A motivational article in view of the pre-wrath rapture.
Jesus taught his disciples the things concerning the kingdom of God. This of necessity included the subject of His return to the earth in fulfillment of the OT Day of the LORD prophecies as well as the signs of the end of the age.
1. He taught the FACT of His return.
2. He taught about events preceding His return.
3. He taught about the physical signs preceding His return.
4. And a little bit about what would happen after His return.
The disciples as the seed pod for the church of Christ, were taught information pertinent to them; and through them, as representatives of the church, information pertinent to the whole church.
The church therefore received as its heritage the teachings of Jesus to the disciples. And as its heritage, those teachings are pertinent to the church and applicable to the church just as if they had been directly taught to each member.
The significance of this is seen when we discuss the Olivet Discourse. What Jesus taught the disciples was pertinent to them and applicable to them as representatives of the church, and through them, it was pertinent to and applicable to the church as a whole.
So what we see in that passage is the history of the church, as taught with the disciples in mind and through them, with the whole church in mind. And that the history of the church is viewed without interruption until the tribulation of those days is cut short by the Day of the LORD arrival of Jesus and the angels of God are sent forth to gather His elect from the four winds of heaven.
The eleven disciples and Paul, as the 12 apostles of the lamb, were then used by God to pass on this heritage of doctrine to the church and to add to it as the Holy Spirit provided amplification. And in the amplification of that eschatological heritage we have only clear confirmation that the history of the church will progress without interruption into and to the end of that great oppression of the antichrist and be raptured out from this world at the Day of the LORD, when God the Father will pour out His wrath and the wrath of the Lamb upon the kingdom of the beast and upon the unbelievers of the whole world. Luke 21.28
But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and
lift up your head, because your redemption is drawing near.
Some people say that an understanding of prophecy and the rapture is not important. Let me adamantly disagree. If the Lord shall return for His church before that 7 year period of time known in the bible as the 70th week of Daniel or indeed prior to that oppressive reign of antichrist known as the great tribulation, then the church can continue about its business with little concern about the awesome suffering and oppression that will occur on the earth when they are gone.
Christians can continue in their apathy and indifference to spiritual values and continue to live in misery, frustration and stress during the time of their stay here on the earth. For the sad reality of it all is, that most Christians are indeed, living a life far removed from the quality of life of peace and joy that Jesus promised us.
HOWEVER, if Christ shall return at the end of the great tribulation as He said He would in Matthew 24, then it should be clear to most, that the church is ill-prepared to face the nature of that persecution which will come upon them from the oppressive reign of the antichrist.
It is one thing for Christians, here in America, to be living with an abundance of material possessions and still be miserable and frustrated with life. But it is quite another thing to face the economic controls of the beast which will place all Christians in a category worse than the homeless, being unable to conduct ANY financial transactions without the mark of the beast.
It is then that the reality of their inner misery will be open and made clear to them for they will no longer have the possessions of this life to hide in as an escape from the emptiness in their soul. And they will be unable to take the mark of the beast in an attempt to alleviate those economic woes, for God will not allow any of His children to accept that mark once they have trusted in Christ as savior.
Thus, their life will be one of wandering or martyrdom or death by divine discipline. And if it is a life of wandering, the believer needs to be prepared with bible truth in his soul. God's word in the soul is the only thing that can provide true peace and joy now as well as during the time of oppression.
But preparation must be accomplished NOW; before the time of oppression arrives, for then it will be too late to stock pile the truth in your soul. We are exhorted to redeem the time because the days are evil. This is a plea to learn what the will of the Lord is and saturate our souls with truth. God's system for doing this is through a pastor-teacher in a local church. And it is within this context that the writer of Hebrews exhorts us to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some us, but we are to be encouraging one another and to a much greater degree as we see the DAY approaching. We should follow the example of Moses that we find at Psalm 90:12, So teach us to assign our days so that we might gain a heart of wisdom.
The urgency for spiritual growth - growth in grace and knowledge is pressed upon us NOW. There will come a time when such growth will be difficult to experience, "for a famine is coming upon the whole land - not a famine for bread or thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the LORD. And the people will stagger from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they will go to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, but they will not find it. In that day, the beautiful maidens and the young men will faint from THIRST." (Amos 8.11-13) They will weaken and faint from "spiritual" thirst, because of a hunger and need for the word of God in the soul, but they will find no strength - either within themselves to be at peace or to be a testimony for the truth of the gospel to the many unbelievers who will be faced with the decision to take the mark of the beast or not.
The issue then for a proper understanding of the prophetic program as God has revealed it to us in His word is the issue of preparation. Christians know so little about God and about His word, the bible. And their quality of life is an inferior quality of life in comparison to the abundant life of peace and joy that Jesus promised us. But what will happen when the crisis is upon them and they are not prepared to deal with it? Then the experience of Proverbs 1:24-29 will be a sad reality for the vast majority of Christians even as it is in fact a very present reality for so many today.
"Because I called, and you refused; I stretched out my hand,
and no one paid attention; And you neglected all my counsel,
and did not want my reproof; I will even laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes; When your dread comes like a storm, and your calamity comes on like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come on you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer (remember the famine); they will seek me diligently, but they shall not find me, because they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD. They would not accept my counsel, they spurned all my reproof. So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled up with their own solutions."
"You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard, lest being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him - the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen."
2 Peter 3.17-18
©Ron Wallace, http://www.biblefragrances.com. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it,
but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's consent.