Each week the Village News now features a different Bible passage (or other thought-provoking message relating to faith) so that readers can share their insight and/or opinions.
This new, interactive section allows those of various denominations and faiths to participate equally and respectfully, sharing their individual thoughts, commentary, viewpoints and/or insight on particular Biblical verses and themes.
All comments and insight shared will also go on the newspaper’s Web site (www.thevillagenews.com) so it can be reviewed and commented on further.
If you would like to recommend Bible passages for this discussion venue, please e-mail us at [email protected].
“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
“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.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
The rapture is a highly controversial topic in that it speaks of being taken up to be with Christ. However, it leaves people with questions on how those who will be taken are selected and what happens to those who are left behind. What does that rapture really mean for Christians?
Dr. Dennis Ginoza
Of Fallbrook United Methodist Church says:
“In the resurrection of Jesus, the disciples saw that he broke the bonds of the earth and was transformed into a spiritual body. In Acts 1:9-11, he ascended into heaven and Luke says he is to return in the same way.
“The apostle Paul, who was totally changed on the road to Damascus, now understood that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. In Christ, true transformation occurs; mortals put on immortality.
“In the rapture, all the saints are gathered, to be raised to heaven, to life eternal. Paul’s image holds the vision of the true believers being raised, meeting Jesus in the clouds, and lifted up to be with the Lord.
“Jesus’ teaching is clear: when this will happen, no one knows, not angels, not the Son, only the Father in heaven. Many have set a date: Shakers, 1792; William Miller, 1844; Edgar Whisenant, 1989; and there are others.
“The lesson for all is to be alert and watch. Two men will be in the field, one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill, one will be taken and the other will be left. (Matt. 24:41)
“Jesus reminds us, ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ (Jn. 18:36)”
Bill Kelly says:
“True believers in the gospel of Jesus take this literally. I do. His Church, which are those who have accepted him as their Lord and Savior and are his disciples, will be raptured.
“His disciples are from many Churches and are those who know His voice and He knows them. The dead who are saved will rise first, then the saved who are alive will be raptured.
“Those who are unsaved will continue through the Great Tribulation Period, a period of seven years, also known as the time of Jacob’s trouble or the 70th week of Daniel and discussed at length in Revelation.
“Jesus, the Creator of the Universe, died so that all may be saved. All who earnestly seeks Him will find Him. I pray that all will accept his sacrifice of salvation and that none will know the time of Jacob’s trouble.”
Additional pastoral response to John 1:1-3
Pastor Jason Oakes
Of Community Baptist Church says:
“This passage tells us that the Word was in the beginning, with God, was God and all things were made by Him.
“The phrase ‘in the beginning,’ coupled with Jesus being the Creator, tells us that Jesus existed before time, matter and space. He is self-existent and had no beginning Himself. The phrase ‘the Word was with God,’ coupled with ‘the Word was God,’ speaks of God’s triune nature.
“When we add the verses that speak of the Holy Spirit’s divinity (Acts 5:3-4), we see one God that exists in three persons. We call this the Trinity.”
Next week’s passage for discussion Judgment, Revelation 20:10-12
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”
At the end of Revelation, God judges men and women by their actions on earth. This is a particularly hard Bible verse to swallow, as it points to the fact that not all those on earth will go to heaven.
How should people read this part of the Bible? Is this something to be prepared for and fearful of?
To comment on any of the above, e-mail [email protected].