Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why I Believe In A Pre-Tribulation Rapture 2 - Noah, Lot, and Rabbit Holes

The people laughed at Noah. He was building a huge ark, was going to fill it with animals and then just float away on some phantom flood. Seems ridiculous, right? Everyone went on their depraved lives, shaking their head at the crazy old man and his family. Then the animals came to the ark, lead by God. Then Noah and his family entered the ark and God closed and sealed the door shut. Then, without warning, came an outpouring of water from the sky and form the depths of the sea!

People often say that the story of Noah isn't an example of the rapture, but of the tribulation. I understand that point of view, I just don’t agree with it. Why? Because I see the story of Noah as being more than just an ark floating on water. I see it as an example of being raised out of harm’s way. I see it as an example of the Bridegroom ushering His bride into the bridal chamber and sealing the door shut to protect her. I see it as an example of returning to a new earth, cleansed by God. There was an urgency to Noah’s entrance into the ark. He wasn't told to enter the ark by a certain time. God told him to move now, and he did. He was rescued from the tribulation that immediately came upon the world.

Then there’s the comparison with Lot. Some say that Lot’s flight from Sodom and Gomorrah was an example of God bringing Lot through that tribulation and not out of it. Again, although I understand that point of view, I just don’t agree with it. I see Lot’s flight as God taking Lot out of the situation, rescuing him and his family from the tribulation to come. Before the destruction of those two cities, people were living their lives as always, unaware that their moment of judgment was upon them. There was a sense of urgency when Lot left Sodom.  He was removed from the city just before the tribulation began.

Some Christians seem to think that we must go through the Tribulation in order to be refined, like somehow we can make ourselves more worthy to enter the Kingdom of God by participating in that final period of suffering
. That way of thinking sounds a lot like the Catholic version of purgatory, except it’s experienced in the flesh here on earth. It also sounds like Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross wasn't enough to satisfy God’s anger and judgment against us; that somehow we must refine ourselves through that bitter trial of the Tribulation in order to be made complete.

But all this revolves around the timing of the Rapture. If you’re a pre-trib believer, then things are pretty much settled in your mind. You believe that the Rapture will happen just before the Tribulation and that, as the bride of Christ, you will be sheltered in the bridal chamber with the Lord until the Tribulation reaches it's end, at which point, you will return with Jesus and the rest of the saints to witness the defeat of Satan and all who still reject Jesus as Lord.

If you’re a mid-trib or post-trib believer, then you have to deal with a field of rabbit holes. What do I mean about rabbit holes? Here are a few examples of statements made by those who do not believe in a pre-trib Rapture:
  • We are currently in the Tribulation period and we've reached the third seal. Here’s the proof.
  • There’s a secret peace treaty that Israel allegedly signed in 2010 and which was brokered by President Obama, and here’s the proof.
  • President Obama is the Antichrist, and here’s the proof.
  • If you add these numbers up, it comes to 666.
  • The Antichrist is actually an alien and we've been infected with alien DNA, and here’s the proof.
  • The man in sack cloth praying in St. Peter’s Square MAY be one of the two witnesses. I don't have any proof, but I have this feeling.
  • President Obama is really the clone of Pharaoh Akhenaton, here's the proof.

Image: findfreegraphics.com
Do I need to go on? There is so much speculation going on in the Christian community, from which seals have been opened to the appearance of a monk in St. Peter’s Square. These speculations are now coming from people who I thought had their act together. They’re great brothers and sisters in the Lord, lead by the Holy Spirit, but they've allowed themselves to be taken down rabbit holes that they can’t seem to find their way out of. Instead of investigating these claims and praying about them, they just announce it openly on the internet, causing others to head down that rabbit hole with them. Some of them even say they have been led directly by the Holy Spirit to the conclusion that they have made, only to have that conclusion be proven false days or weeks later.

In all love and concern, I ask all my brothers and sisters who are looking for the Antichrist and looking for the two witnesses and looking for any other little tidbit of information to just stop! Think about what you’re doing before you affect the lives of those who are reading what you're posting. Understand that anything except a pre-tribulation rapture leads to nothing but false speculation that does nothing but take your mind off of REAL bible study and REAL interpretation of current events. 
  • President Obama is not the Antichrist. He’s a type of anti-Christ, but he’s been placed there by the enemy as a diversion.
  • We do not have to go through the Tribulation to refine ourselves. Jesus suffered and died for us. There is no other sacrifice that we can make on our own to be worthy of receiving salvation.
  • The monk in St. Peter’s Square is submitted to the pope and supports Catholicism. He is not one of the two witnesses.
  • We are not encoded with alien DNA. Aliens don't exist.
  • Niburu has never been proven to exist.
  • Fallen angels are not going to have sex with human women to create a new race of Nephilim in this day and age.
Stop chasing after every vain thought and imagination. Stop relying on scripture that seems to support your rabbit hole theory while ignoring scripture that would prove your theory false.

There are some things we will not know while we are here on earth, and God has not promised to give us fore-knowledge of the intricate details of His plans. He has given us an overall view of what is going to happen and has definitely filled in some blanks, but the actual fine details of it are in God’s hands.  Just as believers in Paul’s time were mistaken that the Tribulation had already begun, so some of us are mistaken that we are firmly planted in the first half of the Tribulation at this moment.

Don’t make the same mistake our brothers and sisters have made throughout Christianity’s history. We look back and wonder how they could have believed some of the things they did, but some of us are operating under the same misconceptions that the saints before us dealt with. We all need to repent of this type of behavior.

I confess that I have been a victim of this way of thinking as well. I am not better than anyone else. I am better off than some because I have learned to temper my desire to post something online until I have researched it both online and through the word of God. If it doesn't line up with God’s word, then it’s not fit to be shared.

I hope none have taken this as a personal attack. Everything I have said was out of love and concern (and yes, a little frustration). Keep your eyes on the Lord and keep pushing forward.

You can read the other parts of this series by clicking on the title of the article below:

Why I Believe In A Pre-Tribulation Rapture Pt. 1 - The 24 Elders

Why I Believe In A Pre-Tribulation Rapture Pt. 3 - Slow Motion Replay

Why I Believe In A Pre-Tribulation Rapture Pt. 4 - The Apostasy or Falling Away

To God be the glory and honor and power forever and ever!  Amen!

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