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- 8:15am - Prayer Time
- 9:15am - Bible Class
- 10:30am - Worship
After the sermon today someone asked me when the doctrine of the rapture began. The person who developed the teachings that today are called The Rapture was John Nelson Darby (1800-1882), a British preacher and founder of the Plymouth Brethren. While Christians have always taught that Jesus would return to earth, Darby taught that Jesus would come twice! Darby invented a grand timetable for world events that included a series of seven dispensations (or ages). He popularized his system in the Scofield Reference Bible which was first published in 1909.
The best refutation I have read of the doctrine known as The Rapture is found in The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation by Barbara R. Rossing. Dr. Rossing, who teachings New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, wrote the book to answer the popular Left Behind series of books (and movies). In her words, “…, I have underscored the central image of Jesus as the nonviolent Lamb, who triumphs not by killing people but by giving his life in love…. Love and healing–not Armagedoon and war–are the messages people of faith must keep lifting up as God’s vision for our world. The message of the biblical book of Revelation is not of despair or war, but of transformation and justice.”
The message of Jesus’ return is of central importance to the writers of the New Testament. We must strive to avoid all sensationalism and seek to understand what those writers had in mind when they wrote about The Arrival (or Parousia). May we all remain viligant as we contantly remind ourselves that The King is Coming!