An e-mailer addressed an ongoing matter that is perplexing, in that Christians read the same Word from God –the Bible–yet the message the children of God take from the same passages they read can be so different as to be troubling. Nowhere in the Holy Scriptures is this divergence of inferred meanings more pronounced than in those pertaining to prophecy yet future, particularly those involving the rapture of the Church.
Here are the e-mailer’s words, with a few redaction’s for the sake of not wanting to violate privacy, or to cast aspersions on specifically named people.
“I just wanted to ask you a question… I listen to [a well known Bible teacher and radio program host] every morning on my way to work. I consider him to be a ‘true born-again Christian’, and really enjoy hearing his teachings. He seems very knowledgeable of God’s Word. I have never heard anything from him that contradicts the word of God. However, on a recent radio program, he was teaching on the millennium… [He] was expounding on ‘premillennium,’ ‘amillennium,’ and ‘post-millennium’.
I know that he has a theological education of these issues [that] exceeds most layman’s understanding, but there was something that he said upset me during this broadcast. He happened to bring up the pretribulation rapture, and to me, he sounded as if he had contempt for the theory of a pretrib rapture.
Now, here is where my question comes in. Why do most theologians today seem to have this contempt, if I may call it that, for any teaching on a pretrib rapture? To paraphrase [the radio host’s] on this, he said that he has never been able to find even one shred of evidence of a pretribulation rapture in the Bible, and from the sound of his voice when he said it, I guess I formed my own opinion that he had contempt for this theory. Anyway, the point I am trying to make here is that I realize Christians do not have to agree on this idea to receive salvation and enter the kingdom of heaven as long as they are grounded in sound doctrine concerning the true meaning of salvation: that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, and no man can come to the Father except through Him and His blood sacrifice on the cross. I just don’t understand why a pretribulation rapture theory seems to provoke people to the point of becoming hostile of this theory, and sometimes, even toward the Christians [who] believe it. Personally, I believe that the pretrib rapture can be found in Scripture if a person will just read God’s Word with an open heart and mind, along with prayer for the Holy Spirit to guide them…”
This question by our Rapture Ready friend involves things that have always puzzled me, too, and I’ve written about matters attendant to the subject on a number of occasions. Why the vitriol, the seeming hatred for the pretrib view, even for those of us who teach the Bible from a pretrib rapture view?
I believe it flows from satanic rage that affects even the born again.
To know who is right–these like the radio host to whom the e-mailer refers, who believe the pretrib rapture is a lie from the pit of hell, as they sometimes put it–or we who teach the pretrib rapture, it is best to just examine what is going on all around us these days.
A large segment of the rapture revilers say that all prophecy was fulfilled with the A.D. 70 destruction of the temple and of Jerusalem by Titus and the Roman legions. Some believe the world has, since that date, been in the tribulation. They spiritualize and allegorize all prophecy we see as yet future.
Many of these believe that modern Israel isn’t God’s chosen, that God is finished with the Jew, and that the Church now has been given the promises God made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Is God indeed finished with Israel?
God’s Word says that Israel will be a nation just before His Son returns. His chosen people will be hated. It will be at the center of all the world’s national chaos and controversy. Is this happening, or not?
There will be a false peace made between Israel and its enemies that will affect the whole world, God’s prophetic Word says. Do we see any peace process in progress that involves Israel, its enemies, and, in effect, the entire world?
There will be a great power due north of Jerusalem and Israel whose leader will think an evil thought. Do we see any sign of such a power due north of Israel?
Take a string on a globe and put it on Jerusalem. Run that string straight up from Jerusalem. Does that string bisect any major city? Moscow! Persia, the prophetic Word of God says, will be a key partner with that leader and his nation, Rosh, the ancient name for the area that now is covered by Russia. These and a coalition called “Magog” will invade toward Israel, according to Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39. Do we see any collusion between Persia (Iran today) and Rosh (Russia today)?
There will be a coming back together, the Bible says, of the ancient Roman Empire (the last empire of Nebuchadnezzar’s metallic man-image as seen in the Babylonian king’s night-vision –Daniel chapter 2). Do we see that development taking place in our news today? Yes. The European Union.
Many like the radio host/teacher the e-mailer mentions believe that this world will be made better and better until Christ comes back to assume the earthly throne. Do we see the world getting better and better? Or is the world getting worse, according to the daily and hourly news headlines, just like prophetic Scripture predicts?
There are another dozen or more signals I could mention to draw the comparison between the beliefs that the preterists and other anti-rapture teachers hold and the pretrib/dispensational view we hold. Space does not allow.
The preponderance of evidence, both biblical and literal (things in the news), comes down thunderously on the side of the pretribulational, premillennial view of eschatology.
Why do they hate the pretrib view and the rapture teaching in considering things to come? I’m convinced it is because Satan hates Israel and the Lord’s plan to save remnants out of Israel and out of His creation called man in general.
These who hurl invective are deluded, in denial. I don’t doubt their salvation. But I do doubt their faithful adherence to God’s prophetic Word. They prefer man-made eschatology, and that is given not by the Holy Spirit, but by Lucifer, the fallen one. One prophecy in particular speaks to the rapture revilers’ attitude toward Christ’s coming in a sudden, unexpected intrusion upon a world that will be conducting its nefarious business as usual: “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Pet. 3:3-4).
Reblogged this on servehiminthewaiting.
The one thing that I can’t understand about anti pre trib rapture people is they seem to think we as God’s children have to go through some terrible suffering of God’s wrath before the Return of Christ .I liken this to a “Protestant Purgatory” view which is not biblical. Perhaps as supporters of the infamous “replacement theology” viewpoint they find it hard to grasp the Biblical fact that God intends to remove the true church (born out of the 2,000 year old dispensational Age of Grace) from the scene before turning His intention back to Israel in terms of the 70 th Week of Daniel 9:27. To understand that Israel has returned to the Promise Land (in unbelief apart from the Messianic Jews) and is not the church and the church is not Israel is to understand( with maturity) the words of Paul in Romans 11:25 “…Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of Gentiles has come in. In other words when the last person on God’s list has been saved then God will let Jesus Christ return in the air for His saints.
Further to my previous comment I recall Chuck Missler saying that Jesus referred to the second half of the 70th Week as the Great Tribulation where God’s wrath is poured out on Planet Earth but one of the Biblical promises is that the true Church will be taken out beforehand. Apparently the first Holocaust in Nazi Germany took out one in every three living Jew; but the Second Holocaust to come (as prophesied in Zech. 13:8-9) will take out two in every three living Jews. No wonder Jeremiah refers to this terrible period as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble No wonder the Apostle Paul in writing to the saints at Thessalonica refers to Jesus “who rescues us from the coming wrath”1 Thess 1:10.Therefore the theological aim of the pre -trib Rapture is to allow saints to escape from the wrath of God ,to close the Church Age and to complete God’s covenant promises to Israel as the “apple of his eye.”Zech.2:8.
Many Christians throughout the Church Age have laid down their lives as a “testimony” of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Even today, many Christians around the world count it a privilege to “witness” of their faith in Christ in such a manner. The reason the American Laodicean church at large doesn’t like the idea of a post or mid-tribulation rapture, is they have become lukewarm in their Christian lives. America affords them the day-to-day luxury of movies, new cars, restaurants, Costco, snowboards … ad-infinitum. The very idea of having to suffer for the offense of the cross is anathema to them. No wonder that most modern-day, Sunday go-to-church Christians enjoy the idea of an instant escape from that which is soon to come upon the face of the Earth!
The problem with the “pre-tribulation” rapture theory is it tends to foster a “false” hope in the heart of the believer that one minute they’re going to be enjoying the latest Star Wars movie, and the next moment they’ll be Raptured to glory. That really sounds like the 2016 version of an “unwise virgin” to me. If a believer holds to the scriptural position that the coming of the Lord and “our gathering unto Him” is “immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days” (i.e. pre-wrath), then that believer will tend to “redeem the time” right now in order to fill his vessel full of the oil of the Holy Ghost! Only through the power of God’s Spirit will the end-time believer have the necessary “light” to see his way through the darkness of the man of sin’s mandate “to make war with the saints and to overcome them”!
The greatest misconception about this whole issue is caused by not scripturally separating the difference between Satan’s “tribulation” poured out upon the saints and God’s “wrath” that is poured out upon the kingdom of the Beast at His return.
All of your arguments are fine, so far as opinion goes. But that’s all it is –your opinion. I agree the Church is complacent. If you or I were the final judge, we would perhaps say let the complacent be left behind.
But, thankfully, we are not the final judge. That final judge is God Almighty. He promises in His Holy Word that “all” believers –not “some” believers will be raptured, as foretold by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and in 1 Corinthians 15:51-55.
Jesus, who IS the Word–promises in Rev 3:10 to keep all believers out of the very time of the tribulation which He then goes on to describe through John who transcribed, under divine inspiration, the Book of Revelation.
It is not argumentation or “opinion” that counts, but the very Word of God that counts in determining truth on any subject –including who will and will not go to Christ in the rapture and when that rapture will occur –whether before, during, or after the tribulation.
The Bible clearly teaches that all believers in Jesus Christ of the Church Age (Age of Grace) will be taken in the rapture. It clearly, unequivocally, teaches that the rapture will take place before the final 7 years leading to Armageddon and Christ’s Second Advent (Revelation 19:11).
I must admit that although I long For JESUS’ Rapture Of His Church,
Right Here, Right Now, my motives for It are at best selfilsh and callous.
Thanks Be To our LORD JESUS-CHRIST’ S Mercy for the still unsaved
of this world, HE Delayed Coming For HIS Bride As Long As Possible.
Let’s just think for a moment :
That The Rapture Happens today.
How many of our loved ones,
and let’s be frank,
how many of our detested ones,
will be lost ?
Those are the people we will be ashamed of ourselves for our
failure to witness to them.
People for whose damnation we must bear JESUS’ Reproach.
Fortunately for the world, GOD’S LOVE And COMPASSION
for the unsaved Are Infinitely Greater than my own.
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