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Author Topic: Will You Fail the Test?
Carol Swenson
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1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Jesus Christ both unites and divides. Those who have trusted Him as Saviour are united in Christ as God’s children. We are members of His body and “all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). When Jesus Christ returns in the air, we shall be “caught up together” (1 Thes. 4:17) never to be separated again.

But Christ is also a divider. “So there was a division among the people because of Him” (John 7:43; 9:16; 10:19). Faith in Jesus Christ not only unites us to other believers; it also separates us spiritually from the rest of the world. Jesus said, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:16). There is a difference between believers who are looking for the Lord’s return and the people of the world ; it is this theme that Paul developed in this section.

His purpose was to encourage the believers to live holy lives in the midst of their pagan surroundings. He did this by pointing out the contrasts between believers and unbelievers.

(Wiersbe)

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Michael Harrison
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If we are where we are safe in Jesus, we will not have to worry whether there is a rapture. That is why one should not worry about the particulars concerning a rapture, lest they neglect the things that should be placed first and they should find out whose 'doctrine' is actually right, finding themselves perhaps "Left Behind."
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Carol Swenson
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Matthew 24:1-44

The Olivet Discourse grew out of some questions the disciples asked when Jesus told them that the temple would one day be destroyed. First, they wanted to know when. This answer is not recorded in Matthew but is given in Luke 21:20-24. Second, they asked about the sign of Christ’s return. This is answered in Matthew 24:29-44. In their final question, they asked about the sign of the end of the age. Christ’s reply is in Matthew 24:4-8.

We must keep in mind that the “atmosphere” of this discourse is Jewish . Jesus talked about Judea (Matt. 24:16), the Sabbath (Matt. 24:20), and the prophecies of Daniel concerning the Jewish people (Matt. 24:15). The full truth about the Rapture of the church (1 Cor. 15:51; 1 Thes. 4:13-18) had not yet been revealed, for it was a mystery (Eph. 3:1-12).

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.( 1 Cor 15:51 NKJV)

Matthew 24:1-44 indicates that our Lord was discussing events that will take place on earth during the time of Tribulation. (See Matt. 24:8, where “birth-pangs” are a symbol of the Tribulation; and see also Matt. 24:21, 29). After the church has been suddenly taken out of the world, there will be a period of “peace and safety” (1 Thes. 5:1-4) followed by a time of terrible suffering. Many Bible scholars believe this period will last seven years (Dan. 9:24-27). It is this period of “Tribulation” that Jesus described in the Olivet Discourse . At the end of that period, Jesus will return to the earth, defeat His foes, and establish the promised kingdom.

(Wiersbe)

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Betty Louise
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Kindgo gave a great study on the rapture


There are seven truths about the rapture that I would like to explain in this post.
1. The Rapture is a sign-less event.

In Matthew 24 the Lord Jesus gives us many "signs of the times", yet those signs occur during the
first half of the tribulation (see Matt 24:4-14 and Rev 6). Those signs do not signal the coming
rapture, rather those signs signal Christ's second coming to earth to reign (Matt 24:32-35). The
rapture, on the other hand, has no signs listed for it. It could literally happen at any moment.
Consider what Paul said:

"Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.
For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a theif in the night"
1Thess 5:1-2

Notice that the "day of the Lord" will come like a "theif in the night", that is unexpected. A theif does
not call ahead and warn when they are coming, they come when you are not expecting. The same
way with the "day of the Lord", it will happen when nobody expects it.

Understand that the phrase "day of the Lord" does not refer to the rapture. While it is not in the
scope of this post to look at the phrase "the day of the Lord", it is always used as a time of
judgment. In the prophetic sense it refers to the seven year tribulation period. The rapture happens
before the seven year tribulation, but the rapture does not start the tribulation. The tribulation begans
sometime after the rapture when the antichrist signs a peace treaty for seven years (Dan 9:27). That
is technically when the "day of the Lord" starts. However what Paul is saying here is that the whole
thing will come with out warning. The rapture will happen without warning, and the world will be
plunged into darkness and the judgments of the day of the Lord.

So the rapture is a signless event.

2. The Rapture is a sudden event

Not only is the rapture a signless event, there will be no warnings that it is about to occur, the
rapture is also a sudden event. That is, the whole thing will happen without warning and be over with
just as suddenly. Paul said:

"Behold, I tell you a mystery...in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye...the dead will be raised" 1Cor
15:51a,52in part

It will happen "in a moment" and in the "twinkling of an eye". What does that mean? It means that
the rapture will happen suddenly, and will only last as long as it takes you to blink your eye. Now
that is sudden and fast!

Sometimes I am asked if I believe in a secret rapture, my answer is this: No, I don't believe in a
"secret" rapture, but I do believe in a instant rapture. A rapture that comes with out warning, and is
over with before any lost person knows what happened. Thus it will appear as if Christians vanish,
but we want. We will just be "caught up" so fast that the world will miss it.

The bottom line is this: The rapture will happen without warnings or signs, and when it happens it
will be very quick. Thus there is no "getting ready", you either will be ready when the rapture
happens or you will be left behind to suffer through the wrath of God (the tribulation). That is why
today is the day of salvation, you don't know what tomorrow will bring. It may bring death, or
rapture. You just don't know.

3. The Rapture is a mystery

Back again to 1Cor 15 where Paul says:

"Behold, I tell you a mystery.." vs51a

The rapture is a "mystery", that is it is a truth that was unknown, or unrevealed, before the Lord
revealed it to Paul. And that is where Paul got this doctrine, from Jesus. Notice what he says:

"For this we say to you by the word of the Lord.." 1Thess 4:15a (see also Gal 1:11-18).

The rapture is not to be found in the Old Testament, nor is to be found in the Gospels. Jesus does
mention it twice in the Gospels (Jn 14:3 and Lk 21:36), but He does not explain it or teach about it.
Paul was the first one to mention it in detail.

This is one major point that seperates the rapture from the Second Coming. The Second Coming is
no "mystery", it was known in the Old Testament. The rapture, however, is a mystery because it
was a new revelation from God to Paul the Apostle.

4. The Rapture is a blessed hope

"looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ
Jesus." Titus 2:13

Why does Paul call the rapture a blessed hope? Because in the doctrine of the rapture we find hope
for the future. Not only our future, but also the future of those who we know who die saved. Paul
explains this in 1Thess 4:13-15 when he says:

"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will
not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even
so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you byt the
word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord wil not preced
those who have fallen asleep."

The rapture is a blessed hope, because we know that we and our saved loved ones will be raised to
be with Christ forever. It indeed gives a blessed hope for the future.

5. The Rapture is a pre-tribulational

Another reason the rapture is indeed is a blessed hope is because it promises us escape from the
wrath to come. The tribulation that will happen following the rapture is a time of wrath, when God
pours out His wrath on this earth (Rev 6:15-17, Zeph 1:14-18, Joel 2:1-2, Rev 15:1, 16:1). This
time, He has directly promised that, His church will escape:

"and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us
from the wrath to come" 1Thess 1:10

and

"Because you have kept the word of My perseverence, I also will keep you FROM the hour of test,
that hour which is about to come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth" Rev
3:10

The church will escape, be kept from, the future tribulation.

6. The Rapture is a transforming event

At the rapture we will be forever transformed. The Bible promises:

"Behold, I show you a mystery: we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed..the dead will be
raised imperishable, and we will all be changed. For this perishable must put on imperishable, and
this mortal must put on immortality." 1Cor 15:51,52b-53

When the rapture happens all Christians, dead or alive, will be changed. Today we live in perishable
bodies, that is bodies that get sick and die. But at the rapture we will have our bodies raised and
changed into new imperishable bodies. If we are alive at the rapture, we will be instantly changed
into immortal bodies. Once the rapture happens, we will be changed forever. And death will have
totally lost its power:

"But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on
immorality, then will come about the saying that is written death is swallowed up in victory. O
Death, where is your victory? O Death, where is your sting?" 1Cor 15:54-55

7. The Rapture is a event for all believers

And lastly, all believers will be raptured. Look again at 1Cor 15 where Paul says clearly:

"we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed" 15:51b

All believers, living and dead, will be raptured. If you are a Christian you will not miss the rapture.

--------------------
God bless,
Kindgo

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Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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Michael Harrison
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[Bible] Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Can anyone tell anything about this verse? It does not say, as is mistakenly perceived, "He that shall endure to the 'rapture' shall be saved."

[Bible] Mat 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

What is near? The end! Who is HE saying this to? He is saying it to "ye." And who are ye? Ye are they who will 'be here' when all the things in the passages preceeding this verse are happening. That places 'ye' there. Look at what all happens before this verse.

  • Many will come in my name saying "I am Christ."

  • And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars:

  • famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

  • Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.

They shall deliver you up? Oh no! We will not be here.

  • And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

[Bible] Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
[/LIST]

Who will preach it? Will it be the angels? Or suppose we that there will be 'new converts' to follow in our disappearing footsteps?

[Bible] Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

We better be looking for a hiding place in Jesus, because, in looking for a rapture, a lot of people will feel 'betrayed'.

[Bible] Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

[Bible] Mat 24:48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
Mat 24:49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
Mat 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
Mat 24:51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

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Carol Swenson
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quote:
What you are stating is a hypothesis, a possibility, according to some Christian interpreters, especially north American Christian interpreters. But it is an opinion or hypothesis of what the words of the Bible intend to mean, is it not?
Interpretation

General Principles

Referred specifically to the sacred Scriptures, the science of interpretation is generally known as hermeneutics, while the practical application of the principles of this science is exegesis. In nearly all cases, interpretation has in mind the thoughts of another, and then, further, these thoughts expressed in another language than that of the interpreter. In this sense it is used in Biblical research. A person has interpreted the thoughts of another when he has in his own mind a correct reproduction or photograph of the thought as it was conceived in the mind of the original writer or speaker. It is accordingly a purely reproductive process, involving no originality of thought on the part of the interpreter. If the latter adds anything of his own it is eisegesis and not exegesis. The moment the Bible student has in his own mind what was in the mind of the author or authors of the Biblical books when these were written, he has interpreted the thought of the Scriptures.

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Carol Swenson
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The Middle of the Tribulation (Matt. 24:15-22)

The midpoint of the Tribulation period is most important, for at that time an event will take place that was prophesied centuries ago by Daniel (Dan. 9:24-27). Please notice that this prophecy concerns only the Jews and the city of Jerusalem (“thy people and … thy holy city,” Dan. 9:24). To apply it to the church or to any other people or place is to misinterpret God’s Word.

The prophecy involves seventy weeks, and the Hebrew word “week” means “a week of years,” or seven years. Seventy sevens would equal 490 years. But this period of 490 years is broken up into three parts:

(1) During seven weeks (49 years) the city of Jerusalem would be rebuilt and the worship reestablished.

(2) After 63 weeks (434 years) Messiah would come to Jerusalem and die for the sins of the world.

(3) The prince will make an agreement with the Jews for one week (seven years) to protect them from their enemies.

The decree to rebuild Jerusalem was given in 445 B.C. by Cyrus (2 Chron. 36:22-23; Ezra 1). The city was rebuilt in troubled times. Sir Robert Anderson in his classic book The Coming Prince (Kregel, 1975) has proved that there were exactly 482 prophetic years (of 360 days each) between the giving of the decree and the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem as the King.

But we must account for the remaining “week” of seven years . Where does it fit in? Note that the same city that was rebuilt will also be destroyed “by the people of the prince that shall come” (Dan. 9:26), that is, the Romans. (“The prince that shall come” is a name for the Antichrist.) This event took place in A.D. 70. But the Jewish nation would be spared and the city restored again. For at some future date, the prince that shall come (Antichrist) will make a covenant with the Jews for seven years. This is where the missing “week” fits in. He will agree to protect them from their enemies and permit them to rebuild their temple. (Dan. 9:27 talks about a restoration of the sacrifices, and this would demand a temple.)

The logical place for this seven-year period is after the Rapture of the church. “The time of Jacob’s trouble,” the Tribulation period, will be seven years long. Second Thessalonians 2:1-12 indicates that the Antichrist cannot be revealed until the restrainer is taken out of the midst. That restrainer is the Holy Spirit in the church. Once the church is out of the world, then Satan can produce his masterpiece, the Antichrist.

He will make the agreement for seven years, but after three-and-one-half years (“in the midst of the week”) he will break that agreement. He will then move into the Jewish temple himself and proclaim that he is God (2 Thes. 2:3-4; Rev. 13).


Prophetic scholars have speculated as to why the Antichrist would break his covenant with the Jews after three-and-one-half years.

The seven heads represent seven mountains, but also seven kings or kingdoms (Rev. 17:10). Antichrist or “the beast” is one of these seven kings (Rev. 17:11), but he is also the eighth. Apparently, he reigns twice; but how can this be? The suggestion has been made that “the beast” will be a European leader who will form a ten-nation federation (Rev. 17:12), but be slain in the process. Revelation 11:7 and 17:8 state that “the beast” will then ascend out of the abyss.

Revelation 13:3-6
3And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed : and all the world wondered after the beast. 4And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? 5And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. 6And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

The Antichrist will cause a living statue (image) of himself to be put into the temple, and his associate (the false prophet, Rev. 20:10) will cause the whole earth to worship it. Satan has always wanted the world’s worship, and in the middle of the Tribulation he will begin to receive it (Matt. 4:8-11). Jesus called this statue “the abomination of desolation” (Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:15).

An interesting parenthesis occurs at the end of Matthew 24:15—“whoso readeth, let him understand.” This statement indicates that what Jesus was teaching would have greater significance for people reading Matthew’s Gospel in the latter days. By reading the Prophet Daniel and the words of Jesus, these believers will understand the events and know what to do. This is another evidence that the Olivet Discourse applies to people during the Tribulation period.

The readers of this prophecy in the latter days will know what to do: Get out of Judea! These instructions are similar to those given in Luke 21:20, but they refer to a different time period. Luke’s instructions apply to the siege of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, and the “sign” was the gathering of the armies around the city.

Matthew’s instructions apply to Jewish believers in the middle of the Tribulation, and the “sign” is the desecration of the temple by the image of the Antichrist. Those who have confused those two “sign events” have ended up believing that Jesus Christ returned in A.D. 70!

This entire paragraph relates only to Jews. This event ushers in “the Great Tribulation,” the last half of Daniel’s seventieth week , when the judgments of God will be hurled on the earth. During the first three-and-one-half years of the Tribulation, the judgments were "natural": wars, famines, earthquakes, etc. But during the last half, the judgments will be supernatural and devastating.

During this period, God will care for His elect (Matt. 24:22), referring to Jews and Gentiles who believe after the rapture and are converted. “The elect” here does not refer to the church since the church will have been raptured at least three-and-one-half years previously.

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Eden
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Betty Louise said
quote:
Just as Jesus was the second Adam, I believe that this will happen again. I believe the Jews will believe the anti-Christ is on their side, until he declares himself, god in the temple. The Bible tells us that the Jews will flee, even going so far as telling them to pray that they do not have to flee in winter. Remember that Hitler was a type of anti-Christ but not the anti-Christ.
I am partially on your side, but with an important modification.

I believe that God created the nation of Israel as a microcosmic example for the world of the end times.

That is, what happened to Israel (and in particular to the Jews of Jesus's time until 70 A.D.) is a microcosmic example of what will happen in the latter days to the whole world, in the macrocosmic version of Israel, namely the world.

The world will also not believe, just like the million-plus Jews who perished in Jerusalem did not believe for "fleeing".

But a remnant of the people of the world, namely the Christians, they will escape through belief just lihe the Christian Jews who believed and fled to Pella.

In our day in the macrocosmic version of Israel, that is the world, those in the world, namely the Christians, will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and so shall they escape and always be with the Lord.

Luke 21:36
Watch therefore and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

That is, the Jews in Israel who believed Jesus made it safely to Pella, and evenso the Christians in the world who believe in Jessus make it safely up to meet Jesus in the air when He comes to take control of the earth at the second coming.

love, Eden

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Dear Betty Louise, you wrote
quote:
The Bible tells us that the Jews will sign a 7 year peace agreement with Israel, but the anti-Christ will break this agreement half way through. Then like Hitler he will seek to destroy God's people.
Okay, where in the Bible does it say that the [b]Jews will sign a 7 year peace agreement with Israel[/quote]? Did you man "Jews" or did you mean the "world powers" will sign a peace agreement with Israel? But in any case, where does it state that in the Bible, Betty?

What you are stating is a hypothesis, a possibility, according to some Christian interpreters, especially north American Christian interpreters. But it is an opinion or hypothesis of what the words of the Bible intend to mean, is it not?

Be blessed, Betty.
Eden

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Betty Louise
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The Bible tells us that the Jews will sign a 7 year peace agreement with Israel, but the anti-Christ will break this agreement half way through. Then like Hitler he will seek to destroy God's people.
betty

--------------------
Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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Betty Louise
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Just as Jesus was the second Adam, I believe that this will happen again. I believe the Jews will believe the anti-Christ is on their side, until he declares himself, god in the temple. The Bible tells us that the Jews will flee, even going so far as telling them to pray that they do not have to flee in winter. Remember that Hitler was a type of anti-Christ but not the anti-Christ.
betty

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Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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Hi, Betty Louise, you wrote
quote:
Mat 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso reads, let him understand:)

Mat 24:16 Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains:

This is talking about the Jews who will flee when they seen the anti-Christ standing in the Temple declaring himself to be god. Then the Jews will flee to Petra, where God will protect them for three years.

Betty, this fleeing by the Christians already happened between 67-70 A.D.

Jesus had warned His disciples, "when you shall see the armies compassed about Jerusalem, then flee to the mountains."

Roman General Vespasian surrounded Jerusalem from 67 A.D. on, but then Vespasian had to quickly return to Rome to secure the emperorship for himself when his emperor died, and in the interval, the Christians in Judah and Galilee fled to Pella on the east side of the Jordan, and so they were saved when suddenly Vespasian's son Titus surrounded Jerusalem with another army and over 1 million Jews and diaspora Israelites died in Jerusalem, and the 75,000 survivors (or so) were sold into the slave markets of the known world.

So Betty Louise, you wrote[quote]Mat 24:15 When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso reads, let him understand:)

Mat 24:16 Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains.

The Romans stood with their banners in the most holy place and holy place of the temple before they burned it down. Now, the holy place is gone.

love, Eden

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Michael Harrison says
quote:
Just because we meet HIM in the air doesn't mean that we don't just pass Him on the way.
In the KJV, the word "meet" in the phrase "meet Him in the air" is the Greek word "apantesis". I posted a new Topic explaining how this word "apantesis" is used.

be blessed, Eden

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Betty Louise
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Mat 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
Mat 24:16 Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains:

This is talking about the Jews who will flee when they seen the anti-Christ standing in the Temple declaring himself to be god. Then the Jews will flee to Petra, where God will protect them for three years.

The Church will not be here. The age of the Church ends with the rapture, and then God will begin His work again with the Jewish people.
betty

--------------------
Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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Michael Harrison
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Were the Christians spared from the Lions in 50 A.D.? They probably believed in a rapture. They certainly thought that the Lord was coming in their lifetime. That is why the Gospels were finally put into written form, for the generations coming that the Apostles did not realize would be. For they were written late in the Apostles lives.

  • Mat 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

This verse is taken to validate a rapture. But why was Jesus clear about a second coming, and evasive about a rapture? I will submit that His affirmation of the second coming indicates that that will be the time of His return. The rest is made up. It is a strong delusion. Because I will tell you:

  • Mat 24:38 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,
    Mat 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

What is this saying? It is saying that it will be just another day when He returns. It will just be another day like any other, with the same things going on that always were. Yet all of these things will have happened:

  • Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?



  • Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
    Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.


The elect will be gathered. Chronologically these events will occur before HE sends His angels to gather the elect from the four corners of the earth, including:

  • Mat 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
  • Mat 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you

  • Mat 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
    Mat 24:16 Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains:

Then will HE gather the 'elect'. But if the elect are already taken?

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Betty Louise
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A good reason for believing the pre-trib rapture is the Bible makes it clear that it could happen anytime and no one knows when but to be looking.
We know about when the Second Coming will be - 7 years after the signing of the Covenant between Israel and the anti-Christ. I believe that the Church is the restrainer that is holding back the anti-Christ, but when the rapture happens the devil will be given free reign. Like with Job, God is limiting the things the devil can do. We see how bad the world is now, just imagine if there were no influence from Christians today.
We can see from the signs that we are closer to the trumpet being sounded. My heart beats with excitement, each day knowing this could be the day, Jesus calls us Home.

http://my.homewithgod.com/heavenlymidis2/callithome.html
betty

--------------------
Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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jrlaw
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I mistyped - getting old.

THE RAPTURE CAN OCCUR BEFORE THE TRIBULATION.

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Michael Harrison
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quote:

What can it hurt to tell Christians to examine themselves?

Well, we don't want to offend anyone, do we? For who will receive admonition? But after all, are not these they whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And why do you think that they are 'saved'? / ? If He judged them for an example to others so that they would fear and not go the way of error, why would HE destroy them only to save them. I mean, Heaven is Holy, and methinks that our journey here is to teach us so before we get there. So why would HE save the rebellious who had ample opportunity to repent?

quote:

What can it hurt to tell Christians "don't worry, you won't be here"?

This one gets me. What if you tell them that they 'won't' be here, but darkness sets in and they still are. This is one of my arguments against the rapture. "For since the fathers fell asleep things continue as they were. Where is His promised return?" What Fathers? Could be the fathers of the rapture theory.
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jrlaw
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Revelation 3:10 - 11. Exactly my point.

“Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world."

Who is this addressed to? - who is "you" and what has that group defined as "you" persevered? What is referred to as the time of testing for those who belong to this world - is it the entire 7 years or just the 2nd half where God's wrath is is dispensed?

Assumptions again. "You" is being assumed to mean a defined group of people. Only Jesus knows the definition of the group. We cannot assume it means all saved Christians; especially not those engaged in a backslid life of sin.

We Christians certainly have not persevered a total repentance from sin. About all that the current generation of American Christians have persevered is prosperity, (or the availability of prosperity).

Some of us will be tested because we are God's rebellious children. Some of God's children know no other discipline.

I hesitate to add more to the mix but let's look at Deuteronomy 1:34-36, (given to me this morning in a daily devotional).

"When the LORD heard what you said, he was angry and solemnly swore: "Not a man of this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your forefathers, except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the LORD wholeheartedly.""

An entire generation died in the desert because they "Failed the Test". Were they saved? Yes, most if not all.

Again, we do not know with confidence the full definition of who will be taken at the Rapture. Because we do not know, we should not perpetuate an idea dangerous to this generation. This generation will see the Rapture and this generation must: "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you - unless, of course, you fail the test?"
2 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)

What can it hurt to tell Christians to examine themselves?

What can it hurt to tell Christians "don't worry, you won't be here"?

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Carol Swenson
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jrlaw,

You agree with 1 and 4.

You say we can't really know about 2 and 3. (I disagree).

Okay, 50/50 ain't so bad!

But you said
quote:
THE RAPTURE CAN OCCUR BEFORE THE RAPTURE
I don't understand.
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Carol Swenson
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Hi Michael

quote:
There is just a lot of stuff that is not thought out. But who cares about rapture? Sufficent for the "day" is the evil thereof, says our Lord. Is this not an admonishment to "Seek Him while HE may be found?"
There are lots of topics that are not about the Rapture. You're right that we need to be doing His will this day, every day.

So...you don't have to read the "Rapture" threads if you don't want to.

quote:
But who cares about rapture?
I care.
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Carol Swenson
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Betty Louise

quote:
Originally posted by Betty Louise:
Thank yo so much Carol [hug]

I believe it will not be long until we hear the trumpet blow and we leave this tired and some of us old crippled bodies for a new body with out pain and imperfections.

I look back at this title "Will you fail the test?"
If we had to save ourselves or others, we would indeed fail the test. But thanks be to God, Jesus passed the test for us. It is his success and not our own that will give us eternity in Heaven.

Our Pastor said Sunday that one of the sayings by the late Moody was that he was glad that works do not keep us saved, because if it did there would be at least one person in Heaven bragging about how hard they worked to hang on to salvation.
The only one will be praising in Heaven will be Jesus. Jesus saves us, Jesus keeps us. We will have no bragging rights in Heaven. It is all about Jesus. Praise His Holy Name!!!
betty

quote:
this tired and some of us old crippled bodies for a new body with out pain and imperfections.
Amen to that Betty Louise! Amen to that!

quote:
there would be at least one person in Heaven bragging about how hard they worked to hang on to salvation.
 -

I know some of them!!!

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Betty Louise
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When Jesus comes in the Second Coming, He will be coming for battle. When He comes for His Bride, He will be coming for a Wedding. You don't go to battle the same day as your Wedding. During the tribulation, we will be at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.


Rev 19:14 And the armies [which were] in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Those coming from Heaven with Jesus, will be His Bride. How do we know this? We are promised that we will be given a new robe of fine white linen.
betty

--------------------
Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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Michael Harrison
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quote:
Of Carol
quote:
1. That the rapture is the same as the Second Coming of Christ. False. At the rapture Jesus comes for his church in the air, while at the Second Coming he comes with his people to the earth. See Jude 14, 15; Revelation 19:11-16.


Just because we meet HIM in the air doesn't mean that we don't just pass Him on the way. For He could be coming to earth to reign with those who are here, whereas, I doubt, based on what HE told Abraham about his descendents numbering the sands on the beach, that there would be enough room in the world to hold all of the saints, who include those 'clouds' which we also meet in the air. There is just a lot of stuff that is not thought out. But who cares about rapture? Sufficent for the "day" is the evil thereof, says our Lord. Is this not an admonishment to "Seek Him while HE may be found?"
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Michael Harrison
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The man who makes the most convincing argument on the rapture, for me, is Perry Stone. HE can bring stuff from amazment, hard to be denied, to the forfront of the discussion. But alas, though I love the brother, he is wrong.

None of the NT scripture verses that support a rapture, fit a rapture. Something is made out of nothing. For as I have said, the foundation for the rapture 'theory' is based on the verses from Revelations, about 'Keeping you from the temptation that is to try the world', and the verse in Thessolonians, which has to be for the Second Coming. Those are the very basis upon which all other scriptures are added. But if the foundation is wrong, then the whole structure is wrong.

I will contend that there may be a rapture in America! It will however be in a hail of the burning flashes of white nuclear detonations.

  • 2Co 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

So we should heed:

  • 2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
    2Pe 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
    2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

This also may be at the second coming. Or, America may get her's first! But we are not to speculate on raptures. We are to dwell on the Lord, and if there is a rapture, who will have to give it a thought?

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Betty Louise
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Thank yo so much Carol [hug]

I believe it will not be long until we hear the trumpet blow and we leave this tired and some of us old crippled bodies for a new body with out pain and imperfections.

I look back at this title "Will you fail the test?"
If we had to save ourselves or others, we would indeed fail the test. But thanks be to God, Jesus passed the test for us. It is his success and not our own that will give us eternity in Heaven.
Our Pastor said Sunday that one of the sayings by the late Moody was that he was glad that works do not keep us saved, because if it did there would be at least one person in Heaven bragging about how hard they worked to hang on to salvation.
The only one will be praising in Heaven will be Jesus. Jesus saves us, Jesus keeps us. We will have no bragging rights in Heaven. It is all about Jesus. Praise His Holy Name!!!
betty

--------------------
Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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jrlaw
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Quoting:

FALSE VIEWS OF THE RAPTURE

1. That the rapture is the same as the Second Coming of Christ. False. At the rapture Jesus comes for his church in the air, while at the Second Coming he comes with his people to the earth. See Jude 14, 15; Revelation 19:11-16.
FALSE IS CORRECT

2. That the rapture will include only some Christians, and that most Christians will be left behind to endure the tribulation. This theory is refuted by one little word in 1 Corinthians 15:51, where Paul says that “we shall all be changed.” This false view is often called the “partial rapture” theory.
PAUL DOES NOT STATE "ALL BORN AGAIN"; PAUL DOES NOT STATE "ALL CHRISTIANS"; PAUL DOES NOT STATE "ALL CATHOLICS", ETC. AS STATED IN MY ORIGINAL TEXT, PAUL DOES NOT SAY "ALL PEOPLE". THE ONLY ASSUMPTION WE CAN MAKE REGARDING "ALL" IS ALL ACCEPTABLE TO HIM AT THAT MOMENT. WE DO NOT AND CANNOT KNOW THE FULL DEFINITION OF THE GROUP "ALL".

3. That the rapture will not occur until the middle of the tribulation, thus forcing the entire church to go through the first three and a half years of God’s wrath. This theory is called mid-tribulationism, and is refuted by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, where he says, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath.…”
THIS IS A COMMON MISCONCEPTION. GOD'S WRATH DOES NOT START UNTIL THE SECOND HALF OF THE TRIBULATION. THE RAPTURE CAN OCCUR BEFORE THE RAPTURE OR ALL THE WAY UP TO THE MIDPOINT. WE CANNON RULE OUT MID-TRIB BASED ON THE "GOD'S WRATH" ISSUE. I AM NOT PRE-TRIB OR MID-TRIB. WE JUST DO NOT KNOW.

4. That the rapture will not occur until the end of the tribulation. This is known as post-tribulationism, and is refuted by 1 Thessalonians 5:9 and Revelation 3:10.
AGREE - POST-TRIB DOES NOT MAKE SENSE.

Respectfully,

Jim

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Carol Swenson
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Betty Louise [thumbsup2]


FALSE VIEWS OF THE RAPTURE


1. That the rapture is the same as the Second Coming of Christ. False. At the rapture Jesus comes for his church in the air, while at the Second Coming he comes with his people to the earth. See Jude 14, 15; Revelation 19:11-16.

2. That the rapture will include only some Christians, and that most Christians will be left behind to endure the tribulation. This theory is refuted by one little word in 1 Corinthians 15:51, where Paul says that “we shall all be changed.” This false view is often called the “partial rapture” theory.

3. That the rapture will not occur until the middle of the tribulation, thus forcing the entire church to go through the first three and a half years of God’s wrath. This theory is called mid-tribulationism, and is refuted by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, where he says, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath.…”

4. That the rapture will not occur until the end of the tribulation. This is known as post-tribulationism, and is refuted by 1 Thessalonians 5:9 and Revelation 3:10.

The New Testament pictures the Church as the body and bride of Christ. If the mid-tribulation or post-tribulation view were correct, then a part of this body would suffer amputation, and a section of the bride would be left behind. In addition to this, one would be forced to conclude that all bodies of carnal departed Christians would likewise be left in the grave. This simply is not the clear teaching of the Word of God.

The Bible teaches that the rapture is pre-tribulational in nature and includes all believers. See Romans 5:9 and 1 Thessalonians 1:10. Perhaps the strongest proof of this statement is the fact that up to chapter 6 of Revelation the church is mentioned many times, but from chapter 6 to chapter 19 (the period of the tribulation) there is no mention whatsoever of the church on earth. In fact, the only godly group which Satan can find to persecute is the nation Israel! See Revelation chapter 12.

In Revelation 4:1 John declares, “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, "Come up hither." We are told that Christians are God’s ambassadors on earth (2 Cor. 5:20) and that he will someday declare war on this earth. The first thing a king or president does after he declares war on another country is to call his ambassadors home! Thus we conclude that the church will escape the tribulation.

(Willmington's)

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Betty Louise
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I believe in the pre trib rapture. There is enough evidence in the Bible supporting the pre trib rapture.
betty

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Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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Michael Harrison
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The term 'rapture' is typically associated with a pre-tribulation catching away wherein the believer 'escapes' the toil that is to engulf the world. When I think of Thessolonians, I think of the second coming. Your analytical prowress eden, is just simply curious, and sometimes merely mildly monotonous, and otherwise mundane. Otherwise, I would agree with you that 'we' view them as the same second coming event. [happyhappy]

Strong meat belongeth to those who by reason of use, have their senses exercised to discern good and evil. That is not the baby stage. But if you got it all when you got saved, what other stage is there?

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Eden
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Hi, Michael H., I think you said you do not even belief in the rapture, or should I say, a rapture...but isn't this what we refer to as the rapture?

1 Corinthians 15
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

1 Thessalonians 4
17 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.

We are instantly changed, and then we are caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

Michael H., you still believe that we will be caught up into the air, right?

Isn't it rather that you believe, as I do, that the rapture and the second coming are part of the same event?

love, Eden

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Michael Harrison
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Gee carol. I thought you read me, that is, my posts [Roll Eyes] . I do not even, any more, believe that there is a rapture. There is a second coming! Bless God.

You see, I feel that this verse:

  • 2Pe 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

...is about people who believed, or heard that there will be a rapture. This verse is about the 'age of apostacy' which is to come. And this verse:

  • Rev 3:10 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.

...this verse implies that believers will be 'delivered' from the apostacy which will result as time goes on, and no rapture occurs. That is keeping it as simple as I am able. For I do not see any form of "taking them out of the world," in the words, "I will 'keep' thee from the hour of temptation." I can't imagine where they got that, for even the Lord, our Lord said:

  • Joh 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

The evil which HE will keep us from is our own unbelief. For things will become very bad.

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Carol Swenson
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You don't believe in the Rapture?
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Michael Harrison
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To me, Behold, I come quickly," strengthens the view that the believers, 'who are not taken out of this world', can look forward, through all of the terrible mess, to the fact that He will not be much longer.
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Carol Swenson
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Will We Fail The Test?

Revelation 3:10 - 11 (NLT)
10 “Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world. 11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown.


In many Bible scholars’ understanding, Revelation 3:10 is a promise that the church (true Christians) will not go through the Tribulation, but will be taken to heaven before it begins (see 1 Thes. 4:13-5:11). The admonition, “Behold, I come quickly,” would strengthen this view.

(Wiersbe)

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Michael Harrison
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Ok! I should not depend upon memory!
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Carol Swenson
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Luke 23:39 - 43 (NLT)
39 One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”

40 But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? 41 We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” 43 And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

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Michael Harrison
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The thief simply stated that "This man has done nothing wrong." I will submit that he 'believed' after that the Lord said, "Thou shalt be in paradise this day."
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Carol Swenson
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quote:
Although the disciples continued to love Jesus, their hopes for the kingdom had been shattered. Most of them had gone into hiding.
Peter's faith? Peter denied even knowing Him three times.

Paul wasn't even a believer at the time of the crucifixion.

His apostles, and His other followers, believed in Him before the crucifixion, and then after the resurrection. But not while He was on the cross. Only the thief believed in Him then.

quote:
By all appearances, the kingdom was finished. How awe inspiring is the faith of this man who alone saw beyond the present shame to the coming glory!

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Eden
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Carol Swenson wrote
quote:
Yes! The dying criminal had more faith than all the rest of Jesus’ followers put together.
It is a cute statement but it is also nonsense. Adding John's faith and Peter's faith and James's faith and Timothy' faith and Paul's faith would add up to much more faith together than the thief had on the cross. At most, the thief had similar faith as the others taken individually.

love, Eden

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Carol Swenson
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Yes!

The dying criminal had more faith than all the rest of Jesus’ followers put together. Although the disciples continued to love Jesus, their hopes for the kingdom had been shattered. Most of them had gone into hiding. As one of his followers would sadly say two days later, “We had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel” (24:21 NIV). By contrast, the criminal looked at the man who was dying next to him and said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” By all appearances, the kingdom was finished. How awe inspiring is the faith of this man who alone saw beyond the present shame to the coming glory!

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TB125
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Betty Louise,
In regard to the thief on the cross, you say,
quote:
He never accomplished anything for Christ.

I would note from the situation that he gave a very courageous and timely testimony to the glory of Jesus. He was probably the only one there who believed that Jesus would ever have a "kingdom". Don't overlook his testimony. Jesus didn't!

--------------------
Bob

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Michael Harrison
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Regrettably, there are tares who think that they are the true Christians, who will not know better till the end. And they more than likely are the ones who overtly desire to point out to everyone else, who the tares are. For the trusting soul does not find it necessary to spend his or her worth, "accusing and excusing." For it does not merit anything heavenly. So, since HE will sort them out, all they have to do is have their confidence to themselves.
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Carol Swenson
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quote:
Originally posted by Betty Louise:
Our works do not save us. Remember the thief on the cross. Jesus said to him:

Luk 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

He never accomplished anything for Christ.

A coasting Christian will still be saved if he is a Christian, but his works or lack of works will be burned in the fire and his crowns or lack of crowns will be his rewards.
As our Pastor says, if we get in to Heaven by the skin of our teeth, we will be sorely ashamed when others bring their crowns and lay them at Jesus feet and we have none to give.

A Christian who is not doing anything for Christ, is losing out on a living a life that is pleasing to Christ and facing embarrassment in Heaven.
betty

I believe that true Christians, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, attached to The Vine, will bear fruit. Some more than others...

Luke 12:47 - 48 (NLT)
47“And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. 48But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.

But not all are true Christians...


Matthew 13:24 - 30 (NKJV)
24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”


The tares—false Christians

Satan cannot uproot the plants (true Christians), so he plants counterfeit Christians in their midst . In this parable, the good seed is not the Word of God. It represents people converted through trusting the Word. The field is not human hearts; the field is the world. Christ is sowing true believers in various places that they might bear fruit (John 12:23-26). But, wherever Christ sows a true Christian, Satan comes and sows a counterfeit.

We must beware of Satan’s counterfeits. He has counterfeit Christians (2 Cor. 11:26) who believe a counterfeit Gospel (Gal. 1:6-9). He encourages a counterfeit righteousness (Rom. 10:1-3), and even has a counterfeit church (Rev. 2:9). At the end of the age, he will produce a counterfeit Christ (2 Thes. 2:1-12).

We must also stay awake to make sure that Satan’s ministers do not get into the true fellowship and do damage (2 Peter 2; 1 John 4:1-6). It is when God’s people go to sleep that Satan works. Our task is not to pull up the false, but to plant the true. (This does not refer to discipline within the local church.) We are not detectives but evangelists! We must oppose Satan and expose his lies. But we must also sow the Word of God and bear fruit in the place where He has planted us.

What will happen to the tares? God will gather them together and burn them. It is interesting to see that some of this “bundling” is already going on as various religious groups merge and strive for union. Spiritual unity among true Christians is one thing, but religious uniformity among mere professing Christians is quite another. It is difficult to tell the false from the true today; but at the end of the age, the angels will separate them.

(Wiersbe)

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Michael Harrison
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Well, since there is no rapture, [happyhappy] neither the righteous, nor the sinning saint will be going up. But in the second coming:

  • Luk 12:45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
    Luk 12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

So is this not an admonition to rise above sin? For what will become of the saint if he or she is slack? He will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers! This clearly as it can be said, states that the believer will get the same as the unbelievers. I would beg anyone, to think about this.

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Eden
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I agree with you, Betty Louise. That is also my current belief, although I am concerned about the "unprofitable servant" parable. There is a possibility that if a Christian does absolutely nothing for the Lord, that he or she will be counted with the hypocrites.

love, Eden

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Betty Louise
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Our works do not save us. Remember the thief on the cross. Jesus said to him:

Luk 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

He never accomplished anything for Christ.

A coasting Christian will still be saved if he is a Christian, but his works or lack of works will be burned in the fire and his crowns or lack of crowns will be his rewards.
As our Pastor says, if we get in to Heaven by the skin of our teeth, we will be sorely ashamed when others bring their crowns and lay them at Jesus feet and we have none to give.

A Christian who is not doing anything for Christ, is losing out on a living a life that is pleasing to Christ and facing embarrassment in Heaven.
betty

--------------------
Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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oneinchrist
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I think there lies a great danger in a "coasting sinner". Perhaps they are unrepentant. Does God forgive an unrepentant sinner?

With love in Christ, Daniel

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Eden
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dear jrlaw, among other similar things, you wrote
quote:
What if the Rapture occurs in a manner such that it is not recognizable to "coasting sinners"?
Whoever believes in Jesus will go in the Rapture, no exceptions. What you are talking about belongs to sanctification and rewards, not to salvation. God knows who believes in Jesus, all those God will catch up at the Rapture, whenever it occurs.

love, Eden

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jrlaw
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Much of this discussion has to do with definitions, assumptions, and semantics. In some cases where my suppositions are fully understood, there is strong opposing opinion. Simply stated, I warn Christians to examine their relationship with God often; not to question your salvation but to ensure your are acceptable to Him at the time of the Rapture. There are many Christians, and when I use this term I mean 100% saved by faith and grace, who are not living the way they should. I propose that at the time of the Rapture there will be some saved Christians who's relationship with God requires testing and discipline - and they will get it.

We can not know if my suppositions are correct or incorrect - nor can we yours.

All of what is said here is man's wisdom and man's interpretation mostly based on various translations. We would like to think we understand, but we are all Christians and on this subject we disagree.

I am the only one who states my suppositions may be wrong and if I am wrong, no harm done, right? I just have some Christians examining their relationship with God. This is good.

What about your suppositions?

When you state emphatically that all Christians will be taken at the Rapture, what is the harm? I will tell you. Just look around - we are in the End Times now and Christian America is at the mall. They are comfortable in their belief that they won't be here - they are 'coasting' Christians and some of them are big-time sinning Christians. I don't suggest here that we use hell-fire & brimstone as a hand crafted tool to straighten them out, but I also state emphatically that we should not be telling them that their relationship with God is not a factor with regard to their location a few moments after the Rapture. We just do not know the answer to this question.

When you state emphatically that the Rapture will occur before the Tribulation, what is the harm? I will tell you. We do not know when it will happen and we do not know how it will be manifested. We make assumptions and form opinions based on our reading of various translations. What if the Rapture occurs in a manner such that it is not recognizable to "coasting sinners"? The answer is that we have some saved Christians who are uneducated and uninformed about their precarious situation and probably ill equipped to cope.

What if the Rapture does not happen before the Tribulation begins? The answer is that "coasting sinners", and possibly some of you reading this now, will not recognize the Antichrist. Many American Christians did not recognize Hitler for what he was. During the 30's many Christian Americans thought Hitler to be a "godsend" for Europe. Don't tell me it can't happen again. I believe Hitler was a satanic attempt to alter God's schedule.

Stating all Christians will be taken and those left behind were not really Christians is a cop-out. We all know some Christians have problems in their relationship with Him. We also know that God disciplines us now - why is it wrong for us to assume that he won't discipline some of His worst offenders by testing them during the Tribulation? (that's a rhetorical question)

I take the cautious side and issue warnings. I caution those who disagree with me not tell others in effect, "don't worry about anything - you won't be here". Are you sure you serve God's purpose in doing that?

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