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Thursday, June 5, 2014 12:01 am

RAPTURE RALLY

 Interested in the apocalypse? Enthralled by the end times? Or maybe just interested in what some Christians believe about the end of the world as we know it? An estimated 400 people are coming to Springfield in early June to talk about the rapture prophesied in the Bible. Springfield First Baptist Church is hosting the Rapture Forums Prophecy Conference 2014. It’s a four-day series of talks by popular authors and researchers on what they believe will happen when the end of the world approaches. Christianity is divided on what the rapture will actually entail. American evangelicals tend to believe the rapture will see believers “reaped” from the earth at the second coming of Jesus Christ. Many other denominations in the U.S. and the rest of the world believe the rapture refers instead to the resurrection of dead believers. Even among those who think believers will disappear, there is disagreement about when it will happen in relation to Christ’s second coming. Some believe it will happen just before a period of troubles called the Tribulation, while others believe it will happen during or after. The rapture is supposed to precede a “final battle” between God and Satan, and then a 1,000-year paradise-like reign of Christ known as the Millennium. Sound confusing? It can be. But if you want to get a taste of the American evangelical flavor of rapture, this is your chance. The event is scheduled for June 5-8 at Springfield First Baptist Church, 301 South Grand Avenue West. It will also feature a gospel concert by Nashville, Tennesee-based group The Gatekeepers. For more information, visit www.springfieldfirstbaptist.org/events/rfprophecyconference.

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