Summary: This article was written and published July ’14. In this article I discuss how general biblical principles taught to us by the Spirit of God govern the understanding of the detail of scripture. Whether we believe or not in the event of the rapture, every Christian can point to I Thess. 4:13-18 and admit that this is the passage of scripture from which all the discussion begins. The second book I wrote is a detailed and methodical look at this doctrine. In this article I simply emphasize the importance of maintaining this principle: never lose sight of the forest for the trees. Understanding the Christian believer’s relationship with God, with the responsibility and privilege that is associated in that new relationship, are some of the principles by which we keep the forest in view. In my opinion, dissecting Greek and Hebrew words in a single passage or verse, is the easiest way to be caught starring at a tree and forgetting you are standing in a forest. Most of the writing I do as a Christian teacher involves detailed explanations of the points I present – it may require concentration and effort on your part, and your time. If you choose to commit such things as needed, then you’ll want to read on past this short summary.
The second book in the series, ‘The Blessed Hope of the Church’, was written to prove from Scripture the doctrine of the rapture of the church. This event will take place before the coming tribulation, which itself precedes the dispensation of the fullness of times – the millennium. It particularly emphasizes the position of the believer ‘in Christ’ and the privilege of that relationship in view of the doctrine. When corporate failure has completely set in for the professing church, then the Lord’s coming is the thought presented by Christ to the faithful remnant (Rev. 2:24-25). His coming for the true church is our joy and our hope to sustain us when all else fails. This blessed hope (Titus 2:13) serves to separate the believer/church from this world. The church has not only lost her first love (Rev. 2:4), but has lost her expectation. If we hold the hope of the Lord’s coming it will make Him very close to our souls, so as to judge the condition in which we are as believers.
The rapture of the true church will be the exceeding greatness of God’s sovereign power to remove Christ’s body and bride (the church) physically from the earth, going on to the Father’s house in the heavens.