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Are You Experiencing Partial Rapture Trauma?
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Tim Moore and Nathan Jones

Nathan Jones: A news story by CNN titled For Some Christians, 'Rapture Anxiety' Can Take a Lifetime to Heal has caused quite a stir in Christian circles. The article claims that some Christians are coming down with Rapture fatigue, or what they call "post-rapture trauma." In other words, knowing about the Rapture of the Church can ruin peoples lives. Why? Because they spend their whole life worrying about whether they are actually going to be raptured or be left behind.

Christians know this errant doctrine as the Partial Rapture Theory. It's this idea that only some Christians will be raptured up to Heaven while those not anticipating Christ's return will be left behind to endure the Tribulation, as if for some sort of purification ritual.

Tim Moore: To help us find out if the Partial Rapture Theory is true biblical doctrine, we are joined by Tyler, the host of the YouTube channel Generation2434, named after Matthew 24:34 where Jesus says, "Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened." Christians for the last 2,000 years have looked forward to Jesus' return, and many of them are very faithfully looking and expecting Him to return at any moment.

The Rapture Defined

Nathan Jones: First, let's define what the Rapture is for those who don't know what it is. Then, let's get into defining just what is a Partial Rapture, if there's even such a thing.

Tyler of Generation2434: The Rapture is very clearly defined in the Bible, such as in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. In these passages, Jesus promises that He is coming to gather all of those who are His — believers who are sealed with the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption — which I believe that day to be the Rapture. Christ is going to summon all who are called His children and take us to be with Him, as He says in John 14:1-3, "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."

I believe in what is called the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, meaning that the Rapture is going to occur before the prophesied Tribulation period begins. Titus 2:13 says that we are to be "looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." The Rapture is the blessed hope for every believer in Christ.

Rapture Anxiety Woes

Tyler of Generation2434: It saddens me to see something that we're told should be used to "comfort one another with these words" in 1 Thessalonians 4:18 to seemingly be stressing some people out.

This anxiety is very similar to the days of Christ's first advent. The Pharisees used the Mosaic Law to put their people under bondage. But then, Jesus came with His message of grace and faith. We know from Scripture that we are saved by grace, through faith, and not by our works, as it says in Ephesians 2:8-9. Therefore, Ephesians 4:30 is something that's really important to understand — that when we are saved we are sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption. That means that all of those who are His, whether you're dead in Christ or alive, will be taken in the Rapture.

Then there's this Partial Rapture message out there which falls very much under the law of bondage. It declares that unless you are performing spiritually at a certain level, or unless your eschatology is correct, or that you're actively anticipating the Rapture, then you're just not going. The funny thing is, almost every time, it's the ones who are saying that you have to be performing at a certain level are the same ones who also believe that they are the only ones meeting their requirements and so will be raptured. I'm concerned about that.

Tim Moore: According to Romans 4:5-8, for all who are saved, it's not on the basis of our works. We are saved to then do good works. We still fall short every day. Romans 7:24 says: "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" Not, "What a wretched man that I was." The author of Romans knew that due to his own fallen sinful nature, he would still tend to stray.

My hope is not in my own faithfulness or my own understanding, rather my hope is in Christ and His faithfulness, because He is always faithful. I'm absolutely confident, more so than ever, that Jesus will be true to His word and return and take His Church up to Heaven.

The Biblical Remedy

Nathan Jones: Tyler, what is the Bible's argument that it's not just some Christians who will be raptured, but all who are saved?

Tyler of Generation2434: I go back to Ephesians 2:8-9 which says that we are saved by grace through faith. Salvation is a package deal. First Thessalonians 4:13-18 says that whether you're dead in Christ or one of those who are alive and currently remain, we will all be caught up together to meet Jesus in the air.

The only thing that makes you worthy of salvation and the Rapture is the shed blood of the Lamb of God. First John 1:7-9 is very clear on that. We place our faith in the blood Jesus shed on the cross. We are then covered by His righteousness alone. It's never about our own righteousness. And so, if Jesus knows you, if you are His, if you're covered by the blood of the Lamb, whether you're dead or alive, when the moment the Rapture comes, you will be going up to be with Christ.

Tim Moore: John captured in John 3:16, "For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." It's an "either-or" promise. Then, at the very end of that same chapter, in John 3:36 he says, "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." That's it! If you believe in the Son, you have eternal life. And, for the one who does not believe the Son, they will not see eternal life, for the wrath of God abides on them.

When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, we are now sealed and delivered unto eternal life. So, it's either the wrath of God abides on you, or you have eternal life. That is truly our blessed hope!

Tyler of Generation2434: Yes, it's so important to understand that salvation is not a merit-based thing, rather it's a belief-based promise in Christ. The rapture is the very same. The Rapture is not a merit-based, performance-based event, rather it's a belief-based event. It's based on faith in Jesus Christ.

Nathan Jones: And if you take the Bride of Christ analogy to its full extent, when I married my wife, I didn't marry half of her — the part that was anticipating our marriage. The other half didn't need to stay behind and endure tribulation until it purified her to make her righteous, which is the argument for the Partial Rapturists who believe some Christians have to go through the Tribulation to purify themselves. No! "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin," as 1 John 1:7 reveals. Jesus is going to take the entire Bride. He just doesn't leave parts behind.

Tyler of Generation2434: In John 19:30, Jesus said while on the cross, "It is finished." Therefore, Christians don't need to earn anything more towards our salvation, or somehow purify ourselves in order to become saved. The shed blood of Jesus Christ is the only thing that can make us pure and worthy to go to Heaven in the Rapture.

Nathan Jones: Put your hope in Jesus Christ alone. For those who know Jesus Christ as their Savior, one day you will be either raptured up to Heaven or you'll die and be resurrected. Either way, you'll be with your Lord and Savior. Nobody saved will be left behind to endure the Tribulation. You can count on that!

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