h1

Rapturepalooza

March 14, 2008

 I John 3:2-3  “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”

What an incredible passage to start the day off with.  Three things of note are found here.  First, we cannot imagine what it will be like for this corruption to put on incorruption and to no longer have a linear perspective on things.  The old nature that dwells in our members to we must die daily to will be gone forever.  Second, when Christ shall appear, we shall see him and be like him.  Death shall be swallowed up in life and, as is made note of in I Thessalonians 4:17 “so shall we ever be with the Lord.”  There will never be another moment in which we will be physically absent from the presence of the Lord Jesus.  (He is with us always; even now, and we have the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, abiding within.) 

I Thessalonians 4:18  “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”  (WooHoo!)

The third element of the initial passage is more revealing of a persons heart; whether they are truly loving longing for the return of Jesus or simply going through a religious facade.  “Every man that has this hope in him purifieth himself,even as he is pure.”  If we’re truly in Christ and longing to be with him, we’ll strive to lay aside anything and everything that would cause separation.  If we love him, we’ll desire to keep his commandments, and his commandments are definately “not grievous.”  When we have our heart and treasure set in heaven, our conversation and decisions here will be reflective of this and those around us will take note.  They’ll know if we truly believe what we’re proclaiming and when tribulation comes they’ll know that what we have is real.   Our God is not just a “fair-weathered friend; he’s the Creator of all that is and can sustain us in the midst of the most intense of circumstances. 

If a person truly loves Jesus and, from their heart, let go of the worlds trappings, they will have it settled in their heart to remain faithful to him; regardless of what may come to pass on this earth.  They will not fear what man can do to them because they are “willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”  They will go forth with the understanding that Gods grace will be sufficient for any circumstance.  In fact, Isaiah 59:19 came to mind as I was typing the previous sentence.  This post is about to enter some territory which some may find troubling and even controversial.  Before going there, however, I want to offer this following link:

http://www.geocities.com/doxa.geo/appear.html   

This is a writing entitled “Are You Longing for Christs Appearing?”  It expounds on four reasons that we should be longing for the return of Jesus and offers five observable traits of those who are watching. 

Revelation 3:3  “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.  If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know the hour I will come on thee.”

In this passage, Jesus is telling the saints at sardis to repent of their iniquities because he can come upon them suddenly.  None of us know when our final work in this life will be complete and we are called out of here.  A person who is truly watching will be mindful of this and avoid compromising situations in which they would not want to be in at Christs appearing.  While most will acknowledge that we’re at the end of the age, we may not be among those who are present upon the earth when Jesus returns and sends forth the angels into the four corners of the earth to gather those who are born of the Spirit. 

In April of 2004, I reached a monumental moment in my walk with the Lord Jesus.  I came to accept a doctrinal stance that, beforehand was “simply unthinkable.”  The idea of going through tribulation or the period of time in which the man of sin is executing his season was simply over the top.  As a result, I clung to a pre-tribulation rapture doctrine; placing more confidence in an event than in the Lord Jesus.  In April 0f 2004, after much pondering and revisiting scriptural references, I came before the Lord in prayer with “Lord Jesus; if this is true, these events will play out whether I believe them or not.  Please prepare me for such a time; if this is something that we will have to witness.”  (or words to that effect as it was 47 months ago) 

Since that moment, I’ve had unbelievable peace concerning the end of the age; even though I’m convinced that we’re going to see a time like none other in history.  If our trust is in the Lord Jesus; if we are truly loving him and not the world, the enemy will have no power over us.  The grace of God will be sufficient for any situation; even the ones that may seem unbearable now.  (Matthew 10:19-22)  This post has run a lot longer than I anticipated, so I’ll briefly address a little of why I believe the rapture is a post-tribulation event.  One reason is found in the following:

Revelation 16:13-14  “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.  For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”

Here the armies of the world are being gathered to the battle of Armageddon.  The very next verse seems impossible in the face of the events taking place on the earth, and yet, here it is.

Revelation 16:15  “Behold, I come as a thief.  Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” 

As the battle of armageddon is about to come to pass, the saints are given this admonishment.  “Jesus is returning; watch and keep your garments.”  These words are not for those who have taken the mark as they have already sealed their destiny.  Jesus stated in Luke 9:27 that “there be some standing here, which shall not taste death, till they see the kingdom of God.”  This should not cause us to become fearful; only to get close to Jesus as he is our strong tower and has never failed.  I can say with the utmost of accuracy, that I have far more peace today than I’ve ever had in the past.  I watch events unfolding in the natural realm and they don’t bring fear.  Rather, they cause me to desire a quiet place where I can be with the Lord.  Our hope is in Jesus Christ; not in the events taking place on a world that is reserved to be burned.  “To live is Christ and to die is gain.”

I’m approaching 1300 words, so I’ll list scriptural references at the bottom as to why I’m convinced of this issue.  I hesitate to even post this and while this has been in my mind for over a year, I know that it’s a topic that may not be well received.  My fear is that many are unwitingly counting so heavily on being removed from the world scene prior to these events that they’re not preparing spiritually for that which they may have to face.  For this reason, I’m finally offering up my thoughts on this topic, however, we “all” see through a glass darkly and any such considerations should be taken to the Lord in prayer.   There’s a partial list of passages following this post that relate to this topic.  (Some I’ve mentioned often) In short, we shouldn’t be too concerned with “when” but be ready “whenever.  If we’re ready “whenever,” the “when” will no longer be troublesome.  I wish to all, a blessed day in Jesus.

Daniel 7:19-25 (makes war with the saints) Daniel 8:23-25 (shall destroy the mighty and holy people) Matthew 24:29-31 (sound of a trumpet) I Corinthians 15:52-52 (last trump) I Thessalonians 4:16-17 (with the trump of God) II Thessalonians 2:1-4 (great falling away; man of sin revealed)  Revelation 13:10 (patience of the saints while the mark is issued)  Revelation 14:12-18 (angels reap those in Christ.  This single passage needs a post to cover adequately)  Revelation 15:2 (saints who were victorious over the the beast and his mark) Revelation 20:4 (those who were beheaded for the witness of Jesus reign with him for a thousand years) 

http://handofhelp.com/vision_56.php  This tells of a vision that was given to Michael Boldea on October 30, 2007.  The hour is late indeed. 

http://floatingaxhead.com  This is new to the blogroll.  He (Scott) has some notable observations about trends in the church and in society at large.

Advertisements

9 comments

  1. Whilst I disagree with your interpretation of the end times (and I disagree with the pre-trib people too) may i commend this post, especially in it’s summary in which you said:

    “In short, we shouldn’t be too concerned with “when” but be ready “whenever.”

    Our purpose as Christians is to live for Jesus and trust in him with our whole lives, every day. Trusting in a person, not in a doctrine. Living out His life in ours. I think only this way will we be truly ready when he does appear, whenever and however that may be!


  2. Hi Timbob,

    I have always been taught pre-tribulation rapture, but I do believe the most important thing is to be ready for the coming of the Lord, whenever it will be. As far as tribulation goes every Christian will experience some for Jesus said.

    Joh 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

    I just looked up some other Scriptures too that people use when talking about that period known as The Tribulation, and it is the same word in Greek as it is in this verse in John 16:33. Interesting.

    Anyhow, thank you for this post, and for emphasizing that would do need to be ready for the coming of Jesus.


  3. Hi Timbob, I believe in a pre-trib rapture, but not as an escapist thing. I also believe that we should always be ready for the coming of the Lord and always know that in this world we will have tribulation, and always be ready to declare the hope that is in us. The Lord will come like a thief on all those who dwell in darkness but not on those who dwell in the light.The return of the Lord is an integral part of the gospel and I for one believe it should be preached more than it is especially as we see the Day approaching. Also I am sure the passage you refer to in Luke’s gospel was fulfilled when the three apostles saw Jesus glorified on the Mount of Transfiguration. They were given an advance view into the future glorious kingdom. May we be among those who delight in His appearing. God bless, Vince.


  4. Greetings to all. I know that this issue is one in which I take up a minority position on; however, to dwell on the “when” can be dangerous. Each side of this issue has a pitfall if its overemphasized. For example, a post-tribulation position can cause a person to say within themselves “My Lord delayeth his coming.” As such the primary thing to be doing is to reach the lost while they are within reach and occupying until Jesus returns. Jesus told us “know man knoweth the hour” and that statement may be more profound than we realize.

    If I had addressed this issue 18 months ago, this post would probably have had a sharper edge to it as I was emphasizing this issue to a point of being out of balance. In fact, one of the neat things about blogging is that one can go back to old posts and see where growth has occurred. This is one of the reasons that I don’t go back and edit things from the past.

    My church is more in the pre-trib catagory, but the sincerety that they have a sincerety toward the Lord that makes fellowshipping with them awesome. When we find saints who truly love the Lord Jesus and have theic conversation in heaven, it’s a real blessing. It makes issues such as the one raised in this post a non-factor insofar as brotherly love is concerned.

    Thanks again to all who have responded, Tallandrew, Carol, Vincentlyonsden, and any who may add to this in the future. I wish to everyone a blessed weekend in Jesus.


  5. As you know, I personally agree with your stance regarding the pre Trib “rapture”. It doesn’t hold up to scripture (in my opinion) but then again we do indeed see through a glass darkly and many things may unfold quite differently than we expect.

    Along with everyone else I wholeheartedly agree that we need to live our lives in expectation of, and ready for Jesus return regardless.

    My thoughts have always been, live each day as if He may come at any minute, and yet as if we still have a long lifetime ahead. Fully, wisely, as good stewards of the gift of His life within us.

    As long as we are living fully for Christ surrendered to His will and diligent about the Fathers business it matters not when or how.

    If there’s a rapture we’ll be raptured, if not then not. In the End we will be with Him, that’s all that matters. By His grace I pray we’ll be faithful each day so that we may hear “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord!” when we stand before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

    His blessings and grace to you always,

    Susan


  6. I was for the Rapture before I was against it, then I looked at it again and could see the possibilities but, in the end, it makes sense with other teachings that God wants to “prove” us thru a portion of the tribulation. Not so sure that it hasn’t already begun to an extent in that so many are preaching against scripture from the pulpit with huge followings, hungry/desperate to have their activities justified by man.
    When interviews with pastors of huge gatherings claim that they don’t teach certain things b/c it’s not what people want (motivational speakers), I am puzzled as to how anyone could believe they are being fed the truth. To teach otherwise (what is not popular, yet scriptural) is “hateful”? Isn’t that strange? Anyone who will stand for the truth must love others enough to be concerned and willing to take the heat and they are, indeed, persecuted.
    Thank you for addressing this, timbob! As you know from the link I asked you to look at, this has been on my mind. I agree with all who say to Be Ready always, and, admittedly, my angst comes from those who will doubt b/c of lack of strength if/when we aren’t raptured. Also, God’s Word has become so convoluted to the point of “He didn’t really mean that” or dismissing the parts of scripture not conducive to lifestyles.
    God Bless You Efforts, timbob!
    In Christ’s Love.


  7. “As a result, I clung to a pre-tribulation rapture doctrine; placing more confidence in an event than in the Lord Jesus.”

    That IMHO is one of the problematic fruits of pretrib. I don’t have it all worked out either, but I’m not at all convinced in that theory….


  8. Greetings Peter. It seems contrary to logic, but I have much more peace now than I ever did when I was clinging to a pre-tribulation stance. Indeed we see these things in part, but I wasn’t prepared for enduring any form of tribulation in those days. I’m not sure that I am now, however, my confidence is now in the Lord Jesus whose grace is sufficient for anything that we may face in the physical realm. Isaiah 26:3 is so true! Thanks for stopping by.

    Have a blessed day in Jesus.


  9. […] on rapture timing. Nonetheless, there is a post dedicated entirely to it which can be read here.  Most of the saints in my local fellowship are of the pre-tribulation […]



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: