Points so far:
- The tribulation has a number of functions: the pouring out of God’s wrath, the returning of God’s focus from the Gentile churches back to the Jews, the return of Christ as King, and the final defeat and punishment of Satan and the fallen angels
- God has never punished believers along with the wicked, but always taken the believers out of the picture before pouring out His wrath.
- the only exception was the Jews in Egypt during the ten plagues, and as a whole, the Jewish people were not saved until the last judgment, death of the firstborn, when the blood was applied to the doorposts.
- All the prophecies to Israel must still be fulfilled.
- Preterism is unBiblical
- “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” Mark 13:32 (KJV) If the Rapture occurs at any time except for before the Tribulation, then we pretty much would know the day and hour.
- Dispensationalism shows that God dealt with the Jewish people for 2,000 years and right now is dealing with the Gentiles in the Christian age of Grce.
- Matthew 24 is speaking to a Jewish audience, which is proved by the use of the words “The temple”, “The elect”, and “Sabbath day”
- Gentiles do not keep the Sabbath. Jews do.
- “The gathering from the four corners of heaven” is the return of Christ.
- The last few verses of Matthew 24 ARE referring to the rapture. So, then if there is pictured a “Gathering from the four corners of heaven” in Matthew 24, it stands to reason the Bible is teaching they all were previously brought to heaven.
- The book of Revelation should be read literally until the Bible specifically tells you not to.
- Belief in the Pre-trib rapture is often a litmus test for how doctrinally correct you are. wavering in that doctrinal stand is a hint there may be other areas of doctrinal error creeping in.
- Departure from a correct understanding of a single Biblical doctrine usually is quickly followed by others, until one is an apostate.
- Amillennialism is a denial of the literal words of the Bible.
- the method of calculcatin the number of the Beast is called Gematria, but it should really be avoided as it can lead to divining and witchcraft, which are forbidden in the Bible.
I should point out that the Grace Through Faith blog teaches that Matthew 24:36 on is not the Rapture. To my eyes it is, and a change of subject from the narrative from the preceding verses, but in his eyes not. I mention it out of honesty. He teaches it is about the gathering for Judgment. I’ll say I’m not satisfied, because all on the Earth will be judged at that time. I personally don’t think anyone will be in the middle of harvesting at that moment, or even sleeping. “Well, Armageddon is happening right now, and millions of people are flying through the air without machines, but I’ve got a crop to gather!” I think everyone and their cousin will have NO doubts when the sun, moon and stars go black, and the sky opens… that literally everyone in the world will know – “This is Armageddon. This is the end. It’s over.”
3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 2 Peter 3:3-4 (KJV)
Edify the Saints.org mentions this – we know the time for the Rapture is getting close, when many depart from faith in the Rapture, and scoff at it! R. C. Sproul and his ligonier ministries (Can I admit right now I have NO IDEA what a ligonier is??? I know what intrasigency is – suppose I’d called this intrasigence ministries?) has written counless articles, and even books, attempting to debunk the Rapture. Ladies and Gentlemen, that’s the fulfillment of prophecy. I’m telling you right now, that is the literal reading of 2 Peter 3:3-4! Well, maybe not Sproul personally, but in the world of the Emergent no-longer-church, they routinely mock the Rapture.
In this day, since the mid 1990’s, the Rapture has lost its importance, with more and more Christians abandoning a belief in the Blessed Hope, and instead pessimistically turning to faith in a mid trib (most common) or post trib rapture.
here’s a key – when MOST christians have abandoned faith in the Rapture – it’ll happen.
25 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; 26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Luke 21:25-28 (KJV)
Everyone knows what a tsunami is now (vs 25), and we’re seeing unusual meteorological patterns now (pretty much everyone has abandoned faith in global warming after digging themselves out of the worst snowstorm since 1978).
“Men’s hearts failing them for fear…” polls show most Americans believe we’re living in the last times – a disproportionate number, beyond those claiming to be Christians. Now, I’ve done surveys, and discounted every denomination that teaches salvation by works, or is liberal and denies Christ… and I find statistically that the number of Christians who truly are saved comes to some 1.5% of the population. If over 80% of Americans believe that we’re in the end times, but only 10% of those are saved… it tells me mens hearts are failing with fear.
We’re running out of time.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 2 Peter 3:9-10 (KJV)