rapture

There are many movements who believed Jesus was coming in their lifetime, like the Millerites

millerite meeting2There were hundreds of millions of people, who earnestly believed the Second Coming was happening in their lifetime. Some of these believed this with such firmness, they gave up their lives, sold everything, and waited for an event that never materialized. One example of this is the Millerite movement of the 19th century.

The Millerites were a Christian group that believed the Second Coming would happen in 1844. At its peak their movement was 30,000 – 100,000 strong. When the Second Coming did not happen as predicted, an event aptly called “The Great Disappointment”, many left the movement, while others reinterpreted the prophecies and founded the Seventh Day Adventist church.

This historical incident has served as a great illustrator of the psychological phenomenon called “cognitive dissonance reduction,” which is the act of reducing tension between beliefs (ex: “Jesus will come in 1844”) and evidence (ex: “Jesus did not come in 1844”) by introducing some new idea (ex: “Jesus did return, but it was an invisible event, to be interpreted differently”).

While it’s difficult for some to imagine how this group could believe something as incredulous, one must note that they believed this with a great deal of devotion, and suffered immense emotional difficulty coming to grips with reality. One can only read letters by Millerites of the Great Disappointment, to see the stringent emotional grief. As in the case of the letter from Henry Emmons, member of the Millerites movement

“I waited all Tuesday and dear Jesus did not come; I waited all the forenoon of Wednesday, and was well in body as I ever was, but after 12 o’clock I began to feel faint, and before dark I needed someone to help me up to my chamber, as my natural Strength was leaving me very fast, and I lay prostrate for 2 days without any pain – sick with disappointment.”

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Why does the Second Coming, which was due “soon” taking 2,000+ years of waiting?

Why has the Second Coming, which was supposed to be “soon,” “quickly,” “in just a little while, ….and will not delay” still not here, after a whole two thousand years of waiting?

1. Jesus said it would happen in the generation of those who hear him (Matthew 16:28). (About which the great Christian apologist C.S. Lewis said Jesus made a mistake.)

2. Paul believed it would happen in his generation, and speaks to his living audience: “WE who are alive” when it happens. (1 Thess 4:15-17)

3. Other New Testament books testify they are written “in these last days” (Heb 1:1-2). They tell us that: “the end of the ages has come” (1 Cor 10:11). “You see the Day drawing near.” (Heb 10:24-25). “It is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18). “The end of all things is near…” (1 Peter 4:7). “The coming of the Lord is near…the Judge is standing right at the door.” (James 5:8, 9). “The time is near.” (Rev 1:3).

4. The early Christians believed that the end time was so near, it may have already happened in their time. Thus Paul wrote to comfort people who had heard rumors that it already happened (2 Thess 2:2). And 2nd Peter, one of the latest books to be written, mentions that many asking “where is the promise of his coming?” and tells believers to keep waiting. This text written *precisely* because many people had been expecting the second coming in their lifetime, but hadn’t seen it yet.

5. Every single generation of Christians has believed that the end would happen in their time, based on the “soon” passages, so at the very least, if these were not meant to be literally true, the idea has confused every single generation of people. See http://www.yuriyandinna.com/the-end-is-not-near-its-here/

Why has the Rapture or Second Coming not happened yet?

Why has the Rapture or Second Coming not happened ? Why has every generation of people preached/prophecized “it’s very soon, in my lifetime” and yet died, unfulfilled?

Exhibit A: The New Testament says it will happen “very soon,” so soon that the early church literally expected it in their lifetimes. (There are numerous epistles dealing with these failed expectations of the early Christians).

Exhibit B: Every generation has promised the end would come in its time. Tertullian (who first coined “Trinity”) taught it would happen in his lifetime. Martin Luther promised it would happen in his. John Wesley promised it in his. The early Pentecostal movement of 1920’s promised it would happen in their lifetime. All these, and thousands more are dead, and no rapture.

Exhibit C: I have seen recordings and heard of ecstatic prophecies by people ranging from Branham, Hagin, Hinn or Robertson, to small town Slavic pentecostal prophets, who uttered that the timing would be “very soon.” Most of these have died, and still nothing.

Exhibit D: I once sat across while a few of the most important Slavic pentecostal pastors/leaders spoke about the end times, they said their Pentecostal alliance (Reinhard Bonke was mentioned) have head many prophecies and now say only three years are left, this is the final three year push before the end. This was almost five years ago.