Does the Rapture view that people accept affect the way they live or have a bearing on their salvation?
I have been trying to study and pray to understand the Rapture, but there is so much information in all the camps that I don't know where to begin. How does the view held by the individual affect the way they live their life as a believer, and does any view have a bearing on the salvation of the believer? I don't want to lose my salvation because of a rapture view. I know I will be held accountable for what I teach others...especially my family. They often look to me to help them understand God's word, and Rapture teaching has been the most difficult to share.
Pre-tribbers insist that people must be under constant watch for the imminent return, at any moment, of Jesus in the clouds (to catch them up at the Rapture). As such, the claim is that this should be strong motivation for believers to live for and to obey God on a constant basis, as no one should want to be found "sinning" if the Rapture were to occur suddenly.
There is not the same imminency associated with the Pre-wrath Rapture event. This is because, it is believed, the cosmic disturbances of the Sixth Seal will be the main sign just preceding the Rapture event, and this will not take place until well into the 70th Week (I suspect about 6 years into it).
However, even if the Rapture event is not imminent, this does not mean that people should not live their lives, as best they can, in obedience of and in service to God. I have had Pre-tribbers tell me that, secretly, they have problems with the Pre-trib view, but they promote it because they think it "keeps people on their toes" and makes them more likely to be humble servants of Jesus.
I do not accept that rationale. Just wanting the Pre-trib Rapture event to be true does not make it true. Furthermore, there is no way that people can be thinking about and anticipating the return of Jesus every moment of their waking hours.
I absolutely do not believe that the proper understanding of the timing of the Rapture is essential or necessary for salvation. Only a belief that Jesus is Lord, that only His blood atonement has saved us from our sins, and that He was raised physically from the dead, never to die again, are necessary beliefs for salvation, in my opinion. I feel certain that there are saved believers in all of the different Rapture camps.
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