christians. I don't understand how you can not believe something that is in the Bible. It says Christ is coming back and that should be enough said. I think the closer it gets to Christ's return, truth will be taught less and less from most pulpits. I think Christians will have to start pulling together very soon. I look forward to my Saviour's return, sitting down talking for eternity with the One who sacrificed everything for me. As the Gaither song says: "I'm His favorite child and that makes me smile. I'm the center of His delight!" Looking forward to eternity.
Welcome In His Grip to Ritan.
I started watching before my children were born. It was a few days after my husband was saved. We were invited to a little Baptist church to watch a film about just before and after the Rapture of the Church. Wow, did I get interested, but had few people to teach me so I was wading through Daniel and Revelation.
I asked my little Daddy who was teaching Sunday School at the time. He was wading through Revelation himself for his class and said come back when he understood it. LOL
Then I found Prophesy in the News with Dr. J. R. Church, and I watched him every week. I miss him so very much, although Gary Stearman is also a very good teacher. I also found a friend from church who lent me books and I hit the bookstores. Isn't the internet nice for research?
By the way, my children are 37 and 31. I am still watching. :)
In His Grip, WELCOME to our family. I agree with you, life is of no value to this world. If we do not value The Creator how can we place value on the created?
A few years back, I was stationed in the middle east. I was shocked to learn, that if you were in an accident, and at fault in a vehicular/pedestrian accident, where there was a death, it was the same as a traffic ticket. You could pay it right then and there and be on your merry way. Less than $100.00! However, you had better not hit with your vehicle one of the King's most valued Date Palm Trees; for that you could not pay a simple traffic ticket and be on your way. You were most likely going to jail for damaging the King's property.
Unless God is now keeping secrets from himself (which somehow doesn't make sense) then I would guess that Jesus does now know when he's coming back!!
So when Jesus said that he didn't know the day or the hour, only the Father knows, it makes it a time related statement... and there are so many other verses that would point to it not being a surprise for those of us watching.
But even when we do get the date right we won't know until it's happened, so it's kind of true both ways!
I agree, Humblehorse. I think Jesus made this statement to show that He was human, and not everything yet had been revealed to Him until after He died and returned to the Father, in which time all things were made new. In my own dumb human mind, I see it that not all had yet been set for the future, it all awaited redemption that happened after the death and resurrection of the Savior. Almost like all things were on hold, waiting for that certain point in history.
And also, I think He made that statement as a reference to the Jewish wedding, that the Groom goes to prepare a place for the bride and is only released to go get the bride by the word of the Father. But since Jesus and the Father are also one now, Jesus does know! He just told us that to show He will come for His bride.
Good point HH. When Jesus said that "famous phrase" He was still in the meat, so to speak. Now that He's been in His glorified flesh for the past 2000 or so years together with the Father the question isn't can He know, but rather does He choose to know. I'm not sure what He would pick. I know some parents want to know the gender of their baby, others want a surprise. We never even had an US done for our kids. And we bought several dresses for our son. Oops. Cases to be made for both choices.
I do agree that for the watchers surprise isn't the best word. Maybe exhilaration. Like being on a big roller coaster when you know you're getting ready to make the big drop, and you're hanging over the edge looking down. You're not surprised when it lets go, but it's still an excited shock when it actually happens. For us. Big Surprise for those who aren't even watching.
We know that He is close to us, that He wants to be with us and share eternity with us. I can imagine Him choosing to let only the Father know the moment, and experiencing with us the increasing excitement as the Big Moment approaches quickly, but without being sure about when? I can also imagine Him doing both at once, like Schrodinger's cat. He is God, after all.
Thanks for the welcoming. I am so new to posting. I am trying to get caught up with the 21st century! I had never thought about the verse in Matthew being said while Christ was still in His earthly body. But now that He is with God, I still don't know if that changes what the verse says. But I guess I'll leave that up to God and Jesus. I didn't know sites like this existed. Like I said, I'm a baby in this new technology. I go to a great church in Dallas with my sister who recently became a believer. But I don't have many older or "seasoned" Christians to talk about God and deep spiritual things. I hadn't realized how much I missed that. I have a friend of 35 years and when we get together I get my fill, but I miss having friends that I can go to regularly to talk about my Lord. I think this site will fill a need. Everyone seems to be of the same mind and spirit, so that is a great thing. I look forward to knowing you.
It is nice to have Godly pen pals, isn't it. We have members from around the world, so you never know when someone is up to respond. And there is a seemingly unlimited amount of old posts to dig through on teachings, etc. All nicely scripturally sound.
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