Has the Anticipation of the Rapture Made Christians Lazy for the Gospel?

Akers rapture

At one time in our culture, Evangelist Mario Murillo said that sharing the gospel of Christ wasn't so difficult. In other words, during the time of the Jesus movement and even beyond it, it was cool to be a Christian and talk about Jesus.

But then, something went awry. Methodically, society began to become perturbed at the mention of Jesus' name, and now it has become hostile towards Christians and the Word of God.

Murillo says there are many factors for that, but the "overemphasis" on the rapture—which holds that the church could be taken up to heaven at any moment—heads up the list.

And frankly, Murillo says, it has made a lot of Christians apathetic and even lazy.

Note: For the crux of this teaching, fast-forward to the 30:00 mark of this video.

"That is one of the things that cost us our steam," Murillo says. "Do I believe in the rapture? Here's what I believe. I believe that we are to function as if we're here another 1,000 years. We have to function as if we are here for the long run.

"In the Jesus movement, the books, the movies—everything was so apocalyptic that no one bothered to finish college. No one bothered to have a long-range plan. Nobody had any serious body of work that was being done in order to speak to the culture on a long-range basis. And because of that, it tended to take a lot of the momentum out of it. "

But the rapture isn't the only reason, Murillo says, that believers have lost some of their zeal for winning souls for Christ or for prophesying God's truth.

"Jesus is a lion, and Jesus is a lamb," Murillo says. "The Jesus movement was acoustic. It was flowers, and it was, you know, that little chubby dove they designed. It was tender. It was that way, and that was a lamb temperament. The matrix of that movement was a lamb temperament. It was like, 'Jesus loves you.' The songs of the day and the Christian music was amazing.

"But here's what we're in now. In Joel it says 'I'll pour out My Spirit on your sons and daughters and they will prophesy.' I personally don't believe we have seen that yet."

Murillo says America must rid itself of the "lamb revival." He believes this country is on the verge of a youthful revival that is going to be "very frightening" because the enemy has "counterfeited the prophetic gift" and has made believers immune to it.

"Youth are going to be the prophets. And the prophets that come out from the youth movement aren't going to say that everything you've been through in preparation ... your end is going to be greater than your beginning—all of this flattery," Murillo says. "Prophets speak to cultural evil. Prophets go to the seat of power and challenge it. They speak truth to power. That hasn't happened yet."

The good news, according to Murillo, is that we've already seen flashes of spiritual awakening in America. The Asbury Revival and the premier of the "Jesus Revolution" movie were "precursors" of events that will be widespread, and America's youth will be a huge part of it.

It's only one reason that Murillo and his team are "recalibrating" their ministry to visit more college campuses.

"It's where the student awakening of America is going to strike," he says. "And it's going to have an intensity because the passion—the natural passion of youth—is going to be amazing."

But before that happens, the youth of America must rediscover the truth. The Bible isn't taught in schools, so Murillo says the average young believer doesn't understand the essential truth of the gospel, the Trinity, the Second Coming of Christ, the process of sanctification and the inerrancy of Scripture.

Biblical illiteracy is rampant, even in the church.

"The Bible says be ready to give an answer for the hope that lies within you," Murillo says. " Biblical illiteracy was created by these guru-type celebrity pastors that are running around now. They love to sound like Anthony Robbins and wear the muscle shirts and stand there and enthrall the crowd.

"But they're not teaching truth, verse by verse, biblical, doctrinal truth. Youth are fascinated by truth and they want it. But they are seduced by something that is left out.

Murillo book Turn"Secondly, we haven't pursued with integrity the supernatural. ... For every false prophet we see running around seeing cows driving tractors in heaven, there is another preacher who said prophecy isn't for today. ...

"We need to discover the true gift of prophecy, discernment, the casting out of devils. Here is what Paul said: 'Concerning spiritual gifts, I don't want you to be ignorant.' We don't have that passion. There are certain spirit-filled denominations where huge number of their pastors don't even pray in tongues and have never been baptized in the Holy Spirit. We've ignored tongues, we've ignored the gifts of the Spirit. ... That opened the door for all of these people that are flaky, that are extreme in the onslaught of social media. ... And they're not under any kind of integrity or authority, and they're fleecing the flock."

Murillo believes we must return to spiritual integrity, truth and submitting to God's Word and authority. It's the only way we can move forward and in anticipation of coming into God's glory.

Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media

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