I had written something previously on the mark of the beast and have decided to follow that up by examining the doctrine of ‘rapture’ which is widely taught in Christian circles. Even though the word does not exist anywhere in the bible that has not stopped this from being taught.
It is the favourite of scaremongers and dooms day prophets. It is usually used to scare people into giving their lives to Christ. Such tactics do not last unfortunately because people give their lives out of fear instead of knowledge and faith. I was taught that after Christ has raptured the church, the antichrist will be released and there will a great tribulation on the face of the earth. Those who were left behind will be forced to accept the ‘mark of the beast’ if they want to buy or sell anything and there will be great anguish.
Christ will finally return (again?), destroy the antichrist and punish those who accepted the mark as well as Satan. And those who did not make the rapture but did not accept the mark of the beast will pay for their salvation with their own blood. That is it in a nutshell.
There were so many inconsistencies with this teaching and the more I searched the scriptures, the more confused I became. Now I know the reason for this confusion was because I was still trying to interpret these scriptures in the light of what I had been taught.
Matthew 24 has been used in support of this rapture doctrine. Jesus’ disciples had asked Jesus when the temple was going to be destroyed, when will be the sign of His coming and the end of the age. Anytime I heard this portion of scripture taught, the first question was always ignored; the destruction of the temple.
Jesus was very explicit to His disciples about what was going to happen to the temple. It was going to be completely destroyed! They will know this is about to happen when they see the abomination of desolation and those who were in the fields should not go back to Jerusalem. They were also supposed to pray that their flight did not happen on the Sabbath or during winter.
15 “The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about—the sacrilegious object that causes desecration[d] standing in the Holy Place.” (Reader, pay attention!) 16 “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. 17 A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. 18 A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. 19 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. 20 And pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. 22 In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones. Matthew 24