Just a couple days ago, I was sent the link to this article. Since I thought it was well put and I didn’t see any reprinting restrictions on it, I decided to go ahead and add it to the articles on this blog. I don’t know who the actual author is, but it refers to one of my favorite YouTube programs. I am not trying to start a debate on the subject. This blog is really not set up for it. I do feel it is a worthy read, so I encourage it whether you happen to agree or not. Thanks!
What kind of person would stay up until 4:30 AM to debate and correct people who hold to a different view of the rapture of the church? My wife thinks I am insane. I’ve been reading comment after comment from (mostly) great people who think this debate simply doesn’t matter. Many people say, “who cares if it’s pre, mid, post, pre-wrath, or pan? What does it matter? it’s not a salvation issue. There are bigger fish to fry. We shouldn’t waste our time on any of this. We should be out winning souls. Of course how many of us do that regularly?
We’ve been accused of sowing discord among the brethren, lying, deceiving, being false prophets, being biblically ignorant, stupid, demonic, anti-Semitic (there’s the best one) . . . and a few choice words and expressions I can’t repeat. Why does the doctrine of the rapture—the day God takes us home and rescues His Bride from His coming wrath, cause such vitriol in people? And in some cases over-the-top hatred? We are talking about the first time we meet Jesus face to face right? Is that a bad thing all of a sudden? Why do we continue to beat the rapture drum and stir up negative emotions? Is my wife right? Am I insane to want to bring this unnecessary turmoil into my life? I have enough already, believe me.
Let me tell you why. If you look at the ProphecyWatchers.com website you’ll see a picture of Gary at the top with the scripture verse, Titus 2:13 says, “Looking for that Blessed Hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ.” At the top of this Facebook page you will see the words, “Proclaiming the Blessed Hope!” This is who we are. This is our mission. Now for the KEY POINT.
Why does it matter? Here’s why. Very soon we believe we are going to be caught up to heaven, “in the twinkling of an eye.” We will NOT experience the wrath of God. We are the Bride of Christ, and we’ll be protected from the time of Jacob’s trouble, the 7-year Tribulation Period—which the Bible says will come upon the whole world. But the focus is clearly on Israel and the Jewish people. Noah and his family were placed above the fray and protected from God’s wrath. Lot was removed from Sodom before God poured out His wrath. As we shall be also. Not supernaturally protected. REMOVED from the wrath. The first 3.5 years of the Tribulation, contrary to much biblical ignorance, is no picnic. 3.5 BILLION people die. When THE LAMB opens the seals at the beginning of the Tribulation, God’s judgment has arrived. Yet some people deny this is God’s judgment and want to convince you that the first 3.5 years are not so bad. Mostly pre-wrathers, who want to see the Church spanked around a bit before we’re worthy for heaven. If it was good enough for the disciples it’s good enough for the church. Christian purgatory if you will. After all, what have we done to deserve heaven? Actually, nothing short of trusting Christ and His shed blood for our salvation.
Then there’s the people are fueled by human emotion. They see people in other countries suffering and dying for their faith and want to use this to convince others that this is the tribulation. It may be tribulation, but it’s not THE TRIBULATION. The wrath of man is quite different than the wrath of God. Then there are the confronters and the wanna be debaters who dare you to find one verse that proves the rapture beyond the shadow of a doubt. How about 100 verses that fit into the Mystery of the Rapture puzzle perfectly?
But Scripture also says we can escape! When the Holy Spirit’s restraining influence is removed from the world, all hell will break loose on this planet. We’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg now. Who can imagine life after the Holy Spirit is removed and evil runs rampant? Moses and Elijah shut the heavens for the first 3.5 years of the Tribulation. No rain for 3.5 years? And this isn’t God’s wrath? No wonder so many people die. No water. No food. Disease. Desperation. Evil will get even worse as people become more and more desperate to survive.
Has it ever dawned on anyone WHY the rapture doctrine is so important? It’s not a “who cares when it happens” moment. Many of our family members will be left behind to face God’s wrath and the wrath of man as well. Some of our spouses may not travel with us to the celestial city. Many of our good friends will suddenly find themselves in as the Bible describes it, “the worst time in the history of the world.” Our neighbors, our insurance man, our employees . . . and dozens of strangers we come in contact with every day. LEFT BEHIND to face the Antichrist and most likely to die. You see, the rapture isn’t about us, it’s about THEM!!! We are on the brink of heading home. Yet, we’re accused of creating division for wanting to tell OTHER PEOPLE how they can escape this terrible time. Where are our priorities? Is it “all about us?” Or about warning people of the dark days that lie just ahead?
Calling pre-tribulation doctrine escapism is laughable at best. Do we want to escape God’s wrath? Of course we do. But the imminent return of Christ drives us to witness; to share the message every day with urgency; to defend the doctrine of the rapture at all costs. Many of our friends will die and go to hell because we didn’t send them a lifeboat, or at least tell them there IS a way to escape these terrible days that lie ever so close. And for this we are routinely castigated and accused of terrible things. Anti-Semitism? Really? It’s called the time of Jacob’s Trouble for good reason. Soon, Israel will stand front and center, surrounded by the nations of the world. How could anyone write a prophecy book and leave Israel out of the mix?
I look at all the great students of the Bible who have spent lifetimes studying the original languages, dedicating years of their life to rightly divide the Word. Men like Stearman, Ice, Walvoord, Larkin, Olander, Lindsey, LaHaye, Hindson, Scofield and a multitude of others. I see how their amazing work is routinely criticized in favor of jumping on the bandwagon of a popular Internet pundit, a wild-eyed, monetized YouTube champion, blogger, confrontational letter writer, or anonymous expert. Not that God can’t speak through these people, but at the expense of people who’ve examined the Bible from end to end their whole lives? Then there’s the cherry pickers who take Matthew 24 out of context; who are deliriously ignorant of what the Last Trump actually is; who distort the words of the Apostle Paul due to their ignorance of the Greek language; who confuse Israel and the Church or try to make them the same thing; who don’t understand who the elect or the saints are; who take one or two verses and build an entire doctrine out of two verses, ignoring the 100 verses that don’t line up . . . it’s sometimes hard to be nice to someone who will go to extreme lengths to fit aberrant theology into their preconceived notions.
There’s my rant. The rapture doctrine to sum it up should drive us to great lengths to share the Gospel message and the soon return of Christ. It’s not about us. It’s about them. Don’t let your family and friends enter the Tribulation without telling the where the lifeboat is! Time is running out!