Scripture

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.

Pretribulation Rapture Signpost #1: Premillennialism

Pretribulation Rapture Signpost #1: Premillennialism

Why do we believe that the rapture will happen before the tribulation? There are a number of signposts in Scripture that point us in the direction of which I will write about in the coming weeks. I will start with premillennialism.

Premillennialism is the belief in the thousand year reign of Jesus before the eternal state (see Rev. 20:1-10). Those who hold to this position believe in a literal seven year tribulation after which Jesus returns to earth to setup His kingdom and rule over the nations from Jerusalem.

The Departure of 2 Thessalonians 2:3

The Departure of 2 Thessalonians 2:3

I realize that one look at the title may cause you to hit the snooze button. Why examine the translation of one word? We do so because it has the potential to greatly strengthen our belief that the church will miss all of the coming tribulation. Please allow me to explain why this matters to us.

In recent years, the Greek Word apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 has received heightened attention. The traditional view is that it refers to a falling away from biblical faith as we see in all our modern English translations, but this has not always been the case.

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.

When Did the Belief in Jesus’ Millennial Reign Begin?

When Did the Belief in Jesus’ Millennial Reign Begin?

I talked with a gentleman a few weeks ago who told me that belief in Jesus’ millennial reign was relatively new in church history. He asserted that it did not begin until late in the late nineteenth century. Was he correct?

Absolutely not! Premillennialism, the belief in Jesus’ thousand year rule upon the earth before the eternal state, dominated the first three hundred years of the church.

In essence, there has been a rewriting of church history that ignores the existence of early church beliefs regarding Jesus’ future reign.

Saul: A Strategy for Waiting

Saul: A Strategy for Waiting

With each step I took, I begged the Lord to work on my behalf. I had waited long enough; it was time for things to change. Surely God would listen to my desperate cries for help. I had recently interviewed for a promotion at work and was sure it represented the answer to my financial woes. As I awaited the decision of the hiring manager, I used my late afternoon runs to plead with the Lord to give me the position I so earnestly desired.

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 EFCA Turns Away from Premillennialism

The EFCA Turns Away from Premillennialism

On the afternoon of June 19, 2019, the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) voted to remove the word “premillennial” from their statement of faith. As one who has attended EFCA churches in the past, I feel a deep sense of sadness at the decision. I believe this removal of the word “premillennial” takes the EFCA in an unacceptable direction.

I believe that the members voting in favor of removing “premillennial” from their statement of beliefs made their decision the basis of three false assumptions.

The Biblical Necessity of Jesus’ Reign

The Biblical Necessity of Jesus’ Reign

In my last post, I looked at what Scripture teaches about our glorious role in Jesus’ kingdom during the millennium, which takes place between the Second Coming of Christ and the eternal state (referred to as “eternity” in the above timeline). For those of us in Christ, this thousand year period of time will be a thrilling time of renewal as we reign with Jesus for a thousand years sharing in His inheritance.

After reading my previous article, some might ask, “Is the millennium really necessary for us to experience the wondrous restoration you wrote about? Won’t these things also be true in the eternal state?”

The Triumph of the Redeemed!

The Triumph of the Redeemed!

At some level, all believers share in the sufferings of Jesus. We may not face torture and martyrdom for our faith as many of our brothers and sisters in Christ experience throughout the world. But nonetheless, we know the pain of rejection and ridicule as a result of our love for Jesus and His Word.

Just as we share in Jesus’ suffering we will also someday share in His triumph. Now we endure the ridicule and persecution of those who reject the Savior; in the future we will reign with Jesus.

Dancing with the Scoffers

Dancing with the Scoffers

Scripture tells us the last days will marked by those who mock our hope in Jesus’ imminent return. The apostle Peter reveals that in the last days scoffers will appear ridiculing such hope with this question, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation” (2 Pet. 3:3-4).

How can we recognize these modern day scoffers? Below I list five ways they make themselves known:

END TIMES BIBLE PROPHECY -- IS IT IMPORTANT? by Ruth Brentner

END TIMES BIBLE PROPHECY -- IS IT IMPORTANT? by Ruth Brentner

Here's what Bible prophecy does for me:

• IT EXALTS GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY by revealing it on a global scale. I see the nations coming into alignment, and the prophesied one world religion, one world economy, one world government. This commands my worship and awe and thanksgiving as few things can.

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.

What Difference Does It Make?

What Difference Does It Make?

During the past year, I have written many articles defending my belief in premillennialism, which is the belief that Jesus will return to earth after a literal seven year tribulation, destroy the armies arrayed against Jerusalem, and rule the world for a thousand years seated on the throne of David.

At this point you may be asking, “What difference does it make?” After all, many pastors who deny these things preach the Gospel and expound the Word with great conviction. Does it really matter if they deny Israel’s place in future biblical prophecy or regard the book of Revelation as having little relevance for us today apart from the final two chapters? Yes, it absolutely matters.

The Joy of Writing About Prophecy

The Joy of Writing About Prophecy

Back in the last century, most Bible-believing churches affirmed premillennialism. Not only that, many of these churches held week-long prophetic conferences teaching believers about the rapture, the tribulation, Jesus' second coming, the millennium, and the eternal state.

Sadly, this has changed. Many pastors no longer believe Israel has a place in God's prophetic program. The Lord's promise that we will reign with Him in the millennium is either relegated to another era or completely dismissed.

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.

From Patmos With Love

From Patmos With Love

Believers who do not know how to defend the message of the book of Revelation can become easy prey for those who seek to rob them of its message of comfort and hope.

Why do I make such a seemingly outrageous clam?

It’s because even some pastors of Bible-believing churches relegate much of the book of Revelation to allegory.

Where is the Hope?

Where is the Hope?

According to the Center for Disease Control, the life expectancy in the United States has declined for the third year in a row. The last time this happened was a century ago, 1915-1918, when our country entered World War I and 675,000 Americans died because of the Spanish Flu.

This time it’s not war or a flu pandemic contributing to the decline in life expectancy, it’s hopelessness. The key contributors to the current decline are drug overdoses (at least 90,000 in 2018), suicides (45,000 in 2017), and alcohol abuse. Researchers Anne Case and Angus Deaton have dubbed these as "deaths of despair.”

7 Reasons to Regard the Rapture as a Unique Event, Part 1

7 Reasons to Regard the Rapture as a Unique Event, Part 1

We live in a time when believers are “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Eph. 4:14). This is especially true in regard to the return of Jesus. Today, we face a myriad of differing “schemes” regarding the rapture and other end time events.

How do we find our way in the midst of such confusion?

7 Reasons to Regard the Rapture as a Unique Event, Part 2

7 Reasons to Regard the Rapture as a Unique Event, Part 2

In my last post, I began listing reasons why we should regard the rapture as a separate event from the Second Coming. Much confusion exists today over this mater.

Because so many today fail to make the distinction between the two events, or fail to even believe in a rapture, it’s important to understand why it is different than the Second Coming.