Hope

Pretribulation Rapture Signpost #2: Unique

Pretribulation Rapture Signpost #2: Unique

The next signpost pointing to the occurrence of the rapture before the tribulation simply says “unique.” For pretribulationism to be biblical, the rapture and second coming cannot be the same event. If they are identical, we obviously cannot separate them by seven years or so.

If premillennialism is true, and it absolutely is, then then the following differences between the rapture and second coming passages argue strongly for regarding them as separate and unique events.

A Prophet’s Complaint

A Prophet’s Complaint

My fingers raced to the book of Habakkuk early this morning.

Why would I seek the wisdom of an ancient prophet to ease my troubled mind? His opening complaint, written 2,650 years ago, captures the cry of my heart.

I so often cry out to the Lord to stop the senseless murder of children as well as the killing of those precious little ones who survive the horrific evil of abortion.

Are You at a Breaking Point?

Are You at a Breaking Point?

If not for my belief in the rapture, I would have reached a breaking point long, long ago. As it is, I sometimes feel anger boiling up within me as I see entertainers celebrating abortions, the evil that intensifies each and every day, and the greed and hatred rampant in our world.

I also know many believers have reached a breaking point due to illness, grief, and affliction. Pain touches the lives of so many followers of Jesus.

Our Anticipation of Jesus’ Soon Appearing

Our Anticipation of Jesus’ Soon Appearing

A GEICO commercial from last year portrays a spy fleeing from armed men on a roof as well as from a black helicopter approaching him from the air. His phone rings as his adversaries appear ready to capture him or perhaps kill him. Thinking the call is from those coming to rescue him he answers the phone shouting, “Where are you?”

We then see his mom relaxing by a pool as she calmly talks to him about his dad’s battle with squirrels in the attic. As she continues talking to her exasperated son the narrator interjects, “If you’re a mom, you call at the worst time. It’s what you do.”

The New Testament cries out with a similar message echoing the words of the narrator in the GEICO commercial, “As followers of Jesus we live in eager anticipation of his soon appearing. It’s what we do.”

Is There a Hidden Meaning in Biblical Prophecy?

Is There a Hidden Meaning in Biblical Prophecy?

We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare.  We instinctively understand this did not actually happen; it’s an allegory representing a moral. C.S. Lewis wrote The Chronicles of Narnia as an allegory to illustrate biblical truths. The characters are fictional, but they tell a story rich with spiritual truth.

Is biblical prophecy written as an allegory with a hidden meaning for us to find? Or can we take the words of Scripture at face value?

Prelude to the Tribulation

Prelude to the Tribulation

A common response to those like me who believe we live in the last days is this: “The world has seen violence and wickedness all through its history. What’s so different about today?”

I fully understand that question especially when one considers the world wars of the previous century. Seventy-five years ago many Christians thought Hitler was the antichrist based on his hatred of the Jews and his efforts to establish a worldwide socialist empire. This was truly a terrible time in world history, but it was not the prelude to the tribulation.

The Repackaging of Amillennialism

The Repackaging of Amillennialism

For several months I attended a church whose doctrinal statement affirmed its belief in premillennialism, the belief in Jesus’ reign over the nations before the eternal state. So my wife and I faithfully attended assuming the church stood by its statement of faith. Such was not the case.

Later, in discussing prophecy with the pastor I discovered he identified himself as a “covenant premillennialist.” I remained hopeful even then that he believed in a future for Israel and an actual millennium. I later discovered that he did not believe these things.

The Signs Scream with Both Peril and Hope

The Signs Scream with Both Peril and Hope

In 1893, Norwegian Expressionist artist Edward Munch painted what has come to be known as The Scream. Munch originally called his work The Scream of Nature.

According to Munch, the inspiration for the work came while on a walk at sunset. As the setting sun turned the sky to red, he sensed an “infinite scream passing through nature.” Historians speculate that a volcano eruption may have turned the heavens him into such a daunting red hue.

For those paying attention; world events scream with great danger for those who do not know Jesus as their Savior. For those who trust Him, we await the sound of the trumpet and shout of an archangel.

5 Perils of Denying Jesus’ Future Reign

5 Perils of Denying Jesus’ Future Reign

I could not have written this article several months ago. Although I had no doubts about the biblical truth of premillennialism, I did not fully comprehend the perils of denying Jesus’ thousand year’ reign over the nations of the world as described in Revelation 20:1-10 and Zechariah 14. The denial of Jesus’ rule over a restored Israel is known as amillennialism.

When I heard a popular prophecy preacher refer to amillennialism as a “false teaching” and a “doctrine of demons” (Tim. 4:1), I shuddered; I was not sure I agreed with him. Now I know he was correct.

7 Reasons Why the Rapture is Not the Second Coming

7 Reasons Why the Rapture is Not the Second Coming

Is the rapture unique or just another way of describing the second coming?

Pastors, teachers, and Christian writers have differing opinions on this. One assistant pastor at a Bible-believing church once told me he did not believe in the rapture. Along with such denials, many today assert that the book of Revelation is mostly allegory or past history, which necessitates that the rapture and second coming be the same event.

When I look at Scripture, I see two unique events separated by a period of time. The New Testament teaches Jesus will appear to take believers back to His Father’s house in heaven.

Lessons from My Battle with PTSD

Lessons from My Battle with PTSD

I know a great many believers, like me, have struggled with issues related to anxiety either in the past or are doing so now. My battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was long, much longer than necessary because of my slowness in learning how to combat the anxieties and wounds from my past.

I will not go into the circumstances that led to my PTSD; I did that in another post.

These are not steps to healing, but rather biblical truths and lessons I gleaned along the rugged path to my healing from PTSD.

Will Jesus Leave Us Behind?

Will Jesus Leave Us Behind?

I was terrified! I had wondered away from my parents and now I could not see them. For a brief moment, I wondered if they had left me behind. Maybe my parents thought I was with my older sister. Maybe each thought I was with the other. Where were they? I had looked away just for just a moment and now I did not see them!

The unfamiliar surroundings made the situation more frightful.We were visiting my sister in Southern California and after spending the day sightseeing we went to Chinatown for supper and shopping, where I became distracted looking at toys and lost sight of my parents.

Dealing With End Times Complacency by Britt Gillette

Dealing With End Times Complacency by Britt Gillette

To say the world is the same today as in years past – that we don’t live in unique times – is just not true. More than any other generation, ours has reason to expect the Second Coming. Jesus and the prophets said to look for specific signs heralding the end times. For over 1,800 years, you couldn’t find one of the signs they said to look for. Today, in one form or another, you can find all of them. Here are just a few examples:

What Does Jesus Tell Us to Do in Light of His Coming?

What Does Jesus Tell Us to Do in Light of His Coming?

Though only a small child at the time, I remember the sight of a large old farmhouse with a peculiar small room on top of it with windows on all sides. The farmer told my dad that the previous owner of the homestead had the lookout post built on the pinnacle of the roof so he could watch for the return of the Lord.

While we admire this man’s confidence in Jesus’ promise to return for us, is this really what Jesus meant by watching for His appearing? Although our English word for “watch” fits such passive behavior as looking out a window, the word in the original implies much more than that.

What does Jesus tell us to do in light of His imminent return? What do His instructions tell us about our expectation of His appearing?

Top 10 Signs of the Last Days

Top 10 Signs of the Last Days

We live in the last days of human history as we know it before the start of the tribulation.

We do not know the day or the hour when Jesus will come for His church or when day God’s fierce wrath will begin. The prophetic signs we see all around us, however, tell us these things are getting ever so close.

I shared this list a couple months ago through my newsletter. As events continue to point toward the soon return of Jesus, I decided to update the list and make it available to more who may be interested. I have also changed the order a bit.

Do You See the Storm Clouds?

Do You See the Storm Clouds?

Most of us have seen it at some point in our lives. The daytime sky becomes dark ahead of an approaching strong storm; the blackness of the clouds makes it seem like night outside our window as our smartphones buzz with weather warnings. This happened outside my window as I was writing this post.

In Jesus’ day, people did not have our technology to warn of approaching storms. Instead, they learned to recognize signs in the sky that told them what to expect.

The Twinkling by Terry James

The Twinkling by Terry James

You and many others who have chosen to read this commentary are likely in agreement. We find ourselves at a time in which the future is indeed murky. The very fact makes it a time of uneasiness–of profound uncertainty.

With so many existential threats (factors portending possible, even probable, future disruption for our lives), many look to the 2020 presidential election with a shadow of oppressiveness clouding their thoughts.

3 Reasons Why Satan Hates the Future Reign of Jesus

3 Reasons Why Satan Hates the Future Reign of Jesus

The opposition to Jesus’ future reign on earth remains intense. Although premillennialism grew dramatically during the twentieth century, many Bible-believing teachers and pastors have reverted to Augustine’s platonic view of reality that denies biblical teaching regarding the millennium.

What has caused this reversal in recent decades? I believe the roots of today’s passionate opposition to premillennialism lie in Satan’s continuing hatred of anything to do with Jesus’ future reign.

Connecting the Dots of the Apocalypse

Connecting the Dots of the Apocalypse

When it comes to the book of Revelation, many divorce the opening chapters from the remainder of the book. They do so by regarding the opening chapters as “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (1:1), but not the remainder of the apocalypse.

Jesus’ words to the seven churches, for example, represent not only Jesus’ message to a sampling of current congregations, they also reveal the future of the church. This article provides a few examples of how we can connect the dots from the introduction to the remainder of the book of Revelation.

In Defense of Biblical Prophecy

In Defense of Biblical Prophecy

While most Christians agree on the fulfillment of prophecy relating to Jesus’ first coming, such harmony quickly disappears when one turns to prophecies related to His return to earth.

As one who has spent much time in the midst of the fray, I can attest to the pressing need to defend all that we hold dear. Attacks against our beliefs in the rapture, a literal tribulation, the second coming, Jesus’ reign seated on the throne of David, and the eternal state not only come from outside the church, they also emanate from Bible-believing pastors, writer, and teachers.