Critics of the pre-Trib Rapture continue to send email. Every week I get a number of messages telling me we are teaching error. Well…some accuse of much more damage done than simply teaching error. We are sometimes charged with leading people to accept the lie of 2 Thessalonians chapter 2. This, of course, is the great delusion Antichrist will foist upon mankind when the Tribulation is in effect.
By teaching that Rapture will occur before the seven years of Tribulation begins, we are, these in opposition to the pre-Trib Rapture accuse, likely causing people to not recognize Antichrist when he one day soon comes on the scene. These who are so duped, the critics say, might well take the “666” mark of the beast of Revelation 13:16-18 because they will be thinking the Rapture must occur first and not realize that they must endure all or at least part of the Tribulation era.
If they take the mark, they will be doomed forever, according to Revelation chapter 14.
I must say that I have to believe that anyone who views the Rapture as mid-Trib or post-Trib cannot believe in eternal security of the believer. They cannot believe in “once saved, always saved.”
Those who enter the seven years of Tribulation will have to make the choice of whether to take Antichrist’s mark of worship. If they take the mark in order to receive sustenance so as to not starve, or to avoid beheading, they are, God’s Word says, lost forever, with no chance for redemption. So, they will have lost their salvation.
In such case, the Age of Grace–in which one can be saved for all eternity–can’t be a dispensational fact. There is no separation of the Church Age from the Tribulation era within this view.
This is a double-jeopardy belief system. There is no comfort to be found within it. And yet, God’s Word says the following:
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18)
Accompanying the charge that we are leading people to not recognize Antichrist, thus endangering them of taking the mark of the beast, is the accusation that we are practicing the false teaching of escapism.
This is the accusation, often charged in anger, that we are telling Christians they can escape the coming time of God’s judgment and wrath. These who charge such most often teach that Christians must go through the time of Tribulation to prove their worthiness to inherit the eternal kingdom. They don’t explain why millions of believers who have lived and died since the Church was born won’t have to do the same.
I remember well the words of Thru the Bible Radio teacher and famous pastor of the Church of the Open Door, Dr. J. Vernon McGee . He once said that people accused him of being an escapist theologian–of teaching falsely the escaping from that horrendous time of God’s judgment and wrath. Ol’ Dr. McGee said that he wholeheartedly agreed. He was a believer in the escapist theology. He said something like: “If the building is on fire and I’m about to be burned up, I will go out the door, the window, up the chimney–I’ll go through any opening to escape the horror of that threat.”
And the Tribulation will certainly be seven years of unspeakable horror. It will make the Holocaust of Hitler’s day look like a Sunday school picnic, McGee went on to say.
Jesus said of that time: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).
So, I, like Dr. McGee, will gladly take that open door into Heaven that the Lord will provide when this dispensation, the Church Age or Age of Grace ends and that time of horror, the Tribulation, begins. Short of death, it is my only way out of the most terrible time of all human history, according to the lord Jesus’ own words.
It is also your only way, other than death, to get out of the horrors of that time–a time that the signs proliferating all around this generation tells the observer of God’s prophetic Word must surely be near.
This is not a forewarning of gloom and doom for the believer in Jesus Christ for salvation. The glory that awaits the believer who is alive at this exciting yet troubling hour in human history is stupendous–spectacular beyond our wildest imagination!
Don’t fear things to come. Just believe and take comfort. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved (Acts 16:31)!
Even beyond that, whether through death or the Rapture before this era of horror begins, you and I will instantaneously be in the presence of our Lord and Savior. We will inherit the entirety of Heaven’s unfathomable splendor!
Thanks for the encouragement. We live in a time when this must be repeated over and over.
What a great message Pastor James. This is one of the best defenses of a Pre-Trib Rapture I have read in a long time. True “born again” Christians who don’t believe “Once Saved Always Saved” go thru life wondering; have I done enough good works to keep my salvation active and God’s love? Did not homeschooling my children cause me to lose my salvation? I have a TV in my house and watch football games. I can’t kick the habit of smoking (I’ve fallen off the wagon dozens of times). Is God displeased? No. He loves us and he cannot see our sins because of what Jesus did on Calvary. True believers are dead to sins of the flesh. They are all forgiven by the shed blood of Jesus; otherwise, it’s legalism and salvation by good works and not Grace. Once we are born again, we are saved, sealed and sanctified that gives us happiness beyond human understanding. I read and hear about so many Christians who don’t know if they are saved. That’s tragic.
SPOT ON! WHY would the generation that sees Jesus Christ’s return have to suffer horrible punishment just to be proven worthy? That is a point I always make! I mean what about all the others gone before us? It is illogical to say the least and WHY would Jesus want a bruised, beaten and bloody bride? We are given our “blessed hope” and made promises but for anyone reading this who wants to go through the tribulation so they can feel “worthy”? I say HAVE AT IT and good luck! I am done arguing with anyone and I am settled firmly and waiting. I am also done trying to talk to rude people who tell me there is no God or ask me which god I serve. Oh, and I will also need to give them POSITIVE PROOF. They always sound like petulant children to me. I pity them, dust off my sandals and pray for them but I refuse to argue with them because all I can do is offer them scripture and of course they are so smart and tell me there are no versions of the Bible that are not corrupted which is a lie! God is fully able and capable of protecting His Word! HIS BOOK! ALL glory to God and to Jesus, who sits at His right hand and thank you Holy Spirit for your discernment during these last days! Thank you Brother Terry for all you do for The Kingdom! MARANATHA
Yes, the building is burning and I am leaving! Used to be I wanted to escape but more recently my soul is vexed and I am weary of all the evil and insanity around me. Those who are angry about the pre-tribulation rapture will be found to be those who in their fallen pride think their free will, etc., can help God save themselves (those of the Arminianism persuasion). I am glad my salvation is all of God and I did nothing to defile it. I am not a scholar and much of the Bible I do not understand, but God wrote it simple enough to understand and be comforted by it. Keep on preaching the Blessed Hope. Be encouraged; we are leaving soon.
Our Christ Jesus already Approved us. We have nothing to Prove. They say we have to work to Prove our worthiness to Heaven. Seems they belive in works and not Grace.:(
One reason Jesus takes the church militant out in the Rapture is to prepare them for the Second Coming Invasion of Planet Earth when comes back with his saints.
How post tribers can’t differentiate between
the Pre tribulation rapture of the church and
the second advent is mind boggling to say the
least! If they, (post tribers) would just rightly
divide the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15 They, the
(post tribers) would understand that the bible
has different dispensations. The church age
ending in the rapture of the church and the tribul-
ation starting in rev chp (6). It is not the church’s
appointment to endure the tribulation, the wrath
of God 1 Thess 5:9. But they (post tribers) are
adamant that the church will go through the trib-
ulation with no understanding that would negate
God’s plan for Israel as told by Daniel.
Daniel 9:24 (KJV)
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people
and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression,
and to make an end of sins, and to make reconc-
iliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting
righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prop-
hecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
None of which belongs to the church!
By the grace of God my heart has been opened and my understanding quickened to believe every promise of God given to comfort this aged woman’s heart. In Hebrews we are exhorted that we labor to enter into His rest, In these days of scornful opposition to the promise of Jesus given first in John 14,
I am grateful for continuing in the Word of the Lord given for our hope and perfecting of our faith. If we continue in the word God authored, continue seeking, searching, praying for understanding — we shall know the truth and THE TRUTH shall make us free. (John 8:31-31)
Hebrews 4 exhorts us:
1Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 3For we which have believed do enter into rest….
I can recite seven reasons why the rapture must be prior to the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7). I have recently gone again to prepare my heart to give an answer to anyone who may ask me of why I am so childlike in my faith — simply believing what Jesus said and gave to Paul to explain after the Holy Spirit had come to show us all things, to teach us what had only been given in seed form by Jesus in John 14. Truly, only those who believe all that Jesus said and Paul explained? We are the ONLY ones in this earth who can give a reason for the hope we have to those who are walking in fear and storing up for their fearful futures…..The day shall declare it. I want to bring as many as God will permit the opportunity to hear the truth so they can decide for themselves.
Terry, every time the question is asked, often with a very haughty spirit….”WHY do YOU think YOU will get a pass when all fervent and mighty men and women of God had to go through great testings, great sufferings, and you think YOU ARE NOT going to have to experience the same in order to prove your worthiness? You are so presumptuous! You disgust me!
Yet this one question needs to be answered by these who oppose the truth and twist the scriptures to their own destruction (God forbid — instead give them light and understanding….)
“These who charge such most often teach that Christians must go through the time of Tribulation to prove their worthiness to inherit the eternal kingdom. They don’t explain why millions of believers who have lived and died since the Church was born won’t have to do the same.”
If we truly have been born again into the family of God, if we have become as little children in trust and dependence upon Him for our every need –if we truly believe all that the Scriptures clearly say about the time of the end, then we indeed are awake to the times and the seasons in which we have been CHOSEN BY GOD to live in. We are the most PRIVILEGED generation to ever be born. For we who are alive and remain in relationship with Jesus and are striving to be faithful daily, living in right relationship with God and all others …. instant to forgive every man every offence, keeping our robes washed in the blood of the Lamb — awake to the FACT that TODAY could be our last day of earthly existence?
INDEED — I am desiring that Jesus come and praying COME QUICKLY and so grateful that He CHOSE that I be alive in this generation to experience the fulfillment of all Scripture. I know that I may be amongst those who do not have the abundance of rewards heaped upon me at the Bema seat judgment. I may indeed be one whose works are all burnt up because they were motivated by my flesh and I may suffer great loss, but my soul shall be saved even as by fire. I do believe I will receive one reward promised those who indeed LOVE HIS COMING…..who are purifying themselves from all the sinful lustful pleasures of this world and who indeed have no pleasure in unrighteousness. Christ is my righteousness and my hope is built on NOTHING less than Jesus’ blood and His righteousness. He cannot fail to save me to the uttermost. THANK YOU FATHER GOD …. THANK YOU JESUS! THANK YOU HOLY SPIRIT for leading me into all the precious truths given to the children of God.
All I can say for myself is that when I understood this truth, the truth that Christ would come and take us out before the wrath comes it caused me to be watching everyday and every night and it has put Jesus on my mind all day long. I believe when you know that Christ can come at anytime you will be waiting all the time, it will cause you to want to spend time in the bible to really understand our Lord and savior and to see our Father’s heart. Our Father loves us. He loves us so much we will never truly understand it cause we don’t love like he does. We get a taste of it when we realize Our Father sent Christ to die in our place so we can stand in his presence someday and be a part of his family. The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ covers us just like the children of Israel when they were about to come out of Egypt. God said when I see the blood I will pass over you, today he tells us when my son washes you clean by his blood I will pass over you!
Our Father is most marvelous and loves us beyond anything we can imagine. I believe our Father knew when we realized he was going to send Jesus for us before the wrath it would cause us to walk uprightly and makes us princely and princessly, I believe he knew it would cause us to follow more closely and worship him in all the things in our lives and cause us to be conformed to the image of the Son. I love my Father in heaven and My Lord Jesus Christ and I actually have a desire in my heart to honor them in all I do.
I just believe when you understand he can come at anytime. You will be waiting expectantly!!!
I pray all of you know the Love and Depth of our Father and Our Lord Jesus Christ, I believe the more we realize that love the more we can love others. Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ who washed us by his own blood!!!! Amen
I have no fear whether I go by the grave first and then face to face or I get to hear my favorit shout to come up here! But I would love to ask all of those people who believe the sad story of being under condemnation to have to experience even a few seconds of theTribulation, what have they done that can improve the horrible price that ONLY JESUS the Messiah has already paid for? HE PREPAID ALL OF OUR SINS OVER 2000 YEARS AGO!
Reblogged this on BibleProphecyWatch.
Spot on Dr. Terry. Truth is truth and your theology is built on God’s word, not personal opinion. I think you are spot on. Can’t for the life of me figure out why some argue against what Scripture plainly teaches. Keep up the amazing work brother!
I particularly love your last sentence, “We will inherit the entirety of Heaven’s unfathomable splendor!” Such assurance, such a beautiful description of Heaven! It means more to me now than it did 90 days ago…..why? My husband of 42 years died 90 days ago today. I long to see Jesus……and I long to see my husband once again. Thank you for this wonderful article. It blessed me, comforted me, and increased my desire even more to be raptured out of this increasingly crazy world. Maranantha….come Lord Jesus!!!