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sermonette: Are You Ready for the Rapture?

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Given 18-Sep-93; Sermon #095s; 16 minutes

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Richard Ritenbaugh, claiming the rapture is a biblical teaching, also cautions that the mainline Protestant view is fraught with error, especially in the aspect of timing. Protestant theologians have loved to tinker with the timing of this event. God's church has often hesitated to talk about the rapture because of the numerous misconceptions of Pentecostal and Baptist interpretations. I Thessalonians 4:16-17 describes the first resurrection of the saints at Christ's second coming, using the expression "caught up." The dead in Christ will rise first; those who are alive will be changed instantaneously. Protestant theologians are divided , some having pre-tribulational interpretations, while others have mid and post tribulational interpretations. The first group believes the church will go through no tribulation, but will be caught up when Israel signs a treaty with the Beast, implying that Christ has to make two passes at the earth, once where he misses, but manages to rescue His Church. The mid-tribulationists believe this event will occur midway through the seven years of tribulation, also implying a near miss for Christ. God's called-out ones would be included in the post-tribulation camp, suggesting the church will remain on the earth during the tribulation with some protected in a place of safety. Christ will return once to the earth, gathering up His saints and fighting the Beast in one fell-swoop at the last trumpet. (1) Last Trump-(2) Dead in Christ are raised-(3) gathering up of the saints.

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