Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Passion and the Rapture

Ahhhh, the passion and the rapture...sounds like the title of a new movie outlining an online dating event, right? Not so much here on a blog devoted to spreading the call of Jesus to follow Him.
The Passion of the Christ is a movie by Mel Gibson about the final hours of Jesus' life and the crucifixion. It is well known for its depiction of the brutality Christ suffered for us prior to being crucified. Yet, it's not just the movie that calls these hours the Passion; the Catholic church refers to this time period in Christ's life as the Passion, and there are many others who refer to the closing hours of Christ's life as the Passion. Why? Because Jesus was so passionately in love with mankind that He was willing to give up His life for us.

Last week I posted a blog about a study at Radical Grace about the secret life of Christ; a study that uses scripture to show what Jesus' thought life was from childhood to the cross. According to this study, the events in Jesus' life were revealed to Him step by step, day by day, by the Holy Spirit. Everything Jesus did was a choice given to Him by the Father. He lived 100% as a human being, and God gave Him the choice to continue or not. Jesus chose to identify Himself 100% with man and went the distance by completely forsaking His "God-hood" and dying to provide us with a way to reconcile ourselves to God. I've heard of people applying themselves to various organizations or hobbies or their "passion" but Jesus is the only one whose passion was so intense He was willing to die for it.

The term rapture seems closely associated to passion because in today's society it's readily accepted and almost "expected" that men and women indulge in their passion for sex and the rapture that is supposed to result from it.

The actual term used in the Bible is "caught up" and it is translated from the greek word "harpazo". This word is used in the Bible several times to describe being taken by force unexpectedly.

For the past three years, I have been diligently following blogs and news and Christian teachers who believe that the rapture is imminent. I, obviously believe that to be true, too. I have been taught about a rapture event for the past 30-35 years or so, and there has been at least one time period each of the last three years that really looked promising for the rapture to occur. But as you can see, we are all still here.

During that three years, I have been introduced to the teachings of Joseph Herrin at Parablesblog who has made me look at interpreting certain things in the Bible differently, and the rapture is one of them. Just last week, Sarah Beveridge of Believer's Journey posted a blog referencing a teaching by David Eels of Unleavened Bread Ministries about the Separation of the Bride. You can find it HERE.

I believe both of these men are teaching that the spirit of God will be poured out on the true body of believers in Christ which will bring forth the "manchild" referenced in Revelation and that there will be a period of persecution of the church unlike any seen before (and there have been some really bad periods of persecution). If you don't believe me, go to your library and check out Fox's Book of Martyrs and read it for yourself. People have died for Christ in the most unbelievably horrible ways. The Book of Revelation indicates that the guillotine will be reintroduced in the last days and if you read my blog often, you know that last week I wrote about Roseanne Barr saying that bankers who fail to repay bailout money should be be-headed.

Is it possible that the rapture of the church is still far away and that we will have to endure real, true persecution in order to burn off all the fat the church has put on due to hearing too many sweet, ear-tickling sermons? CindyBytheSea wrote a blog this morning that features a news article from The Trumpet.com about the protesting going on across the world and now the U.S. It is an excellent article and should be read by everyone who is associated with Jesus Christ. You can find it here.

What I'm saying is that Christ was so passionate about us that he went to the cross and died for us. Are we ready to show him how rapturous we are about Him that we will endure any persecution for His name's sake? That is what the Spirit has been saying to me for a few months now. If you are watching the news at all, you cannot help but see how the Church of Jesus Christ is getting all kinds of bad press and being held responsible for many of the bad things happening around the world right now.

We need to dig into the Word in a new, deep way; we need to reach out to Jesus and pray for a fresh indwelling of His Spirit and we need to be praying for each other that we will all be prepared for whatever the day will bring because of our belief in Christ. I pray that we are not so caught up in figuring out when the "catching up" will be that we are not prepared if we are called to suffer for Christ today.

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