Sunday, September 28, 2014

Right Ahead part 2

  We're examining the question of the timing of the Rapture, an event most American Christians place just before the Tribulation. We saw last time that Jesus tells us twice in Scripture that it's actually after (Matthew 24: 29-31 & Mark 13: 24-27). And don't you think Pre-Trib preachers know that? They can read just like you & I can. And they've persuaded many of you to ignore what you can read right there on the page for yourself and instead listen to their reasonings.
   So now let's jump right into the passage most pre-Trib believers go to as their proof text (because they think nothing in it is post-Trib): I Thessalonians 4: 15-15
"For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the arch-angel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first;
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we be ever with the Lord.
Because it reads, "meet them in the air", people  believe Christ hasn't descended completely to the surface of earth, but is orbitting up in the atmosphere somewhere...kinda like a first-and -a-half coming before the actual Second Coming. And the story goes that in the ensuing chaos, the stage is set for the AntiChrist to rise to power- so that the Rapture is basically the catalyst that launches the Tribulation. Pre-Tribbers further hold that we who were thus caught up spend the next 7 years having a big blowout party in heaven while our families, friends, and neighbors who got left behind suffer the plagues of divine judgement. Hmmm.
   Really what I'd like you to focus on is this phrase, "and remain". Remain through what? Remain after what? Remain despite what? Well. Read II Thessalonians and meet me back here next time. Something else to ponder: the Parable of the Tares.
   And this concept of Christ coming back secretly before He appears publicly? Pretty sure He warned us not to believe it. I'll have more to say later.

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