WHAT AND WHO SHOULD WE BELIEVE?
AND HOW SERIOUS IS IT TO BE WRONG?
I attend a church with wonderful believers. Because of my lifestyle I cannot always get there. However when I do go I have a great time of fellowship.
There is a slight blip in this wonderful scene though: I believe in a Post Tribulation rapture of the church and my church is Pre-Trib.
Should that cause a problem? Well normally it doesn't at all but I have had some serious thoughts of late regarding the whole question of the rapture timing and what the scriptures have to say about it.
Some of you will have heard the saying (and may have said it yourself) "I'm a pan rapture man." Meaning whichever view we take it will all pan out in the end.
For a while I have accepted this with a smile and moved on to other topics.
Not any more.
I have taken another look at the words of Jesus and the Apostles regarding the rapture and I have come away with HUGE fears for myself and my friends.
What we believe about the timing of the rapture IS serious. It is serious because it reflects immediately on the veracity and trustworthiness of the words of the Messiah himself and the Apostles.
In the Olivet Discourse, Matthew 24; Mark 13 and Luke 21 Jesus begins to answer the disciples question regarding his return by warning them not to be deceived.
So his whole message is laced with a warning regarding any teaching that comes to them contrary to what he is about to tell them.
Later he warns them if anyone says he has returned secretly and is in the desert or in the secret place do not believe them.
Now here are the words of the Messiah himself regarding his return:
In other words Jesus warns us against any other teaching regarding his return other than visible and in the clouds as clear as a lightening strike. Could he have been any clearer?
Let's look at Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2. Here the Apostle warns against being deceived concerning the day of the Lord and his coming and our gathering to him.
How are we to avoid being deceived?
The Apostle tells us clearly: That day; which day? His coming and our gathering together to be with him; the day of the Lord, the day of his wrath, will not come EXCEPT OR UNLESS two things take place first.
1. There is a falling away. The Greek word means to leave a belief system or cause one once held in order to take up another belief or cause. The Apostasy.
2. The Man of Sin is revealed. The Antichrist.
So Jesus warns us against being told Jesus has returned or will return some other way than visibly for the whole world to see.
And Paul warns us against those who will say the day of the Lord and our gathering to him is at hand when, in fact he has told us there must first be a falling away from the truth and the Antichrist must appear before we go to meet the Lord in the air.
Now comes the crunch; on this plain reading of the words of Jesus and Paul where does that place the Pre-Tribulation teachers of today?
Hard though it is for me to write this, Jesus and Paul are saying such teachers are in fact deceivers or are at best deceived themselves.
And those I mentioned at the beginning who say they don't care because it will all pan out are simply dodging the issue.
The issue is this, plain and simple:
Do I believe what the bible teaches in the clear plain text or do I believe those who say his coming is secret or that the day of the Lord's wrath is at hand?
There is no middle ground here.
It is truth as told by Jesus and Paul or error and deception.
Do I believe Jesus and Paul or John Hagee, Hal Lindsey, Chuck Missler and others?
Time for real Bereans to step up and see what the scriptures tell us as opposed to what we are told they "mean".
I often hear the scripture quoted in support of the any moment, Pre-Tribulation rapture "no man knows the day or the hour." In fact the recent movie on the Pre-Trib rapture: "Left Behind" staring Nicolas Cage quotes this very scripture at the end of the film.
But there is something deceptive about this quote. When Jesus uttered these words he had just finished speaking about his Post Tribulation appearing to gather his elect.
And here is the shocker:
Neither the Prophets, Jesus, or the Apostles mentioned the Pre-Tribulation rapture....even once.
Do Not Be Deceived