It is an election year here in the USA. Scams, misdirection, and invented truths seem to emerge as a normal part of the political process we all must endure. Separating fact from fiction almost becomes a spectator sport. In politics I expect scams; I get annoyed, but I have figured out how to deal with it. In the church scams, especially the believable scams, have a way of effecting how we live, believe, and act. Take for example the rapture, probably the biggest scam to impact the western church in the last 100 years.
As an early teen I remember going to hear Hal Lindsey, a famous “end times” writer. He had just finished writing The 1980’s, a Countdown to Armageddon. I was so afraid of being left behind that I went forward every night to accept Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. For months and possibly years afterwards I remember sneaking upstairs every morning and looking into my parents’ bedroom just to make sure I hadn’t been somehow forgotten and left behind.
It is only recently that I have had the courage to explore for myself what the Bible has to say about the “end-times.” Did you know…?
- That the word “rapture” does not even appear in Scripture?
- That there is no mention of a rebuilt Jerusalem temple anywhere in the New Testament, including Revelation?
- That neither Daniel nor Revelation uses the word Anti-Christ?
- That there is no record in Daniel or Revelation of the Anti-Christ making a covenant with Israel?
- That there is no mention that Jesus will set up an earthly throne in Jerusalem?
Barbara Rossing, in her book The Rapture Exposed, reframes the rapture scam best when she states:
“There is no rapture in the story of Revelation, no snatching of people off the earth up to heaven. Look at it this way: It is God who is raptured down to earth to take up residence and dwell with us – a Rapture in reverse.”
A rapture in reverse, it almost sounds biblical - God coming to us.