For those of you who are brothers and sisters in Christ. Would you please prayerfully consider giving this documentary a watch?
If you don’t feel compelled to watch it, please by all means, act according to the faith the Lord has given you. But if you do feel the Spirit prompting you to give it your ear, then I would encourage you to do just that.
If you grew up or have spent really any time in the American “evangelical” church you’ve probably been taught and generally believed in a form of eschatology (the study of last things, “the end times”) called “pre-tribulationalism”.
I know I was and I did.
In short (and I mean really short) the pre-tribulational position supposes that the famous “rapture” (or “catching up”) of the church referenced primarily in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 will happen before the world enters into a time of great distress most often referred to as “The Great Tribulation”.
“The Great Tribulation” as it is most often called is generally referring to a 7 year period of time that the book of Daniel refers to as, “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble”. This period is also generally synonymous with a term we find throughout the Scriptures known as “The Day of the Lord”, the time when Jesus Christ will return to execute his righteous judgement on the world.
The pre-tribulational position supposes that the Lord will come for his church before all this stuff goes down and that they will be taken out of the world before the Son of Perdition (the Antichrist) is revealed to the world and who will subsequently be destroyed by the appearance of the Lord’s coming.
Over the years as I studied the Scriptures I felt like the Holy Spirit was challenging me on my previously held belief of a pre-tribulational rapture of the church. As I read 1 and 2 Thessalonians, particularly 2 Thess 2:1-12, it was like it jumped off the page at me.
“2 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,[a] 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness[b] is revealed, the son of destruction,[c] 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
After reading this passage the Holy Spirit began to reveal to me, more and more in the Scriptures about the Lord’s coming and about his church. Over the years that walk with the Lord has brought me to an eschatological position known as the “Pre-Wrath” position on the rapture of the church.
In a nutshell it presumes two things:
1. The church is not appointed to suffer the wrath of the Lamb and will be raptured before the great and awesome “Day of the Lord”.
2. The “Day of the Lord” will not come until the “rebellion” or great apostasy takes place (a great falling away from God) and the Man of Lawlessness (aka the Antichrist) is revealed to the world.
The issue of great consequence is this: the church will endure much suffering at the hands of the Antichrist and his kingdom before the Lord returns in power and glory.
But the good news is this. In their sufferings they will be more than overcomers in Christ Jesus our Lord who died and who was raised for the remission of our sins.
“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” – Revelation 12:11
Again, if this word finds no place in your spirit please, by all means, throw it in the trash where it belongs.
But, brothers and sisters, if this word pricks your spirit I would encourage you to seek the Lord so that he himself can teach you what he would have you know. I pray that as he teaches you and ministers to you, you would know Him and his peace that surpasses all understanding.
Grace and peace to you church, in Jesus’ name.