Note: This is a preview of a small portion of Terry’s newly released book: “Rapture Ready…Or Not: 15 Reasons Why This Is the Generation That Will Be Left Behind.”
This generation is full of scoffers, mocking the prophesied return of Jesus Christ to Planet Earth. This is as the great Apostle Peter foretold it would be at the end of the age of grace (Church Age): “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).
God’s prophecies are 100 percent accurate, so it doesn’t surprise in the least that there is the scoffing and mocking today, exactly as one of God’s prophets said there will be as time nears the Lord’s return. Many signals are occurring simultaneously, and with phenomenal frequency and intensity, pointing to where we are on God’s prophetic timeline. Chief among these are all of the geopolitical dynamic intrigues surrounding the nation Israel –God’s prophetic timepiece. The sneering at the thought that there could possibly be a rapture just throws fuel on the fire of the end-of-days deluge –the end that is coming in with a flood of last-days indicators as foretold by Daniel the prophet: “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof [shall be] with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined” (Dan 9:26).
Daniel was foretelling what would happen from the time the Messiah, Jesus Christ, would die for the sins of mankind until the very end of human history at Armageddon. Great, convulsing, prophesied issues and events would, near the very end of the age, he forecast, gush through the generation alive at the time like a flood.
Daniel’s End-Time Flood
One of those predicted events of the end-time flood is the level of anger that will be against believers who proclaim that one of the most stupendous events of all human history will one day –perhaps very soon—take millions upon millions from the earth’s surface in a fraction of a second.
We receive in our e-mail each week any number of messages declaring that the truth we champion regarding Bible doctrine and prophecies –particularly the pre-trib rapture of the Church– are everything from ludicrous to heretical. This criticism gets especially intense whenever the raptureready.com website is written or spoken about in a major media outlet. That is to be expected, because there can be no spiritual discernment among those of the lost world.
Believers in Jesus Christ can understand, while those who do not belong to God’s family through belief in His only begotten Son cannot understand:
“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:11-14).
Defense of Rapture to Lost and Saved
Trying to explain or defend the rapture to the world of the lost is, therefore, fruitless. There is just no way they can come to understand or believe this doctrine, unless and until they repent, ask for–and accept–God’s grace gift offer of salvation through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross at Calvary nearly two millennia ago. We can go through the vast body of scriptural text, laying out the Bible facts as we are confident God’s Word presents truth about the rapture. But, unless and until one is capable of spiritual discernment from the Holy Spirit, a person, no matter how intellectually brilliant, can never come to believe those facts. They might even come to understand the facts in a purely cerebral sense, but never truly comprehend them to the point of knowing that the rapture is a cataclysmic event in the future of one particular generation of earth’s inhabitants.
So, our efforts to explain the rapture will meet with quite limited results, seeing as how there is a great spiritual discernment disconnect, when explaining to those who don’t know Christ for salvation. This we accept, thus can move ahead with limited frustration in putting the truth about prophecy and the rapture before these as best we can.
Dealing with the Body of Christ–all born-again believers–is quite another thing, when it comes to our frustration meter. It becomes a bit more disconcerting when our efforts to put out truth about prophecy, and the rapture in particular, is met with the same arguments, no matter how thoroughly and how cogently we organize and present what God’s Word has to tell His children about these matters.
Hard-Shell Rapture Detractors
There are, of course, the die-hard preterists (believing that most all prophecy has been completed or should be spiritualized) and the reform replacement theological enclaves (those who declare God’s promises have been taken from Israel and given to the church). These make their livings throwing mud balls–usually with stones at the centers—at those of us who proclaim the truth that Jesus will come for His Church –all born-again believers—BEFORE the tribulation era –the last seven years of human history that culminates at Armageddon. These, who refuse to see two programs of God’s dealing with mankind, Israel, and the Church –these two dovetailing into one magnificent prophetic culmination– castigate us who believe that God deals with His creation called man dispensationally (the ages of Adam, Noah, Moses, Abraham, David, the Church, Tribulation, Millennium, etc.). Sometimes, it seems fruitless to try to break through the thick spiritual iron wills of these, in trying to present truth about the rapture. But, these are not the most troubling that seem to fit the 2 Peter 3: 3-4 description, so far as scoffing is concerned. The more concerning, to me, at least, are those who, despite being given, time after time, the same tremendously in-depth explanation from God’s Word about the rapture and the truth that it will be a pre-trib one, continue to come to us with the same arguments to the contrary. This, despite the fact that they visit the Rapture Ready website, and can read more than 15,000 articles on matters of God’s truth, many dealing specifically with eschatology.
These are Christians who just seem to have it in their determination that they must go through –endure—the tribulation, the time about which Jesus foretold the following: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt. 24:21).
The Tribulation, if we can imagine, will be worse than the concentration camps, torture chambers, crematoriums of Hitler, or the most terrible days of the inquisitions with all of the devilish methods of torture. Yet, there seems to be a need –they deludedly think—for some Christians to go through that time, during which Antichrist will do his dead-level best to kill every person who refuses to worship him.
I’ve chosen one letter from such a Christian. It is a simple and mild letter; no mud-ball throwing. But, it represents the most troubling of all of the critics of the rapture of the Church, in my view. It is most troubling that these types think as they do, because it shows an almost willfulness against accepting God’s promises, summed by this passage: “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:9).
Here is what she wrote, in part:
“I know that the Tribulation is going to be extremely bad and even worse than I can imagine but I sincerely believe I along with you and other Christians that are living at the time, will be going thru the bad. I am prepared mentally and will do whatever comes my way to either get thru or stand up and say no when needed. If I am one that is to [be] beheaded, then so be it. I know GOD will be holding my hand and whatever comes my way, HE will see me thru.
“If I can be of any use to GOD to help save people then I am prepared to do as HE wants. I have many family members that are not believers now and pray daily that will change. I do believe that many souls will be saved. I know that I am a sinner and do not like verses of the Bible taken out of context.
“The whole book or at least the chapter needs to [be] read and understood not just a verse here and now to prove a theory that did not even come into being until a couple of hundred years ago. How is every eye going to see JESUS return if HE comes back in secret? Just don’t believe any are going to be “raptured away.” The Bible states that HEAVEN will be coming down here not us going up there.”
Next week will be a continuation of this small section of Terry’s newly released book.