Pentellectualism, An Insider’s Look At Pentecost, Part 3: The Rapture
Pentecostals have a tendency to embrace “revelations” as somewhat authoritative. This is why many Pentecostal preachers have developed the vocabulary of “the Lord has shown me…”, “God said to me…”, and so on. Often these expressions pass without scrutiny by trusting and kind-hearted congregations who are mesmerized by such apparent spiritual depth. It should therefore be no surprise that Pentecostals are often the first to embrace and the last to recognise counter-Biblical teaching when it is dressed up as a revelation from the Lord. Perhaps the most controversial example of this is teaching about “the Rapture”.
Talk to most Pentecostals about what they think the Bible says about the future and one of the first things they will mention is- “the Rapture”. This is the idea that Christ’s ‘return’ will be in two stages. The first stage will be a secret rapture (removal from earth to heaven) of the Church. The second stage will take place 7 years later when Christ will visibly return to vanquish the Anti-Christ at the Battle of Armageddon. This peculiar belief about what the Bible says about the future (“eschatology”) is almost unquestioned in Pentecostal circles. It has shaped entire Missions programs (based on a mis-reading of Matthew 24:14). It has influenced the future planning of individuals and churches. It has fostered the besottedness of Pentecostals with Zionists. This ‘doctrine’ has particularly shaped Pentecostal theology and practice like few others.
But like all sacred cows, it may be time to make some hamburgers out of this one. The teaching of the Rapture began when a young Scottish girl claimed to have received a revelation from God. She claimed to have been shown by God that the Church would be ‘raptured’ to make way for God to re-establish His original program with Israel. One of the most prominent Pentecostal teachers of the Rapture idea is John Hagee. He has taken all of the logical implications of the Rapture and built an entire system of Pentecostal theology around it. Consider the promotion of his latest book [watch].
I predict that over the next few years that more and more Pentecostals will abandon the teaching of the Rapture and turn to a more Biblical understanding of what the Bible says about the future. I have written more about the Rapture here. I have also written several eBooks which present a much better understanding of what the Bible says about the future and is available here. To read about the origins of the Rapture in more detail and to read a better way of understanding what the Bible really says about the future, download my eBook- The Most Embarrassing Book In The Bible-