REASON # 9 – The Scriptures Refer to “The Blessed Hope”
The first seven reasons we have looked at were 1) The Unfulfilled Promises of God to Israel, 2) Scriptural/Historical Evidence of Previous Raptures, 3) The Scoffers Who Disclaim the Promise of Christ’s Return, 4) Jesus Said He Would Come Again and Take Us To a Prepared Place, 5) The Church Has Not Been Appointed to Wrath, 6) This View Maintains the Imminent Return of Jesus Christ, 7) Because of The Stronger Emphasis on Evangelism and Missions, 8) Because Israel is Put Aside for a Time; The Lord is Working In the Church Today.
Now the ninth reason for believing in the Pre-tribulation Rapture of the Church…
The Scriptures Refer to “The Blessed Hope”…
THE GRACE OF GOD THAT BRINGS SALVATION HAS APPEARED TO ALL MEN (v. 11). The grace of God for salvation has appeared to all in the way of the cross. All are not automatically saved because of the cross, but is possible for every man to be saved.
Having the grace “appear” for all to be saved, then also gives just cause for judgment. The judgment that will come on all who “are of the earth”. These have not received the grace of God, but have shunned this marvelous grace.
FOR THOSE WHO HAVE RECEIVED THIS GRACE WE ARE EXHORTED TO LIVE LIVES OF GODLINESS; TO DENY WORLDLINESS, AND UNGODLINESS (v. 12). Because we have received the grace of God we can expect to suffer some tribulation, but not for the purpose of bringing us to salvation.
Our tribulation is for our faith, strengthening, and building of godliness in us. Equipping us for that glorious kingdom that is yet to come – to reign and rule with Jesus.
BEING RECIPIENTS OF THE GRACE WE ARE LOOKING FOR THAT ‘BLESSED HOPE’ AND THEN, ‘THE GLORIOUS APPEARING’ OF OUR SAVIOR (v. 13). These are two separate events.
The BLESSED HOPE is the person of Jesus Christ, but there is the event as well. The event is when Jesus returns in the clouds; calls His children by name; and the trumpet sounds; and the call “Come up hither” will be heard by all who will hear His voice. When we hear His voice we will rise to meet Him in the air. The dead in Christ will hear His voice and come out of their graves. I personally believe the graves will be opened, just like Jesus’s grave was opened; not to let Him out, nor to let them out, but to let others see they are not there.
Would there be any “Blessed hope” knowing that we have a period of time ahead of us that is purely for the cleansing of Israel, and that we would be going through it too? Of course, our real hope is Jesus Himself, but He promised to come and receive us to Himself. That seems to me to be deliverance from that Tribulation unto the presence of Jesus.
HE IS PRESENTLY WORKING IN US TO PURIFY US, AND TO MAKE US ZEALOUS OF GOOD WORKS (v. 14). Jesus is presently equipping us; working in us to accomplish His will and purposes for our lives.
For what purpose would be a “Tribulation Period” be for the Church, when He is working in us now? Is that a thought that seeks the heart of the reason? If the restraining presence of God on earth is present, how can evil seem to go out of control? Sin is presently kept in check by the presence of a righteous remnant of people who truly make up the Body of Christ on earth called the Church.
THESE WORDS ARE TO BE TAUGHT AND PREACHED FOR EXHORTATION AND REBUKE (v. 15). Does the pastor sin in not presenting the ‘whole counsel of God’? Does the preacher/pastor disobey God and His word by failing to expound the Scriptures concerning the end times?
The answer to both questions most definitely seems to be YES!!! If one third of the Scriptures is prophetic, then, it would seem logical to spend one third of our preaching and teaching in the prophetic Word of God. We may not get it right, but if we expound the Word, and give explanation according to Scripture we will not miss it by far.
Paul says to Titus, “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee” Titus 2:15 (KJV).
Is there anything “Blessed” about looking for and expecting a wrath to come?
Presently, the Church goes through tribulation that is for our cleansing and purification; there is no future wrath for the Body of Christ.
THE SCRIPTURES TEACH US OF ‘THE BLESSED HOPE’ FOR THE CHURCH, and wrath for the people of the earth.