Point of Clarification Regarding the Rapture and Tribulation

September 25, 2014 at 9:28 AM 4 comments

Have you humbled yourself before the Lord today?

Have you humbled yourself before the Lord today?

In my article from yesterday – Jesus Apparently Wants to Beat Up His Body/Bride So She is Purified – I pointed out a number of things related to the Tribulation that I believe are taught in God’s Word. The main point of my article was not that I believe the PreTrib Rapture is the truth taught in Scripture (though I do believe that). The main point of the article was to emphasize that God is not going to use the Tribulation to purify the Church (aka His Body, His Bride). I don’t believe that for a moment for the reasons I stated in the article.

Secondary to that though is the belief that because I do not belief the Bible teaches that the Tribulation is going to be used to purify His Body/His Bride, this cannot be used as a reason to negate the doctrine of the PreTrib Rapture.

But let me clarify something that I fully believe needs to be addressed. It is fascinating to me that ten people can study the same book – God’s Word – and come away with ten different viewpoints on any one topic. Some are easy to discern as wrong. Others are not quite so easy.

I know people who spent nearly their entire lives believing Reformed or Covenant tenets, but now, for some reason, they are Dispensationalists. I know people who spent most of their lives believing in the tenets of Dispensationalism and are now Covenant or Reformed. People in both groups are well-meaning, they love the Lord, and they have studied His Word with the express desire to learn what it says.

Postribbers point to Corrie Ten Boom and Ruth Graham as people who have rejected the PreTrib Rapture. That’s all that needs to be said according to them. Really? That’s more than a bit asinine.

How is it possible for several well-meaning, intelligent people who are devoted to the Lord, to read the same Bible and come away with opposing viewpoints about salvation, for instance? One believes that salvation can be lost. The other believes that salvation is eternally secure.

Talk about any subject taught in Scripture and you will have differing and often opposing viewpoints. Was/is Jesus God Himself? Some say “yes,” while many others say “no.” They often use the same Scriptures to prove their own beliefs.

Is the PreTrib Rapture absolutely, without doubt taught in Scripture. Is there any way I could be mistaken? I believe it is taught in Scripture. I also believe I could be mistaken. Is my view of Eschatology connected to my understanding of salvation? No. I could be wrong about my belief in a PreTrib Rapture, but knowing that does not change the way I live now or how I view God.

Some people are so desperate to prove that the PreTrib Rapture is not true that they have resorted to all sorts of man-made theories that attempt to “prove” that it can’t be correct. Here’s my favorite one told to me directly by a PostTribber.

When the Tribulation begins and you realize the PreTrib Rapture has not happened, the spiritual bottom will fall out within you. You will be so shocked and dismayed that the deception you believed will come full circle and you will see the Antichrist as Jesus and you will accept the Mark of the Beast, sealing your eternal fate apart from God for all eternity in the Lake of Fire.

I’ve paraphrased the above quote, but you get the gist. He was telling me that because I believe in the PreTrib Rapture, I am fully deceived now. That deception will cause me to misunderstand who the Antichrist is and I will then receive the Mark of the Beast because of being under that deception. Because of this, I will be lost for all eternity.

I have been told that I am deceived and therefore, lost. These are man-made arguments and the anger that many have toward people like me who believe the Bible teaches a PreTrib Rapture is visceral. I say it’s born of arrogance. They say it’s born of a righteous anger.

If I am wrong about the PreTrib Rapture (as I’ve said so many times), nothing changes for me! If the Lord has me alive when the Tribulation comes, so be it. I will continue to lean on Him and He will carry me through. If I die due to persecution during the Tribulation, WONDERFUL! So many others have done the same starting with the very early years of the church, through Nero, and through various times afterwards. We are seeing persecution to the death for Christians now in various parts of the world.

The one thing I am adamant on (and I need to be careful here) is that I do not believe that the Tribulation is going to be used by God to purify His Body/His Bride. If I’m here when the Tribulation comes, I know this is not the purpose of it. What will my job be then? To do what I am doing now. Evangelizing the lost. That job doesn’t change at all.

The one thing I think all of us Christians lack (and that includes me) is a more prominent display of authentic humility (to God) in our lives. No one living today is Jesus Christ even though there are at least five people alive right now who claim to be Him. No one has His understanding. No one has His wisdom. No one has His sinless nature. We must endeavor to adopt a true spirit of humility (that only God can provide) so that disagreements over doctrine do not become points of contention and knock-down, drag-outs.

When Job said, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him,” (Job 13:15), I believe he said an absolute mouthful that proves to us his level of humility. He did not at all understand what he was going through, yet his trust did not waver.

There are things I may never fully understand about God’s Word in this life. Because of that, I had better be sure to approach Him and His Word will true humility, knowing that understanding comes only from Him.

There is way too much arrogance in Christendom today. People believe so strongly in their beliefs that rarely does anyone approach someone with an opposing view without antagonism. Satan loves it because it creates tension in the Church.

In instructing Timothy, Paul mentioned how he should deal with people who stood against him (Timothy). “with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,” (2 Timothy 2:25).

Notice Paul says that gentleness should be the way we approach those who disagree with us. Gentleness highlights our humility. Telling people they are deceived and on their way to hell is nothing more than unbridled arrogance. But notice Paul also states very clearly that it is God Himself who may (or may not) grant them repentance to the knowledge of truth. It is God who opens the eyes of our understanding! Arguments don’t do it! Criticisms don’t do it! Anger doesn’t do it! God does it.

While we believe we can “know” what the Bible teaches, we really should approach His Word with fear and trembling because it is God’s Word. We should strive to know His meaning. That is something we will always be growing toward in this life. A lack of humility stops that growth.

I write these articles and my books for one purpose: to share my beliefs regarding my study of His Word. I realized a long time ago I cannot convince anyone of anything and I stopped trying. These articles are informational. If you find them worthwhile, that’s great. If not, that’s fine too. My purpose is not to convince, but to share and I hope I do that in a humble way, but I also realize that I have not “arrived” at the full measure of humility either. It’s a work in progress. We call it sanctification.

Are you humble before the Lord? Can we ever be humble enough?

Entry filed under: Posttribulational Rapture, Pretribulational Rapture, rapture, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation.

Jesus Apparently Wants to Beat Up His Body/Bride So She is Purified Can Christians Have Assurance of Salvation?

4 Comments

  • 1. rolando rafael  |  September 26, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    very nice article am learning so much from you.thak you very much

    • 2. modres  |  September 26, 2014 at 6:39 PM

      Thanks very much, Rolando.

      Lord bless you.

  • 3. karlapixler  |  September 25, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    Brother, I have only just begun following your blog and while I do not agree with the idea of a pretribulation rapture of the church, I do agree that the tribulation is not set up for the purification of the church and I appreciate your humility as well as your approach. I hope I am wrong concerning what I am truly convinced I see in scripture, but if I am not then I hope I am able to stand in that day. Blessings. Keep up the faith. My prayers an support are with you.

    • 4. modres  |  September 25, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      Thanks for your comments, Karla. We are on the same path and I’m confident that the Lord will provide the empowerment to stand in that day. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. We both know that. Romans 8 tells the story. 🙂

      PS – Thanks very much for “following” my blog.


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