In Case of Rapture, Check I.D.

-- Courtesy: Newpaper Evangelism, Kerala, India --

In Isaiah 46 the author talks of two of the ancient Babylonian Gods, Bel and Nebo:

1 Bel bows down, Nebo stoops low;
their idols are borne by beasts of burden.
The images that are carried about are burdensome,
a burden for the weary.

2 They stoop and bow down together;
unable to rescue the burden,
they themselves go off into captivity.

I was curious about what all  this meant and found an informative article written by Dr. Allen Ross on Bible.org.  This line was of particular interest:

“Bel” is belu, which is the equivalent of ba’al in Western Semitic. Bel is the Semitic title for the ancient Sumerian god Enlil, Lord of the Air.

The Lord of the Air? Where had I heard that before?

According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18

OK, close, but not quite. Anyway, this is one of the two or three scripture verses that those who are anxiously awaiting the End Times serve up as evidence for the impending Rapture. Personally, I’ve always felt that it’s a pretty long stretch of the imagination to take these verses literally. Even so,  what if Paul wasn’t talking about Jesus being the Lord in the Air? In Ephesians 2 he specifically refers to Satan as the lord of the air:

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient

What if Jesus takes only those who are “dead in Christ” and then leaves the rest of us – those who are still alive – not to the Lord IN the Air but the Lord OF the Air?

Jeesh! That’s not too encouraging.

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  1. #1 by logiopath on June 6, 2009 - 1:30 am

    BTW–Have you seen my medicine?

  2. #2 by Christian Beyer on June 6, 2009 - 9:00 am

    ’nuff said.

  3. #3 by logiopath on June 6, 2009 - 10:13 pm

    Like I said, for any comments, have Jack forward my email (my Hal Lindsay imitation).

    I think that we don’t understand whether Jesus’s comments about the meaning of The Basilea of God–whether it is a coming utopia, or a condition based on the presence of Christians in the dystopic world.

  4. #4 by Callie on June 7, 2009 - 10:26 pm

    “TRIBULATION INDEX” becomes “RAPTURE INDEX”

    For 18 centuries all organized churches and all official Christian theology embraced the “Tribulation Index” (that is, the essence of it without using the label). In recent years a Nebraska “rustler” has been changing it into the “Rapture Index.” For more info Google “The Rapture Index (Mad Theology)” and “Open Letter to Todd Strandberg.” For some background on “rapture rustling” read “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty” on the “Powered by Christ Ministries” site. But, pardner, you’d better take some tranquilizers before you lasso any of the above items!

  5. #5 by BruceA on June 7, 2009 - 11:15 pm

    I think 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 is talking about the second coming. I don’t see anything at all about a rapture there. The passage speaks of Jesus coming to earth, and the believers meeting him and accompanying him on the way down.

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