Monday, April 06, 2009

Raptureitis: A Virus In The Body



Raptureitis (rap-shur-i-tis) - the desire to escape rather than overcome and/or endure; the belief and expectation of removal before the arrival of opposition; often associated with unwillingness to suffer hardship

Signs and Symptoms of Raptureitis

1. You love sermons about leaving behind this “sinful and wretched” world.

2. You close your eyes, plug your ears and sing "Sweet Beulah Land" when someone challenges the rapture theory.

3. Your favorite book series is “Left Behind”.

4. You have a “this vehicle will be abandoned at the rapture” bumper sticker on your car.

5. Your favorite movies are the “Left Behind” trilogy.

6. You cringe at the mention of words like “endure”, “overcome” and “persecution”.

7. You have wondered what it will look like when your clothes lie in a pile on the floor after you vanish.

8. You privately enjoy thinking about how the “lost” will get their due punishment when you’re out of here.

9. You never scan your own food at the supermarket because you’re afraid the barcode might be the mark of the beast.

10. You'd rather be whisked away into "heaven" than stand and be an overcomer in the face of adversity.


General Information

If you find yourself with multiples of the preceding symptoms, please consult your Bible immediately. It is not recommended that you call your pastor, deacon or elder as they likely suffer from advanced symptoms of the virus (often in greater quantity). Please take notice – symptoms may appear to lay dormant for years. Symptoms are often triggered by adverse world events, personal tragedies and “church revival services”. The virus is often passed on via past generations. It is recommended that you do not operate a motor vehicle that would be left unattended upon your sudden evacuation from the earth. Please use caution if you have been diagnosed, as side effects have been documented to greatly debilitate the Body of Christ.

The Serious Side of the Virus

Sometimes satire is good way to get a point across, I believe. But to get to the serious side of things, many people say to me, “But Joel, wouldn’t you rather be raptured? Why would you want to be ‘left behind’ and encounter such calamity and tribulation?” My response to this is what my response is for absolutely everything that I arrive as being biblical truth, and where few seem to understand. It is NOT ABOUT WHAT WE WANT… it is about seeking and studying the Word and seeing what God says about it - period. My “preference” has absolutely nothing to do with what is and what is not. Although I’ve spent ample time studying the subject, this article is not about debating theology and doctrines.


My purpose is soley to address the mindset of the pre-tribulation rapture.

To me, this is the issue more than the doctrine. The church’s embrace of escape versus enduring for the cause of Christ appalls me. The majority blindly place their hope in a “pre-anything troublesome” rapture than take the time to study to see if it is even so. Few will even discuss the matter. They will not be here and that is final.

While the organizations, evangelists and pastors blare to the “lost” world “What if Jesus came back tonight and raptured His Church away?” I ask the Body of Christ, “What if He doesn’t? What if you encounter persecution and even personal harm because you stand for the name of Jesus, The Christ? What then? Will you still embrace Christianity?” But people seemingly think that even the thought of this is just plain absurd. “Oh God would never allow such a thing! He doesn’t want His Church to suffer!” Oh really, have you read what happened to those who stood for Christ in your Bible? And what about Believers who today will have their hands and feet cut off in other countries for the name of Christ? Does God not love them enough to “rapture” them out of there?

My displeasure is that the Body as a whole is not ready to endure. She is not ready to stand, for She is ready for one thing… to be whisked away from it all so that God can “execute judgment upon the sinners who don’t go to ‘church’ and have denied Him.” Again, it’s the mindset that I’m after - the error of believing that it is not even possible that the Church would ever have to face what the followers of Christ in days of old endured for their beliefs. Would you at least be willing to consider that it is possible? Most will not.

To wrap this up, if you’ve personally studied the rapture theory and believe it is what The Word states as fact, then I honestly commend you! I mean that with all that of my heart, seriously. A handful of the most godly men and women that I know embrace the pre-tribulation rapture theory. But, with that being said, they believe it because they have personally studied it, not because they “just do”.

If you’ve formed your opinions based on Hal Lindsey or John Hagee because it sounds more appealing, I encourage you to take the time to study it for yourself with The Word alone as your workbook. Don’t just read viewpoints that favor and endorse what you already believe! Don’t just pick out the two or three verses that are always used to support the common rapture theory and stop there. Read and study The Word! Look into the original texts and meanings. I'm amazed at how so many will endorse the theory with fury and become quite angry when anyone asks why, yet when you do ask why they believe it to be so, they really have no idea beyond a verse or two, at best. Verses that they were told by someone else to mean what they now embrace as absolute.


Know what you believe and why! Own and possess your truth! I say Body of Christ, STOP RELYING ON WHAT EVERYONE ELSE TELLS YOU TO BELIEVE! KNOW WHAT YOU BELIEVE AND WHY FOR GOODNESS SAKE!

The Cure

There is only one known antidote for this virus that has plagued the Body for ages – a complete surrender of one’s personal will, accompanied by a hunger for The Word of God and a desire to please the LORD, no matter what comes. Those who have placed their hope in God alone and grasp the realities of the Kingdom of God have made great strides in leaving behind the affects of raptureitis. As one continues to develop and cultivate their relationship with the LORD, it seems that the symptoms slowly begin to dissipate and do not return. Cases of remission have been documented when some have returned to a life of fear and submission to carnal thinking and worldly mindsets. It has been determined that unless one is biblically born from above, he/she is not capable of possessing immunity to raptureitis.

21 comments:

mark-main said...

I applaud what you have said here Joel. I agree completely. Unfortunately, what you are calling for would eliminate one of the biggest appeals that today's Christianity holds for so many people. It's doesn't require any thought on their part.

When you start asking people to think for themselves you take away their easy button, and they won't stand for that.

Jason said...

I'm with you for the most part, but this one's gonna get you in alot of trouble.

Shaun Ryan said...

Plus the scriptures in the word that make it explicitly clear that we will be here during the tribulation.
Such as Revelation 13:10
If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.

Duh. We're here.

Anonymous said...

[I agree wholeheartedly! And you are the wave of the future! Just saw the following on the web. Shocked? Kent]

PRETRIB RAPTURE DISHONESTY

by Dave MacPherson

When I began my research in 1970 into the exact beginnings of the pretribulation rapture belief still held by many evangelicals, I assumed that the rapture debate involved only "godly scholars with honest differences." The paper you are now reading reveals why I gave up that assumption many years ago. With this introduction-of-sorts in mind, let's take a long look at the pervasive dishonesty throughout the history of the 179-year-old pretrib rapture theory:

Mid-1820's - German scholar Max Weremchuk's work "John Nelson Darby" (1992) included what Benjamin Newton revealed about John Darby in the mid-1820's during his pre-Brethren days as an Anglican clergyman:
"J. N. Darby was a very subtle man. He had been a lawyer, or at least educated for the law. Once he wanted his Archbishop to pursue a certain course, when he (J.N.D.) was a curate in his diocese. He wrote a letter, therefore, saying he had been educated for the law, knew what the legal course would properly be; and then having written that clearly, he mystified the remainder of the letter both in word and in handwriting, and ended up by saying: You see, my Lord, such being the legal aspect of the case it would unquestionably be the best course for you to pursue, etc. And the Archbishop couldn't make out the legal part, but rested on Darby's word and did as he advised. Darby afterwards laughed over it, and indeed he showed a copy of the letter to Tregelles. This is not mentioned in the Archbishop's biography, but in it is the fact that he spoke of Darby as 'the most subtle man in my diocese.'"
This reminds me of an 1834 letter by Darby which spoke of the "Lord's coming." Darby added, concerning this coming, that "the thoughts are new" and that during any teaching of it "it would not be well to have it so clear." Darby's deviousness here was his usage of a centuries-old term - "Lord's coming" - to cover up his desire to sneak the new pretrib idea into existing posttrib groups in very low-profile ways!
1830 - In the spring of 1830 a young Scottish lassie, Margaret Macdonald, came up with the novel notion of a catching up [rapture] of Spirit-filled "church" members before Antichrist's "trial" [tribulation] of non-Spirit-filled "church" members - the first instance I've found of clear "pretrib" teaching (which was part of a partial rapture scheme). In Sep. 1830 "The Morning Watch" (a journal produced by London preacher Edward Irving and his "Irvingite" followers, some of whom had visited Margaret a few weeks earlier) began repeating her original thoughts and even her wording but gave her no credit - the first plagiarism I've found in pretrib history. Darby was still defending posttrib in Dec. 1830.
Pretrib promoters have long known the significance of her main point: a rapture of "church" members BEFORE the revealing of Antichrist. Which is why John Walvoord quoted nothing in her revelation, why Thomas Ice habitually skips over her main point but quotes lines BEFORE and AFTER it, and why Hal Lindsey muddies up her main point so he can (falsely) assert that she was NOT a pretribber! (Google "X-Raying Margaret" for info about her.)
NOTE: The development of the 1800's is thoroughly documented in my book "The Rapture Plot." You'll learn that Darby wasn't original on any chief aspect of dispensationalism (but plagiarized the Irvingites); that pretrib was initially based on only OT and NT symbols and not clear Scripture; that the symbols included the Jewish feasts, the two witnesses, and the man child - symbols adopted by Darby during most of his career; that Darby's later reminiscences exaggerated his earliest pretrib development, and that today's defenders such as Thomas Ice have further overstated what Darby overstated; that Irvingism didn't need later reminiscences to "clarify" its own early pretrib development; that ancient hymns and even the writings of the Reformers were subtly revised to make it appear they had taught pretrib; and that after Darby's death a clever revisionist quietly made many changes in early Irvingite and Brethren documents in order to steal credit for pretrib away from the Irvingites (and their female inspiration!) and give it dishonestly to Darby! (Before continuing, Google the "Powered by Christ Ministries" site and read "America's Pretrib Rapture Traffickers" - a sample of the current exciting internetism!)
1920 - Charles Trumbull's book "The Life Story of C. I. Scofield" told only the dispensationally-correct side of his life. Two recent books, Joseph Canfield's "The Incredible Scofield and His Book" (1988) and David Lutzweiler's "DispenSinsationalism: C. I. Scofield's Life and Errors" (2006), reveal the other side including his being jailed as a forger, dishonestly giving himself a non-conferred "D.D." etc. etc.!
1967 - Brethren scholar Harold Rowdon's "The Origins of the Brethren" quoted Darby associate Lord Congleton who was "disgusted with...the falseness" of Darby's accounts of things. Rowdon also quoted historian William Neatby who said that others felt that "the time-honoured method of single combat" was as good as anything "to elicit the truth" from Darby. (In other words, knock it out of him!)
1972 - Tim LaHaye's "The Beginning of the End" (1972) plagiarized Hal Lindsey's "The Late Great Planet Earth" (1970).
1976 - Charles Ryrie"s "The Living End" (1976) plagiarized Lindsey's "The Late Great Planet Earth" (1970) and "There's A New World Coming" (1973).
1976 - After John Walvoord's "The Blessed Hope and the Tribulation" (1976) brutally twisted Robert Gundry's "The Church and the Tribulation" (1973), Gundry composed and circulated a 35-page open letter to Walvoord which repeatedly charged the Dallas Seminary president with "misrepresentation," "misrepresentations" (and variations)!
1981 - "The Fundamentalist Phenomenon" (1981) by Jerry Falwell, Ed Dobson, and Ed Hindson heavily plagiarized George Dollar's 1973 book "A History of Fundamentalism in America."
1984 - After a prof at Southeastern College of the Assemblies of God in Florida told me that the No. 2 man at the AG world headquarters in Missouri - Joseph Flower - had the label of posttrib, my wife and I had two hour-long chats with him. He verified what I had been told. But we were dumbstruck when he told us that although AG ministers are required to promote pretrib, privately they can believe any other rapture view! Flower said that his father, an AG co-founder, was also posttrib. We also learned while in Springfield that when the AG's were organized in 1914, the initial group was divided between posttribs and pretribs - but that the pretribs shouted louder which resulted in that denomination officially adopting pretrib! (For details on this and other pretrib double-mindedness, Google "Pretrib Hypocrisy.")
1989 - Since 1989 Thomas Ice has referred to the "Mac-theory" (his reference to my research), giving the impression there's no solid evidence that Macdonald was the real pretrib originator. But Ice carefully conceals the fact that no eminent church historian of the 1800's - whether Plymouth Brethren or Irvingite - credited Darby with pretrib. Instead, they uniformly credited leading Irvingite sources, all of which upheld the Scottish lassie's contribution! Moreover, I'm hardly the only modern scholar seeing significance in Irvingism's territory. Others in recent years who have noted it, but who haven't mined it as deeply as I have, include Fuller, Ladd, Bass, Rowdon, Sandeen, and Gundry.
1989 - Greg Bahnsen and Kenneth Gentry produced evidence in 1989 that Lindsey's book "The Road to Holocaust" (1989) plagiarized "Dominion Theology" (1988) by H. Wayne House and Thomas Ice.
1990 - David Jeremiah's and C. C. Carlson's "Escape the Coming Night" (1990) massively plagiarized Lindsey's 1973 book "There's A New World Coming." (For more info, type in "Thieves' Marketing" on MSN or Google.)
1991 - Paul Lee Tan's "A Pictorial Guide to Bible Prophecy" (1991) plagiarized large amounts of Lindsey's "The Late Great Planet Earth" (1970).
1991 - Militant Darby defender R. A. Huebner claimed in 1991 to have found new evidence that Darby was pretrib as early as 1827 - three years before Macdonald. Halfway through his book Huebner suddenly admitted that his evidence could refer to something completely un-rapturesque. Even though Thomas Ice admitted to me that he knew that Huebner had "blown" his so-called evidence, prevaricator Ice continues to tell the world that Huebner has "positive evidence" that Darby was pretrib in 1827! Ice also conceals the fact that Darby, in his own 1827 paper, was looking for only "the restitution of all things" and "the times of refreshing" (Acts 3:19,21) - which Scofield doesn't see fulfilled until AFTER a future tribulation!
1992 - Tim LaHaye's "No Fear of the Storm" (1992) plagiarized Walvoord's "The Blessed Hope and the Tribulation" (1976).
1992 - This was when the Los Angeles Times revealed that "The Magog Factor" (1992) by Hal Lindsey and Chuck Missler was a monstrous plagiarism of Prof. Edwin Yamauchi's scholarly 1982 work "Foes from the Northern Frontier." Four months after this exposure, Lindsey and Missler stated they had stopped publishing and promoting their book. But in 1996 Dr. Yamauchi learned that the dishonest duo had issued a 1995 book called "The Magog Invasion" which still had a substantial amount of the same plagiarism! (If Lindsey and Missler ever need hernia operations, I predict that the doctors will tell them not to lift anything for a long time!)
1994 - In 1996 it was revealed that Lindsey's "Planet Earth - 2000 A.D. (1994) had an embarrassing amount of plagiarism of a Texe Marrs book titled "Mystery Mark of the New Age" (1988).
1995 - My book "The Rapture Plot" reveals the dishonesty in Darby's reprinted works. It's often hard to tell who wrote the footnotes and when. It's easy to believe that the notes, and also unsigned phrases inside brackets within the text, were a devious attempt by someone (Darby? his editor?) to portray a Darby far more developed in pretrib thinking than he actually had been at the time. I found that some of the "additives" had been taken from Darby's much later works, when he was more developed, and placed next to or inside his earliest works! One footnote by Darby's editor, attached to Darby's 1830 paper, actually stated that "it was not worth while either suppressing or changing" anything in this work! If his editor wasn't open to such dishonesty, how can we explain such a statement?
Post-1995 - Thomas Ice's article "Inventor of False Pre-Trib Rapture History" states that my book "The Rapture Plot" is "only one of the latest in a series of revisions of his original discourse...." And David Reagan in his article "The Origin of the Concept of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture" repeats Ice's falsehood by claiming that I have republished my first book "over the years under several different titles."
Although my book repeats a bit of the Macdonald origin of pretrib (for new readers), all of my books are packed with new material not found in my other works. For some clarification, "The Incredible Cover-Up" has photos of pertinent places in Ireland, Scotland, and England not found in my later books plus several chapters dealing with theological arguments; "The Great Rapture Hoax" quotes scholars throughout the Church Age, covers Scofield's hidden side, a section on Powerscourt, the 1980 election, the Jupiter Effect, Gundry's change, and more theological arguments; "The Rapture Plot" reveals for the first time the Great Evangelical Revisionism/Robbery and includes appendices on miscopying, plagiarism, etc.; and "The Three R's" shows hypocritical evangelicals employing occultic beliefs they say they have long opposed!
So Thomas Ice etc. are twisting truth when they claim I am only a revisionist. Do they really think that my publishers DON'T know what I've previously written?
Re arguments, Google "Pretrib Rapture - Hidden Facts" and also obtain "The End Times Passover" and "Why Christians Will Suffer 'Great Tribulation' " (AuthorHouse, 2006) by media personality Joe Ortiz.
1997 - For years Harvest House Publishers has owned and been republishing Lindsey's book "There's A New World Coming." During the same time Lindsey has been peddling his reportedly "new" book "Apocalyse Code" (1997), much of which is word-for-word the same as the Harvest House book - and there's no notice of "simultaneous publishing" in either book! Talk about pretrib greed!
1997 - This is the year I discovered that more than 50 pages of Dallas Seminary professor Merrill Unger's book "Beyond the Crystal Ball" (Moody Press, 1973) constituted a colossal plagiarism of Lindsey's "The Late Great Planet Earth" (1970). After Lindsey's book came out, Unger had complained that Lindsey's book had plagiarized his classroom lecture notes. It was evident that Unger felt that he too should cash in on his own lectures! (The detailed account of this Dallas Seminary dishonesty is revealed in my 1998 book "The Three R's.")
1998 - Tim LaHaye's "Understanding the Last Days" (1998) plagiarized Lindsey's "There's A New World Coming" (1973).
1999 - More than 200 pages (out of 396 pages) in Lindsey's 1999 book "Vanished Into Thin Air" are virtually carbon copies of pages in his 1983 book "The Rapture" - with no "updated" or "revised" notice included! Lindsey has done the same nervy thing with several of his books, something that has allowed him to live in million-dollar-plus homes and drive cars like Ferraris! (See my Google articles "Deceiving and Being Deceived" and "Thieves' Marketing" for further evidence of this notably pretrib vice.)
2000 - A Jack Van Impe article "The Moment After" (2000) plagiarized Grant Jeffrey's book "Final Warning" (1995).
2001 - Since 2001 my web article "Walvoord's Posttrib 'Varieties' - Plus" has been exposing his devious muddying up of posttrib waters. In some of his books he invented four "distinct" and "contradictory" posttrib divisions, claiming that they are either "classic" or "semiclassic" or "futurist" or "dispensational" - distinctions that disappear when analyzed! His "futurist" group holds to a literal future tribulation and a literal millennium but doesn't embrace "any day" imminency. But his "dispensational" group has the same non-imminency! Moreover, tribulational futurism is found in every group except the first one, and he somehow admitted that a literal millennium is in all four groups! On the other hand, it's the pretribs who consistently disagree with each other over their chief points and subpoints - but somehow end up agreeing that there will be a pretrib rapture! (See my chapter "A House Divided" in my book "The Incredible Cover-Up.")
2001 - Since my "Deceiving and Being Deceived" web item which exposed the claims for Pseudo-Ephraem" and "Morgan Edwards" as teachers of pretrib, there has been a piranha-like frenzy on the part of pretrib bodyguards and their duped groupies to "discover" almost anything before 1830 walking upright on two legs that seemed to have at least a remote hint of pretrib! (An exemplary poster boy for such pretrib practice is Grant Jeffrey. To get your money's worth, Google "Wily Jeffrey.")

FINALLY: Don't take my word for any of the above. Read my 300-page book "The Rapture Plot" which has a jillion more documented details on the long-hidden but now-revealed history of the dishonest, 179-year-old, fringe-British-invented, American-merchandised-until-the-real-bad-stuff-happens pretribulation rapture fad. If this book of mine doesn't "move" you, I will personally refund what you paid for it!

NINA said...

I love it!! Raptureitist! This is so true. I caught it a few years back and it can only be cured by the word and a true relationship with God. Long suffering is a part of Christian living. Christ said "pick up your cross and follow me"."No servant is greater than his master". etc.. Which mean adversity is inevitable. We can not change what is to come, but we can prepare ourselves and preparation is what gives us peace that surpasses understanding. I am not sure exactly what tomorrow has to offer but I trust that Our Father in heaven is more than capable and willing to take care of His children like all good father's do. Just as he did Elijah in the time of famine and gave manna to His people in the wilderness. People should stop counting on the rapture and start counting on God. Its true, God always offers a way of escape. Whether it be what we were expecting or not.I am a living witness. I've seen me pray for a way to a pay a bill, but instead He erases the bill. Pray for money to fix my car, but instead the car just stops giving me problems. I've worried myself silly when I've lost my job only to realize that all of my bills are still taken care of and I hadn't gone without my needs being met since the day of termination.If you are a "born from above believer" you don't have to pray for the rapture because God can remove you or make you exempt in the midst of any situation or hide you in the midst of a storm . Rapture or no rapture, God is in control!!!!!!!

Keith said...

Amen! I couldn't agree more.

Grace and Peace,

Nova said...

You are so right. It is not about me, and what I want. It is about God, and what He wants. What He wants, is for us to reach this lost and dying world, for Christ. I cannot understand how anyone can be so callous as to gloat about the unsaved being punished after we are out of here. That's horrible! Christ died for the whole world, not just a special few. And according to the Bible, He loves them every bit as much as He does those who are already saved. Christ said that the Body of Christ isn't going anywhere, until the entire world has been witnessed to with the Gospel. If we want to see the return of Christ, we had best get busy telling the world about our Saviour, while we still have the opportunity. Great post, my friend.

Robie said...

Well said Nova. Since the Lord has really revealed Himself to me the focus is not on the end of days as it is upon getting people to look towards the Lord. Thanks for you comment, I agree! Bless you, Robie

onesmallstone said...

Mainstream is hard for many to pull away from. It is an appealing doctrine to hold onto for so many. It is hard to snatch away beliefs without refilling the void with new beliefs. I totally agree with your arguments.
I find that the Bible is the best way to interpret the Bible!
Scripture points over and over to God sustaining his people through tribulation. Daniel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, shall I go on? It is a Westernized Belief, quite arrogant, I would say. God would never let Westerners suffer, it's quite alright for the rest of the world to.....

PS Why do people still read authors that have been wrong time and time again on the End Times!?! Yet these 'prophets' are still writing and still selling to a public ready to fly away.....
Blessings

Anonymous said...

Great stuff Joel.I was nervous for a second, luckily I have none of the symptoms.

thought you'd might like this

http://www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi1484587289/

Anonymous said...

forgot to say if you don't want to watch it all at, fast forward to 16:15 they are exactly what you are talking about in your blog. : )

Daniel said...

Although I understand your point, I find it hard to embrace the possibility that God would allow His children to experience His anger. If we can't have the expectation and hope to leave this evil world, then what do we have? He is our hope and promise of the future, not this world. I place my anticipation in the rapture because without it, I'm left here amongst the worldly events that are not for me to suffer amongst. Waiting to hear the trumpet sound...

Joel Spencer said...

Mark: I agree, the pre-trib rapture is obviously appealing as it eliminates virtually any serious adversity that I might ever face. I understand that few will be willing to lay aside what they've been taught in order to see for themselves, but even if one takes the time to look into it, I feel this is worth it.

Jason: So far so good! Good responses or bad, the charge remains the same.

Shaun: I decided I'd not address the theological end of it within this thread, but there are many Scriptures that make a great argument for the true Believer's role in the end times events.

Joel Spencer said...

Kent: You officially win the award for the longest comment! (Although I haven't read all of it yet)

Nina: Preparation is key. I will choose to be enamored with my Father today, therefore I will be ready for whatever may come tomorrow.

Keith: Thanks for stopping by!

Daniel: You stated, "If we can't have the expectation and hope to leave this evil world, then what do we have?" My hope is in the LORD, not in the return of the LORD. I personally believe that many await His return because they don't have a true knowing of Him now. From what I read in the Word, I can see heaven come to earth now. I am not "awaiting" the Kingdom but instead ushering it in now, for this is my role as an Ambassador for Christ.

I implore you to take some time and study the Word alone and be assured that you know what It states. I have no interest in swaying your conclusion, I just desire to see the Body know why they believe what they do.

Thanks for your input.

Anonymous said...

I think alot of people get tribulation and God's wrath totally confused. We as believer's in Christ will not under go God's Wrath and Anger - we will only experience the tribulation of persecution that stems from those who are enemies of Christ. If anyone can say that we are living in (good times) rignt now - then I do not know what to say to that. Alot of us would say Lord come now come quickly - Yet we are still here - for the time being - because God is so compassionate and merciful that he is expecting US to bring others to Him. People are so tired of crap that yes they do want the easy way out ( yet what are they doing to tell people about Jesus? ) If you hold true to God's Word and promises , live for Him , fear Him and be obedient and love Him with all of you - I would say you have no worries with having to go through tribulation. Much of our lives we have been going ( through ) something.. People have beliefs over Pretrib , Trib , Mid Trib - etc . and it is often debated. I just live one day at a time , pray in all situations , and stay close to Him while be watchful for His return - and grasping all that I can for His kingdom. I know how irritating how it can be when you know the truth and many are unprepared and are going to be very disappointed - in all honesty the majority of your institulational churches are going to be dumbfounded for the very thing they preach and believe - many will flock to them for answers - but it will be mass confusion for them all - it is going to be like chickens running everywhere will their heads cut off bumping around into one another - so I praise God for the remnant He will use during those times .

Linda said...

Amen! When WE actually READ the Word line upon line and precept upon precept...oh my! Pre Trib theory blown out of the water! BUT I too believed that theory for many years! Had to learn the Truth frm God alone in the Word.
Now WHAT to do with all the Left Behind books? Oh my lol

Anonymous said...

(I just saw the following article on the web. How truthful! Christina)

FOR PRETRIB RAPTURE REPEATERS

Congratulations! You are now fulfilling the Bible which says "Come now, and let us repeat together."
Be sure to repeat what Walvoord, Lindsey, LaHaye, Ice etc. repeat what their own teachers repeat what their own teachers repeat etc. etc. etc.!
Repeat that Christ's return is imminent because we're told to "watch" (Matt. 24, 25) for it. So is the "day of God" (II Pet. 3:12) - which you admit is at least 1000 years ahead - also imminent because we're told to be "looking for" it?
Also repeat the pretrib myths about the "Jewish wedding stages" and "Jewish feasts" (where's your "church/Israel dichotomy" now?) even though Christ and Paul knew nothing about a "pretrib stage" and neither did any official theological creed or organized church before 1830!
You should read "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" on the "Powered by Christ Ministries" site to find out why you shouldn't repeat everything your pretrib teachers repeat.
Do I have to repeat this?

Nothing Without Christ said...

Like the satire... its something i believe that will help in the "falling away" when the persecution begins in america (as it is all over the world and HAS been. Americans are so used to name it and claim it prosperity they dont even realize or some even believe that ppl are being beat, tortured, imprisoned, burned out of their homes and killed every day for Jesus.

"In this world you will have trouble, But take heart, I have overcome the world."

i want to be with Jesus...but i know my end into life with Him is death.

Joel Spencer said...

Anonymous: I do believe that God is a God of "being with us through" as opposed to "evacuating us out". In it I learn to trust Him. I grow. I mature. Just as a parent allows their child to learn via trials, so does my Father.

Linda: I too followed common rapture theories until I stopped and asked myself if I even knew what the Word had to say about the matter.

As far as your Left Behind books, I hear they make great kindling. ;)

Christina: Christian repetition, ugh. The Body sadly is too often a "do as all others do" Body. It is time that we define what we're to do and what beliefs we're to hold on to according to God's Word alone.

Nothing Without Christ: I often wonder how the US will respond to calamity when it arrives upon Her lands. We cannot even handle financial issues without tremendous turmoil ensuing.

Today is the day of salvation. We must seek the LORD while He is near.

Harriet said...

great blog..as usual Joel,
You always give people something to THINK about.
If we don't read the Word and ask the Spirit to reveal it's meaning to us, FOR OURSELVES, then we really have no relationship with God.It's the constant talking to and listening to God..through ALL the ways He speaks to us that is important. The kingdom is "at hand", meaning HERE..NOW. Not later, after death. We have the opportunity to LIVE the life that some are simply hoping for later. I'm not sure when they think they'll LIVE it if they don't now.
Later?in the "new heaven and new earth?..If they can't live it now what makes them think they will THEN?
What a witness to pre-believers if they saw God working IN and THROUGH His children.
Overcoming is what we are to do.. now..tomorrow..always.
I have read the Word and seem to always come up with a slightly diff. opinion of whether we will be here or not during the final days of this earth. Honestly, to me, it doesn't really matter. I have to put my trust in God's ability to give me the grace TODAY to live..and if I am here during the tribulation..why would I expect that grace to be any less?

God bless you!!

Joel Spencer said...

Harriet: Noone else's opinions or beliefs will be enough to give me security should troubling times come. We must possess our own revelation and truth via the Spirit.