Sky Links, 4-10-14

Photo: Spacebridge by longobord CC 2.0
The rapture

Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
-1 Thess. 4:17

Did you know that the doctrine or belief in something called the rapture was first propounded in 1830?  In other words, it is a relatively new doctrine and was not popular, widespread, or written about before then.

When I was a teenager, I started reading popular books that espoused the rapture.  Later, I found out that it is a peripheral, controversial, minority (albeit popular) viewpoint.  Looking at 1 Thess. 4:17 reminds me that this event is Biblical (the catching up of those who remain), but talking about it all the time still seems odd.

Rapture fever has the idea in it that the world is going to hell, so we need to get people saved in time for the soon coming rapture.  Jesus had a message that he preached, which was, "repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand".  That's a little different than the rapture gospel.  The main thing about salvation is that the resurrection life of Christ now gets to manifest among believers as the kingdom breaks out on earth.  Jesus today is all about discipleship, kingdom, and mission.  Another angle on the same problem was written about by Ron McKenzie, in a post, mentioned below, Great Brain Robbery.

Whether you believe in the rapture (the left behind paradigm) or if you do not and wonder 'what's up with that?', a place to start and learn is the wikipedia page here.

Who are you under?
But Jesus called the disciples and said, "You know that the rulers of the unbelievers lord it over them and their superiors act like tyrants over them.
-Matt. 20:25

Darren Hibbs has been releasing a lot of material lately.  He wrote a book about the falling and rebuilding of the twin towers in NYC, called The Year of the Lord's Favor?  Darren is an equipper.  His bio on Amazon says:

The fastest way to learn how to hear the Lord for yourself is to expose yourself to as many stories about God speaking as possible. Much of the Bible is not wrote doctrinal statements, but stories about what God did for people. If you want to encounter God more, read more about what He has done in other peoples' lives.
Darren's passion is to write books that help you follow the Lord for yourself.
Darren wrote about the false teaching, that says, "you must be 'under' (in submission to?) another leader (apostle or pastor perhaps?), if you want to be, or want to say you are, or minister as a prophet."
Jesus tells us that we must submit ourselves to one another in the Kingdom of God. Note that He didn’t say this to the random masses who followed Him, but directly to His twelve disciples. Jesus told those men who would go on to become the foundational apostles that their authority and leadership must take on the humility that Jesus’ leadership did.
So this concept of submission to apostolic authority is biblical, but it isn’t just for prophets. It is for prophets, pastors, elders and other apostles. The way of the kingdom of God is that we all “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).
Any organization that exerts the authoritarian leadership of an “apostle” or “pastor”
over anyone, prophet or otherwise, is on dangerous ground. Paul defended his apostleship, not by demanding others recognize it, but by demonstrating it through suffering and laboring for others. He laid down his life in service of others.
Biblical Submission
So yes, prophets should submit to apostles. And pastors. And janitors. And the sound guy.
And likewise, they should all submit to the prophet.
Out of reverence for Christ, we should all submit to each other. Without that kind of submission, we do great damage to the humility of the church. Scripture does not call us to ask or demand for submission from others, but to offer our submission to others.
There’s a big difference.
The lost message of the church
Then he sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
-Luke 9:2

Ron McKenzie wrote about the Kingdom of God message that Jesus preached:
For many Christians, the next big thing is the second coming. They do not mind if the situation in the world gets worse and worse, because they see it as a sign that the coming of Jesus is getting closer. Therefore, they do not really want to see the Kingdom coming closer.
The popular belief that Jesus will return to establish the Kingdom of God is Satan’s greatest lie. He has used it successfully to cripple the church and rob us of our inheritance. He has fooled us into believing that we do not have to have the Kingdom, because Jesus will do it for us when he returns. Unfortunately, although this idea is popular, it is not true.
Great Brain Robbery, by Ron McKenzie.

When they were completely satisfied, Jesus told his disciples, "Collect the pieces that are left over so that nothing is wasted."
-John 6:12
The Biblical message and idea of frugality is something all of us need.  God wants us to live in His
abundance, but not loving nor controlled by money and 'things'.

If you want to learn how to be more frugal, check out America's Money Smart Family website.

Notes and Quotes

“If you really want to experience God, then go and make disciples.”
-Francis Chan

If the cross is not foolishness to the lost world then we have misrepresented the cross. 
-Steven Lawson

Sometimes when we’re in transition, which always involves loss, and always therefore involves grief, we make a serious mistake of consciously minimizing the loss, and therefore unconsciously blocking the process of healing from taking place. You can’t normalize the experience of loss until and unless you allow yourself to feel it and own its impact on you. What gets buried alive tends to stay alive to haunt later on.
-Mark Chironna
Picture credits: 
The man under the black umbrella is from "What is Covering Theology", by Michael Boehm.
The Kingdom of Heaven graphic is from Walking Together Ministries, Wyman Richardson.
The Bible & wallet picture is from Peter Saunders.