Yesterday, I just dumped a bunch of verses on WordPress. I’m sure that everyone read two or three and shrugged. “Okay, whatever.” You’re a rare person if you read all of them.
The whole point was in answer to something Kent Hovind says in one of his videos, talking about the Rapture. Kent says,”I can’t prove it from Scriprure.” Well, there you go.
It’s also in response to Marv Rosenthal, who has made statements like, “A pre-trib rapture is not Biblical.” Well, yesterday answered that.
Let me briefly segue into (by the way, that word is really misspelled – can’t we spell it seg-way? I think for years I picked up all my vocabulary reading books, and much of my youth as I’ve already mentioned was spent reading Heinlein & Clarke and I think I pronounced the word “seeg” until I finally had a schoolteacher write the word on the board and teach us the word Segue, and I realized I’d been mispronouncing it – the point here is that I taught myself so much I outpaced my teachers – like showing up to kindergarten knowing how to read and write)… well, I had a point somewhere. Oh yes, my constant downloading of sermons from Sermon Audio, which is a great place, but MAN you have to pick and choose. And I’ve already noticed a VERY strong Calvinist bias over there, which is why I don’t listen to the SermonAudio radio player, which will play their “Recommended sermon” series – most of whom seem to be Calvinists, like John Piper, John Macarthur, R. C. Sproul, James White, and Paul Washer.
Anyway (I can’t stop digressing wildly this morning!), teacher I downloaded a number of sermons from I ended up deleting most of his sermons as he turned out to be the worst of all combinations – Ruckmanite (although he’s unique – he actually disagreed with Ruckman on one point), Riplingerite, and hyper-dispensationalist. I’m going to say this in the nicest way – it’s not the biggest heresy out there. But reading Hebrews 9 in context is REQUIRED to get a firm grasp on dispensationalism. If you try to stretch “testament is after the death of the testator” WAAAY out of context, you’re going to completely skew ALL your doctrine as badly as a Calvinist does, just in a different direction.
Anyway, this gentleman had a VERY good series on the Rapture, except for his hyper-dispensationalist stance that salvation by grace through faith is only for the age of the churches (he called it the Church age a few times, which is a misapplication of the term church, but I can overlook that as nearly everyone and their cousin makes that mistake).
This gentleman was asked by his nephew, “Do you think we’ll have to go through the tribulation?” His answer was classic. “Tell me what the Tribulation is, and what God’s purpose for it is.”
If you don’t understand (I bet half of you are still caught up mentally on my caffiene loaded digressions on how I mispronounced a word for years), let’s examine it.
What is the Tribulation?
It is a period of two sets of 3 and a half Hebrew years, in which the wrath and judgments of God are poured out on the Earth.
5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. Colossians 3:5-7 (KJV)
God is indeed long suffering and patient with mankind. He has provided a way for all of mankind, all throughout history to be saved – and most refuse to come to accept it. And the real tragedy is, it was absolutely free, and countless people were not only willing, but ANXIOUS to tell you about it – and you wouldn’t let them! Eventually, God’s patience with sin and rebellion must run out. So, God sent a message to Daniel the prophet explaining the future of Mankind. There will come an end to His patience eventually. There also remains Satan to deal with, and those Angels that have rebelled and fallen from God. They too must eventually be judged.
Now, if you think Satan’s going to take that lightly, be warned. He’s probably not too keen on the knowledge he’s going to be thrown into the lake of fire someday. So he’s going to fight back. You think he’s fighting now, you haven’t seen anything yet.
Okay, that’s what the Tribulation is, right?
What’s it’s purpose?
think about it. God dealt with all mankind for millennia all through one group of people, right? Who?
Yes. who did that leave out?
“The Gentiles???” Right. Good guess, that’s correct. Now, that’s not very fair to the Gentiles, it would seem. And the Bible says God is just. So, God made salvation by grace through faith available to ALL. This became evident when the Roman Cornelius got saved. And suddenly countless gentiles began getting saved. In the meantime, the Jewish people coming to Christ remained at a few thousand or so, throughout this current dispensation. So, who is left out right now? If God is dealing with the Gentiles, who is being left out? Who does God need to return His attention to?
“But the Jews rejected Christ, and God is through with them…”
No, you need to carefully read the middle chapters of Romans, especially dealing with Romans 9-12.
1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, 3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. 5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. Romans 11:1-5 (KJV)
So, God STILL has to deal with the Jewish people. How does God deal with Jews? What is the one thing Jews respond to?
47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. 48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. John 4:47-48 (KJV)
38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. Matthew 12:38 (KJV)
30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? John 6:30 (KJV)
22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 1 Corinthians 1:22 (KJV)
It’s like this. It’s easier to convince gentiles through logic. Jews on the other hand have something that seems to be locked in their hearts – there’s a devotion to God that makes accepting idolatry a little difficult. The hardest thing for me to overcome was the Trinity. Once I accepted that Jesus Christ was who He said He was, it made EVERYTHING different.
So, the bottom line is this –
- the Tribulation is both the pouring out of God’s wrath upon those who did not accept His free offer of salvation – sin cannot be ignored forever, and must eventually be dealt with. We serve a Holy God
- God must also return His focus onto the Jews. The gentiles had two thousand years to evangelize the world, and did a so-so. job. The Jews will do an astounding job, in seven whole years.
- Satan and the fallen Angels must be judged.
- The Lord Jesus Christ must return as King Messiah.
The Tribulation serves all four purposes at once.
So, what about those who were saved already? Has there ever been a group of believers who went through God’s wrath?
It was never poured out on God’s people. But we see Lot leaving Sodom before it was destroyed. We see Noah entering the Ark before the rains started.
The only type we see going through the judgments of God is the Jewish people in Egypt, and it was clear that they were being delivered BEFORE BEING SAVED, as the Salvation did not occur to them until the passover night, as they placed the blood on the door frames. And when they left Egypt, a number of Gentiles went with them.
That’s a type of the Tribulation.
think on these things for today. We pick up from there tomorrow.