What if I was to tell you that, coiled amongst your core Christian beliefs, was a deception powerful enough to cause you to turn your back on God?  A ‘sleeper’, if you will, awaiting the right time to strike. . .

A lot is said, in the Bible, about the return of Christ.  But nowhere is a ‘Rapture’ mentioned.  In fact it is a relatively new doctrine, being only a couple of hundred years old, if I remember right.

In fact, if you put aside everything you’ve ever heard, and read through the New Testament, asking God to teach you and give you understanding, I believe you will come to a very different conclusion than what is currently being taught.

If you are a born again Christian, you do not have to have someone interpret God’s word for you.  The Bible says that the Holy Spirit will teach you all things–if you will listen.

Now, I am not saying that so that you will throw aside your teachers, pastor and elders.  I am saying–don’t just take ANYONE’s word for spiritual matters, but also search the Scriptures yourself and pray for God to lead you in truth.

I am also saying it so that you understand that it is OK for you to do this.  In fact, when the apostle Paul came and taught them, the people of Berea were praised for it!

‘Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.’

The passage I paraphrased, about the Holy Spirit teaching you all things, was written by the apostle John to the church at a time when some were teaching false doctrine–so it absolutely applies to this situation.  This was his word to them, to hold onto the truth and abide in God, and the Holy Spirit would keep them grounded in truth and protected from deception.

Although we have many wonderful pastors and teachers, now more than ever, it is vital that you look to God, not men.  And because of the difficult times ahead, it is critical that your Christian faith is based on what God’s Word (the Bible) say to YOU–not what someone tells you God’s Word says to you.  Check it out for yourself!  The foundation you lay now will have to support you through the storms that are coming in the days ahead.

Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would remind believers of everything he had taught.  (I believe that also covers the whole Bible, not just the ‘red letter’ words.)  But how can you be reminded of something you do not know?  God’s Word is alive.  Study it, know it and, when you need it, He will remind you of just the right verses that apply to your situation.

I said all that because I want to explain what I believe to be true about ‘The Rapture’ and the return of Christ. And I want you to understand that I am not trying to recruit disciples to myself.  I want you to find the truth, and not just take my word for it.

This will probably take up more than one post, so I will have to link them together for you when I finish.  I will conclude this one by giving a couple of my reasons for why I don’t believe a ‘Rapture’ comes before The Tribulation.

  1. It never made sense to me that Christians all over the world, for the last 2,000+ years, would endure persecution and yet we (American Christians) would expect God to whisk us away when things got difficult.  What arrogance!  We should expect to suffer MORE than they did, because we were endowed with such tremendous blessings from God and we squandered them!
  2. Also, one of the themes I see, throughout the New Testament, is that suffering is a means of purification.  I really don’t like that.  I don’t like to suffer, nor do I like to see others suffer (if they are ‘innocent’–I’ve got to be honest).  But God sees things from an eternal perspective and He knows that what we go through here on Earth will build the character that we take with us into eternity.

These are a couple of the ideas that got me digging deeper to find the truth.  I want to continue on this topic, in a new post, by taking the time to present the verses from God’s Word that I believe support my position.

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