Will You Be Found Worthy to Escape?
I have spoken here about 'alien' invasions, mind control via brain implants and many other controversial subjects, yet perhaps this one is the most controversial of all, the timing of the rapture in relation to the tribulation. No other topic has the power to polarize an audience and in the past I have 'chickened out' on writing about it.
There is much false teaching that has tainted the bride of Christ's understanding of when she will be caught up to Heaven. The only rational way to understand this event is to disregard the many doctrines of men that have polluted it and examine the Word of God as our sole resource.
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your
hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this
life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come
on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore,
and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things
that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
Many budding eschatologists are aware of Christ's teaching on the tribulation in Matthew 24 but not of Luke's eyewitness account of this same conversation in chapter 21. In his version there are a few interesting tidbits that were left out of Matthew's, one of which is the above passage. Scripture is plain; some will be found worthy to escape the things that are coming to the earth, so why is there any confusion on the 'rapture' question at all?
Does He Come as a Thief?
But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming
of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they
were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day
that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took
them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
It is no mistake that Christ points us back to the days of Noah to describe what is to come. Back then the people of the earth were going on with their business as usual, totally clueless of what was about to happen and the same will happen again.
Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard,
and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on
thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
The bible tells us that Christ will come as a thief (1 Thessalonians 5:2 KJV), yet many in these 'times of the Gentiles' we are currently in still cling to the idea that all Christians will endure the tribulation.
And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be
revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he
who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall
that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his
mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Further evidence of a pre-trib rapture can be surmised from the fact that it is the Holy Spirit who is this withholding force that prevents the Antichrist from being revealed. Reality check folks; the Holy Spirit will not be ripped from our hearts but we who have Him living in us will be taken away along with Him.
Does this mean that all Christians will escape? Tragically, no, because most of the church is in fact asleep and living in compromise with the world. One of the biblical allegories for the Holy Spirit is the oil. We see this evident in the upper room where licks of flame were seen above their heads. This supernatural sign represented to them that they had oil in their lamps. This is key to understanding the parable of the foolish virgins, who represent the Christians who will be left behind because they have no oil in their lamps.
The Foolish Virgins
And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go
ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are
gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough
for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
Plainly speaking, the foolish virgins were left behind because they did not have the Holy Spirit (oil) for themselves. Perhaps they were going to church, and maybe even reading their bibles occasionally. But they only had a 'form of godliness' and were not prepared for the Bridegroom's sudden unexpected arrival. Perhaps they reasoned to themselves there was plenty of time to get oil. Or maybe like some 'post tribbers' they imagined there were going to be plenty of signs to be seen before His arrival.
Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning:
let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman is not at home, he is
gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come
home at the day appointed.
Notice in this proverb that the 'goodman' of the house doesn't come as a thief, but is expected to arrive on a certain day. Many a Christian is gambling with their eternity thinking they can surmise when the goodman of the house will come home so they can engage in their whoredoms till the very last moment. Are they waiting for the 'blood moons' or perhaps the temple to be rebuilt before they get their oil? Who knows their hearts but God?
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I
also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all
the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Why would Christians want to willingly ignore this wonderful promise given to the Philadelphia church? This is due to a poor understanding of bible prophecy, the blame for which we can ultimately only place on ourselves. Because although there are many false teachings on the timing of the rapture they have not studied scripture for themselves as the Bereans did, but instead listened to false teachers. As we can see in the opening scripture many will be caught unprepared to escape the things that are coming. This is largely because far from preparing Christians to escape the Harlot churches are instead preparing them to unite with the Catholic church and take the mark.
Ignorance of Scripture Abounds
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up
together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall
we ever be with the Lord.
For some reason certain people get hung up on the word 'rapture' just because it is not in the bible. Although the word is not there the idea of some escaping absolutely is. I also regularly see this happen with the word 'trinity' where some Christians deny the concept as Catholic heresy even in light of scriptures such as 1 John 5:7 (KJV). Don't get hung up on words folks.
Something to remember when dealing with a post tribber who makes this argument is that in the above verse the words 'caught up' are from the Greek word 'Harpazo' which is also the root for the word... rapture.
Another strange logical fallacy going around is that Scofield or someone else 'invented' the rapture doctrine and therefore it is not legitimate. First of all, we cannot say a doctrine is in error simply based on who is promoting it because even the most wicked wolves will often speak a lot of truth. But most importantly, it is scripture itself that is the source for the idea that some will be found 'worthy to escape' the tribulation and will be kept from the 'hour of temptation'.
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