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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ruptured Rapture?

Atheists--otherwise known as idolators too dishonest or disingenuous to name their gods--are planning to celebrate on Saturday, when, according to a certain Mr. Camping, Jesus Christ will return and rapture his church. Fundamentalist Christian though he be, Uncle Cephas is not about to don ascension robes and wait for the trumpet to sound, but will go about his ordinary business.

For those who do not know what it is, the "raputre" is when Christ removes his church from the world at his second coming. The doctrine is derived from I Thessalonians 4:16-18:

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven witha shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Many today believe that this "rapture of the saints" will be a secret affair, to remove the church from earth just before the great tribulation just prior to the end of the world. With this point of view, Uncle Cephas demurs. Paul's passage is one of the loudest in the whole Bible, with shouts and trumpets. It seems to be simply God's way of handling those saints alive on the day of resurrection.

But as for Camping's prediction that Christ will rapture his church this Saturday, Jesus himself says "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matthew 24:36). Hence, Uncle Cephas is fairly certain that the world will not come to its consummation this Saturday, nor, for that matter, any time during 2012.

One would think that we should have learned our lesson back in 1844 and 1845, when, ignoring Brother William Miller's predictions, Christ refrained from returning, despite the elaborate calculations and earnest searching of the Scriptures that preceeded that expectation. But somehow, every age seems to have its Campings, who are more than ready to earnestly and soberly give grist to the mills of those who sit in the seat of the scornful and counsel of the ungodly (Psalm 1:1)

Still, let all Christians watch and pray, and continue witnessing and doing good. After all, we will still be a day closer to the Day of Judgment, no matter what. And let all seekers be aware that the blood of Christ continues to speak better things than the blood of Abel, the latter condemning the sinner; the former being the atonement for the same (Isaiah 53, Hebrews 2), and the bride of Christ (the church) still says with the Holy Spirit "come" (Rev. 22:17).

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