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Jesus’ Olivet Discourse prophecies continue to come alive while today’s news flashes in lightning-like fashion across our television and computer monitor screens.
We most often consider the terrorism and pyrotechnics of Middle Eastern madness. We talk about Russia and Iran (Persia) preparing to fulfill the Gog-Magog prophecies as given in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39.
Our efforts are often spent concentrating on what is happening with regard to the building one-world order in the areas of finance, religion and the many other ways such movement is manifesting.
We think in terms of the proliferating things happening within Europe –about the upheaval that seems to be rearranging for the prophesied revived Roman Empire. We look at monetary economic dynamics that are driving the world toward a global fiscal order that will eventuate in the 666 marks and numbers system of Revelation 13: 16-18.
Sometimes the natural order seems so disturbed that geophysical activity, such as earthquakes occurring simultaneously, floods raging and other phenomena erupting across the planet draws the attention of prophecy watchers. But, it is the creation called man that at present seems on the front-burner of prophetic progression –at least to this observer.
The Lord gave, during His prophecies of things to come as the time of His return in the Second Advent nears, a quite interesting description of the human condition at the very end of the age. The description seems to have a dual reference or application.
The particular prophecy of which I write is a foretelling by the Lord I believe we see developing at this very moment in time. It is building hourly in its virulence –in its evil, end times impact upon cultures and societies around the world. Here is Christ’s prophecy.
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring.” (Lk 21: 25)
It is parts b and c of this prophecy that I wish us to examine. Jesus foretold that there will be “nations in distress with perplexity.” The “sea and waves” will be “roaring.”
We have looked a number of times in these commentaries at the fact that nations across the world are in distress with perplexity. The financial upheaval going on has Europe to the point of near-dissolution. The “Brexit” is one such manifestation. The great turmoil in Greece and now France as well as other EU countries make it clear that the western world is suffering a nervous breakdown of sorts. Our own nation is hard on the heels of the schizophrenia developing over there.
The next part of Jesus’ prophecy foretells that the “sea and waves roaring” will be a prime marker of the last of the last days. By the time the Tribulation is full-blown the disturbances will bring planet earth to the point of total destruction. Only Christ’s return will quell the “roaring.”
“Sea and waves” can indicate the geophysical disturbances forecast for that era. But, it is the symbolic application that is much more the meaning in this case, I’m convinced.
“Sea and waves” in this case are symbolic of the peoples of earth. Jesus was saying they will, as a result of the“distress and perplexity” be “roaring.”
Jesus indicated as given in Luke 21:28 that He will return (in the Rapture) when this indicator –and the others He gave as signals for His Second Coming at Armageddon– “begin to come to pass.”
John the revelator gave in the very first verse of the thirteenth chapter of Revelation the view of the Antichrist beast regime arising out of the “sea” of people that would be in tumult. It is the observation of a growing number of seasoned prophetic observers that the United States is now showing signs of being a part of this tumultuous“sea” of unrest that might soon bring history’s most ferocious tyrant to power.
The “Black Lives Matter” protests did much to ratchet up civil unrest within the nation. The nucleus of that disruptive organization, many say, is made up of rabble rousers who are career thugs, paid by the likes of George Soros, who has openly said he favors upsetting the order of things that communist-style socialism might be brought forth in America.
We have only to look at the turmoil going on south of our border and the havoc it is wreaking internally to see that our country is in distress with perplexity.
Many more than just the “conspiracy nuts” are wondering increasingly whether the current unrest being fomented might be the prelude to this president calling for martial law.
The many distresses involving Turkey punctuates Jesus’ prophecy. That part of the world in particular is in great tumult, rearranging for fulfillment of things to come. The terrors of illegal alien evil perpetrators invading from the south is but the tip of the iceberg of the coming anarchy and chaos in our own nation as the end times play out.
Whatsoever is the outcome of this up heaving sea of human unrest we see heating up toward the boiling point, we can see Jesus’ prophecy for the end of days percolating in these troubled times. I believe that this means Christ’s Call “Come up here!” is very near indeed.
Europe and the world continue to reel economically from the fallout of Brexit–the British pulling out of the European Union. Fear of financial free-fall into the abyss of global depression is igniting fires of protests that something must be done. One such protest at the outset of the chaos came from the very heart of Europe–the area of the world most associated with Bible prophecy and the reviving Roman Empire.
Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan warned that “The unthinkable is happening… A double reaction to Brexit is under way, one financial, one political. The financial one, at least until now, is limited. I am more worried about the political one…There is a cocktail of factors that can lead to various outcomes, including a further push towards disintegration.”
Padoan lectured that those in authority in Europe must begin to listen to the people and their worries over out-of-control immigration, unemployment, and increasing inequality. Austerity measures, he said, exacerbate the problems, and something has to be done to change those budget rules Rome considers to be fueling the crisis.
He said, “Inequality is growing in Europe because growth is weak.”
He said further, “We have had proposals on the table for months that say employment, growth, well-being and equality have to be the priorities… the situation we are in now is exceptional. We have to change.”
There is a sense that Mr. Padoan’s call for new leadership during those early times created by Britain’s announced pull-out is rising among the common people not only of Europe, but of the whole of the Western world. The message, it is equally observable, is being missed by those who hold the financial reins at the highest echelons of power. There seems to be rebellion building amongst the common folk against the elite who display a wanton disregard for the rest of us. For example, the current protests in France that forced President Emmanuel Macron to drop the carbon tax that dramatically raised fuel prices.
When thinking on what Bible prophecy has to say about the ultimate outcome of all of the machinations going on in the arena of international power politics these days, the prophet Daniel comes immediately to mind. He was given some very specific things to pass along to us by the messenger sent from the throne room of God. The message had at its heart a most directly pertinent point regarding world economic conditions that will produce history’s most all-controlling leader.
Here’s what the great prophet tells us about this prophetic message that seems to be particularly relevant to the days into which our world is swiftly moving. Daniel was given a profile of the one who will be Antichrist. That beast of Revelation chapter 13, Daniel was told, will be a king of fierce countenance who will prosper greatly.
“And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand” (Daniel 8:25).
It is the first part of the prophecy that is most notable for our purposes. This last and most powerful political/military leader will “cause craft to prosper.” He will apparently take a terrible economic situation that exists on a worldwide scale and turn it around. The economy will be caused, through his manipulations, to turn around in a mighty way.
Adolf Hitler did exactly this, students of recent history will recall. The German economy was in free-fall–actually had hit the bottom. Hitler turned it around.
But, we remember how he did it! All-out war-making–exactly how the angelic messenger told Daniel the final fuehrer–Antichrist–will accomplish the economic turn-around.”Through peace he will destroy many.” The red horse of war, you will remember, follows immediately the rider on the white horse (Revelation chapter 6).
We again remember the perhaps overly used words of Henri Spaak, Secretary General of NATO 1957-1960: “What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the alliances of all people and to lift us out of the economic morass into which we are sinking. Send us such a man, and be he god or devil, we will receive him.”
The world–particularly the stress-torn EU–certainly appears to be in an economic morass. A central figure from the exact center of Rome is calling for leadership to again cause craft to prosper. According to all other signals that are everywhere the prophecy student looks today, that man–who really is a devil, must be awaiting in the shadows to step into the spotlight of history when the call comes.
That call will come just after another call resounds across the earth’s atmosphere. That call will be Christ’s shout, “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1).
This one will likely land me in trouble. The commentary might be pointing the bony finger of condemnation in a direction many will possibly insist it has no right to be poked.
However, we are at the very end of the Age of Grace (Church Age). Every signal for the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ is becoming more visible by the hour. We are, when we see these things begin to come to pass, to look up and lift up our heads, because our redemption is drawing near. These words of the Lord Jesus, as recorded in Luke 21:28, are further affirmed in Mark 37:13 where we see His command: “What I say to one, I say unto all; watch.”
Therefore, in the spirit of “watching,” we must look at what God’s prophets tell us to watch for as the end of the age comes more and more into view. The apostle Paul, in that regard, gave some quite specific things that will mark the end of the age. He did so particularly as recorded in 2 Timothy, chapter 3.
I often refer to these many prophetic indicators as the characteristics of end-times man. Paul, in describing these signals, puts them within a time-frame he calls “perilous times.” He describes many of these characteristics in this prophetic segment of his second letter to Timothy. It is the very first of these characteristics of end-times man I will touch upon here. As I said, it will be more than enough to get me in some trouble, most likely.
The reason I say that is that I believe the most popular thing in all of our culture in America today is involved directly in this condemning characteristic. The younger generation–the Millennials-–are the most into exhibiting this characteristic, but they are by no means the only segment of the culture that is involved. The former president of the United States, for example, engaged in this end-times characteristic on a number of occasions as gleefully reported by his fawning press–and by that I mean most all of the mainstream news and entertainment media.
I’m talking about the phenomenon known as the selfie.
The selfie is but the tip of the proverbial iceberg in pointing out this end-times characteristic. The bulk of that iceberg is made up of the vast social networking services such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The selfie, if I really need to define it, is a self-photograph taken by one’s cellphone or other device–usually from above one’s head so that it presents what, I presume, the selfie-taker believes to be the most flattering angle.
The selfie then is disseminated through the above-mentioned social network services–thus to enhance whatsoever the total self-image and desired celebrity the individual wants to present to his or her, hopefully, geometrically progressing, cyberspace world.
See, I told you I would be in trouble–probably with you the reader.
I know that my view of this is just reaching for application of the apostle Paul’s perilous-times condemnation, in the opinion of many. I still believe this is a primary indicator of where we are on God’s prophetic timeline. People are becoming increasingly “lovers of their own selves,” as Paul prophesied. It might seem like an innocuous charge–even a silly one. But, I think it is relevant much more than any of us can imagine.
In my 2016 book, Rapture Ready…Or Not: 15 Reasons This Is the Generation That Will Be Left Behind, I point to the serious ramifications such self-love has produced and will likely further produce to a greater degree as Christ’s call to His Church in the Rapture nears. Here is an excerpt from that part of the book:
Psychologists and sociologists have for years planted in the minds of Americans that self-esteem is something that is important to making a successful life. These point to the fact that at the center of most every problem of the human condition resides the feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing.
We are told that the radical Islamists who attacked on September 11, 2001 did so because they felt inferior due to U.S. treatment that looked down upon them. The whole matter involving the attacks that took the lives of more than three thousand that day, therefore, convinced those in charge of the U.S. State Department to employ a study group designed to help determine how to make those who hate us, particularly in the Middle East, no longer hate us.
So ingrained is self-love in our nation that we in delusion covet the admiration of those who hate us with satanic rage born out of our support for Israel, not out of envy and low self-esteem on the terrorists’ part.
The terrorists, murderers, gang members, rapists, and all other of those who commit crimes these days are analyzed by the woolly-minded psychologists and sociologists based upon the premise that the perpetrators hate themselves, thus all others who they see as deserving of their victimization.
God’s Word says, “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh” (Ephesians 5:29a). In other words, self-loathing is not part of our DNA. Quite the opposite is true. The Bible says that those who have not the Holy Spirit are of their father, the Devil. Satan is the ultimate example of self-love.
The social engineers tell us the secret to ultimately producing a healthy cultural environment is high self-esteem. A sense of self- worth will make man live up to his own great expectations.
Rather than love of self, however, God’s Word tells us to love others, to esteem others more than ourselves, to humble ourselves before God. This generation is obviously doing none of these.
That we are in perilous times can’t be denied, except by the most willfully uncomprehending. I’m afraid that many of this selfie-immersed generation fits within that universe of those destined to be left behind when Christ calls the Church in the Rapture.
We are very near that time. The prophetic evidence is flashing in every direction one looks today. We must lift Christ at every opportunity so many will come to Jesus for salvation when the Holy Spirit draws them to the Savior.
Something sinister lurks just ahead within this world of darkening uncertainty. The forewarning thought simmers beneath daily life that change is coming—transformational change that will make these present hours seem like the good old days for the inhabitants of future earth.
Princes and presidents, potentates and populations at large sense gnawing dread spawned by the seemingly unstoppable spread of murderous, racial/religious hatreds. Proliferation of nuclear weaponry among the most violence-prone among us appears on the brink of unleashing man’s final war.
The term “Armageddon” is regularly used to describe man’s greatest fear during hourly newscasts. To quote Shakespeare, it is becoming clear that “something wicked this way comes.”
For the believer in Jesus Christ, however, the near horizon that is a harbinger of the worst of times in man’s history presents just beyond that apocalyptic storm front a magnificent future beyond imagination.
Indeed, glorious change is coming. It will happen in a stunning moment of absolutely dazzling transformation and transport for the born-again believer. It will be a catastrophic intervention by the one and only Creator-God of heaven—so long seemingly silent to rebellious mankind.
This author’s commission is to proclaim to this generation—at this moment—that the very end of the age is at hand. Heaven is trumpeting the final siren of appeal for all to come within the shelter offered by the Savior who died and resurrected so that all who trust Him for salvation will be spared the horrors about to occur.
“Don’t spend eternity apart from the Heavenly Father” is the profoundly important message that must be disseminated and accepted. He desires above all else that everyone comes into the safe harbor of His family through His Only Begotten Son—the Lord Jesus Christ.
Whether one is Rapture Ready . . . Or Not, the disappearance of all true believers is about to occur. The thrilling time of that long-ago prophesied call of Christians to join with Christ will happen at any moment!
That, of course, is the tenet of my book Rapture Ready…Or Not. I believe with all that is within me that I was prompted to relay the urgent message that the door to the Age of Grace (the Church Age) is on the very brink of closing to a Christ-rejecting generation.
This presents no pleasure to the author. Neither, of course, does it give pleasure to the God of Heaven who must, following the closing of that door, unleash His wrath and judgment upon planet earth. Jesus shed His last drop of blood on the cross at Calvary so that no person need spend one moment in that hellish time on earth we call the Tribulation or spend eternity in the place prepared for the devil and his fallen angelic horde.
Being Rapture ready is 1) knowing Christ for Salvation through following this admonition:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9-10)
Once a person complies with this way (the only way) to salvation, that person becomes 2) Rapture Ready through living life according to direction given in God’s Word, the Bible.
I think one of the best verses to summarize this Rapture Readiness is found in the following.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
In this way we will hear our Lord say, “Well done, good, faithful Servant,” when we see Him face to face at the moment of Rapture. To avoid any questions about whether I am saying one has to live above sin in order to go in the Rapture, I will be absolutely clear.
Every person who truly accepts Christ is going to leave the planet at the time Jesus calls the Church (Revelation 4:1). Not a single believer, whether walking “worthily” or not, will be left behind at Rapture. But, to be truly Rapture Ready in the sense of being “worthy” (in order to receive each and every reward the Lord wants to give us at the bema–the Judgment Seat of Christ), each Christian must be walking according to God’s precepts as taught in His Holy Word.
In that glorious, twinkling-of-an-eye moment of translation–from mortal to immortal, from corruption to incorruption–we will each realize the magnificence that is our Lord and Savior: Bridegroom. We will know Him in the same way He knows each of us. We will, in that eternal moment, want to have lived righteously for Him.
The change that is coming is spectacular beyond all that our imaginations can conjure, the apostle Paul has informed us:
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
Let us do all we can in Christ’s service while opportunity is ours. Let us do all within our power to be truly Rapture Ready!
With so much controversy involving the topic of the Rapture boiling today, I thought it good to look a little closer at that event internally. That is, it might prove interesting to examine the Rapture within the Pre-Trib view to look at a divide that exists.
Mostly, preachers don’t want to address prophecy or, in particular, the doctrine of the Rapture at all. Since the call of Christ to His Church is next on God’s calendar of events, in the view of Pre-Trib proponents, ignoring this great promise of rescue from human history’s most terrible time is something that both baffles and disturbs.
We who are familiar with that great future event know, at least cursorily, the differences within the various views of when the Rapture will occur. Whether it will happen Post-Trib, Mid-Trib, Pre-Trib, etc. is sometimes hotly expressed by the various proponents. However, the vast numbers of preachers in America’s pulpits today would tell you that the Rapture is a mystery to them, as is most of Bible prophecy.
Indeed it is a “mystery” to them, because they never have opened their Bibles with the thought toward looking into the Rapture–the very thing Paul said is a ” mystery” he was showing us–that is, showing believers. They like to use the joke: “I’m a Pan-Millennialist. I believe it will all just pan out in the end.”
Again, it isn’t the hot debate between the Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib, and Post-Trib views of the Rapture I wish to address. To me, the debate is over. The Pre-Tribulation view is the only one in total context of what the Bible says about that great promise that rings true–that makes sense. Paul’s “mystery” unveiled, from the Pre-Trib perspective, is what I hope to dissect a bit.
The Scripture, of course, that sets up this great event is as follows:
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
Paul says he is presenting a “mystery.” That is, he is dealing with an heretofore unknown matter–unknown to (not understood by) believers in Christ. And this “showing” of this “mystery” is the nuance of truth I wish to examine within the Pre-Trib view of the Rapture–the view I’m convinced is the one the Bible presents through Paul’s unveiling of this most important doctrine.
The seminaries within fundamentalist-evangelical Christianity hold mostly that the Rapture was never dealt with in anyway whatsoever until Paul “revealed” it. The most academically inclined among these will tell you that this “mystery” was never alluded to in the Old Testament. They go on to say it was never mentioned in any way by Jesus and the prophets. It is, they say, only in the Pauline epistles that the Rapture is unveiled.
I believe this is untenable, except by those who refuse to consider that Paul was “showing” the mystery–the mystery of the Rapture that had already been made manifest. He was explaining it, not just pulling it out of the hat for the first time. Paul was unveiling the Truth about what Jesus, Himself, indeed had alluded to as given in the Gospel accounts.
The first mention of this “mystery”–the Rapture–by the Lord we look at was recorded by John:
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1-3)
Jesus said that He will “receive” us to Himself, exactly like Paul reveals in 1 Corinthians 15:51 when he says we will be changed–transformed–for flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15: 50). That translation into Christ’s presence Paul further unveils in the following prophecy:
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. (1 Thessalonians 4:7)
The next words of our Lord about this “mystery” Paul is “showing” us is found in the Gospel of Matthew–in what is known as the Olivet Discourse:
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (Matthew 24:36-41)
Jesus further gave prophecy regarding that future, catastrophic break-in on human history as recorded in Luke 17:26-30. I think it is unfortunate that the most purely academic among fundamentalist theologians within the ranks of Pre-Trib Rapture proponents can’t see Jesus’ “mysterion” mention of the Rapture in the Gospels–the “mystery” Paul is plainly unlocking for understanding for all believers.
I believe that we are very near the moment of being the generation of believers who will be beneficiaries of that twinkling-of-an-eye moment when the Lord shouts, “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1).
The allied forces on June 6, 1944 –known forever thereafter as D Day– wanted to accomplish two things as they steamed toward the coastline of France. They were intent on defeating and destroying the Nazis’ ability to make war. Thereby, they were determined to establish peace that had been taken from the world on a global scale–primarily by the Germans–for the second time in less than a half century.
In reality, however, planet earth has never completely escaped–that is, has never been totally free–of war in recorded history. And, that includes the earliest biblical history. Cain first went to war with his brother, Abel, over jealousy that created rage that ended in the first murder. Man has been killing man ever since, with the slaughter continuing to manifest even on our city streets on a growing scale. I give you as example the streets of south Chicago on which during weekends in particular the black-on-black killing is horrendous.
The governmental authorities, both those in the city of Chicago and the former Obama Administration, hardly even acknowledged during their time of responsibility for assuring domestic tranquility, that a problem existed in the inner cities. The news conglomerate dutifully also ignored, and continues to ignore, the deadly problem.
There is a satanic cover-up on the war that is raging, taking peace from life in America. The same forces covering up our domestic conflict are dedicated to the cover-up directed at keeping the world at large from knowing about the true causes and effects of the war going on in the Middle East. And, that conflict is destined to bring all of mankind to history’s final war of this quickly fleeting age.
God’s Word tells us that it is the quest for such a peace that will eventuate in the most terrible time in human history. Jesus said as recorded in the Olivet Discourse that it will be a time so terrible that it would destroy all flesh on the planet if He did not return to put an end to the warfare.
Daniel the prophet said the peace that the world will seek will be indeed produced and enforced by the “prince that shall come” (Daniel 8:25; 9:26-27). It will be, the prophet Isaiah said, a covenant made with “death and hell” (Isaiah 28:15, 18).
It all involves the Middle East, and, as I said, the news media, as well as a goodly portion of our government–and for that matter, the governments of the world. These refuse to even acknowledge the true causes and effects of the conflict that makes the quest for peace necessary.
This peace is in the making this very moment while you and I consider these matters in this commentary.
This quest for peace, as I and other prophecy observers have mentioned many times, is the number-one signal of where we stand on God’s prophetic timeline. We are watching God’s prophetic Word in the process of fulfillment, as we are seeing other prophesies in process of fulfillment. The Gog-Magog forces, for example, are coalescing; the religions of the world are beginning to amalgamate, agreeing that there are many ways to Heaven; the effort to establish one world order is on the move through Agenda 30,and in other ways.
But, again, it is the desire for a Middle East peace, with Israel held up as the sticking point, that the world intensely desires. The world’s diplomatic community and the global news conglomerate refuse to hear or propose any narrative other than that which declares the tiny Jewish state guilty of holding up the peace process.
The following news excerpt from several years ago proves the point, in my view. The pressures are more subtle in some instances, but are none-the-less building. Even the Trump Administration is involved in the process.
The Arab league supported on Saturday France’s Middle East peace initiative and all international efforts to create lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, AFP reported… Speaking before the ministers, [Palestinian president Mahmoud] Abbas said that the time has come to “mobilize Arab and international wills” towards creating a Palestinian state, however said in order to do so Israel would have to make serious policy changes.
Abbas called for NATO forces to replace the IDF in the West Bank as part of any peace deal that leads to the creation of a two-state solution. He also rejected the idea of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. (“Arab League supportive of French peace initiative,” JPOST.COM ,TOVAH LAZAROFF, 05/29/2016)
The pressures are great on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government to give in to world diplomatic insistence that Israel give land for peace. That is something, of course, God says will, when it eventuates, bring total war upon the whole world (see Joel 3:2.) This will be the cause and effect of that great, fearful conflict we have come to know as Armageddon.
It will be the result of seeking a false, deadly peace, rather than that lasting and perfect peace that can only be instituted by the Prince of Peace.
Pre-Trib belief antagonists are on the rise. Rapture critics, even among those who claim to believe in the eventuality of a Rapture, just not the pre-Tribulation view of that event, purport to present evidence on every side that our times trumpet the obvious: The world is about to enter the Tribulation. Christ’s call to believers, they say, just isn’t going to happen before Christians suffer at least part of the terrors of that beastly era.
They offer that anyone with knowledge of issues and events going on should recognize that the New World Order bunch is transforming America and the world into the kingdom of Antichrist. All is about to come together for the Gog-led invasion into the Middle East. As a matter of fact, many hold that World War III has already begun.
Advanced computer and other control technologies and instrumentalities are in place for locking everyone on the planet into fiscal bondage and physical slavery to the final empire as prophesied by Daniel.
Those of us who believe there is coming a supernatural Rapture-escape from these judgments on sinful mankind are just living in fantasy land is the collective message I infer from emails and articles that increasingly assault my senses. That I, and all of you, should begin prepping with food, water, gold, silver, and finding a good bunker in which to hunker down during these upcoming days seem to me to be the things these Rapture naysayers are presenting. Seldom do I hear coming from our opponents on the question of the Rapture the admonition to be trying to witness with all our might the gospel of Jesus Christ. I guess there will be plenty of time for that once the Antichrist regime is firmly in place.
While the Pre-Trib proponent holds at the heart of his effort winning as many souls to Christ as possible so those saved won’t go through that time of horrors, many of the anti-Rapture antagonists want to do things to make sure they are more comfortable while trying to survive that hellish time.
Coincidentally–or perhaps not–these just happen to, in some cases of TV and other ministries who openly disdain the thought of Rapture, offer for sale all of these things for survival. The packaged food items invariably are proclaimed to have shelf lives of three decades or longer. So, we can, if we survive, have these supplies to partake of well into the Millennium, I suppose. This, based upon the general theme that they believe the seven-year Tribulation, not the Rapture, is imminent. There have been over the past few years a number of debates taking place on whether there will be the Pre-Trib Rapture or not. The best I’ve heard was the one at the Pre-Trib study group meetings when Dr. Mark Hitchcock completely destroyed the anti-Rapture arguments of the Bible Answer Man.
There are some such debates scheduled for prophecy conferences in the near future. These will perhaps offer new food for thought, but I doubt whether they will change minds on either side of the controversy.
Personally, I believe the time for debate on this matter is past. It is time now to just offer the assurance of that soon to come exhilarating moment when Christ will say “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1).
There are so many scriptural assurances of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture that we could fill many articles with them. As a matter of fact, we have done just that on the Rapture Ready website.
I wish to mention only one Rapture factor here, because I believe it is the most reassuring of all truth in God’s telling His children that they are not appointed to His wrath. Here we interject the question proposed in our title: Where’s the Comfort? By that we ask: What comfort is there in the argument that Christians will go through the Tribulation?
Paul the apostle first assures us of this fact: “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9). But, it is the next thought from the mind of God that should cause warm reassurance in the spiritual heart of every believer: “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Get it? We are to “comfort” ourselves, not wring our hands looking for these things to destroy us or to look for Antichrist. We are to be looking for our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13).
There is no comfort –nor is there directive in God’s Word–to be had in anticipating going through the time of God’s wrath and almost certain martyrdom (probably by beheading). There is no comfort in looking for the worst dictator in the planet’s history to hunt us down and lop off our heads.
Here is what God’s Word promises instead of the dreaded scenario proposed by the Rapture antagonists:
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)