Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why I Believe In A Pre-Tribulation Rapture Pt 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 with 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 from 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? The rabbit holes that Mid-Tribulation and Post-Tribulation proponents would have us follow them down are these:
  • They would have us believe that the Tribulation has already begun and offer up "proof" that we're at a specific point in the Tribulation. That includes proof such as:
    • "There’s a secret peace treaty already in place between Israel, America, and Israel's enemies." This "secret peace treaty," although there is no proof it even exists, is used as proof that we're in the first half of the Tribulation.
    • "The President is the Antichrist." This was said about Presidents Bush, Obama, and now Trump. They even offer mathematical calculations based on imaginary theories that result in the sum of 666, which, to them, is "proof" that a specific person, whether it's the president or not, is the Antichrist.
    • "We're already at such and such a place in the Tribulation." They state that we're at a particular point in the Tribulation, and then offer up "proof" that their claims are accurate, bringing us down a rabbit hole as we try to follow their logic. 
    • We need to refine ourselves through the suffering of the Tribulation. Every Christian has to go through this type of refining process in order to be found worthy to enter the Kingdom of God.
  • Then there's the unscriptural logic of some of these so-called born again believers:
    • "There's going to be a new rise of Nephilim as angels will once again have intimate relations with human women."
    • "We're encoded with alien DNA."
    • "Nuburu is real, and it factors in to biblical prophecy."
Image: findfreegraphics.com
There is so much speculation going on in this part of the Christian community, from which seals have been opened, to who the Antichrist could be, and even some way-out-there speculation on the strangest things. Some of these speculations are 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 conclusions that they have made, only to have those conclusions be proven false days or weeks later. So what does that make them? False prophets? Liars? If there's a spirit guiding you in prophetic utterances, and these prophecies don't pan out, then what kind of spirit are you allowing to influence you? It's definitely not the Holy Spirit, that's for sure!

The main issue that Mid-Tribulation and Post-Tribulation proponents have to deal with is speculation. Everything that they believe in, as far as already being in the Tribulation, is speculation. Everyone will have a different opinion as to where we are in the Tribulation timeline. Pre-Tribbers are all of one mind... that no matter what happens, no matter when it happens, Jesus will return as a thief in the night to rapture His bride and take her safely out of the way at the very moment that the Tribulation begins and the Antichrist is revealed. No speculation. No questions. We wait with hope, and know that these things prophesied for the Tribulation will not begin until we are taken out of the way along with the Holy Spirit. Those who believe in a Mid-Tribulation or Post-Tribulation have to constantly deal with where we are in the Tribulation timeline and speculate on who the Antichrist is (when scripture already states that he'll be identified at the onset of the Tribulation), and what judgment we're in the midst of. As I look at all of the information out there that they post on social media, I can see that there isn't even consensus within those groups on exactly where they are in the Tribulation timeline, meaning there's massive disagreement among those who believe in the same type of Rapture.

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 justify their theories 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. 
  • 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.
  • There is no secret peace treaty. If that were so, Israel wouldn't be on the receiving end of constant missile attacks and attempted terrorist attacks.
  • We are not encoded with alien DNA. Aliens don't exist.
  • Niburu has never been proven to exist. It's not even part of biblical prophecy!
  • Fallen angels are not going to return and have sex with human women to create a new race of Nephilim in this day and age.
  • We are not yet in the Tribulation timeline, so stop trying to use current events to support your false assumptions.
Stop chasing after every vain thought and imagination. Stop cherry picking scripture to support your rabbit hole theory, while you ignore those scriptures 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. Those dealing in speculation and working to convince other believers to follow their misleading doctrine 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.

Remember, God separated Noah from His judgment upon mankind. God separated Lot and his family from the judgment He was about to mete out on Sodom and Gomorrah. These are just two of the most talked about instances where God has protected His own. There are more examples throughout biblical history. Be assured that He will take us out of the way and separate us from what is to come BEFORE it happens. 

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, ignoring those who would convince you to believe in false doctrine that would take you away from God's word and toward false prophecies and biblically inaccurate understanding of where we are in biblical history. Don't be lead down a rabbit hole. Take the bible as a whole, study all the instances where God has separated His own from the tribulation at hand, and understand that it will be the same for us.

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

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

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