I haven't reviewed the issue of the Rapture in a long, long time. There was a time, however, when I was fascinated by the End Times. Perhaps part of that is due to the fact that my preacher, and any evangelist he brought in to preach, would always try to scare the living wits out of us, I don't know. My crowning achievement as a teenager was having mapped out Matthew 24 line for line, by myself. Too bad I lost that several years ago.
Somewhere in my early adulthood I decided to stop thinking about it, having known where I was going and knowing where I wanted other to go regardless of how the End Times worked out. I was a small fish in a big ocean of theology and I was not strong enough to defend Dispensationalism or change to any of the other views, such as the Covenant view. However, I did grow up in a Dispensationalist house, with at least my Dad and Grandpa believing the tradition.
I didn't even know that most Dispensationalist thought had only been around since the 1800s. That's how little I had stretched my faith as a young man. As a seminary student, even in a conservative seminary like Liberty, I realize that I need this stretching to take place before I can really understand or be a part of theology.
So, in order to stretch myself, and to allow God to stretch me, I chose the Doctrine of the Rapture as my term paper subject. I am fully prepared to walk away from Dispensationalism should it be required of me after thoroughly reviewing the Scriptures. I do know, however, that doing that will hurt deeply. I still value my Grandpa's doctrinal leanings and as he leaned that way, so do I by nature. I have already been warned by a friend who went through this a few years ago that it would be difficult if I learned that there was no way to defend the doctrine.
I have given my paper the working title of The Doctrine of the Rapture: In Search for a Defensible Position. If, by the time I'm done, there is a way to defend it, then I will stay with it. If, however, I am unable to do so, I must reconsider. The research is underway as we speak.
What are your thoughts on the rapture? Do you hold to it or do you believe in a single, Second Coming event? I would love to have your careful and respectful thoughts. Thank you!