Ascension Thursday and the Rapture


But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so, through Jesus, those who are asleep in Jesus, God will bring with Him.

For this we declare directly, from the word of the Lord, that we who are living when the Lord returns, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and also with the sound of the trumpet of God and so the dead in Christ will rise first.

Then together with them, we who still are alive, and are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.   Give these words of encouragement to one another.
St. Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians 4:13-17

Those passages, are also called the Rapture by many Evangelicals.  They believe that you do not have to confess and repent your sins but just believe in Jesus and you will be spared the Last Judgement.  The traditional Christian sects Episcopal (Anglican overseas), Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox disagree and quote the Lord’s Prayer which explicitly states: 

And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them, that trespass against us.

Meaning that to be forgiven we must be the first to forgive.  This is very clear in the Good News Translation used by the Gideon’s International.

Our Father in heaven:
May your holy name be honored; 
May your Kingdom come;
May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need.
Forgive us the wrongs we have done,
as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.
Do not bring us to hard testing, 
but keep us safe from the Evil One.
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