Day Two Hundred Eighty and Seven

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to hear my King’s shout, and His trumpet call, for all His people to gather to Him; preparing for that day when He will come to judge the world and put an end to sin.

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 1 Corinthians 15:51-57 (KJV)

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. 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 archangel, 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 ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Day 83 – Living, Until Jesus Comes Again

Most of us can say we enjoy living.  Though Christians have a longing to see Jesus face to face, and that would mean leaving this life; the life we live in the here and now; we  too have a joy for living in this world and life.  That is as it should be.  My reading this morning was Colossians 1-4; 1 Thessalonians 1-5, and 2 Thessalonians 1-3.

There are many who are believing that the freedoms we have in Jesus Christ means there are no laws or rules we must obey.  What it really means to be free in Christ is that we have even greater responsibility to live right, just and holy in this world for the glory of Christ our Lord and Saviour.  We have living within us the presence of the Holy Spirit; which is Christ in us.  He lives in us to make us more like Jesus.  We are no longer free to sin; we are, however, free from sin.

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.  For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.  And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power…”  Colossians 2:8-10 (KJV)

The world we presently live in is out to pervert the gospel of Christ through the teachings of men [philosophy].  Christianity is not a philosophy; it is a life to live; a life to give; a fellowship with the One who gave His life for us.  Our lives are not our own.  Christ Jesus is the “Fulness of the Godhead bodily”.  Remember what Jesus said to Philip, “If you have seen Me you have seen the Father” (John 14:9).

Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians was one about living in this world too.  In the Thessalonian letters he does address the second coming of Christ, even the rapture of the church; which I know some Christians do not believe in, or believe that Jesus has already returned; but so did some of the Thessalonians.

There are five chapters in the first letter addressed to the Church of Thessolonica.  Each chapter ends with a mention of the return of Jesus Christ,

“And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.”  1 Thessalonians 1:10 (KJV)

“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?  For ye are our glory and joy.”  2:19-20

“Now God Himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.  And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: to the end He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.”  3:11-13

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.  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 archangel, 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 ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”  4:14-18

“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.”  5:23-24

In each of these letters Paul admonishes believers to live faithfully in this world.  He even addresses the issue of not working.  It would appear that some Thessalonian Christians had quit their jobs, because “Jesus was on His way” and they did not need to work anymore – so they thought.  The apostle has written,

“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.  For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.  Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.  But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.   And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.  Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.”  2 Thessalonians 3:10-15 (KJV)

How should we live until Christ comes?  As though His coming might be today; yet living in this world, working, faithful toward God, as though it might be a thousand years away.  Jesus’s words, were “Occupy til I come” (Luke 19:13).

-Tim A. Blankenship

Keep Your Eyes Open – Watch

“But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains: 15 And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house: 16 And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. 17 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 18 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. 19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. 20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. 21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: 22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. 23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.” Mark 13:14-23 (KJV)

KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN – WATCH

Daniel speaks of this in his prophecies (Daniel 9:27;  11:31).  Daniel’s prophecy was fulfilled partly in Antiochus Epiphanes in the second century B.C. when he sacrificed a pig on the temple altar.  That was before Jesus was born, so this prophecy must be of another day.  The destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. did not involve an “Abomination of Desolation”.  Since Jesus was speaking of a future day, there must be a future one yet to come.  Daniel’s prophecy covered both events – that of Antiochus Epiphanes and the yet future “Antichrist”.

When this final one appears it will be following a time of peace – three and one half years – then this “Judas” will set himself up as God on the throne in Jerusalem and demand the worship of the Hebrews (2 Thes. 2:1-4).  At this time Jesus tells these people to “…Flee to the mountains”, and “…not go back to get his clothes…”.  He tells that it will be a time of great sorrow, unlike anything known to mankind (v. 19).  This will be a time when material possessions will not matter for protection, security, or safety.

Fleeing from the evil one to live in the hills, woods, and caves will be far better.  However, those of us who are presently “in Christ Jesus” do not need to fear this dark time – “we are not of the darkness” but of the light (1 Thessalonians 5:4-5).  We will be removed from the earth in order that God might deal with His people the Hebrews, and call them back to Himself.  Jeremiah the prophet calls this “…the time of Jacob’s trouble…” (Jeremiah 30:7).

Salvation is of our Lord.  Jesus Christ died for our sins; on the cross; was buried, and rose again.  He promised to come again and receive us unto Himself.  Call on the name of the Lord and you too will be saved from your sins and the wrath to come.

The “Elect” (v. 20) must surely refer to the nation of Israel, and/or those who have received Jesus as their Savior during this time.  There will be “False christ’s”, and “false prophets” who will be able to do mysterious deeds, and wonders and try to deceive the populace, and even, “If possible, even the elect.”  It will be a time for them that they must have their senses sharpened, and their eyes wide open.  Of course that is a good thought for all of us in our day.

Christian; Keep Your Eyes Open – Watch.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Reason # 12

REASON # 12 – There Are No Signs That Point To the Rapture – So Be Ready

We have come to the conclusion of this series of messages in looking at why we should believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church. Here is a list of the previous eleven; 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, 9) The Scriptures Refer to “The Blessed Hope”, 10) Causes Us to Look for Jesus, 11) The Church is the Temple of the Holy Spirit, Who Restrains Evil.

 

“ Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.  But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:  For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.  The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here” Matthew 12:38-42

 

If that generation did not need a sign, but the sign of an empty tomb, then, those who are in Christ today do not need any sign to be ready for the sudden appearing of the Lord Jesus to take us to Himself.

 

It seems that all the signs that the Scriptures give are for the coming Tribulation – Wrath of God – upon the people of the earth, and/or the Glorious Appearing of our Savior and His one thousand year reign on the restored earth.

 

I. ALL SIGNS WHICH HAVE BEEN GIVEN ARE SIGNS FOR THE DAY OF WRATH, OR THE GLORIOUS APPEARING OF JESUS TO RULE AND REIGN ON EARTH.

A. What about the preaching of the gospel being throughout all the earth?

1. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” Matthew 24:14.

2. Even the signs given for the period Jesus speaks of in the Sermon on Olivet; or the Olivet Discourse as it is called; are signs for the period of the Tribulation [This includes chapters 24 and 25 of Matthew’s gospel].

B. When the apostle Paul is writing of the Rapture in the Thessalonian letters he mentions nothing about signs being fulfilled, but rather awaiting the return of Jesus. “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” 1 Thes. 1:10. “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?” 1 Thes. 2:19. “ But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  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 archangel, 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 ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words” 1 Thes. 4:13-18. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ…” 1 Thes. 5:9. “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” 1 Thes. 5:23.

II. PAUL AND THE CHRISTIANS AT THESSALONICA WERE EXPECTING THE RAPTURE IN THEIR DAY, AND LIFETIME.

A. There were some who were concerned about their loved ones who had died and the Lord had not returned before.

1. There was concern that the rapture had already happened; IT HAD NOT.

2. In 2 Thessalonians Paul assures them that it had not already occurred.

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,  That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand” 2 Thes. 2:1-2.

B. That expectancy is seen in the verses read previously in the first letter chapter 4 and verses 13 through 18.

 

III. SINCE THERE ARE NO SIGNS GIVEN FOR THE RAPTURE WE MUST CONSTANTLY BE READY FOR OUR LORD’S RETURN FOR HIS BRIDE.

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” Matthew 24:44.

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” 1 John 3:2-3.

A. As Believers in Christ we should not spend our time gazing into Heaven, but ever be vigilant to the task to which we have been called.

B. The strongest drive in the heart of the Christian will be to glorify our Lord and Savior, and do that by telling others of His greatness, majesty, power and glory, and of what He has done and is doing for us.

C. We must always be ready, always alert, always watchful, always thankful – for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning us who are in Him

 

As Jesus ascended into heaven there were angels standing by and asked the disciples the question, “Why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.” It seems the call of these messengers is go to the task and the call you have been given.

Reason # 11

REASON # 11 – The Church Is the Temple of the Holy Spirit, Who Restrains Evil

We have looked at ten reasons for believing in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church 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, 9) The Scriptures Refer to “The Blessed Hope”, 10) Causes Us to Look for Jesus.

 

The eleventh reason for believing in the pre-tribulation rapture of the Church is that as the temple of the Spirit of God, and the absence of the restraining of the Spirit of God is evidence of the absence of the Church during the period of time known as the Tribulation, ‘Time of Jacob’s trouble’, and so forth.

 

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

 

There is an up close and very real analogy of the events that will take place during the period called the Tribulation. It can only be an analogy because what is to come will be far worse. The analogy is that of when we see people rampaging on the streets of the cities of the United States and in other countries and the police are near powerless to contain it.

The event of the Rodney King verdict in California during the early nineties is a good example of restraint being withheld while people threw rocks, bricks, and used anything they could get their hands on to destroy. The police just stayed out of the picture. It was uncontrolled violence against people and property…

“The 1992 Los Angeles riots, also known as the Rodney King uprising or the Rodney King riots, were sparked on April 29, 1992 when a mostly white jury acquitted four police officers accused in the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King, after he fled from police. Thousands of people in Los Angeles joined in what has often been characterized as a race riot, or a mini-civil war, involving acts of law-breaking compounded by existing racial tensions, including looting, arson and murder. In all, 55 people were killed during the riots.” Wikipedia Encyclopedia

Let’s look at the report of the damages and such… “Estimates of the number of lives lost during the unrest vary between 50 and 60, with as many as 2,000 persons injured. Estimates of the material damage done vary between about $800 million and $1 billion. Approximately 3,600 fires were set, destroying 1,100 buildings, with fire calls coming once every minute at some points. About 10,000 people were arrested; about 42% African American, 44% Latino, 9% white, and 2% other.” Wikipedia Encyclopedia

 

EVEN NOW THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS RESTRAINING EVIL (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7) “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way”

We could ask, “Where was the Holy Spirit during the Rodney King riots?”, and we could answer correctly, “He was there in the midst of it”. It could have been much worse. There could have been more people killed, more damage done.

With so much evil in the world can we rightly say that there is a restraining force keeping evil at bay.? The answer to that question, of course is a most certain YES! So many times it is hard to understand why these evil things, and evil people happen, but God is still sovereign, and accomplishing His purposes and will.

Without law, and without the restraint of the Spirit of God there would be total chaos, with killing, rape, damages to property, everyone doing what is right in their own eyes, and tyranny would eventually rule.

 

IMAGINE THE HORROR OF THE TIME WITHOUT THE SPIRIT OF GOD RESTRAINING ON THE EARTH (Rev. 6).

There will be a ruler who comes in peace, and will give a temporary peace to the people of the earth (Rev. 6:1-2). A “peacemaker” with a bow, but no arrow in his hand. He will speak words of peace, but war is in His heart; particularly war against the holy.

What follows this rider on the ‘White horse’ is war, with much blood shed (Rev. 6:3-4). There will be blood shed of all those who oppose him, and mostly that will be those who take up the name of Jesus, and follow Him, without much thought of their lives.

With the shedding of much blood, the ruining of the lands famine will also come (Rev. 6:5-6). There will be starvation while the ruler of the world at this time seeks only for himself.

With the famine, the need for clean water and food, there will be much more death, and seems like and increase in death for humans by the beast of the field (Rev. 6:7-8). If we think pollution and things are bad now, we have seen nothing.

Many of those who turn to Jesus during that time will die for their faith, and their cries will reach up to heaven (Rev. 6:9-12). These will be those “Who loved not their lives unto death” (Rev. 12:11).

The earth itself will “Groan” as it has never before (Rom. 8:22) with earthquakes, pollution, the sun darkens, the moon becomes as blood, and the “People of the earth” cry out for the rocks and mountains to fall on them, rather than cry to God for mercy (Rev. 6:13-17).

 

WHEN THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS NOT RESTRAINING THE HORROR AND EVIL OF SATAN WILL BE UNLEASHED (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12).

He appears with power, with signs, and lying wonders to deceive and lead people to follow him (v. 9) “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders…”

The people who follow him will be people who refused God’s grace, and mercy, and because of this God sends them a “Strong delusion” and they believe the lies of the devil (vv. 10-12).

 

THE GOOD NEWS IS THIS BEAST [the devil] IS OVERTHROWN BY THE WORD OF OUR LORD’S MOUTH (2 Thes. 2:8).

We see our Lord Jesus revealed coming with a sword in His mouth (Rev. 19:15 “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God”.

All things will be placed under His feet, “ For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.  For he hath put all things under his feet” (1 Cor. 15:25-27). “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church…” (Eph. 1:22).

Reason # 10

It is good to be back to blogging.  On January 9, 2006 I began Fire and Hammer at another blogsite.  So I have been at this now for a year. 

I pray that all had wonderful Christmas celebrations, gave great gifts to others and that you received all that was good for you.  I will be continuing the post on the Reasons For Believing in the PreTribulation Rapture of the Church.  There is only two more following this one.  That does not mean that this list has exhausted the reasons.  There are others.

REASON # 10 – The Pre-Tribulation Rapture Causes Us To Look For Jesus

The nine reasons we have looked at thus far 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, 9) The Scriptures Refer to “The Blessed Hope”

 

Now the tenth reason is THE PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE CAUSES US TO LOOK TO JESUS.

Revelation1:1-3; 19:10

 

The premise of The Revelation is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Son of man, is the central character of all of Scripture, therefore, all of prophecy.

 

PAUL URGES THE THESSALONIAN CHURCH TO LOOK FOR JESUS.

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first” 1 Thes. 4:16.

For this passage we must ask, “Who is it who is descending from heaven?” Look for Jesus.

 

“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” 1 Thes. 5:23.

For the passage here we can clearly see it is speaking of the ‘coming of our Lord Jesus Christ’. Look for Jesus.

 

“And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” 1 Thes. 1:10.

As in the former verses it is “His Son from heaven… even Jesus”, whom we are looking for. Look for Jesus.

 

“So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” 1 Cor. 1:7.

Here the Corinthians are told to “Wait[ing] for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”. Look for Jesus.

 

“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” Heb. 9:28.

Notice the “…them that look for Him…”. Look for Jesus.

 

LOOKING FOR JESUS WE CAN COMFORT ONE ANOTHER. “Wherefore comfort one another with these words” 1 Thes. 4:18.

The words Paul is speaking of are those previously mentioned. Not just from verses 13 following, but the whole of what he has written to the Thessalonians. Although, it does seem he may be putting a strong emphasis on verses 13 through 17.

 

WHEN WE ARE LOOKING FOR JESUS WE CAN SEE HIM IN ALL OF SCRIPTURE. This is what all of Scripture is about.

These are not from me. I do not know who saw these and printed it up, but to whomever it was I give the credit. You can see Jesus if you so desire:

 

Genesis: The Seed of the Woman
Exodus: The Passover Lamb
Leviticus: The High Priest
Numbers: The Cloud and The Fire
Deut.: The Prophet Like Moses
Joshua: The Captain of Our Salvation
Judges: The Judge And Lawgiver
Ruth: The Kinsman Redeemer
1 & 2 Samuel: The Prophet of The Lord
1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles: The Reigning King
Ezra: The Faithful Scribe
Nehemiah: The Rebuilder of The Broken Walls
Esther: Mordecai
Job: The Dayspring From on High
Psalms:The Lord Who Is Our Shepherd
Proverbs & Ecclesiastes: The Wisdom of God
Song of Solomon: The Lover & Bridegroom
Isaiah: The Prince of Peace
Jeremiah & Lamentations: The Weeping Prophet
Ezekiel: The Wheel Turning
Daniel: The 4th Man in The Fiery Furnace
Hosea: The Bridegroom
Joel: The Baptizer With The Holy Spirit
Amos: The Burden Bearer
Obadiah: The Mighty Savior
Jonah: The Forgiving God
Micah: The Messenger With Beautiful Feet
Nahum: The Avenger of God’s Elect
Habakkuk: The Great Evangelist, Crying For Revival
Zephaniah: The Restorer of God’s Lost Heritage
Haggai: The Cleansing Fountain
Zechariah: The Pierced Son
Malachi: The Son of Righteousness

NEW TESTAMENT –

Matthew: Messiah and King

Mark: The wonder working servant

Luke: The Son of Man

John: The Son of God

Acts: Ascended Lord

Romans; the Justifier

1 & 2 Corinthians: the Gift of the Spirit & the Gift Giver

Galations: the One who sets us free

Ephesians: the Christ of riches

Philippians: the God who meets our every need

Colossians: The fulness of the Godhead

1 & 2 Thessalonians: Soon coming King

1 & 2 Timothy: the Mediator between God and man

Titus: the Faithful Pastor

Philemon: The Friend closer than a brother

Hebrews: The blood that washes away our sins

James: the Great Physician

1 & 2 Peter: the Chief Shepherd

1,2 & 3 John: Everlasting Love

Jude: Coming with 10,000’s of His saints

Revelation: Jesus Christ is King of all kings, and Lord of all lords.

Reason # 9

REASON # 9 – The Scriptures Refer to “The Blessed Hope”

 

Titus 2:11-15

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.

Reason # 8

 Rather than a post from Daniel you will notice this is Reason number 8 for believing in the Pretrib Rapture of the Church.  I will endeavor to have the tenth chapter of Daniel ready for Tuesday morning.

REASON # 8 – Because Israel is Put Aside for a Time; The Lord is Working In the Church Today.

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, and now number 8.

 

Romans 11:1-12

 

In the reading of Scriptures we can see that the majority of Old Testament writings deal with the people who are called Israel, and Hebrews. These are the people God used to bring us His laws, His Word, His ordinances, and His Son.

The reason I said “the majority” is because the first eleven chapters of Genesis know nothing of any race or religion of people. That was until the beginning of chapter eleven when God came down, confused the languages of the people, then the people were divided, probably by races and religions.

In Chapter twelve of Genesis we see God calling out one man to begin a “People of God”. These would be of the one true God; Creator of all that is. Throughout the rest of Old Testament writings we find they deal with the people called Israel and/or Judah. It shows Abraham struggling in faith; having the promised son; offering that son to God; His grandson having sons and grandsons, and one of those great grandsons ending up in Egypt. Joseph delivering Egypt from famine, and his people as well. We can go with them through the desert deliverance from Egypt, and all the way through the Babylonian captivity, then on to the “Cutting off of Messiah”.

In all that God is working to rid His people of sin. Through this people He has promised a Deliverer who is His own and only Son Jesus Christ. Because of the unbelief of the religious leaders of Israel they go on in unbelief; their eyes being darkened (v. 9), that there might begin a new work of God. The people of Israel are still in that darkness, “that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (v. 25b).

The time known as “The Fulness of the Gentiles” is most likely the time when the human governments will have reached their height, and God brings mankind to its knees. For the time being we are in that time of the Gentiles, and God is working in the Body of Christ which is the Church.

 

PROPOSED OUTLINE –

 

I. GOD HAS FORMERLY WORKED THROUGH ISRAEL, AND THEY WENT ON IN UNBELIEF (Romans 11:11).

II. GOD IS NOW WORKING IN THE WORLD THROUGH THE CHURCH – THE TIME NOW HAS BEEN CALLED THE “CHURCH AGE” (11:25-28; Acts 15:14-17).

III. THE SAVIOR CAME THROUGH ISRAEL FOR ALL (11:32).

GOD HAS FORMERLY WORKED THROUGH ISRAEL, AND THEY WENT ON IN UNBELIEF (Romans 11:11). It is written by the writer of Hebrews, that unbelief kept the “children of Israel”, just delivered from Egypt out of the promised land; for that first time they approached its borders; “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief” Heb. 3:19. YOU WOULD DO QUITE WELL TO READ ALL OF Hebrews 3.

It was God’s intention that Israel take this message of His love and grace to the world. The message of one God. Rather than Israel becoming an influence on the world; the world became an influence to them; with the exception of a remnant of the people.

It is because of this unbelief that “Darkness” has blinded them. Because of this blindness salvation has come to the world.

 

GOD IS NOW WORKING IN THE WORLD THROUGH THE CHURCH – THE TIME NOW HAS BEEN CALLED THE “CHURCH AGE” (11:25-28; Acts 15:14-17). It basically the “time of the Gentiles” which Daniel speaks of. Gentile domination of the world. All the world empires have down through the ages been Gentile in origin.

Jeremiah the prophet and Daniel speak of 70 weeks and meaning one week equals 7 years, thus a total of 490 years. From the time of the kings decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the time of the Nehemiah’s completed ministry was seven weeks of years, and the closing of the Old Testament with Malachi, totaling the seven weeks or 49 years, then to the time of the “Messiah being cut off“; equaling another 62 weeks for a total of 483 years. This gives us a total of only 69 weeks. There is a period of time between the sixty ninth and the seventieth weeks which is not accounted for. That is part of the mystery of the Church. The Church fills that time slot. It is an age of abundant grace.

It is not that God cannot work through both institutions at the same time; it is just that He has chosen to use only one at a time. He is finished with Israel until He rids them of their sin, and that will be when He is finished with sin.

 

THE SAVIOR CAME THROUGH ISRAEL FOR ALL (11:15-21, 32). We have the story of the Nativity of Jesus Christ in the gospel of Matthew, and the gospel of Luke. Joseph, the adopted father of Jesus, was Hebrew, and Mary His mother was Hebrew. I imagine that it was the longing of every Hebrew young lady to be the mother of the Messiah.

Even John speaks of this even in the twelfth chapter of Revelation. There he writes, “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:  And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.  And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.  And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.  And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days” Rev. 12:1-6 (KJV). There in the Revelation is how Jesus came into the world as a babe from the people of the nation of Israel, represented by Mary as His mother.

The Scriptures do not tell us in vain, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”. It does not tell us without power, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. All of us can say with Paul the apostle, “Of whom I am chief” of sinners, that is.

 

WHY DO I BELIEVE IN THE PRETRIB RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH? Because of the previous seven answers. and the fact that God is today working in the church, and He will not be done with Israel until sin has been cleansed from them. That cannot happen until the Church is removed in Rapture to His glory.

 

Reason # 7

REASON # 7 – Because of The Stronger Emphasis on Evangelism and Missions

Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11

If there was ever a time when we as Christians should be ever vigilant in presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world it is today. There are many statistics around that tell us we are failing at the joy, and in a miserable way. Some reports that it takes about 80 people to win one soul to Christ. We are thankful for this one.

The first six 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. If we do believe these things to be so then, our hearts should be burning with a passion for lost souls to come to faith in Jesus.

 

SOME REASONS WE SHOULD BE EVANGELIZING AND TAKING MISSIONS INTO THE WORLD…

 

JESUS OUR LORD AND SAVIOR COMMANDED IT (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). With things as they are in the world we do have our Lord’s Great Commission which by itself should be motivation enough to cause us to be vibrant, powerful witnesses to a world that is in darkness.

Jesus also told us that He was coming again. He told us that He would “Receive us unto Himself…” He also said that “Where I am there you shall be also…”. It is the desire of every Christian to tell others about Jesus, His death, burial, and resurrection, and also that He is coming again.

After Jesus had spoken the words of Acts 1:8 we are given these words, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11 (KJV).

We must realize that we are called to do nothing more than present the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then, allow the Holy Spirit to make the Word of God bring forth fruit. We may win converts to ourselves, or our religion by a constant begging and pleading, giving emotional stories provoking tears and sorrow. They will not be converted to Christ. When one comes to a genuine faith in Jesus there will definitely be tears; tears of sorrow over sin; tears of a broken and contrite heart that has realized the cost our Savior paid to redeem us.

All the Savior ever asked us to do was sow the seed, and leave it to God to give the increase.

 

EVERYONE BORN INTO THIS WORLD IS BORN IN A CONDEMNED STATE, ETERNALLY SEPARATED FROM GOD John 3:18, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”.

Now, to some this may sound like a harsh statement to say that all are condemned. This is not my idea. Jesus is the one who said it, “He that believeth not is condemned already”. That answers the question, “What must I do to be condemned?” The answer to that is, Absolutely nothing. Another question may come to mind, “How did I get condemned?” Answer: You were born in a condemned state, eternally separated from God.

It is only by the grace of God that even one is saved; but thanks to His wonderful, amazing grace, all who come to Him can be saved.

Believing this ought to cause us to tell everyone that we possibly can about this marvelous mercy and grace of God. God was under no obligation what so ever to redeem any of mankind. He had created Adam and Eve to love them, and glorify Himself. When they rebelled in the garden the glory was gone. They had fallen short of His glory, and that was passed down through all the human race. We are all sinners by birth, and sinners by choice.

God’s love in His righteousness, His holiness, and His judgment sent someone who was perfect and without sin. Jesus, the God-Man, born of a woman, born as a human; with all the flesh and bone that all of us have. Yet, He was without sin. Jesus took the wrath of God upon Himself, paying our sin debt, and giving to us His righteousness.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after flesh, but after the Spirit” Romans 8:1 (KJV). That is really amazing. From condemnation to light, life, and an eternity in the presence of holy God.

Believing in the Pre-trib rapture of the Church is motivation to realize the greatness of this salvation, and its complete deliverance through the coming of Jesus for those who have trusted Him.

 

THE PRESENT SITUATION IN THE WORLD ALMOST DEMANDS IT 2 Timothy 3:1-5 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away”

I do not think I know a single family who is not presently going through a troubling time, or has gone through a troubling time with their family members. Whether it be children, teenagers, or sometimes even the grown ones. Some of the grown ones find it difficult to mature in a marriage, and so that is not working out. Some teens are being pulled away by the influence of friends who are trying to get them into drugs, drinking alcohol, even sex. Some have gotten involved in it already and are paying dire consequences for their actions.

Look at that list from Second Timothy 3. Have you ever seen a more selfish generation, than the one in which we live today? It is always ‘Gimme’, ‘Gimme’, ‘Gimme”; and this is not coming from just the children and youth. Why is it they behave that way. Parents and other adults are their models.

There is no room, no place for these behaviors in the lives of those who profess Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. We are told, by Paul the apostle, in many places to cast off the works of the flesh, and to put on Jesus Christ.

The present situation in the world almost demands our witness; our Christ like witness. The world is crying out. Can we not hear them in these words of Paul, and as we look at the world of today. The wars, the street killings in our own towns and cities. It is perilous times, and it is time for the people of God to be the people of God. In Christ we ought to hear the voices saying to us, “Be the Church; stop being what we are. Show us you are different in Christ. We do not need you to be like us”.

The PRESENT SITUATION IN THE WORLD DEMANDS THAT WE LIVE LIKE CHRIST, Because Jesus is coming for His Bride.

 

KNOWING THE TERROR OF JUDGMENT OF THOSE WITHOUT CHRIST SHOULD CAUSE US TO EVANGELIZE AND DO MISSIONS 2 Cor. 5:10-11, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.”

We, as Christians, of all people ought to know about the “Terror of the Lord”. The terror of the Lord is that He hates sin. By all means how can we come to any other conclusion? Jesus tells us, “If your hand offends you, cut it off”; “If your eye offends you, pluck it out”. He is showing us the seriousness of sin. The word itself, and the acts of sin are often made light of in humorous acts and comedian monologues. Paul wrote, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” Galations 6:7 (KJV). The writer of Proverbs said, “Fools make a mock at sin” Prov. 14:9 (KJV).

There are millions, even billions of people who do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Many would trust and believe in Jesus if they only had a messenger to tell them about Him, and I know that God will see to that. He does send His messengers. His messengers are you and I.

Without Jesus multitudes go to an eternal torment in flames that cannot be quenched, and eating ‘worms’ that devour without destruction.

I do not know about you, but there is not one person I can think of that I want to go to this horrible, fiery, relentless judgment. There is not one enemy that I want to go to this place. This is, however, the place many will find themselves one day, because they are condemned without Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men? Are we? Jesus is coming for His Bride. MARANATHA.

Reason # 6

REASON # 6 – This View Maintains the Imminent Return of Jesus Christ

1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 5:2-8

When we use the word ‘imminent’ we are talking about an event or thing that is ready to take place; even as ‘hanging threateningly over one’s head’.

An individual who haplessly drives their vehicle at break neck speeds will imminently be stopped and receive a speeding ticket, if they are not imminently killed in a crash caused by their speeding, reckless ways.

When we speak of the “Imminent Return of Jesus Christ” we mean that His coming is near, but we do not know when, but He is coming, and He is coming for His Bride – the Church.

If there is a ‘Mid-Tribulation’ Rapture, then the imminence is taken away, because you could count down the days from the beginning of the Tribulation to the middle of the Tribulation. In years you could figure after 3.5 years the rapture would occur. In days it would be 1260 days. If the rapture were to be after the Tribulation – Post-Tribulation Rapture – then, again, all you would need do is count the number of days and/or years, and you could /would have the answer to the day and time of the Lord’s return.

 

Let’s look at some of the affects of the imminence of Christ return:

 

IT WILL HAPPEN SUDDENLY. “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” 1 Cor. 15:51-52 (KJV).

If you will note with Paul’s wording it is quite evident that, first of all, he is writing to Christians, and sharing with all that not all of us are going to sleep [die]. One of the things about being human is that we are promised/warned that we are going to die, but there is one exception, and that is the Rapture. He also tells us that at this mysterious coming we will be changed. We will not be changed into another ‘life form’, or become some type of animal. Our bodies will be changed from a ‘natural body’ to a ‘spiritual body’ (v. 44). That is the power of the “First Resurrection” (Rev. 20:5-6). All those who trust Jesus Christ will be part of the First Resurrection, but those who do not will be part of the “second death” (Rev. 2:11; 20:6,14; 21:8).

This sudden appearance will be as instant, actually quicker, as if you are driving down a rural highway and a someone on a bicycle suddenly pops from an intersecting trail directly in your lane of traffic. One of the most memorable instances I can recall of something suddenly happening was an evening when I was preaching a message at church on the coming of Jesus and speaking of the rapture happening in a sudden instant, and about that time someone’s beeper went off. We laughed, and I just added, “It can happen just that quickly and suddenly”.

 

IT WILL BE AS UNEXPECTED AS A THIEF. “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night” 1 Thes. 5:2. Jesus says, “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.  But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up” Matthew 24:42-43.

There are some who refer to the event of the rapture of the church as a “secret rapture”, and I suppose you could call it that for those who are left behind. The snatching away of millions of Christians would come as a surprise to many. They will have been very unaware of it. It is not a secret for those, though, who believe in Jesus, and that He is coming for His Bride to deliver us from the “wrath to come”.

To many who are in the world the rapture may prove to be a relief for them. There will not be any more of those “Christian bigots” who have no tolerance of all ‘lifestyles’, but confronted all that was evil and vile. They may feel they will not have to listen to those messages on television and radio about sin, a savior, everlasting life, and asking for money.

There will have been a thief who came and stole some things away. There will be mothers who suddenly find their babies missing. Every nursery of every hospital will be empty. The wombs of every expectant mother, at the time of the rapture, will become emptied of that child. There will be husbands and fathers at home with their wives and children, and suddenly he is gone, and the smaller children with him; but mom and the unbelieving teens will remain, wondering what has happened. It could be the mother and children in some homes who disappear; this could be the case in more homes, than in the former scenario. There will be people driving down highways, interstates, streets of cities, and suddenly drivers disappear causing crashes, and traffic tie ups. Pilots flying commercial flights, and small planes will suddenly be gone. You get the picture. It will be catastrophic, and not a very pretty picture upon the earth.

Jesus is coming like a thief to those who do not know Him. Know Him and you will not be surprised at His sudden coming.

 

NO ONE KNOWS THE TIME OF HIS COMING. “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” Matthew 24:36. “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” Matthew 24:44.

There have been many people who have put a time for the second coming of Jesus. Charles Taze Russell the founder of the Watchtower Society, and sometimes called “Russellites” set a date back in 1914 that Jesus was coming again. He was known then to be teaching false teaching, and this only added to the error of his teaching, and the error of the Watchtower Society, when Jesus never returned as he had predicted. There are also the “Millerites” called this as they were followers of William Miller. Miller thought he had figured out when the Lord was returning; “Study of Daniel and Revelation convinced Miller that Christ was going to return to earth 2,300 years (Daniel 8:14) after Ezra’s return to Jerusalem in 457 B.C.. This gave him the date of 1843 as the year of Christ’s return” (From Christianity Through the Centuries published by Zondervan copyright 1954, 1981 pg. 422).

One thing the man of God and the people of God must avoid, is even attempting to set a time or date for His coming. His coming is imminent. It is not known except to the Father and the Son. Lest someone say, “Well Jesus said He did not know when it would come”; He did not while a man walking among us on earth, because of the veil of His flesh, but now in His glorified body He knows all that the Father knows.

 

BECAUSE OF THE IMMINENCY OF HIS RETURN THERE IS A MOTIVATION TO MAINTAIN PURE, VIBRANT CHRISTIAN LIVING FOR JESUS. “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.  For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation” 1 Thes. 5:3-8.

Surely all who profess to know Jesus as Lord and Savior of their lives desire to live lives that will glorify Him. If there is no desire and/or effort for holy living in Jesus, then there is a question of one’s even having faith in Him. John the apostle writes, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” 1 John 3:2-3. I am not talking of a works based salvation, but faith that works.

In the ‘Preterist’ view of prophecy where is there any hope? Where do we fit into this scenario? In the Mid-Tribulation rapture view a date can be set counting the days from the time the Antichrist comes to power to the time of the rapture. I do believe there will be a Mid-Tribulation rapture, but it will be only a rapture of two men who have spent the first 3.5 years preaching the gospel of the Kingdom. They will be raised from death before the eyes of the world, then standing in the streets of Jerusalem ascend into heaven (Rev. 11:1-13). With the Mid-Tribulation rapture view and numbering the days, you could practically live as you wanted until the week before, the day before, or whatever you desired, then pray and seem to make things right. The Post-Tribulation rapture view can be counted down by days as well and would make no sense either. What would the purpose of the rapture be after the Tribulation is over? However, it does seem likely that there will be a resurrection of Tribulation saints in order that they might rule and reign with Jesus for the millennial reign on earth (Rev. 20:1-5).

The Pre-Tribulation rapture view is the only one that leaves us with a motivation to live lives that will glorify our Savior. An expectancy looking, longing for that day Jesus Christ suddenly appears in the “clouds”, and calls His Bride to Himself, and takes us to the place He has been preparing for us, and preparing us for.

“What a day that will be; when my Jesus I shall see, and I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace; and He takes me by the hand and leads me to the Promised Land. What a day, glorious day that will be.”

Every day looking for Jesus is a better day. Every day expecting Jesus is a more fruitful day. Every day waiting for Jesus is a more glorious day, because He is glorified in lives that show forth His glory; lives that are lived holy in Him and wholly for Him.

Reason # 5

REASON # 5 – The Church Has Not Been Appointed to Wrath

“Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Rom. 5:9. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Thes. 5:9.

 

One thing I do not understand is why some who trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior want to deny the evidence of the Rapture of the Church. It is a part of our deliverance from the “…Wrath to come”. It is the destiny of the Church of Jesus Christ to experience His calling, His glory and be eternally wed to Him, as His Bride.

When we look at the Old Testament concerning the Nation of Israel we see that they have been “promised” a time of cleansing (Jeremiah 30:7), called by Jeremiah “The time of Jacob’s trouble”. By this we see that it is the time of trial for Israel, not the Church. I guess you can spiritualize the text and cause Israel to be the Church, but that denies the Scriptures.

Yes, Jesus did say, “In the world ye shall have tribulation”, and most every Christian would say, “I have seen plenty tribulation”, and I would be one of those. This tribulation Jesus spoke of is tribulation the world gives every believer. It could even be said that those who are not Christians experience some of these same trials. No one is without tribulation. For the Church, though, it will be tribulation concerning our faith, our witness, etc.. When it comes to the last few years before Jesus comes and sets up His kingdom on earth for the millennium, that will be a period of Great Tribulation, and which the Church will have been called to Christ.

 

AS THE CHURCH WE HAVE BEEN DELIVERED FROM WRATH BY JESUS CHRIST. The verse in Romans is most certainly telling us we have been delivered “from wrath through Him”, and speaks specifically of our eternal salvation. “Justified by His blood” is speaking of the declaration by God that we are Just in His sight. These is absolutely no doubt about it. It is by God’s declaration we have been cleansed, and have right to the throne of God because of the gift of Jesus death, burial, and resurrection.

In the ninth verse of First Thessalonians we have the words, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath…”. Paul is speaking to the Christians at the church of Thessolonica, and it seems that he is doing more than just reminding them of their salvation in Christ Jesus. Every chapter of First Thessalonians has reference to the coming of Jesus at or near the end of the chapter. Chapter one verse 10, “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” Chapter two verse 19 and 20, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? 20 For ye are our glory and joy.” Chapter three verse 13, “To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.” Chapter four verses 13 – 18, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  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 archangel, 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 ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” Chapter five verses 1 – 4, at the beginning of the chapter, “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.”

It would definitely appear that the point Paul was making in this verse nine of First Thessalonians was a wrath that awaits those whose habitation is that of earth, whose heart is tied to the things of this world. John the apostle uses this phrase “Dwell upon the earth” three times, and all three times have to do with those who do not know Jesus – Revelation 3:10, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” Revelation11:10, “ And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.” In this verse you will notice that it was these that ‘dwell upon the earth’ rejoicing over the death of the prophets of God. Revelation 13:8, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” This last bunch that ‘dwell upon the earth’ are worshipping the beast, and their “names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb…”.

Is it not clear enough that the Tribulation is not for the Church, but for they that ‘dwell on the earth’. Where your treasure is there will your heart be also.

 

AS THE CHURCH WE ARE EXPECTANTLY WAITING FOR THAT DELIVERANCE BY THE APPEARING OF JESUS IN THE CLOUDS. Let me quote 1 Thessalonians 1:10 once again, “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” We are saved from wrath. The wrath that is associated with the judgment of sin, and the wrath that is associated with the world wide tribulation coming soon.

We have basically been called to expectantly await the coming of Jesus. Would it not cause dread, if a terrible Tribulation were associated with that first. Le me remind you that we are not looking for antichrist, tribulation, trouble, or sorrow. We have been given commandment to “Wait for His Son from Heaven…”.

If I believed that we would be going through the Tribulation I would not be expectantly awaiting the coming of Jesus until that period of Tribulation came. I am experiencing tribulation now, and expectantly waiting His coming. The thought of people being without Jesus during that period of judgment – a judgment unknown in any time in history – should cause us, motivate us to be witnesses for Jesus.

No we are not appointed to wrath, but we have been called to “Wait for His Son from Heaven… which hath delivered us from the wrath to come”.

 

AS THE CHURCH KEEPING THE WORD AND PATIENCE, HE KEEPS US FROM THE WRATH – BY ABIDING IN HIM. Let’s look at Revelation 3:10 once again. “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth”.

As Christians we are called to keep the Word of God in our hearts. The ‘Word of [His] My patience’ is His Word to persevere. The one’s who love Him will persevere, not by their own strength or merit, but by His grace, grown in their hearts. It is by His Word that we do persevere.

We are not inhabitants of earth. We are inhabited by Christ and we inhabit Him. To put it in probably better words. We dwell in Him, and He dwells in us. He is our abiding place.

How can that being which has been redeemed from wrath be put to wrath that is to come? Think about it. That is to put the Body of Christ to judgment He has already endured. That cannot be. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Thes. 5:9.

 

SUMMARY –

I. WE HAVE BEEN DELIVERED FROM WRATH BY THE DEATH, BURIAL, AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST.

II. WE ARE EXPECTANTLY AWAITING THAT FULFILLMENT OF DELIVERANCE BY THE APPEARANCE OF JESUS IN THE CLOUDS.

III. KEEPING THE WORD OF HIS PATIENCE – PERSEVEREING – HE KEEPS US FROM THAT WRATH WHICH IS TO COME TO THOSE WHO ‘DWELL UPON THE EARTH.’.

Reason # 4

REASON # 4 – Jesus Said He Would Come Again, And Take Us To A Prepared Place.

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3 (KJV).

We have been examining the Scriptures to find reasons why we as Christians can and should believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church. Reason # 1 – Unfulfilled Promises to Israel. Reason # 2 – Historical/Scriptural Evidence of Previous Actual Raptures. Reason # 3 – The Presence of Scoffers Fulfills Scripture. We look now at Reason # 4, and that is, simply put, Jesus said He would come again. It is in the Scriptures above, “I will come again…”. He will come again.

 

NOTE, TO WHOM JESUS IS SPEAKING. In the final verses of chapter 13 Jesus is speaking to Peter, and the other disciples concerning Peter. The scene has not changed in the first three verses of chapter 14.

Jesus is clearly speaking to His disciples who are with Him. Since He is speaking only to His disciples this would surely mean that this promise is speaking of a day when He calls only His own to Himself, and all will know who are His.

 

THE DISCIPLES MUST BE VERY CLEARLY TROUBLED BY THE FORETOLD EVENTS WHICH ARE ABOUT TO HAPPEN. The words, “Let not your heart be troubled” most assuredly are spoken to His disciples. These words are still a comfort to the disciples of Jesus even to this day and ages to come. There is many a troubled heart among Christians today. There is no need for a worried heart or mind. Jesus has a place prepared for you.

Jesus assures the disciples that their belief in the Father is right, but to also be sure they believe in Him. God being the Father gives the disciples/followers of Jesus right to His house. Jesus as the Son is the way to the Fathers house. He went home to the Father to “prepare a place” for us.

Jesus does receive us to Himself when this body dies, but there is coming a day when He will come to join together the body and spirit of every soul that has died in Him, and take them and us to that place prepared by Him.

 

JESUS’S COMING, HAVING PREPARED A PLACE, WOULD ONLY BE AN ASSURANCE TO HIS DISCIPLES. It would only be a comfort to them if it was assurance of being kept from certain judgment.

We must notice that it is a “Prepared place”, not one quickly designed, or thrown together. The “Prepared place”, in the presence of Jesus, is a protected place. Jesus promised He would come again, and take us to that ‘Prepared place’

Disciples of Jesus are not looking for the antichrist or judgment. We are looking for the Upper Christ. The One and Only.

 

IN THESE WORDS OF COMFORT JESUS SAYS NOTHING TO THEM ABOUT BEING PUT THROUGH THE FIRE. It may be just conjecture on my part, but it would seem, that, if Jesus is going to assure them of His coming for them then, He would also warn them of the great trial which will come, if we are to go through the period known as the Tribulation. He does not – rather He comforts them with, “I will come again and receive you unto Myself…” He assures them and us that, “Where I am there ye may be also…”

Jesus is going to come in judgment (Rev. 19:11-20:15), but then, He will be with His saints [NOTE – 1 Thes. 4:14 and Rev. 19:14]. When did they get there? There is absolutely no question in my mind they have been with Jesus for seven years at the time of His coming in Glory. They “are the armies which were in heaven” and “Clothed in fine linen, white and clean”. (Rev. 19:14).

Remember the Rapture is when we will SEE JESUS, not trouble, trial, or test, or antichrist. Keep looking for Jesus; not Antichrist; not tribulation; look for and to Jesus. He has a place prepared for you.

Jesus said to the church of Philadelphia, “Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth”. Rev. 3:10 (KJV). JESUS SAID IT.

Reason # 3

The Scoffers Who Disclaim The Promise of His Return2 Peter 3:1 – 7

Do you wonder if the scoffers scoff about the scoffers? Just what is the meaning of the word ‘Scoffer’ or ‘scoffing’? The word actually can mean in the sense of being a false teacher, or a mocker, making a mock at sin. Certainly people who are loving and enjoying their sinful lifestyles are not going to want to expect the return of the Lord, whom they do not want to see them in their sins; if they believe in Him at all.

 

THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT THIS DAY WILL COME (v. 3).

The reason they are scoffing [mocking] is because of their own lustful, sinful passions, and greed. These are the one’s who will laugh and mock at those who will profess Jesus Christ and live for Him, and witness for Him. “Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.” Prov. 14:9. They do not want to face the fact that judgment is coming on the world and they will give an account to their Creator. The question they ask is one of ‘Willful ignorance’, “Where is the promise…”

THE MOCKER’S/SCOFFER’S FORGET THAT JUDGMENT HAS ALREADY BEEN ON THE EARTH, AND ALL THE PEOPLE OF EARTH PERISHED, EXCEPT NOAH AND FAMILY (vv. 5-6).

Of course, if they do not believe Scriptures they will not believe in that judgment, so will remain condemned. Let’s eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die is their philosophy. Since they do not believe in God, His judgment, or salvation, they only see life as a one time thing, so they perish into everlasting judgment.

These verses tell us that “For this they willingly are ignorant…” of this judgment which destroyed the world the first time. Willingly are ignorant means that they really do not care to know the truth – they love their lifestyles, and will not turn from it. The scoffers do not negate the fact that the judgment and their judgment is coming, and it will be much sooner than later.

God’s message for the Scoffer is ‘Repent, believe, trust the finished work of Jesus on the cross, and the truth of the resurrection’

 

AS SAVED PEOPLE OF JESUS CHRIST OUR MINDS MUST BE STIRRED TO REMEMBRANCE OF THOSE THINGS WHICH THE PROPHETS SPOKE (v. 1-2).

The prophets spoke of the first coming of Jesus and He came. Isaiah spoke of His virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14). This was fulfilled according to Matthew 1:18-23.

Isaiah the prophet spoke of His suffering and death which would cause many to be saved. (Isaiah 53:1-12).

The prophets spoke of His first coming as a literal fact, then their words of a second coming surely are a fact as well.

 

JUST BECAUSE THERE ARE SCOFFERS/MOCKERS DOES NOT NEGATE THE EVIDENCE OF THE FACT THAT JESUS IS COMING AGAIN IN JUDGMENT (v. 7).

Jesus is not coming again to judge His Bride. He is coming again first to claim His Bride, ie. the Church, take her to His place prepared for her, and He will come again that we might be where He is. Then He will return with His Bride, and judge the earth and its people.

It is based on the writings, teachings, and preaching of the prophets. These came by revelation, verbal inspiration, and the filling of the Spirit of God. These came by God to reveal Himself to mankind.

It is promised by God, His Word, His Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The scoffers do nothing more than give more solidarity to the Scriptures as God’s Word – at least in my estimation.

Jesus is coming again. He is coming for His Bride – the Church – in the air to take us to that great wedding day in the sky when He shall present us to the Father, clean, pure, spotless, undefiled, unashamed, unblameable, and unrebukeable.

EVEN SO COME, LORD JESUS.

Reason’s To Believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture 2

REASON # 2 – Scriptural/Historical Evidence of Previous RapturesGenesis 5:18-24

#1 Reason – Unfulfilled Promises To the People of Israel.

We are going to look at three individuals who experienced a translation, rapture, a carrying away or snatching away. The first one is a man named Enoch; a man who “Walked with God”. The second man is known as the Prophet of Fire, and that is the prophet Elijah. The third one is the greatest and wisest and sinless man who walked on earth, and that is Jesus, though He was not raptured before death, He was forty days after He arose from death. Then there is the question of the many who “Arose and came out of their graves after His resurrection”. What happened to them?

 

THE PERSON OF ENOCH AND HIS RAPTURE (Gen. 5:18-24; Jude 14, 15; Heb. 11:5-6).

Enoch was the son of Jared, and father of Methuselah. Jared’s name means – ‘Came down’ or ‘descend’ Enoch’s name means – ‘Experience’ Methuselah’s name means – ‘Death which would bring’ or ‘When he is dead it shall be sent’.

Enoch apparently started walking with God, only because of the message of God through the name of his son, at the age of 65. If God gave you a son and told you to name him ‘When he is dead it will be sent’, wouldn’t you start walking with God? He walked with God 300 years.

Can we know what Enoch did for all those 300 years (Jude 14, 15)? He preached the coming of the Lord with ‘Ten thousands of His saints’. He preached repentance. He preached the judgment of God upon unholiness, and in holiness. It looks to me like he preached the rapture – how did those ‘Ten thousands of saints’ get with the Lord, and what does this have to do with the judgment of the flood.

Enoch was raptured [translated] from this world (Gen. 5:24; Heb. 11:5). In the genealogy of Genesis 5 this is the only one which it does not say, “And he died”. It says, “And he was not; for God took Him.

 

THE PERSON OF ELIJAH AND HIS RAPTURE – A NOTABLE EVENT (2 Kings 2:9-12).

Where we find Elijah. Preaching to king Ahab (1 Kings 18:1-20). Challenging the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:21-40). Fleeing from queen Jezebel (1 Kings 19). Feeling sorry for himself, and saying he was the only prophet of God being faithful to God. Being fed by ravens sent from God for his provisions. Hearing God’s ‘still small voice’. Calling Elisha to be his assistant in the last days of his ministry as prophet. (1 Kings 19:19-21).

What Elijah preached. The repentance of God’s people and the king – turn away, refuse Baal, and return to the LORD God. He called for king Ahab to be rid of Baal – it was his wife Jezebel who brought the abominable worship before the people of Israel. Did Elijah die or is he yet living (2 Kings 2:11). He was taken up in a ‘chariot of fire’, pulled by ‘horses of fire’. This ‘fire’ seems to be the glory of the Lord Himself. Elisha was witness of this glory and glorious event. There were others who seemed to have witnessed this event as well, because they wanted to send men to look over the hills of the area to be sure that Elijah had not fallen out of the chariot or something, and maybe be injured or something. SEE 2 Kings 2:15-18. Elijah appears again with Jesus and Moses (Matthew 17:1-8).

Does Enoch and Elijah believe in the rapture of the Church? I would imagine they do.

 

THE PERSON OF JESUS AND THOSE WHO WERE HIS FIRST FRUITS (Matthew 27:52-53; Acts 1:9-11).

Isn’t what happened to Jesus; His ascending into heaven; a rapture?

Jesus arose and came out of the grave – His rapture delayed due to other duties you could say.

The saints in the graves who were raised. Though it does not say specifically what became of them I would not dare assume they went back to their graves, and died again. I am much in favor of calling them His “First fruits” of His resurrection – the first fruits of the first fruits. They, most likely, would have gone up with Jesus.

 

WHAT THESE RAPTURES HAVE TO DO WITH THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH.

Enoch was taken out before the judgment of the world by the flood.

Elijah was taken out before judgment upon Israel fell.

Jesus as the ‘first fruits’ and those who were His ‘first fruits’ were taken out to fulfill Scripture and glorify the Lord.

We will be taken out to see Jesus face to face, glorify Him and so that judgment might come on the earth, putting an end to sin, and it will be such as has never been seen before. The Church has not been appointed to wrath, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” 1 Thes. 5:9-10. This is a means of comforting one another; “Wherefore comfort one another with these words” 1 Thes 4:18; “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” 1 Thes. 5:11.

These previous raptures assure us that rapture is feasible, and possible, and sure.

Unfulfilled Promises

The following is the first of a twelve part series I began preaching on Sunday evening at the Carr Lane Baptist Church.  It is a series on the Rapture of the Church.  It is sadly missing in many churches.  Is it because pastors are afraid of the teaching?  Because they do not believe in it? or maybe they do not believe it to be practical.  Why is it when the Bible is one third prophecy that preachers neglect one third of Scripture.  You will answer to God for it.  Paul shunned not to declare the “whole counsel  of God”, nor should you or I.The series is called, TWELVE REASONS TO BELIEVE IN THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH This is the first, after I give just a list of those twelve.

The twelve Biblical reasons for believing in the pre-tribulation Rapture of the Church:

1. The Unfulfilled Promises of God To Israel;

2. The Historical/Scriptural Evidence of Previous Raptures and Typical Raptures;

3. Scoffers Who Disclaim The Promise of Christ’s Return;

4. Jesus Said He would Come Again;

5. The Church Has Not Been Appointed to Wrath;

6. The Teaching of The Imminent Return of Jesus is Maintained;

7. Emphasis Strongly Placed Upon Evangelism and Missions;

8. The Lord Has Previously Only Worked in One People Group At a Time;

9. The Rapture Is the Blessed Hope;

10. The Expectation of the Rapture Causes Us to Look For Jesus;

11. The Church Is the Temple of The Holy Spirit – The Restrainer of Evil;

12. There Are No Signs Pointing To The Rapture – Be Ready.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are most likely many other reasons, but these seem to come out more clearly. There may be some others that really come clearly, but I have not yet had them revealed to me.

 

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 is probably one of the strongest passages of Scripture for believing in the Pre-Trib Rapture of the Church. For this first message I want us to see reason number one listed above.

 

Our text will be taken from 2 Samuel 7:10-17.

THE UNFULFILLED PROMISES OF GOD TO ISRAEL.

“Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime” v. 10 (KJV).

According to 2 Samuel 7:10, they have been promised no more affliction. They are promised a place to be “Planted”. They have a “Place appointed” them.

Being planted means they have a place to “put down roots”. A place to call their own with God as their King.

 

Secondly, David’s Family will be forever established (vv. 11-14). “And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:” vv. 11-14 (KJV). Nathan was giving this promise to David, from God. He is to have an established kingdom, that will stand forever.

It is established by God, and only God can keep it going. It is not because David deserved such a kingdom, or such great promises, but because of God’s name and His children’s need to give Him glory, and praise.

 

There are some who would say that God is finished with Israel. What does that do for us if God does not carry through with His promises to Israel. In order to say God is finished with the Nation you will begin spiritualizing everything of Scripture, and you end up spiritualizing the gospel itself.

The Third thing we must see, is the Reason Israel Has Been Scattered – God’s Sovereign Plan for Israel Romans 11:7-27 (KJV). Some may be asking, “What does any of this have to do with the Rapture of the Church?” My answer to that is; God must do something with the Church before He can accomplish His purpose in scattering Israel. That something will be taking the Body of Christ out of the way. Thus, the Rapture.

Here are some reasons God had for scattering Israel to the “ends of the earth”. It was to let the “heathen” know that God was judging them “for their iniquity”, to purify them, and make them “Know that am the LORD their God” (v. 28). The strongest theme which runs throughout the book of Ezekiel is that phrase, “That ye [Israel or they] might know that I am the LORD their God. I have counted 63 times this phrase is used in the book. It begins in chapter six and runs through chapter 39. So what is God’s reason for scattering Israel? To cause them and others to know that the LORD is their God. It is certain that God will accomplish His purposes.

 

God will fulfill His promises to Israel, because of His character, and because He is trustworthy we can trust Him with His promises. He will fulfill His Word.

Ezekiel 12:21-28 speaks of a proverb the people had concerning their belief that the prophecies of God would not come. They were a long time off. God says there that His promises will not be ‘prolonged’. They were saying, “The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth” v. 22 (KJV). Hear what the Word of the Lord is, “For there shall be no more any vain vision nor flattering divination within the house of Israel. For I am the LORD: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord GOD.” vv. 24-25 (KJV).

Just as the people of Israel could trust and believe that God’s Word would be fulfilled, so it will be for us as well. If God’s promises fail for the house of David, they will not succeed for those who profess Christ as Savior. God has, He is and He will fulfill His Word to the letter. COUNT ON IT.