Originally posted to the Omega Letter August 9th, 2011
Many in the churches today, see no need in teaching or preaching the imminent return of Jesus Christ. It’s neither in their preaching and teaching curriculum, nor any Sunday school or Bible study literature. If it is, it’s a brief mentioning as if it’s some afar off, nominal event that will only affect only about a dozen or so of the most saintly among us.
There is much confusion amongst even born-again Christians on which view of the last days is even correct. There are so many ‘versions’ out there, (Christian and secular) that the sheer number is plainly evident of a tactic in battle most commonly referred to as “Divide and Conquer” that it cannot be by coincidence. In other words, I do not think that mankind, particularly Christendom, arrived to so many conclusions on accident.
“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” 1 Corinthians 14:33
Have you noticed the increasing number of global catastrophic movies and television shows that have been churned out over the last 20 years?
Science fiction is particularly guilty of this, as their whole premise is built around what could happen in the future. But as a genre, it has been planting and embedding seeds of ideas into mankind for the better part of 60 years. It’s not ironic that real science is catching up to ‘Sci-Fi’ in the world’s desperate attempts to avoid the reality of either God or global destruction. As far as secular apocalyptic earth ending theories go, the main ones are:
· Global warming
· Mayan Calendar 2012
· EMP/Nuclear/Biological attacks
· World wide economic collapse
· Super Volcanoes
· Alien invasion
· New Ice Age
As to the world of believers, both Christian and otherwise, we are expectant of something big on the horizon. As to whom we are expecting to return, depends on who your allegiance is too I suppose, but at the top of the charts, we are waiting for:
· Jesus Christ
· 12th Imam
· New World Order that pushes man into his next ‘Leap Forward’
· Planet X
Within Christianity alone, the main Eschatological views are as follows:
· Preterism (Partial/Full/Hyper)
· Pan-Millennialism (It will all pan out in the end)
On the teaching of the Rapture (or catching up) of the Church (born again believers), the views are:
· Partial Rapture
Honestly, it is no wonder that people are confused about the things that are coming on the earth in these last days. On one hand, you have National Geographic and other channels constantly churning out ‘what if’ scenarios that involves anything and everything that ‘might’ happen on earth. On the other, you have churches either ignoring the subject altogether, or blatantly refusing to teach the truth about what the Bible says.
Then you have the Harold Camping’s of the world, who, over the last 200 years from the Great Disappointment until this very day, issue out false proclamations of the very day of our Lord’s return. Date-setting has left believers disillusioned and weary of ANY teachings that proclaim the true nature of our Lord’s return. It has also created fringe groups within (and without) Christianity that has led millions of people astray in the simple message of Jesus Christ and the Gospel.
Don Koenig had a great statement about prophecy that I would like to paraphrase here.
“If the Church is unwilling to teach prophecy, lost people will look to the cults and false religions for answers”
As I hold to a pre-tribulation view of when the Rapture of the Church happens, my view HAS to align itself with the rest of Scriptures or it all falls apart. In fact, you can look at in reverse and say, that as a believer in a pre-tribulation rapture, I arrive at this view as a destination BECAUSE of a literal interpretation of the Bible.
I understand the different types of speech and grammar contained within the Bible, but as a rule, I take the text literally, unless by doing so, I violate the grammatical and contextual intent of the surrounding passages.
I apply this rule because it is the most reasonable, and logical. It is the way the Bible was intended to be taken, not as some unknowable, mythological fairy tale.
Nor should one take it with ‘wooden literalism’ that makes everything (no matter how absurd) to be taken as it is written. God gave us brains (some more than others) and most importantly, gave us the Holy Spirit to ‘rightly divide’ God’s word.
Honestly, I believe the Bible is very plain spoken about most subjects, and is slightly ambiguous on others, because it takes the Holy Spirit to guide a person through the passages to arrive at a proper conclusion.
Like Martin Luther and his understanding of Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Solus Christus, and Soli Deo Gloria, prophecy is arrayed in scripture to such an extent that it touches upon almost every other major doctrine. It is woven into the Bible to the point, that one HAS to be a born again believer in order to understand it. It takes the Holy Spirit to guide you into the conclusion that as a Christian:
-We are a unique group of believers with a different destination (1 Peter 2:9)
The intent of this letter was not meant to be a defense of the Pre-Millennial view of Eschatology, but to derive a single point from it. Only the Pre-Millennial, Pre-Tribulation view properly warns a lost and dying world of what is to come. When the antichrist comes on the scene at the outset of the seven year Tribulation, most people will not recognize him for who he is. This will be for the following reasons:
· The Holy Spirit sealed Church will be gone
· The religious left behind, don’t believe in a literal antichrist
· The religious left behind, don’t believe in a future time of tribulation
· The religious left behind, do not see Israel as God’s chosen people
· The world (secular) doesn’t know what to look for, if they even cared
· The Beast (the government of the antichrist) will promote ‘the lie’ that people will be given over to believe, instead of believing the truth
The Apostle Paul said that when that day (the Rapture) happens, it will be like…
“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” 1 Thess 5:2-3
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by ourgathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” 2 Thess 2:1-3
The tactic of deceit, by which Satan, the father of lies, attacks the Church, has been most effective over the last 2,000 years. He wasted no time in going after this brand new church in Thessalonica, it is absolutely by Divine decree, that 1800 years later, men came back to a Dispensational view, which led to the Pre-Millennial-Pre-Tribulation view of our Lord’s return for His Church.
This view was the staple in most evangelical churches, but in recent years, has greatly been under assault by those that propose Dual Covenant and Replacement Theology, Dominionism, and Preterism within the church, and by atheism, paganism, humanist secularism, and pantheism from without.
I think ranking amongst the confusion on the day the Rapture happens, aside from the number of people who go missing, and the chaos, will be those who were taken up and those who were left behind. Many, who were taken, for all intensive purposes, didn’t appear to be born again.
WE Christians in the western world have done a great job of blending in. Many who are left behind will be the pious, moral, religious folk that believed if there was such a thing as a “Rapture”, they would have been worthy to go. And since they weren’t taken up, there HAS to be some other explanation. Jesus told His followers that they were to be the salt and light of this fallen world:
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matt 5:13-14
We are to live such lives, that we stand out, not by lofty words and pompous morality, but by being Christ-like. Doing this, we are going against the grain of this dark, evil world. If we were to be faithful to the point of living selfless, God honoring lives, the Rapture would not only be irrefutably proven, but profoundly felt by our absence.
Out of the ensuing chaos, would come a great cry of revival of those who realized what just happened. That “lie” (2 Thess 2:9-11) that people are given over too, would be harder to swallow. Revelation 7 tells us that 144,000 of the Twelve Tribes of Israel are sealed by God. They must be sealed to take up the job that the Laodicean church failed to do in these waning days.
Imagine how effective the Body of Christ ‘could’ have been if we just took the Bible in the manner it was meant to be?