There was a time when I had some sharp  interest  in end times, in current events in context with prophecy, and in the politics surrounding the modern state of Israel. First, in no way, shape, or form am I anti-Israel, nor am I holding ones eschatology up as a litmus test of overarching orthodoxy…other than that heretical eschatology of full preterism. However, and perceived from conversations engaged and overheard over the years, what happens sometimes in this ‘pretrib’ rapture tribe is an inadvertent slide into a place where one may become more intently focused on national Israel or the place of America in end-times scenarios than in the return of the King. Any engagement of theology that trends and tends to turn focus from Christ-centicity to anything else is wrong. No matter what your eschatology, may the Triune God protect us from straying to areas and attitudes that would attempt to demean His glory.

I quite honestly avoid watching the news anymore, and I used to be quite the news junkie. I am not offering that comment up as a prescriptive for anyone, it is merely descriptive of where I am, now. I am already intimately aware that times are tough economically and many, too, are experiencing a post election buyers remorse of sorts. There are conversations occurring around me about a one world currency on the horizon and how this relates to prophecy, to the timing and immediacy of the rapture. Quite frankly, I really, really want my Redeemer to return and soon. What we must ask ourselves is this, is this interest in the ‘rapture’ driven by the fear of tumultuous events so that we desire an ‘easy button’ out from it all, or is that longing driven by something better, by something more grace-driven than angst and fear-driven?

Cutting to the chase, here is a connection I see: That longing for an easy button can be found both in some contemporary strains of evangelism and in eschatology. I have personally seen and heard the Gospel offered as an easy button to salvation on more than one occasion; I’ve blogged on this sad and pervasive phenomena ad nausea. Is not the ‘pre-trib rapture’ presented and thought of at times as a kind of easy button from ‘the tribulation?’

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4 thoughts on “Some more thoughts on that church sign…

  1. Yeah, I look at that too. I long for Christ to return, but at the same time I wonder if I’m not caught up in some degree of selfishness with that, because at the same time there are those whose salvation I earnestly pray for, and if Christ returns before that happens then that means that they are then beyond hope….so there is comfort in knowing that He will return when the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, and at the same time a solid reminder that I must be submitted to His perfect will in all things, including that. Plus, it does appear that we are in the beginnings of another Awakening, so I can’t imagine that it would be happening quite yet….could be He’s sealing His martyrs, who knows? Something is going on, though, something big, and in the end it will all be according to His perfect will, His perfect wisdom, for His glory, and praise God, He is faithful.

    I can’t completely rule out pre-trib rapture as a possibility, but I do think it’s a damaging concept for these folks to put their faith in to the degree that they seek their comfort from it rather than in the person and work of Christ. In 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10, Paul did not say that we are not destined for tribulation, he said we are not destined for wrath and so in that I find much comfort. But what happens to those who are so wrapped up in pre-trib dispensationalism to the point that their entire faith rides on that if the day comes that they look around and find us all still on this earth in the midst of an obvious fulfillment of end-time tribulational prophecy? Will they search the Scriptures on their knees, or will they raise their hands in defiance against the Almighty God? Scripture already answers that question, though….

  2. Barbara, again, thank you for your thoughtful comments. I have the same concerns about loved ones that I wish to be redeemed, but I am slowly beginning to understand and manifest greater trust in His sovereign will. Like you, I do not absolutely rule out the pre-tribulation rapture – men whom I respect, like John MacAurthur, hold to it – but I have to say I am somewhere between post-trib pre-mill and amill with a growing inclination towards the latter in seeking to understand where Scripture leads. Quite frankly, there is so much silliness associated with the whole Left Behind phenomena that I perhaps allow my reaction to it to errantly color my understanding of eschatology. That said, I try to approach these non-fundamentals with grace but think they need to be talked about in proper times and places.

    Again, thank you for your comments. I do enjoy reading them and am alway edified by your thoughts!

  3. I’m still shocked out of my gourd! To find out why, visit the “Powered by Christ Ministries” site and read “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty”! Tim

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