Monday, February 15, 2010

I Offended Someone...

...But not intentionally, I assure you. As you may or may not know, I am a frequent guest of YouTube and these concentrate on Christian channels and a healthy dose of fix it ones too. One young lady; I believe she was a pastor, has a video titled "why God won't Rapture us..." The first words to enter were "the word rapture is not in the Bible" and she proceeded to tell why God told her personally that there was not going to be a rapture and that we (Christians) should get the earth ready for Jesus' coming. She used Matthew 13 as the reason for this "revelation" of why God does not want us (Christians) to leave in a rapture. Then she proceeded to "argue" that this couldn't be true and that God was right in telling her this "revelation" was also true.

She argued that God wants all of us to be saved (and I agree, see 2 Peter 3:9) and that's why He's not going to take the Christians out in a rapture. Her argument was that God is coming down only for a "perfect" church and that if (again, Christians) left in a rapture (sorry for the redundancy). She further added that faith would degenerate and that no one could get saved without Christians being here. The rest of the video was redundant, but attempted to put all the make readiness on the shoulders of sinful man, Christian or not.

She promptly deleted my comment that was not out of anger. It was merely to point out this doctrine was limiting the Lord's glory, authority or sovereignty and giving this to man. I also pointed out that man's abject failure to bring any kind of "perfect" society or church over the past two millennia was also telling. If you need any more proof for the last argument, look around you. There is at least one major earthquake a week. There are killings, war and rumors of war, all of that which is made mention of in Matthew 24. If this is our great commission, we (Christians) have epically failed to the nth degree. Like it or not, the great commission is to minister the gospel, not to allegorize or limit the bible, much less the Lord.

Like it or not, the church is removed in Revelation 4:1 when John is told to "come up hither" by the angel of the Lord ("was as it were a trumpet taking with me" so much for the last trump argument)... "shew thee things which must be hereafter." If the church is to stay to be roughed up by the Antichrist, then why bother to show the elders, or the living creatures (Cherubim), or the martyred souls of the tribulation saints? What about the hailstones weighing a talent (100 pounds)? How about the clouds of believers in Revelation 19:14? How about Jesus slaying Satan's armies in 19:15; is this figurative, wasn't the church supposed to save everyone? Maybe Revelation 19:20 is also allegorical when Jesus throws the Antichrist and false prophet into the lake of fire. (Deep breath).

The bible is orderly in its timing. Revelation 20: 4-6 points out that His thousand-year reign begins after Satan and his minions have been punished by Jesus Himself, not because the church brought in this glorious new age. While the argument the pastor uses about people (Christians) being able to die to oneself in order to usher in this new age seems noble, it is fatally flawed (Romans 3:32, Romans 3:10, Ephesians 2:8-9). The point is when we hear that man is supposed to "bring in a new age" we need to take this with many grains of salt, and a healthy dose of skepticism. No, I personally am not an optimist concerning the human condition, but a realist. Past performance is a good indicator of future results and we can't afford to look at this world through rose-colored glasses. We must not overestimate our ability, as we're nothing without the Lord.

The whole purpose of this post is not to belittle anyone, but to defend the gospel and the Lord's word. It's also to help reassure that as Christians we have hope in Jesus Christ. If anything, I find it a bit crazy to want to endure the tribulation voluntarily. Imagine not being able to buy or sell unless you pledge allegience to Satan, or losing your head because you didn't take his mark. Everyone thinks that they'll be strong and many will, but I've never had to look down the business end of a gun, or a guillotine. Besides, being in heaven during the tribulation isn't going to be a "pleasure cruise," but a time of incessory prayer that will last for 7 years.

What we should be doing is living like Christ, praying and going to church. We also need to be carrying on with our lives in service to others which is service to Jesus. Most importantly, we need to center our lives on Jesus and eagerly await His return. This is something that He will reward us a crown for someday, believe it or not. "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." 2 Timothy 4:8. A crown just for waiting for His return, imagine that. I can imagine one more to throw at His feet when He returns. Maranatha!

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