(Old Facebook Post)
Why do we let one passing reference to “the rapture” (mentioned only in 1 Thess. 4:17, in a manner open to alternate interpretations) determine our vision of where we will spend eternity, while we ignore at least four mentions of a “new earth” (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; and esp. 2 Peter 3:13 and Revelation 21:1) and 1-1/2 whole chapters about a “new Jersualem” (Rev. 21-22a; see also Rev. 3:12; Galatians 4:26)?
My… concern… is that an emphasis on one uncertain interpretation of the idea of a rapture has eclipsed all that Jesus and Paul said about the resurrection–including the judgment of the saints but especially the redemption of our bodies and of all creation.
Follow-up for bonus points: Can anyone show me where the Bible says that when Christians die they go to spend eternity in heaven?
My big point is that the Bible doesn’t say “Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when you die and go to heaven,” but “Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:13). I think the difference is very significant, and usually forgotten both in our evangelism language and our attempts to comfort believers. The NT writers had their eyes fixed on the final resurrection; do we?