Can our Theology Hurt our Political Activism?

One way to get Christians to disengage from what’s happening culturally, politically, economically, and educationally is to assure them that we are living in the last days and we will be rescued by the rapture of the church before a period of Great Tribulation. This doctrine has been popular with Christians for decades. Hal Lindsey made it popular with the 1970 publication of The Late Great Planet Earth that predicted the “rapture” of the church would take place 40 years from the reestablishment of the nation of Israel in 1948. For those who are counting, that was to be 1988. Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel was even more dogmatic about the prophetic reality of the claim.

While the promotion of the “rapture” doctrine can’t be blamed for all of society’s ills, it has had an effect on how millions of Christians evaluate and respond to current events. Many believe that we are living in the last days and Jesus is coming soon to “rapture” His church because the world is a “sinking Titanic,” and the “rapture” is the only solution. Such a belief has had an impact.

In order dispel some of the myths surrounding the “rapture” doctrine, I’ve written Truth About the Rapture: A Biblical Study. The following is an excerpt from the book.

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Dr. Mark Hitchcock has written a free eBook for Dallas Theological Seminary with the title The Truth and Timing of the Rapture that has been promoted on Facebook. When Hitchcock writes about the “rapture,” he is referring to a pre-tribulation “rapture of the Church” prior to the start of the long-postponed 70th week of Daniel’s “70 weeks of years” prophecy found in Daniel 9:24–27. He writes:

The first view of the rapture is the pre-tribulational view, which teaches that believers are going to be caught up before the Tribulation, or the seventieth week of Daniel 9.1

The pre-tribulation rapture position depends on the 70th week of the “70 weeks of years” prophecy to be separated from the other 69 weeks. If the Bible does not teach such a separation, then the pre-tribulation rapture is a false doctrine. Read the passage for yourself and see if there is any mention of anyone being “raptured”— taken to heaven—for any reason. You will not find the doctrine…


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Gary DeMar

Gary DeMar was raised in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and Reformed Theological Seminary (1979). He has served as researcher and writer at the Christian Worldview ministry American Vision since 1980 and President since 1984. Today he serves as Senior Fellow at American Vision where he lectures, researches, and writes on various worldview issues. Gary is the author of 30 books on a variety of topics – from "America’s Christian History" and "God and Government" to "Thinking Straight in a Crooked World" to "Last Days Madness." Gary has been interviewed by Time magazine, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, the BBC, and Sean Hannity. He has done numerous radio and television interviews, including the “Bible Answer Man,” hosted by Hank Hanegraaff and “Today’s Issues” with Tim Wildmon and Marvin Sanders. Newspaper interviews with Gary have appeared in the Washington Times, Toledo (Ohio) Blade, the Sacramento Bee, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Marietta Daily Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, The Orlando Sentinel, and the Chicago Tribune.

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