Today’s porch is an open one, so folks can post whatever’s on their minds or whatever favorite stories, songs to share. But I wanted to share something first.
A lot of us here believe that some day Jesus is going to ‘rapture’ His church, and I’d venture to say those of us who do believe this, also believe He will do it before the time described in the Bible as the time of Jacob’s trouble, the time of tribulation or the wrath of God being poured out.
While I know from years of interaction, studying and learning about, and forming my beliefs about the end time prophecies, that everyone has different views on the prophecies mentioned in the Bible about the end times- and the Bible is clear that some day the heavens and the earth will pass away. The point is though, I have no concrete knowledge, just strong beliefs as does everyone else who bothers to study end time prophecies. I’ve heard arguments for pre, mid and post tribulation rapture theories, and heard from plenty who don’t believe in a rapture at all.
Many other Christians, don’t know one way or another, because they’ve never really understood, been taught or read the prophetic parts of scripture. Some, well meaning believe it’s not for us to know, God’s thoughts are above ours and His ways aren’t ours… and yet prophecy accounts for a large part of the Bible, you’d think that since Jesus also talked about it, and showed men such as Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and John among others, future things that would come to pass, that He’d want us to know the signs at least, and be watchmen to warn.
Anyway, as I said, I’ve heard from scoffers- both secular and Christians, when it comes to end time stuff. I understand that there are many things that we don’t all agree on, and concerning Christians, this is one of those parts of the Christian belief that while it is sometimes contentious, it’s not a ‘do or die’ type doctrine that determines one’s salvation.
There have been many false prophets throughout history concerning Jesus some day return- and He will return, of that I should think no Christian should doubt, since He promised in various scriptures that He will be, and many concerning the rapture of the church. While I’ve never date set, and never would- because the scripture is also clear on the fact that no one knows the time, I have found myself in the past, caught up in the idea that with every geopolitical or religious event, that it is imminent. And for my own defense, some things seemed as if they were headlines ripped out of the Bible. But over the past 10 or so years, I’ve found that while events back then seemed to be sure signs, God really does have His own time table and ways when it comes to working out His plans. Not just in our daily personal lives but in His purpose for this world. While things heat up and look dire, as they have in the past, often times, the situation eases or backs off some, to where it’s a sense of “guess we’re still going to be waiting a while”.
With that said, never before have so many non Christian groups also believing the world is on the ‘cusp of something coming’ that will change everything as we know it. And yes, while those previous ‘birthpangs’ as the Lord describes them seemed hard at the time, they were mild compared to things happening or shaping up now.
I guess what I’m trying to get at, is that while I still believe Jesus is my blessed Hope, and I do believe He will not have His Bride (body of believers- the church) suffer the full wrath to come in the tribulation times, I also believe we will face real trials and persecution before He comes for us. And when I say comes for us, I don’t mean a visible, “Jesus coming’ type, I believe He will come again, but only once when He comes to the Mount of Olives, in the same way that He ascended to Heaven- in the clouds with witnesses. It’s referred as the 2nd Coming of Jesus for a reason so I believe for the rapture, He will ‘call’ or bring, snatch away- Harpazo His bride which won’t require His physical coming.
What I don’t believe is that similar to some theological beliefs is that His coming depends on our abilities to reclaim dominion and make things right before He can come. And I don’t believe in a so called replacement theology whereas the church somehow replaced the people of Israel in God’s covenant. The rebirth of the nation of Israel and the survival of the Jewish people throughout history are miraculous and shows that God still is very much involved with their purposes. And the fact is now that we see more and more Jews, hundreds of thousands from around the world making Aliyah at a time when Israel is hated by virtually every nation on the face of the planet… is incredible to think about.
I’d like to know others thoughts on what they think, believe and why?
And if anyone is interested, I listened to this a few days ago, and find it incredible that more Christians from both the more liberal, but also the right are coming against those who speak or preach openly of the rapture, and of the end time prophecies. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was coming from the far liberal church really, but it does surprise me that some who are theologically sound, Biblical believers don’t care about it or criticize those of us who do- thinking that we’re escapists or naively wanting Jesus to ‘rescue’ us from this world. Even if that was the case, to these Christians, I have to ask, what is so wrong for wanting to be with Jesus and hoping that He will call us there before the world is under the full rule of demons?
Switching gears a little, John MacArthur pastor of Grace Community church in California and church elders made an important and Biblical statement for their church concerning the ramped up edicts on church gatherings. Folks might not all agree on this, which is fine, but considering the recent supreme court ruling against Calvary Chapel church in Nevada, which can now be used as precedent in church vs. states all over the country, where the government can dictate what the church can and cannot do. It may be that more church leaders will have to make a decision whom’ to follow~ God’s law, or man’s, and whether or not to render unto Caesar, that which is not his.
No matter the things that are going on, or that will happen, and no matter when Jesus comes again, whether He calls for us or it’s our time to go, my eyes will be upon Him.
He is and always will be my blessed Hope.
Have a beautiful day all!