Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Question #6 The Rapture Question

OK, have you kept up with the questions so far? Ask yourself right now, Of the things I have read, what makes the most sense to me at this time? Of course, you don't have to understand when and how it happens, because that's why we call it "hope". It's faith believing that God is true to His word and having never been raptured before, it's all a faith issue. You've never seen God and yet you beleive. Right? Same thing here, this is something not seen, but believed to be true and therefore, "HOPE" is what we have.
OK, we discussed last time, who is the church that is mentioned when we talk about the Rapture? Again, you must know what you believe about this in order to determine what you believe about the rest. Much of the confusion arising from these things I've been discussing as to whether the church will go through the tribulation has its source in difference of opinion as to the nature of the tribulation itself. Both the post-trib and the mid-trib views have a different concept of the tribulation than the Pre-trib position. Their views depend upon less literal interpretation of the tribulation passages. A literal interpretation of Scriptures dealing with tribulation, however, supports the pre-trib concept. Interpretation of scripture is very important as you study this aspect of what is going to happen. Post-trib believe we are in the great tribulation now. Now is the great tribulation and tribulation one in the same or are they different. Chapter 7 of Rev. uses the phrase "great tribulation" and the other question here is the confusion with church and saints. Many Scholars say this is only place where the term Great Tribulation is used in scripture, but Christ used this same term in Matthew 24:21 and in the old testament it is used in Jeremiah 30:7 and is referred to something obnormal in Daniel 12:1. Scripture reveals in many passages that the church may expect tribulation. Christ told his disciples in John 16:33 they would experience tribulation and he told them in John 15:20 that they would be persecuted and Paul and Barnabas told beleivers in Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch that they must go through tribulation to enter into the kingdom of God. Paul also says in Romans 5:3 for us to rejoice because of tribulation and obviously Paul and John both mentioned tribulation many times in their writings. Now this said, I believe that there is a difference between tribulation and the great tribulation. we as Christians are told we will go through tribulations and persecutions but the future time of Great Tribulation will concern 3 classes of people. 1. the nation Israel; 2. the pagan Gentile world; 3 the saints or elect who will live in that time of trouble. It is of utmost significance that every scripture which describes the participants in this future tribulation period refers to Israelites as Israelites, Gentiles as Gentiles, and the saints as saints without ever once using any of the distinctive terms that apply to believers in this present age. The tribulation passages in the Old and New Testament further illustrate that there is a twofold purpose in the time of great tribulation: 1. to bring to conclusion"the times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24
2. to prepare for the restoration and the regathering of Israel in the millennial reign of Christ following the second advent. The purpose of the tribulation therefore is not to purge the church, nor is it primarily a discipline of believers. It deals in broad terms with both Gentiles and Israel in anticipation of the collapse of Gentile power and the restoration of Israel as the nation.
In conclusion: When we look at the major portion of Scripture dealing with the tribulation confirms that the church is in nowise involved in the time fo future trouble. Even though tribulation has been characterized as the warfare of the saints through the ages, it is eveident that there will be a future time which is termed "Great Tribulation". Therefore you should not be confused with these two terms, "Tribulatin" and "Great Tribulation".
Now ask youself this Question: After reading the scriptures mentioned in this writing, what makes the most sense? What do I really believe now and if I am part of the church, where is our "hope" if we have to go through that"Great and terrible day". Hope this helps and I hope it gives you more "hope" in Christ as the Savior of mankind. Stay tuned next as we talk about the translation and the Second Coming.


Greg P. said...

Eddie, my beliefs are still the same. We, the church, will not go through the Great Tribulation. We are NOT in the GT yet either. Once it happens it will be a world event because the antichrist will be revealed. He cannot surface yet because "the One who inhibits", the Holy Spirit, is still here. Once the Spirit leaves, the antichrist can appear. Since we are indwelt with the Spirit, we also cannot be here. We will be in heaven.