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women-reformation

October 31, 2017, marks the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, and because I’m all theme-y and whatnot, I’m in the midst of a fantastic book called Reformation Women by Rebecca VanDoodewaard who I dearly wish were on social media so I could shamelessly fangirl her and make a general nuisance of myself by asking too many questions. Normally, I would actually finish a book before slobberingly commending it to you, but in case you like being all theme-y and whatnot too, and because time is of the essence, I’m throwing caution to the wind and telling you:

Get this book. Now. You’re welcome.

Normally, when we read about the Reformation, we’re reading about great preachers and leaders like Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and Hus, but preaching was not the only work of the Reformation. And that’s one of the things that has captivated me about Rebecca’s book. All of the women included therein were strikingly courageous, tireless laborers, who contributed greatly  to the success of the Reformation, and they did it all while coloring inside the lines of biblical womanhood – doing vital work godly women are uniquely equipped by Christ to do. They opened their homes as a refuge to scores of Protestants (often including those aforementioned notable preachers and other integral leaders) fleeing for their lives from Catholic marauders. They set up prison ministries and fed and clothed the poor. They nursed their communities through the Plague. Those who were queens and princesses used their power to protect Reformers and change persecutory laws. Those who were married to pastors and leaders helped in their ministries and edited their books and papers. And they wrote. Poetry. Position papers. Booklets. Letters. What a happy discovery (for me, anyway) to find sisters of the quill from so long ago.

But these great ladies were not our only foremothers in the faith. For as long as God’s people have been God’s people, God’s people have rebelled and needed to be reformed. In fact, that’s the entire, overarching theme of the Old Testament- the need for Israel to reform from its idolatry. And all along the way we see faithful women like Deborah, Jael, Esther, Jehosheba, Jedidah, Huldah, Samson’s mother, and others willing to buck the trend of sin and rebellion and point the way back to God and holy living by their deeds and the example of their lives.

The New Testament gives us extraordinary examples such as the women who ministered to Jesus during His earthly ministry, stood by Him at the cross, and were the first ones at His tomb. Priscilla, Lydia, Dorcas, Eunice, Lois, Phoebe and other believing women soon followed, all lending their aid in their own unique ways to reforming dead, legalistic Judaism into biblical Christianity.

All of these great women of God, serving Him through thousands of years as only godly women can, laying the foundation with their blood, sweat, and tears, for the church we know today.

But have we “arrived”? Is the need for women to work for reform in the church a fast fading dot in the rear-view mirror of modern day evangelicalism? Judging from the articles I read and the e-mails I receive about the problems in the church, the answer to that question would be a big, fat “no.”

Perhaps armies of the Catholic “church” no longer hunt down fleeing Protestants. And, maybe Nero isn’t using Christians as torches for his garden parties any more (although there are certainly areas of the world where our brothers and sisters in Christ face similar threats every day). But the stealth, guerrilla warfare Satan has been waging against the Western church in recent decades might be even more damaging. Certainly, it’s more diffuse and wider spread. Instead of raping the bride of Christ, Satan has chosen instead to seduce her. Why forge an enemy when you can woo a lover?

False teachers. Word of Faith heresy. The New Apostolic Reformation. Abuse in the church. Biblical illiteracy. “Lone Ranger” Christians. Idolatry. Irreverence in the sanctuary.

For doctrinally sound Christians, it’s like being in that giant trash-masher with Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie – surrounded by slime and garbage on all sides with the walls closing in, and, seemingly, no way out.

It is easy to see why the heart of the Protestant Reformation was Semper Reformanda– “always reforming.” The work of fighting for sound doctrine, biblical worship, and pure hearts and hands never, never, never ends.

So what does it look like to be a woman of the modern day Reformation? What can we church ladies do to help turn the tide of apostasy in Christendom? Permit me to nail eight theses to the door of your church.

1.
Realize You Can’t Change the World

None of the women named earlier in this article changed the world or the entire church. Not a single one of them. In fact some of them brought about great changes in their locales that were overturned in the years after their deaths.

The problems facing the church today are overwhelming. You’re one person. You can’t fix everything (and God doesn’t expect you to). Maybe you can’t even fix everything in your own church. But what you can do is determine to be faithful to Christ and His Word in your sphere of influence. Bloom where you’re planted. “Brighten the corner where you are“, as the old gospel song says. You can’t do everything, but what’s something you can do?

2.
Color Inside the Lines

One of the major problems plaguing the church today is Christian women who rebel against God’s word by stepping outside the boundaries God has drawn for women in the family and the church. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by following suit in your zeal to reform. There’s plenty of work to be done by godly women – work that we’re better equipped for than men – without violating Scripture.

3.
Mind Your Demeanor

No, we shouldn’t be wishy washy milksops or mealy-mouthed shrinking violets. But we also shouldn’t be loud-mouthed harpies, brashly marching into hell with a water pistol (just trust my own failures on this one). We need to be velvet-covered bricks: soft on the outside, firm on the inside. We should attain to all the Christlike virtues of demeanor: patience, kindness, compassion, mercy, and grace mingled with an unyielding stand on Scripture and an uncompromising commitment to Christ. For some of us, the former comes easier. For some of us, the latter. But we must seek that godly balance as we go about the work of the Kingdom.

4.
Serve the Local Church

If you have rejected the mere idea of local church membership and think you’re going to bring about change from the outside as an unchurched (or functionally unchurched) writer, speaker, or Christian celebrity, you’re part of the problem, not part of the solution. The church is God’s plan for Christianity, not evangelical gurus. Do whatever you have to do to find a doctrinally sound one, join it, and get to work serving.


5.
Pray

When it comes to the church, fixing what’s broken doesn’t rest on your shoulders. Spiritual problems require spiritual solutions, and only God can bring those about. You can defend Scripture til you’re blue in the face or explain all day long why someone is a false teacher, but only God can lift the veil and enlighten the eyes of the heart. Be faithful in your efforts, but be more faithful in prayer. Like the persistent widow, grab hold of the Lord on behalf of the church and don’t let go.


6.
Teach Other Women

In my experience, the number one way false doctrine enters the church is through women’s ministry and women’s “Bible” study. You want to work for reform in the church? Work on reforming your church’s women’s ministry. Explain to your sisters why that divangelista is a false teacher. Request Bible study classes that study the actual Bible. Volunteer to organize the next women’s conference or retreat and schedule doctrinally sound speakers. Teach a women’s or girls’ Sunday School class. Transform the church by transforming the hearts and minds of women.


7.
Help

The book of Exodus tells the story of Israel’s battle with Amalek. When Moses held up his arms, Israel prevailed. When he let down his arms, Amalek prevailed. Eventually, Aaron and Hur came alongside Moses and held up his arms for him so that Israel could win the battle. Who was more important to Israel’s victory in this story- Moses or Aaron and Hur? If you answered “both,” you’re correct. Israel couldn’t have won without Moses holding up his hands, but Moses couldn’t have held up his hands without Aaron and Hur. Most of the women of the Old Testament, New Testament, and Protestant Reformation who effected godly change among God’s people were not Moseses. They were Aarons and Hurs. What can you do to hold up the arms of your pastor, your elders, your husband, your church?


8.
Stand

Make sure you know your Bible backwards, forwards, and upside down in context. Know right from wrong, the biblical from the unbiblical. Learn what God’s word says, and stand. Don’t back down. Do it with a godly demeanor, but do it. Refusing to budge from the truth of Scripture might cost you your “church”. It might cost you your family and friends. It might cost you your job, your reputation, and your finances (as we’ve seen in recent years with Christians in the business world who have refused to cave to the homosexual agenda). But as our brothers and sisters who went to the fiery stake, the dank prison cell, and the gallows would tell you, fidelity to God’s Word is worth it. Loyalty to Christ is worth anything it might cost you. Stand.


Whether your women’s ministry is using a book by a false teacher, there’s a faction of backbiters in the church that needs to be quelled, or your pastor is overwhelmed and needs some help, there’s something in your church that you can pray about, help with, or work on to help it move toward spiritual health. The church needs discerning, biblically knowledgeable, mature Christian women to step up and fight ungodliness whenever and wherever we’re able. Will you be a courageous laborer in the modern day Reformation?

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14368743_1208642472584248_1903782319690324442_nBeloved Brothers And Sisters ~

As I was just rushing to pick up Julian from school, I began to feel the hunger in the people as I passed by person after person in their cars and in the streets. And as I looked at each person passing by, God began to form my thoughts and I could feel His Anger rising as He let me realize that their stomachs would most likely be fed by the hands of the enemy rather than the hands of the servants of God… God was revealing to me the deprivation and emptiness in people, and in that moment I began to pray, “Jesus… feed Your People. Show us how to be the answer, how to HAVE the Answer; how to SPREAD Truth…” And in the midst of all the hustling to pick up Julian on time from school, God was giving me a disturbing vision of our church (the Church in general) – Outwardly welcoming yet inwardly barred shut…

I began to feel the weight of God’s Problem with the Church settle in the pit of my stomach as I realized that God’s Church has become completely IRRELEVANT. In fact, it seems like a breathing hypocrisy… I was smacked in the face with the disturbing REALITY as I ran from my parked car the rest of the way to school to meet Julian on time… Churches outwardly welcoming yet inwardly barred shut! In me Jesus was crying, “I AM ALIVE!” yet the hearts of His People are barred shut, the window to their souls locked and church parking lots empty. Looks pretty dead to me! I felt sick as I realized that God is filling the Church with His SPIRIT and asking us to go feed His People with TRUTH, LIFE, LOVE, WISDOM, DIRECTION and POWER, yet the doors are barred shut and the windows are dark and closed…

So when the woman ready to commit suicide wants to reach her hand out one last time, who will be the one to fill it? The enemy seems to have a better grasp on relevant ministry than we do. I think something in the way we view CHURCH needs to shift DRASTICALLY and IMMEDIATELY… If we have the HIGHEST, MOST HOLY, OMINISCIENT, OMNIPOTENT, SPIRIT as our GUIDE, why aren’t we offering a Spiritual hand of guidance to the hungry and the needy? Are we asleep? Are we numb? Are we hypocrites? Why put a WELCOME sign on the door to the Church (so to speak) if we are going to bar up the entire porch so that the dirty hands of the homeless won’t be able to touch it and mess up the new paint job?

Now with Julian in tow and after sharing this with him, he looked at me and said, “What if we could feed the spirit of each person by whispering the name of Jesus as we walk by each one. Maybe their spirits would grab His Name and begin to long for Him…” For the rest of the walk back to the car Julian said, “JESUS” as he passed each person. I laughed as I realized my little guy is just as OBSESSED with spreading the LOVE of God as I am! Truly a moment when God was speaking wisdom through and out of the mouth of babes!

God, help us. Wake us. Show us the way to invade the spiritual powers of this culture. Let the Church become RELEVANT. Let the Living God truly explode with LIFE out of the servants who have chosen to be the hands and feet of Jesus… Let us have RELEVANT FAITH so that those who are hungry will be able to GRAB onto it…

God, we pray that Your FAITHFULNESS will fill us with FAITH to step toward the desires you have for our lives. Give us a CAUSE to fight for YOUR NAME. Let the history of Your VICTORY in our lives be on our lips daily as we face the giants. Let YOUR NAME be magnified in us ,as Your Servants choose to fulfill the vows and covenants we made with YOU… to KNOW YOU… In Your Holy and Precious Name Jesus we pray… Amein… (shared of my journal)10440802_696494227073693_7724385406213002777_n13001092_1143066769048122_7200995702218758525_n

JILL SOTO JULY 4 2014-from fb

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Priorități și valori

Avem oare nevoie să ne cunoaștem prioritățile în viață? Dacă da, ar trebuie să ni le definim sau ele sunt implicite? Dacă ar fi să facem o listă a valorilor și priorităților pe care le avem, cum ar arăta ea?

Iată un tip de întrebări pe care cred că ar trebui să ni le punem la acest început de an 2014. M-am regăsit de multe ori în anul care tocmai a trecut dând prioritate unor lucruri care nu reprezentau priorități esențiale, făcând de multe ori ceea ce mi-a plăcut în loc să fac ceea ce a trebuit. M-am luptat mult cu disciplina personală și am eșuat de multe ori. Este o luptă pe care uneori o căștig, și mă bucur pentru asta dar de mult prea multe ori am pierdut-o. Disciplina personală nu este ceva ușor pentru mine. Poate că pentru alții lucrurile sunt mai ușoare, însă pentru mine lupta pare uneori imposibilă de dus.

Am discutat de curând, în grupul nostru de părtășie, despre valorile și prioritățile pe care ar trebui să le aibe un creștin în viață, și am rămas plăcut surprins să văd că, prin harului lui Dumnezeu, împărtășim în general aceleași valori spirituale care ne leagă împreună. Dar sunt și lucruri personale pe care fiecare și le cunoaște. Fiecare se cunoaște pe sine, își cunoaște părțile tari și cele slabe, suișuri și coborâșuri, și de aceea este nevoie și de o cercetare personală, de o stabilire a unor priorități personale în funcție de starea fiecăruia, de problemele prin care trece, de planurile fiecăruia, ș.a.m.d.  Dar  trebuie să înțelegem că există niște priorități și valori universale spirituale de care nu ne putem ascunde sau fugi pentru că ele reprezintă caracteristica vieții creștine.  Și cred că o trecere  în revistă a prioritățile și valorile pe care le avem și care ne ghidează viața ar trebui să fie un proces serios și periodoic în decursul vieții noastre. Iar acest proces, confruntat cu Biblia, ar putea să aibe cel puțin doua efecte: 1. să ne arate că valorile și prioritățile noastre sunt greșite, și 2. să ne corecteze unele dintre ele.

De aceea, ca și creștini, dacă vrem să avem o viață echilibrată spiritual trebuie să știm și să ne conștientizăm valorile și prioritățile și apoi să le comparăm cu prioritățile lui Dumnezeu, iar apoi… să trecem la treabă. Aici cred că poate fi cheia echilibrului spiritual.

Însă ca să nu lungesc textul prea mult, am făcut mai jos o listă  generală/universală de priorități biblice pe care le consider de bază în viața unui credincios. O evaluare personală nu cred că face rău nimănui.

1. Dumnezeu și relația personală cu El.

Ce loc ocupă Dumnezeu în programul nostru? Nu mă refer aici la lucrare, la studiu pentru predică, sau la discuții despre Dumnezeu. Ci mă refer la acel timp petrecut cu Dumnezeu, singur, în care cauți pur și simplu prezența lui Dumnezeu, hrana Cuvântului și acea stare de rugăciune în care comunci efectiv cu Dumnezeu, nu doar bălmăjești o rugăciune standard sau te lupți să nu adormi. Avem nevoie să ne analizăm disciplina spirituală pentru a putea să ne dăm un răspuns sincer și să putem face schimbările necesare în acest domeniu esențial.

2. Familia. Ce loc ocupă responsabilitățile noastre familiale în viața noastră.

Când mă refer la familie mă refer atât la responsabilitățile material, spirituale, cât și cele emoționale și psihologice, și asta pentru că pentru mulți familia reprezintă doar o responsabilitate materială. Să avem ce să punem pe masă, cât mai mult dacă se poate, să avem cu ce ne îmbrăca, cele necesare traiului, etc. În familiile cu copii mulți lucrurile sunt și mai complicate în acestă privință, dar familia nu înseamnă doar cele materiale. Familia este celula societății dar și a bisericii. În familie se formează deprinderile sociale și spiritual, dar și profilul moral și psihologic al viitorului adult. Familia este cheia unei societăți sănătoase dar și a unei biserici sănătoase. Așa dar, avem datoria biblică de a forma persoane care să fie de folos societății dar să fie de folos mai ales lui Dumnezeu. De aceea ne numim creștini, pentru că îl urmăm pe Cristos. Și să nu uităm cel mai important lucru – familia trebuie să fie cadrul unde copilul aude Evanghelia și pașii lui sunt îndreptați către Dumnezeu.

Știați că până prin anii 90, bisericile evanghelice din SUA erau populate în cea mai mare parte (cam 80%) cu copiii credincioșilor? Însă pe măsură ce familiile au devenit tot mai slabe d.p.d.v. moral și spiritual, copiii credincioșilor au părăsit bisericile pentru că nu exista o corelare între mesajul Bisericii și viața practică pe care o vedeau acasă. Și în mod natural au ales lumea nu biserica. Iată un exemplu despre cum  prioritățile părinților influnețează atât viața lor cât și a generațiilor următoare.

3. Părtășia creștină.

Ce loc ocupă părtășia creștină în prioritățile mele?  Cine sunt prietenii mei cei mai buni? Sunt ei creștini serioși sau sunt vecinii de bloc?  Simți libertate în a mă ruga cu alții, în a studia Cuvântul împreună? Dacă nu, ce ne ține?

4. Serviciul.

Consider că fiecare dintre noi ar trebui să ne facem o analiză a modului în care ne îndeplinim atribuțiile de serviciu. Și asta pentru că ține de mărturia și caracaterul creștin să fim buni profesioniși, serioși și oameni care își dau interesul în a face o treabă cât mai bună.  Dar desigur că trebuie să analizăm și cealaltă parte a problemei: nu cumva serviciul meu sau afacerea mea este dumnezeul meu? Nu cumva serviciul meu este mai important decât Dumnezeu sau familia?

5. Administrarea resurselor.

Cum imi administrez banii?  Sunt serios în a da Domnului procentul pe care l-am hotărât în inima mea?  Este nevoie să decid ceva în această privință la începutul acestui an?  Am datorii? De ce? Și dacă am datorii, mi le plătesc la timp? Sunt la zi cu plata facturilor?  Sunt un bun ispravnic al bogățiilor nedrepte, pe care mi le-a dat Dumnezeu?  Există și aici cealaltă parte a paharului: sunt unii care dau pe la biserici bani crezând că așa o să îi ajute  Dumnezeu să câștige mai mult sau să le meargă afacerile. Se păcălesc singuri. Cuvântul spune că prin chibzuință se zidește o casă, și prin înțelepciune i se umple cămările. Deci .. la disciplină și la făcut planuri realiste care se pot duce la îndeplinire.

Ar mai fi multe alte lucruri de scris însă fiecare dintre noi avem problemele noastre și ocupațiile noastre. Avem vârste diferite și priorități diferite, și chiar valori diferite. Fiecare trebuie să își facă propria listă și să o compare cu valorile biblice, și așa să lupte pentru creșterea lui spirituală și a celor din jurul lui.

By Emi Zarnescu on 06/01/2014 on http://emizarnescu.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/prioritati-si-valorithe-gift-of-time

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Ten Indictments {A Historical 21st Century Message} (Paul Washer)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=X7wzfvYkCW0

ROMANIAN TRANSLATED

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1v_-OlRuC6M

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Ten Indictments Against the Modern Church

In DEUTSCH hier!

Paul Washer’s sermon The Ten Indictments against the Modern Church addresses the issues of our day. In it, Paul takes up why some of our churches are suffering and unfruitful. He draws our minds to the fact that

  1. First, there is a denial of the sufficiency of Scripture.

  2. Second, there is an ignorance of who God is.

  3. Third, there is a failure to address man’s desperate condition.

  4. Fourth, there is an ignorance concerning the Gospel of Christ.

  5. Fifth, there is an unbiblical invitation system.

  6. Sixth, there is an ignorance regarding the nature of the church.

  7. Seventh, there is a lack of loving and compassionate church discipline.

  8. Eighth, there is a silence on separation from the world.

  9. Ninth, there is a replacement of Scripture with Psychology regarding the family.

  10. Tenth, there are pastors who are malnourished in the Word.

Watch and listen to the sermon – and be aware that this sermon is no “fast food”, but that it will need two full hours of your time — two hours which will be very well invested!)

Or get the sermon as a free booklet (download link at the end).

CHAPEL LIBRARY provides the sermon as PDF and E-Book for free. Download it by using the following links::

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Why I Believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture

http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_rapture7.php

11 reasons why Jesus will come back before the Tribulation

by

Rapture Expectation

Frequently I am asked to explain or defend the end-time view of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church. For that topic, lots of Bible verses, readings and references rattle around in my skull. I can extract each like a Powerball out of an air machine and present it to the inquiring mind, but never in a linear, comprehensive manner in which I particularly appreciate. And so, this article is my attempt to organize my brain on the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view. You’re welcome to come along on the journey!

Taking It to the Bedrock

My belief that there will be a Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church stands on the bedrock of the following foundational tenets:

A) The Bible is the Word of God

The 66-book canon called the Bible is God’s inerrant, infallible message to mankind, explaining His purposes and plans for the ages (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21). No other document can be reliably trusted, nor remotely reach the bar for the requirements of authentication that the Bible attains to so easily.

B) The Bible is to be Interpreted Literally 

God means what He says and says what He means. God wants His creations to know His will plainly. While God does indulge in picturesque descriptions and parables, an explanation almost always follows or context is provided for explanation. Spiritualization of text, therefore, has no proper place in interpreting Scriptures. Any eschatological viewpoint must then be thrown out if it is based on the reader’s desire to spiritualize the Bible into whatever ethereal meaning they desire. Take the Bible for its plain sense meaning.

C) The Church and Israel Are Separate Entities

Israel is not the Church and the Church is not Israel. A believer in Christ becomes a member of the Church, whether Jew or Gentile (Rom. 1:16), but a member of the Church does not become a form of spiritual Israel. God’s promises to Israel as a people and nation (see next tenet) are not the same as for the Bride of Christ, the Church.

D) A Literal 1000-Year Millennium

The Bible describes a future, literal 1000-year time period. The Greek word “chilias” for “one thousand” appears six times in Revelation 20, clearly marking the time period as having 1000 literal years. The purpose of this time period is for Jesus Christ to have an earthly kingdom from which to base His rule and to fulfill His promises (Gen. 13:14-17; 15:5,18-21; 2 Sam. 7:16-19; Isa. 10:21-22; 11:1-2; Jer. 23:5-8; 30:22; 31:31-34; Ezek. 11:18-20; 34:24; 36:24-28; Mic. 7:19-20; Hos. 3:5; Rom. 11:26-29).

E) A Literal 7-Year Tribulation

An upcoming time period has been set aside for God to pour out His wrath upon the evil of the world, to regather Israel back into its land, to force Israel to acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah, and for the Messiah to return and fight for His believing remnant (Deut. 4:26-31; Isa. 13:6-13; 17:4-11; Jer. 30:4-11; Ezek. 20:33-38; Dan. 9:27; 12:1; Zech. 14:1-4; Matt. 24:9-31). This time period begins with a covenant between Israel and the Antichrist (Dan. 9:27). The length of the Tribulation is seven years long, described in a variety of ways as “one seven” year block (Dan. 9:27), consisting of two “times, time and half a time” (two years + 1 year + half a year; Rev. 12:14), or two “1260 days” periods (Rev. 11:3), or two “42 month” periods (Rev. 11:2; 13:5).

F) Jesus Will Return Again to Earth

The Bible says Jesus will physically return again to earth (Zech. 14:1-21; Matt. 24:29-31; Mk. 13:24-27; Lk. 21:25-27; Rev. 19). Jesus returns is to defeat His enemies, set up His throne, restore Israel, rule with “a rod of iron” and share His authority with those who overcame in Him (Mat. 19:28; 25:31; Acts 1:3-6; Rev. 2:26-27; 3:21).

G) The Bible Teaches About a Rapture

1 Thessalonians 4:17 speaks of an event called “the Rapture”, Latin “rapio,” Greek “harpazo,” which means “to catch up, to snatch away, or to take out.” “After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” Paul states that the concept of the Rapture is meant to encourage believers during this Age (1 Thes. 4:18). Other references on the Rapture are Jn. 14:1-14; I Cor. 15:51-58; and 1 Thes. 4:13-18.

These bedrock statements about the Bible and its interpretation provide the foundation in which to analyze the followig reasons for why I believe the Bible teaches a Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church.

1) The Bible describes the Rapture and Second Coming as different events.

The Bible must see the Rapture (Jn. 14:1-4; I Cor. 15:51-58; 1 Thes. 4:13-18) and the Second Coming (Zech. 14:1-21; Matt. 24:29-31; Mk. 13:24-27; Lk. 21:25-27; Rev. 19) as separate events, because when the verses are compared they describe two very different scenarios:

  1. Rapture — believers meet Christ in the air

    Second Coming — Christ returns to the Mount of Olives to meet the believers on earth

  2. Rapture — Mount of Olives is unchanged

    Second Coming — Mount of Olives is divided, forming a valley east of Jerusalem

  3. Rapture — living believers obtain glorified bodies

    Second Coming — living believers remain in same bodies

  4. Rapture — believers go to heaven

    Second Coming — glorified believers come from heaven, earthly believers stay on earth

  5. Rapture — world left unjudged and living in sin

    Second Coming — world is judged and righteousness is established

  6. Rapture — depicts deliverance of the Church from wrath

    Second Coming — depicts deliverance of believers who endured wrath

  7. Rapture — no signs precede it

    Second Coming — many signs precede it

  8. Rapture — revealed only in New Testament

    Second Coming — revealed in both Old and New Testaments

  9. Rapture — deals with only the saved

    Second Coming — deals with both the saved and unsaved

  10. Rapture — Satan remains free

    Second Coming — Satan is bound and thrown into the Abyss

Since the Rapture and Second Coming clearly are different events that do not occur at the same time, this would rule out a Post-Tribulation Rapture scenario.

2) The Rapture is described as occurring at any time without warning.

Jesus stated in Matthew 24:42,44 to “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come… So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Not only do believers in Christ not know when to expect Him, but the Father Himself seems to have left Jesus out on the exact time His Son is to return. As Jesus stated in Matthew 24:36, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” These and other verses (Mat. 24:36,42,44,50; 25:13; 1 Thes. 4:18; Tit. 2:13; 1 Jn. 2:28; 3:2-3) indicate that Jesus’ arrival will come when nobody expects it.

The Second Coming, on the other hand, is preceded by many events, such as the rise of the Antichrist (Rev. 12:13-17; Zech; 13:7-9), a treaty with Israel (Dan. 9:27), the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple (Mat. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:3-4; Rev. 11:1-2), as well as plagues and judgments and persecutions destroying most of the world’s population (Rev. 6-18). The Book of Revelation reports these events as occurring during the 7-year Tribulation, which Revelation reveals precede the Second Coming.

Because the Rapture could happen at any moment and without warning and the Second Coming is preceded by so many signs, then the Rapture and Second Coming must be different events. The Rapture has to occur before the seven years’ worth of signs, because Christians are called to look for the Lord’s return rather than signs such as the Antichrist’s arrival. Once the signs begin, then the seven year countdown begins towards its end with Christ’s return at the Second Coming.

Jesus’ imminent return dismisses any of the other viewpoints related to a rapture that occur within or at the end of the Tribulation.

3) The Rapture and the removal of the “Restrainer” occur at the same time.

In 2 Thessalonians, the church at Thessalonica was afraid due to a false report that they had entered the Day of the Lord (Tribulation) and had somehow missed the Rapture. The Apostle Paul assured them that the Antichrist would not be revealed until a restraining force would be taken away so that the Man of Lawlessness could be revealed.

Because the revealing of the Antichrist coincides with the beginning of the 7-year Tribulation starting with his peace treaty with Israel (Dan. 9:27), then the Restrainer has to be removed before the Tribulation. As the Holy Spirit also works in salvation (Jn. 16:8-11; 1 Jn. 5:7) during the Tribulation, then it is the Church that must be the Restrainer that is removed. Therefore, the Rapture and the removal of the Church must coincide, and at the beginning of the seven years.

4) The Tribulation is for Israel’s redemption.

Jeremiah 30:7 describes the Tribulation as the “time of Jacob’s trouble” — “How awful that day will be! None will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it.”

In the Book of Matthew, whose primary audience is the Jews, Jesus explains to his Jewish followers what life will be like during the Tribulation. Also, Revelation 12 describes picturesquely a woman who gives birth and has to flee due to persecution during the Tribulation. The context shows the woman is Israel. And again, the Battle of Armageddon is the world against Israel. Two-thirds of the Jewish people will be killed from these battles. These texts and others show that the Tribulation is meant for the redemption of the Jewish people.

Why are the Jews the object of persecution during the Tribulation? For one, Satan hates the Jewish people for giving the world the Scriptures and the Messiah, as well as he wishes to thwart God’s promises to the Jews (see Bedrock #4). Secondly, the Jews have to be so desperately brought low that they finally call out to their Messiah “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Mat. 23:39; Lk. 13:35). The Tribulation, then, is used for Israel’s redemption which also results in the punishment of the wicked. The Church does not fit into this scenario, and are left out of the purposes of the Tribulation. They would need to be removed — caught up — before the Tribulation begins.

5) The Tribulation is not for the Church.

The Tribulation is God’s wrath upon the unbelieving world, and not for those who are saved from Christ’s resurrection to the Rapture — called the Church. Yes believers have suffered all throughout human history, but there is a special time (just like the Flood) set apart called the Day of the Lord for God’s wrath. Christians suffering and the Tribulation/Day of the Lord are different.

True believers in Christ during the Church Age, represented by the Church of Philadelphia, are promised in Revelation 3:10, “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.” Paul states in 1 Thessalonians 1:10, “and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” He also states in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:9 states, “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” Ephesians 5:6 states, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” Colossians 3:4 states, “When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Again and again, Scripture states the Church is not meant to endure God’s wrath.

6) God’s wrath involves the whole 7-Year Tribulation.

The view that the Rapture will occur at the mid-point of the Tribulation is based upon 1 Corinthians 15:52 which states that the Rapture will occur at the blowing of “the last trumpet.” This Mid-Tribulation Rapture view then declares this trumpet to be the last of the seven trumpets in Revelation 11 that is blown at the mid-point of the Tribulation. Why of the 114 references to trumpets in the Bible these two are identified as one and the same only defies sound Bible study. The context clearly shows the last trumpet of 1 Corinthians 15 is blown for believers whereas the seven trumpets of Revelation 8, 9 and 11 are sounded for unbelievers. The Revelation trumpets therefore can have no relevance for the Church.

The Pre-Wrath Rapture view has the Church raptured just before the bowl judgments (Revelation 16) that occur during the last quarter of the Tribulation. The bowl judgments are the only judgments this view considers to be the wrath of God, leaving the Seal and Trumpet judgments as wrath from man and Satan. But, isn’t it Jesus Himself who breaks the seals that launch each of the Revelation 6 seal judgments which occur at the beginning of the Tribulation? Also, the seven angels who blow the trumpets that initiate each of the trumpet judgments are given their trumpets at the throne of God (Revelation 8:2). And, Revelation 15:1 states that the bowl judgments at the end of the Tribulation finish the wrath of God, not begin His wrath.

Because these judgments are initiated by Jesus Himself at the beginning of the Tribulation, the whole Tribulation must be God’s wrath, which the Church is exempt from.

7) The Old Testament and Revelation leave the Church out of the Tribulation.

The focus of the Tribulation — to pour out God’s wrath on the earth just like the Flood (Isa. 24:22; Zeph. 3:8; 1 Thes. 5:3; 2 Thes. 2:12) and to bring the Jewish people to accept Jesus as Messiah (Mat. 23:39; Lk. 13:35) — is addressed by the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation to the unbelievers and the Jewish people. In any biblical content concerning the Tribulation/Day of the Lord, the Church cannot be found.

The whole concept of the Church was a mystery to the Old Testament prophets. They focused on the nation of Israel. The Book of Matthew is written to the Jewish people, whom Jesus is addressing in Matthew 24. In the Book of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3 cover the Church Age, but then there is no mention of the Church until after the Tribulation/Day of the Lord chapters 6-18. In Chapter 19, the Church returns to the texts and can be found, not suffering, but celebrating with Christ at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and preparing to return with Jesus to earth.

8) The Church is busy elsewhere during the Tribulation.

While the 7-year Tribulation is occurring, the Bible records the Church will be busy with three events. None of the three have to do with suffering on a world being destroyed.

The first event the raptured Church will participate in is a judgment by God — the Judgment of the Just. This judgment on works is not to determine eternal destiny, but to determine degrees of reward (2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 19:6-9).

The second event is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. This feast celebrates the spiritual marriage of Christ’s Bride — the Church — to her Savior. Revelation 19:7-9 shares this wonderful celebration, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, ‘Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ And he added, ‘These are the true words of God.'”

The third event follows the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and is the Church’s preparation to follow the King of Kings into the Battle of Armageddon at the conclusion of the Tribulation. This event is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Zech. 14:1-21; Matt. 24:29-31; Mk. 13:24-27; Lk. 21:25-27; Rev. 19:11-21). Revelation 19:14 identifies the Church in their “fine linen, white and clean,” which was given to them during the first event — the Judgment of the Just. The Church and angelic forces follow the King of Kings into His Second Coming to the earth, but only Jesus Himself will engage in battle and with mere words defeats the nations in siege against Jerusalem.

9) There needs to be sheep to separate from the goats.

If the Church is raptured at the end of the Tribulation, receives their glorified bodies, and then immediately u-turns back with Christ for the Second Coming as the Post-Tribulation Rapture view holds, then what believer in Christ will be available for the Sheep and Goats Judgment of Matthew 25? The only people left on earth would be unbelievers, called goats. No believer — sheep — would be available for God to put into the sheep category.

Since those who are in glorified bodies will be like the angels in that they aren’t given in marriage or reproduce (Matt. 22:30; Mk. 12:25), then a believing, unglorified, human remnant must make it into the sheep category and go on to produce the nations during the Millennial reign of Christ (Ezek. 43:13-27; Isa. 19:21; Isa. 65:20-22; Rev. 20:7-10). This would mean that people would need to come to Christ during the Tribulation yet after the Rapture to produce this Millennial population.

10) The Bible shows God rescues the righteous from His wrath.

Being a Christian means having to endure suffering and trials at the hand of man (Jn. 16:33; Phil. 1:27; 1 Thes. 3:3; 1 Pet. 4:12-13). But, the Bible has many examples of those who put their faith in God are exempt from God’s wrath. Noah and his family were removed from the Flood waters that in God’s wrath were used to judge and cleanse the earth. Lot and his wife and two daughters were made to leave Sodom and Gomorrah before God burned the towns up with fire and sulfur. Rahab’s family was set apart when Joshua’s army invaded Jericho.

Could believers be miraculously protected during the Tribulation, like the Israelites were during the plagues on Egypt? Yes, the 144,000 Jewish evangelists from Revelation 7 and 14, for instance, will be divinely protected. But, the slaughter of believers during the Tribulation will be so massive that they are certainly not under any special protection (Rev. 7:9-17; 20:4).

11) The Pre-Tribulation Rapture view is not too new to discount.

Some will argue that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view is just “too new” to be considered viable. Critics will point to the origin of the modern Pre-Tribulation view and credit John Nelson Darby (1800-1882) with its founding. But, is that assessment historically accurate? Indeed, it is not.

The Early Church fathers’ such as Barnabas (ca.100-105), Papias (ca. 60-130), Justin Martyr (110-195), Irenaeus (120-202), Tertullian (145-220), Hippolytus (ca. 185-236), Cyprian (200-250), and Lactantius (260-330) wrote on the imminent return of Jesus Christ, the central argument for the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view.

Biblical truth is determined by Scripture, and not how that teaching has been perceived at different times during history. When Augustine began spiritualizing the Bible, his view of a non-literal interpretation took hold of the church until the Renaissance, obliterating the Premillennial and Pre-Tribulation Rapture views in favor of Amillennialism. But, some Medieval writers such as Ephraem of Nisibis (306-373), Abbot Ceolfrid’s Latin Codex Amiatinus (ca. 690-716), and Brother Dolcino wrote statements that distinguish the Rapture from the Second Coming.

When the chains of allegorical interpretation began to fall off beginning with the Reformation in the 1400 and 1500s, writers such as Joseph Mede (1586-1638), Increase Mather (1639-1723), Peter Jurieu (1687), Philip Doddridge (1738), John Gill (1748), James Macknight (1763), Thomas Scott (1792) and Morgan Edwards (1722-1795) all wrote concerning the Rapture occurring separate from the Second Coming. Even in the more modern church, those like William Witherby (1818) were precursors to John Darby in support of the view. The Pre-Tribulation Rapture view is indeed then not only biblical, but supported throughout Church history.

Closing Thoughts

I thank you for coming down this mental journey with me concerning why I believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church. Hopefully it has confirmed or challenged some of your eschatological ideas. Bear in mind, though, that one’s end-time views have no bearing on the doctrine of salvation. What is to be celebrated is that our salvation will one day lead us upwards to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ forever and ever.

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The Church that Tolerated Sin – Tim Conway

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwO_2FluO04

Published on Aug 4, 2012

I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. – Revelation 2:21

Download MP3: http://illbehonest.com/The-Church-that-Tolerated-Sin-Tim-Conway

Series: The Churches in Revelation · 4 of 7
5/6/2012 (SUN) | Bible: Revelation 2:18-29

The Church That Was Dead – Tim Conway

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YFcqGhk5v8&feature=plcp

Published on Sep 18, 2012

I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. – Revelation 3:1-3

Download MP3: http://illbehonest.com/The-Church-That-Was-Dead-Tim-Conway

5/13/2012 (SUN) | Bible: Revelation 3:1-6

 

 

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Do You Bear Fruit? – Paul Washer (John 15)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBeT5Aef0_I

Christ, The True Vine John 15 by Paul Washer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHVZtg5Je04

Published on Jun 26, 2012

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The work and ministry of sermonindex can be encapsulated in this one word: REVIVAL. sermonindex is not a organisation, business, or any attempt by man to build something for God. It is rather a expression of a heart burden to see the Church revived and brought back to holiness, purity, and power with God. “The mission of SermonIndex is the preservation and propogation of classical vintage preaching and the promotion of genuine biblical revival to this generation.” 

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