“Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, ‘What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.'” – 2 Peter 3:3-4
One of the most alarming trends I’ve recently witnessed in Christianity is the argument about the Rapture. There was a time when people simply studied the Bible and came to the conclusion that they believed in a Pre-Tribulation rapture, a Mid-Tribulation rapture, or a Post-Tribulation rapture, and that was that. Every Christian (should) believe in a rapture (1 Thess. 4:15-17), but we may disagree on the timing of His return. While this may be true, we should all agree that the most important thing about Christ’s return expressed by Jesus Himself and in the letters of the Apostles is that we must be alert and ready at all times, because He could return at any moment (Matthew 25:13).
That was then, this is now.
What I have witnessed lately is a growing number of Christians who not only do not believe in a Pre-Tribulation rapture, but they are actually saying that it is a demonic deception! I’m not going to cite any of those pages here for obvious reasons, but a quick internet search will prove this to be true. The only person I can think of that would want us to miss the rapture would be Satan, so I seriously question the spirit behind these outrageous statements.
The question is why? Why is there a growing number of Christians who are speaking out so strongly against a Pre-Tribulation rapture of the Church? One of my favorite ministers, J.D. Farag of Calvary Chapel in Kaneohe, Hawaii, believes that this is a fulfillment of 2 Timothy 4:3, “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.” I believe this relates more to the many false teachers (which would take me far too long to name every one of them here) out there with their Name-it-claim-it, Christian Liberty, Replacement Theology, and Hyper-grace teachings. But I cannot for the life of me understand why people would not want to believe in a Rapture that would spare Christ’s Church from the outpouring of God’s wrath upon the earth.
Back in the 70’s, I heard the word Maranatha (meaning, “Our Lord, come!”) nearly every day. People were frequently looking up and they were excited, expecting Christ’s return at any moment. But as God is gracious and He is not willing that any should perish, the years have continued to roll by. Unfortunately, some have stopped looking for His return with anticipation and moved on with their lives. They have exchanged the blessed hope for worldly pursuits and goals. The more distracted we have become with everything from cell phones and gadgets, to marrying and having families, to buying homes and investing in 401K’s, to televisions with 100+ channels in our homes, at gas pumps and dental offices, the less we look for His appearing. I think many simply don’t believe He will return at all… and still others would rather that Jesus wait to return until after they “live a little.” I even saw one person publicly state that they hoped Christ would wait to return until after they saw Star Wars Episode 7! They were joking, but why in the world would we be so flippant about our Glorious Hope?
This should not be, brothers and sisters!
Luke 12:40 tells us, “You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” Do not let anyone talk you out of living a life of expectancy. “All the time” is crystal clear. So if we have been convinced that Christ’s return is not imminent, I believe we run the risk of missing His appearing. Read the Parable of the 10 Virgins from Matthew Chapter 25 if you don’t believe me. The most glaring difference, of course, is that all of the 10 virgins knew the Bridegroom could come at any moment. In Revelation 3:11, Jesus tell us, “I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown.” I pray that you, too, will refuse to let anyone steal your crown. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!
In Christ’s perfect love,
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