Death May Trump Rapture AND Tribulation

October 20, 2009 at 11:25 AM 2 comments

extra_biblical4_smallWith all of the Eschatology arguments being tossed about with vim and vigor, you would think that, for the Posttribulationist, both the Tribulation and the Rapture is far off.  For the PreTribber, it’s almost as if the Rapture will happen before the close of another day.  Of course, no one knows for sure and so the arguments continue.  Evangelist Paul Washer indicated that when Jesus returns, we will THEN understand Revelation perfectly.  This is his way of saying that we should not dwell on Eschatology, nor should we try to puzzle through the mysteries of Scripture.  He apparently believes that by doing so, we become sidetracked.  Certainly, this can happen, with Christians going way beyond the bounds of Scripture when, for instance, they decide that God has “revealed” (another) date for the Rapture.  Ridiculous.

But it is not merely in areas of Eschatology where Christians have a tendency to get off on tangents.  Christians can get hung up just about anywhere, turning some aspect of our relationship with Christ into a form of legalism.  When that occurs, then problems begin to emerge.  Are you one who believes for instance, that the Sabbath still must be kept holy, as in the days of Israel of old?  If so, do you find yourself becoming irritated at other Christians who do not believe as you do?  Are you a Christian who believes it is wrong to eat meat, and so it follows that to you, all Christians who eat meat are “sinning”?  Do you believe as a Christian woman, that your head must always be “covered,” so you go out of your way to ensure that the top of your head never sees the light of day?  A long list could be made of the way in which Christians become legalists, allowing God’s freedom to actually entrap us into doing things out of a forced legalism, rather than a love for the Lord.

Eschatology is on the front burner these days because of all that is happening in the Middle East.  Couple this with the fact that we have a Pro-Muslim president and there exists the makings of a real firecracker of a situation.  In many ways, aspects of Eschatology are being fulfilled (or at least lined up), right before our eyes as never before.  Things in the Middle East have progressed to a point where the world literally expects someone to set off a nuclear explosion.  This is not far-fetched, or beyond the realm of possibility.

Are we heading toward the period that Jesus described as the worst this world will ever experience?  If there is any merit in a literal (not literalISTIC!), understanding of His Words, then the answer is ‘yes.’  It is too obvious to be otherwise.  Do we KNOW beyond doubt when these things will occur?  Absolutely not.  The Bible – while it gives a type of chronology – does not give a timeline for the START of these events.  We do know however, that once they begin, they will continue until all is fulfilled.

So what is the point to all of this?  It is simple.  Are we living for Christ NOW?  Is every day that I wake up considered with great possibility, to be my LAST?  Am I going through each day that the Lord gives me considering the fact that before the new day ends, I may be gone?  Oh now, I’m NOT talking about the Rapture.  I’m talking about my DEATH.  Do you know when your death will occur?  Do I?  The answer is without equivocation, “NO.”  I cannot count on the Rapture to whisk me away from this earth.  It would be wonderful to experience the Rapture as Enoch did.  It would be thrilling to be taken from this life to the next, completely bypassing death.  The Rapture for me is no guarantee.  What IS a guarantee is my death.  I will likely die before the Rapture and/or Tribulation breaks out onto the world’s scene.

In light of this fact, am I prepared to stand before the Lord knowing that I lived my life worshiping Him, dying to self in order to better serve Him, fulfilling His will for my life, and in essence, glorifying Him in all that I do, say and think?  If you ask many Posttribbers, they will say that PreTribbers are deceived, deluded, and even on their way to hell.  I’ve been on the receiving end of those comments.  They think and feel at liberty to say them all because of THEIR erroneous thinking that causes them to believe that Pretribbers are escapists.  We live anyway we want to live, shoving Christ as far to the back of the closet as we can, enjoying this sin, that sin, being lazy, unspiritual and immature.  We hobnob with the world, enjoy their sin, laugh at holiness and we do that all because we believe that we will be saved from the Tribulation.

If that is true, then that “Christian” can count on one thing:  the fact that he is likely not an authentic Christian from the start.  The condemnatory tone from those who firmly believe that PreTribbers are doomed to hell, is an attitude born of judgment, and this judgment is not only wrong, but it is based on a human straw man argument that has no basis in fact.  While there are many “tares” within the visible Church, this fact does not prove in any way, shape or form, that all who believe in a PreTrib Rapture live as the Posttribber charges.  In fact, the Posttribber’s assessment of the Pretribber is unrecognizable in either myself or anyone I know who believes in a PreTrib Rapture position.  While it is a handy, self-aggrandizing, pride-producing and false assessment of the PreTribber, the Posttribber has built their case against the PreTribber.

However, one must ask, in the midst of all their spiteful rhetoric and hate-filled verbiage, WHO ARE THEY TO JUDGE?  Moreover, have they considered the fact that THEY may die long before the Tribulation begins?  So intent are they to want to go through the Tribulation, in order to somehow prove to the Lord that they are “worthy,” it seems obvious that many will actually be disappointed when the Lord calls them home before the Tribulation starts.

The reality for the Christian is that we are guaranteed a meeting with death, as we are escorted from this life to the next.  If we are part of that fortunate group which is raptured off the planet to be instantly with the Lord, wonderful.  If not, STILL wonderful.  In either case, the end of our journey is the same:  immediately being in the presence of the Lord, and when we see Him, we will be like Him.  All who realize this, purify themselves.

In the meantime, stop calling me a heretic, and many other things, just because YOU believe that I am wrong about the Rapture.  I’m not sitting on my easy chair, eating chips and salsa, doing nothing until that moment when the Rapture occurs.  I am a Christian, loving and serving my Lord on a daily basis.  I do not hold out the hope of the Rapture “saving” me from this planet.  I hold out the hope of death ushering me into His presence.  If I am wrong about the Rapture and I wind up living through the Tribulation, then there is more of an opportunity to glorify Him and His Name through the experiences of my life.  In any case, does it matter?

We need to dispense with the straw man arguments, which serve to condemn, based on nothing but man’s thinking, and we need to get back to the Word and the Word only.  For too long, those opposed to the PreTrib Rapture have gone into the extra-biblical for their “proof,” however unfortunately their “proof” has largely come up sadly lacking.  It has only convinced those who already believed it and it has done NOTHING to open the door to actual dialogue and discussion.

Too many Posttribbers today are judgmental, unkind, uncharitable and filled with pride.  They take their cue from their leader; Dave MacPherson; a man who is said to be living in “survivalist” mode in an earthen home in Utah, waiting for the Tribulation to begin.  They have no right to judge and no right to condemn, yet it continues.

Please do me a huge favor, and stop condemning me because I am “stupid” enough to see  PreTrib Rapture position in the Bible.  Far from living FOR myself, it has given me GREAT impetus to live for Him in greater measure, BECAUSE I could be called home at any moment, whether by my natural death or through Rapture.  In either case, I will not live forever and while I do not know the day or the hour of the Rapture OR my death, it is much more probable that my death will occur long before the Rapture does.  And guess what?  I am READY for it!  Are you?

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Mr. Preterist: It is Right Before Your Eyes Imminency Is Not Scriptural…

2 Comments

  • 1. modres  |  November 8, 2009 at 4:51 PM

    Hi, and thanks for your comments. You won’t be the first to disagree with numerous Rapture theories and you won’t be the last. We’ll all know which one is the correct one when it happens.

    The reality is that as much as we long to be done with this world, we are here for a purpose and that purpose certainly includes the Great Commission. In all things, God must be glorified through us, whether in our thoughts, our words or are deeds.

    To that end, may we serve Him faithfully, waiting for that blessed day when He will call us home, either corporately via the Rapture, or individually through our deaths.

    He is worthy of our praise!

  • 2. learnthebibleca  |  November 8, 2009 at 4:28 PM

    Hi,

    I agree with your main point, that Christians need to focus on serving the Lord in the here and now. As we see prophecy being fulfulled in the world today, it is all too easy for us to lose heart and our focus on Him. Regarding the rapture, I respectfully disagree with both the pre-tribulation and post-tribulation theories, believing instead that neither scenario is scriptural. Keep up the good posts.

    God bless,

    http://learnthebibleca.wordpress.com


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