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.

My Battle With PTSD: The Rugged Path to Healing

My Battle With PTSD: The Rugged Path to Healing

My hope of forever also keeps my perspective balanced between now and forever by reminding me that eternal realities are so much more valuable than the fleeting things of this life. That, however, was a lesson I learned the hard way!

It took the Lord working through much pain and chaos in my life to change my earthbound outlook on life and through that to put me on the path of healing in my battle with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Note: This is a repost for those new to my blog!

Has God Rejected Israel?

Has God Rejected Israel?

It’s becoming increasingly popular in Bible-believing churches to believe that God rejected the nation of Israel after the first century Jews rejected Jesus. Those who hold this view believe that the Lord has replaced Israel with the church. As a result, the church now inherits the kingdom promises of the Old Testament in a “spiritual” sense.

This teaching often goes by the name of “replacement theology” or “amillennialism.” I have many problems with such teaching starting the words of Paul in Romans 11:2, “God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.” I am not sure how some get around Paul’s clear assertion in this text that God has not rejected Israel, but many do.

What can a Thief Teach us About the Rapture?

What can a Thief Teach us About the Rapture?

A recent news story about a thief in Rochelle Park, NJ caught my attention. In the process of robbing a home, he woke up the couple who lived there. Not wanting to get caught, he climbed back out of the window through which he had entered the house and fled from the scene.

Here’s where the story gets interesting. He had previously arranged with a car service to meet him in the neighborhood to unwittingly provide his way of escape. However, in his haste he climbed into the backseat of a police car parked a block away from the home he had attempted to rob.

5 Ways to Sift out the Scoffer

5 Ways to Sift out the Scoffer

It’s ironic when you think of it. Those who attack prophecy teachers for saying we are in the last days are themselves fulfilling a key biblical prophecy of the last days.

Peter wrote this about these end time scoffers, “. . . knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “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. 3:4-5).

The group the apostle addressed denied the Genesis account of the flood and hence the reality of God’s judgment. Today this scoffing springs from a variety of sources, including those in the household of faith.

No Time for Snoozing

No Time for Snoozing

Caleb could scarcely believe his eyes; the Egyptian army was advancing slowly but surely toward his city. From his vantage point high on the wall, he identified their flag in the distant horizon just as the sun rose in the sky. They would be at the city walls by sunset!

Several other watchmen refused to believe Caleb’s warning or even look in the direction of the advancing army.

If in this Life Only

If in this Life Only

No one would ever accuse the Apostle Paul of neglecting the Great Commission; I cannot think of anyone else who worked harder to take the Gospel to a lost world. Would he agree with those today who say that the preaching of the cross excludes teaching about prophecy or the signs of the last days?

Would he emphasize the benefits of the Gospel for this life only and ignore our hope of imperishable bodies, our future reign with Christ, and the unbounding joy of heaven? I don’t think so.

If the apostle were alive today, I believe his excitement would bubble over as he viewed all the current sign pointing to the nearness of the tribulation and hence to Jesus’ imminent return for us.

Does the Great Commission Exclude Teaching on Prophecy?

Does the Great Commission Exclude Teaching on Prophecy?

The prevailing mindset of many Bible-believing pastors today is that eschatology, or the study of future things, is not only separate from the preaching of Gospel but detracts from it. They maintain that our task of fulfilling the Great Commission excludes teaching on prophecy, which they believe only confuses believers and stirs up unwelcome controversy.

Is this way of thinking biblical? No, it is not. This represents a myopic way of viewing both the commands and teachings of Jesus, who highlighted “eternal life” as the result of belief in Him and commanded His followers to watch for His return.

The Biblical Basics of Our Hope

The Biblical Basics of Our Hope

We hear so many differing viewpoints today regarding our hope of forever. Some reject the notion that anything physical can be spiritual or godly and on that basis deny our hope of reigning with Christ in a physical kingdom. The Bible, however, flatly rejects such thinking.

As believers seeking God’s wisdom, what does the Bible say about our future? What are the basics that can place us on firm footing amidst the myriad of false teaching that surrounds us today?

Below I list five items that I believe are the rock bottom basics of our biblical hope. For each, I start with the words of Jesus and then provide support from what He also revealed about our future from other places in Scripture.

5 Harmful Impacts of Amillennialism

5 Harmful Impacts of Amillennialism

Before the time of Augustine in the fifth century, premillennialism dominated the early church. Most of the early church fathers voiced a strong belief in a future one thousand year reign of Jesus.

Although on the surface it might seem to be an insignificant change, amillennialism profoundly changed the church in the centuries after Augustine. It altered the church’s view of Scripture, as well as of prophecy, and the negative impact of Augustine’s doctrine of future things continues to this day.

7 Ways Amillennialism Negates God’s Promises to Israel

7 Ways Amillennialism Negates God’s Promises to Israel

Although Israel miraculously emerged as a nation seventy years ago fulfilling many biblical prophecies, many today still reject the idea that God will keep His promises to restore a kingdom to His people. Those who hold to this this position, often referred to as amillennialists, see no future for Israel in God’s prophetic program.

It has long been my contention that in their quest to negate God’s promises to Israel, amillennialists glorify the church rather than Jesus. They make God’s future kingdom all about what the church does by making life better in our current world. Can you see how over time this might open the door to socialism as a way to accomplish this?

3 Lessons from the ER

3 Lessons from the ER

I never imagined I would spend much of my birthday in the emergency ward, but that is what happened this past week.

I called my doctor's office this past Wednesday to make an appointment as I had been experiencing dizziness and numbness on my right side on New Year's Eve and Day. The nurse feared I might be having a stroke and said I should go to the ER as soon as possible.

My Christmas Newsletter

My Christmas Newsletter

Ruth and I recently saw the movie Dr. Seuss' The Grinch in a theater and thoroughly enjoyed it. That inspired us to also watch the original Grinch animated version from 1966 as well as the Grinch movie starring Jim Carey.

Our recent focus on the Grinch caused me to wonder about all the forms he takes each Christmas season.He often steals our joy by making the season all about the presents, the preparation for family dinners, or an elusive "Christmas spirit" that never seems to warm our hearts like it does in the movies.

The War on Children

The War on Children

We live in exciting times that are also quite sad. We possess great hope for what lies ahead, yet at the same time we remain fearful of what the next year might bring for America. We rejoice in the signs that point to the soon return of our Lord Jesus, yet we cannot help but mourn for what the people of our nation might soon experience

Lest you think I’m crazy or perhaps suffering from a split personality disorder, let me explain.

5 Ways Amillennialism Distorts the Biblical Worldview

5 Ways Amillennialism Distorts the Biblical Worldview

This is my third article on how an amillennial view of Scripture can, over time, open the day to Socialism. I’m writing in response to an article depicting how socialism is gaining a foothold in many churches across the United States.

Please note I am not saying all amillennialists are Socialists, certainly not. My point is that churches with a long history of amillennialism and its accompanying worldview seem to be much more susceptible to a Marxist way of thinking.

I believe this is because they distort the biblical worldview in a number of ways:

5 Ways Amillennialism Discredits the Bible

5 Ways Amillennialism Discredits the Bible

One aspect of amillennialism that deeply troubles me is the denial of a future kingdom for Israel. Those who advocate this position believe the Old Testament promises made to Abraham, Jacob, David, and Israel are fulfilled by Jesus Christ and His church in this current age, a spiritual millennium.

They support this assertion through an allegorical interpretation of large sections of prophetic Scripture in both the Old and New Testament.

I believe this disregard for the literalness of prophecy weakens the integrity of the rest of God’s Word. Though often not right away, eventually many non-prophetic passages fall victim to those wishing to overlay a symbolic interpretation upon them that conforms to what they believe.

The Blossoming of Israel

The Blossoming of Israel

The above picture of the orange grove reflects life in modern day Israel. As you can see, the trees can hardly contain the abundant harvest of oranges.

This is a far different scene from what Mark Twain saw when he visited the land in 1867. In his book The Innocents Abroad, he described it as “A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds... a silent mournful expanse.... a desolation.... we never saw a human being on the whole route.... hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.”

Is Belief in the Rapture Relatively New?

Is Belief in the Rapture Relatively New?

Those who oppose our beliefs in a pretribulation rapture fill up social media and the Internet with stories mocking the rapture as something no one believed until the nineteenth century. They discredit it based on its recent appearance in the life of the church.

So, is our belief in the rapture relatively new in church history? No, absolutely not! As will see in the following sections, saints in the early days of the church looked for Jesus’ appearing to take away His church ahead of a time of tribulation on the earth. The doctrine existed long before people began calling it “the rapture” during the 1800’s.

Why Premillennialism Matters

Why Premillennialism Matters

I recently read an article by Bert Farias on the Charisma News website entitled The Corruption of American Christianity: The Evil Agenda to Destroy America. In it, the writer shows how Marxist and Communist ideologies have gained a foothold in many churches and denominations throughout the United States.

Through a mixture of truth and error, the promoters of this leftist agenda not only sabotage the Gospel, but also the scriptural purpose of the church.

But why do some Christians fall for such errors while others immediately see their subversive intent? Why do so many elevate a purely social agenda above the Gospel?

Morning Coffee with Habakkuk

Morning Coffee with Habakkuk

Pull up a chair, pour some coffee (or your morning beverage of choice), and let’s spend some time with Habakkuk. I believe he can ease our burden in the light of several current events.

“Haven’t we already done that?” you might ask. Yes, but if you are anything like me you need a fresh reminder of not only the prophet’s complaint, but the Lord’s response as well. I am again wondering why He does not respond to all the violence and perversion of justice I see everywhere I look.