Thursday, August 16, 2007

Rapturous Future?

Interesting theological developments:-

GALLAGHER: So are we really on the road to Armageddon? Middle East expert and writer of End Times fiction Joel Rosenberg has few doubts the Rapture is on the way.

ROSENBERG: You have the Rapture, then the rise of the Antichrist, and then a terrible period of seven years of terrible war and famine and plague. This is known as the tribulation. And it's at the end of the tribulation that this massive attack on Israel, known as Armageddon, will happen, and then the second coming of Jesus.

[end video clip]

ZAHN: All right, Delia, we need your help. You just rolled through an awful lot of terms. We went from Rapture to the Antichrist, tribulation. Explain this to us.

GALLAGHER: Right. OK. So we're going to go through each of these terms so that we get them down because we can't talk about this topic until we know what they're talking about. We've put up a couple of graphics so that's going to help the audience follow along for a moment.

ZAHN: It's going to help all of us.

GALLAGHER: Yes. So first of all, with the Rapture. The Rapture is this idea, which by the way is not in the Bible specifically, but it is this period of time when they say Christians are going to be taken up into heaven and waiting there while all of this tribulation goes on on Earth, as it were. They say it can happen at any time, that's why you hear a lot of the preachers saying you better be prepared because you're going to be Raptured at any time when you least expect it. That's the idea of the Rapture.

Then the tribulation is when this period of seven years, they say, it's going to be wars and trials on earth. We are not in it yet, according to them, but you will hear them talking about pre-tribulation and post-tribulation. This is the time when the Antichrist, whoever he or she may be, this figure they say is going to come to power and all of the countries are going to align behind this Antichrist leading to Armageddon, this big war. The term is taken from Mount Megiddo in Israel, it's an actual place in the Bible. And in the Bible it says on this mountain there will be the kings will gather.

From that, they decided there's going to be this huge battle of good and evil, and at that time at Armageddon, the world as we know it, they say, will be destroyed, and they say "as we know it" because there follows a thousand-year period of peace, and that is a period when those Christians who have been Raptured come back down to earth with Jesus, and a thousand-year period of peace follows.

So they say that the world doesn't actually end, that they actually have this wonderful time of peace. Now, you know, the fact is that these periods of Rapture and tribulation and so on are also preceded by signs and they say that some of these signs we are already seeing right now.

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