Nice to meet you miss dee! Opinions, everyone's got one, and I have mine. Here we go!
And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast; but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, Behold, I have made ready my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves are killed, and everything is ready; come to the marriage feast.' But they made light of it and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city." (Matthew 22:1-7 RSV)
(just using this site to get the scripture, nothing else)
Just being a believer in Jesus doesn't mean that you will go in the Rapture, IMHO. You have to want to go. You get what you believe (so believe what you want!). We should respect the beliefs of others not make light of them, I am not making light of people that disagree with me here. The last part is a warning Not just about murder but about verbal murder, the angels will raise up prophets that will "tell them what they want to hear" sealing their fate.
"Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite to the marriage feast as many as you find.' And those servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the wedding hall was filled with guests." (Matthew 22:8-10 RSV)
Gay people, Black people, Mormons, Christians, Atheist, even some white people, people from all over the world.
This is why the Rapture will not be recognized.
"But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment; and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.' For many are called, but few are chosen." (Matthew 22:11-14 RSV)
The "garment" is a heavenly body. Some people will be taken in spirit only, their bodies will be left behind, most will be changed and there will be no trace of them. The spirits will be provided "garments" but not all will choose to inhabit them. The "outer darkness" is part of the geography of Heaven and Hell. It is a bad place but not the worst place. The NT talks about many places in hell other than fiery pits. "Bind him hand and foot" just means that he will be unable to leave and unable to change his condition mainly because he will be in "darkness" he won't even be aware that heaven exist.
"For many are called, but few are chosen" this is part of the paradox of free will and the providence of God. It is rhetorical, the ones that were called were unworthy because they didn't believe. They didn't believe because they didn't ask. They didn't ask because God didn't choose to cause them to desperately desire a conversational relationship with God.
Christan leaders of today limit God. They are "bound" by their dogma. Jesus purchased the field to get the treasure. He owns the field and the treasure so he can do what he wants with both. The field and the treasure are all of mankind. He has the right to bring an Atheist to heaven if he wants.
miss dee, it is truely amazing that we can talk "one way" to the most powerful being in the universe. Its like using a walkie talkie, we push the button and talk away. Most of us never take our finger off the button, so we can never receive a response. I just took my finger off the button one day and He talked back. I'm still kinda of figuring it out. He's not vary chatty, He says a word or a phrase. He has a wonderful sense of humor (I'm usually the object of the joke.) I complain a lot and He complains about me complaining.
I ask Him one day "Why does Peter, James and Paul tell us not to say that You test us?
There's talk all through the Bible about testing."
Paraphrasing He said "wayne5, you build electronic boards, say you build 100 of them, then you test them before you ship them because you don't know if they work or not. I already know. I don't need to test them" For the first time it made sense.
And here is another mystery, When I was writing this thread I was thinking the whole time about someone reading it I had never heard of. A woman, academic, sometimes working for government agencies, Not one of those MIB's , could be working for the Agriculture Department for all I know. I'm kinda of surprised because you don't sound like her maybe I just missed it or maybe she will show up later.
I think this answer makes everything perfectly clear.
Any think else I can help you with?