A little fun with our classic rapture theory:

23 Jul

The short version of what has been unfolding in Heaven since before the foundations of the earth goes like this: The best Dad ever, wants to find a perfectly suitable Bride for his only begotten Son.

So let’s start with this amazing Heavenly Father.  We herald Him as wise, benevolent, caring, and powerful, etc.   He surpasses all the superlatives of all the great qualities one could ever imagine.  His master mind and master plan are ingenious and incomparable.  He’s unmatched in His great ability to trump any resistance or evil that would want to withstand Him.  He’s the best Dad!

Next, Father God has a Son who is His first born, only begotten son.  This truly awesome Son is the Prince of Peace, King of all Kings and wears the name that is above all other names… Jesus.  In the end, Father is giving everything He has to His Son.

Father’s overwhelming desire is to find a bride for His Son. So He unveils this grand and glorious plan to create mankind who would collectively become Jesus’ bride.  But there was a major ‘fly in the ointment’… mankind would ‘fall’ and need a Savior.  After some consideration and after Jesus realized how much He loved mankind, He decided to lay down His own life to be that Savior.  When He had paid the ultimate price, He left for a while to get things ready for the big wedding day.   But while Jesus is away, the earth gets worse and worse.  And not only does the earth get worse, but the worse-ness of the earth is rubbing off onto the people of God… you know, the very ones who are supposed to be the bride for the Son.  It’s getting totally out of hand.  In fact, if Father doesn’t stop the increasingly downward spiral of “falling away” then even the best people of God would totally backslide thus cancelling out Dad’s awesome plan for a suitable marriage partner for His Son.

So at the last possible moment, before all of the favored ‘first draft’ saints have completely succumbed to the evils of this world, Father sends Jesus to snatch up His bedraggled and emaciated remnant-of-a-bride-to-be who is holed up in little safe refuges (safe from the ravages of this world).  He snatches them out… and then comes certain and utter destruction to the whole earth.

But the “falling away” went on so long that now this bedraggled sin-worn and sin-torn bride is all that Father has to give to His favorite Son.  It’s the best He could do considering that the evils of the world had been so strong upon this bride-to-be.  Now He can’t give His special Son the bride He wanted to give… and the bride that the Son died for… and the bride that the Son deserves.  No, this is the best Dad can do.  It’s just a good thing that Jesus got this nearly-devastated-remnant out of harm’s way when He did or He wouldn’t have had any bride at all.

So now this majestic Prince of Heaven is going to be wedded to a scrawny bride who has major earth-bound self-respect and self-dignity problems.  She had always been self-preoccupied with her sin and be-deviled with her unworthiness such that she’ll probably always feel very unworthy.  She’ll likely not be able to rule and reign with Jesus because she’s sure that no one in her sad condition is qualified to rule. When Jesus looks over to solicit her for joint co-reigning activities, she’ll likely recoil in fear, insecurity and indecision because she has never learned to exercise her faith and authority to rule over the kingdoms of the earth when she used to lived there.  Evil was always too great… too pervasive… too tempting to ever think about learning to rule over those evil kingdoms… besides that would have required flirting around the edge of the slippery slope to hell.  She had always lived cloistered with other believers buffered and safe from the lure of evil.  Her defeatist mindset made her think that the only way out of this terrible world which by-the-way was going to hell in a hand-basket, was the escape route… getting snatched out… If only she could hold out to the end!  We’ll, she’s glad she squeaked into Heaven but she would feel a whole lot more comfortable if she were to just quietly slip off of that royal throne next to Jesus and go hole-up in a cabin in the corner of glory-land.

And so the story could continue with offensive spinoff indictments upon the heart and nature of God.

But obviously, if our great Father has anything to do with it He won’t have a shabby ‘leftover’ bride to give to His Son. No!  Never!  Rather, He will make sure that He gives a stunningly brilliant bride… one who’s “made herself ready”… who’s not just a survivor, she’s “an overcomer”… she’s overcome her self-preoccupation with her failures and her old nature… she’s learned to rule well over her mind and mindsets and to “subject them to the Lordship of Jesus”… she’s learned to embrace and walk in Jesus’ righteousness versus her own ‘righteousness’… she’s learned to rule over principalities at work on the inside and outside of her.  She’s not haughty or cocky… she’s not presumptuous or grasping… she humbly and simply believes and embraces her Father’s words regarding her identity and destiny.  Because of being “rooted and grounded in love”, she has confidently subdued kings and kingdoms, “which is the heritage of all God’s saints”.  She has no need to hope for an escape plan to snatch her from the ravages of evil.  She’s eager for Jesus’ return to an earth where she has (by grace) been expanding His kingdom in preparation for their joint rulership on this earth.  She has grown in grace and maturity “in all things, even into the head, which is Christ” and is now fully qualified to marry Jesus… she is fully suitable for Jesus in every way… in stature and power and love.  Yes, this is the bride Jesus saw from the foundation of the world… the bride who gave Him so much “joy as He endured the cross”… a bride that is “without spot or wrinkle” and will sit on His throne with Him to rule over all the kingdoms of the heavens and the earth (Dan 7:26). The Bride Jesus is coming back for is sufficient to rest His full headship on and pour His full self into until the two truly become one.  (Jn 17:22 – I have given them the glory that you gave me; vs 23 – I in them and you in me; vs 26 – that I myself may be in them)

When Jesus said “Lift up your heads for your redemption draws near”, I wonder if one of His intended meanings could be, “Lift your mindsets higher than the defeatist and escapist mentalities; Lift them up to mindsets of Kingdom rulership which by grace you are destined to walk in, both now and in eternity; Prepare for royal leadership with Me?”  What do you think?  And just so we ‘get it’, as a royal Bride, our kingly destiny and destination is spelled out further in Rev 5:10, “(You) have made us to be unto our God, kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

One last thought to ‘launch’ us: Whom do we think the Bible is talking about when it declares Jesus as King of all kings?

Give up?




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