1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a Christian Forum that recognizes that all Christians are a work in progress.

    You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

How can the rapture be anything but pre-trib???

Discussion in 'Eschatology & Prophecy Forum' started by rockytopva, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. keras

    keras Writer of Bible study guides

    Messages:
    1,191
    Likes Received:
    51
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    New Zealand
    There will be no removal of anyone to heaven, John 3:13 No one has gone to heaven except He who came down from heaven....
    We must be tested and we have work to do here, there will be no reward before trial and judgement.

    [SIZE=medium]Acts 14:22 We are warned, that to enter the Kingdom of God, we must undergo many hardships.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=medium]Jeremiah 9:7 I shall refine My people; how else should I deal with them?[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=medium]Romans 8:17 If we are His heirs, then we must share His suffering, if we are also to share in His glory. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=medium]John 17:15 I do not pray for You to take them [My people] out of this world, but that You keep them[/SIZE][SIZE=medium] from the evil one. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=medium]Revelation 3:10 ...keep you from the hour of trial.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=medium]John 17:15....keep them from the evil one.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=medium]Jeremiah 30:7 ...Jacobs trouble – but he shall be saved out of it.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=medium]All the four highlighted above are translated from the same Greek words –tereo ek. Tereo ek means ; to be kept from falling - not giving way under pressure and temptation, not physical rescue or protection. The prayer of Jesus in John 17:15, failed if He meant for His disciples to be physically protected, as they were all martyred. [except John] [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=medium]Luke 21:34-36 Be prepared, do not let worldly cares catch you unawares, when the Great Day comes, for that day will come to everyone the world over. Be alert, praying at all times for the strength to pass safely through[/SIZE][SIZE=medium] all that is coming, so you will be able to stand in the Lord’s presence[/SIZE]. [Note that some Bibles say ‘[SIZE=medium]escape all these things’[/SIZE], but the correct translation is ‘[SIZE=medium]to pass safely through’[/SIZE].]
    [SIZE=medium]1 Peter 4:12-19 Dear friends, do not be surprised by the fiery ordeal which has come to test you, for the time has come for the judgement to begin and it begins with God’s own household. So if you suffer according to His will, you must continue to trust Him, while still doing good and your Maker will not fail you. [This passage applies to all the Church saints who have been and are, persecuted for His sake. But it more specifically applies to us, as we await the multi prophesied fire judgement that will test the faith of everyone.] 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=medium]1 Corinthians 10:13 So far you have faced no trial beyond human endurance, God keeps faith and will not let you be tested beyond your powers, but when the test comes, He will provide a way out and enable you to endure it. [We will all be tested, there is no ‘rapture’ out of it, but those who trust Him and call on his Name, will be helped through this difficult time. Joel 2:32][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=medium]1 Corinthians 1:7-9 There is indeed no single gift that you lack, while you wait expectantly for Jesus to reveal Himself. He will keep you firm until the end, without reproach until the Day of His Return. God Himself has called you to share in the life of His Son, and God keeps faith. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=medium]Jeremiah 25:29 I shall first punish Jerusalem, [Judah] so do you think you can be exempt? No, you will not escape judgement, for I am bringing punishment upon all the inhabitants of the earth[/SIZE][SIZE=medium]. This is the Word of the Lord[/SIZE].
    [SIZE=medium]Revelation 13:10b ....this calls for the endurance and faithfulness of God’s people. [/SIZE][SIZE=medium]Ref: REB[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=medium] [/SIZE]
     
  2. sojourner4Christ

    sojourner4Christ sojourning non-citizen

    Messages:
    388
    Likes Received:
    8
    What is it "worth" to walk in truth?

    At no small expense of time and effort, the facts have been made known here. Much information has been provided that has not been rebutted, and many presumptions have been painstakingly exposed -- with documentation.

    Bottom line: The itchy ear false doctrine of dispensationalism (with its marketing vehicle, the pre-trib "rapture" theory) ultimately leads to the lake of fire.

    Still, the power of the lie is strong.

    I have to stand before my Father and give account for what I have done. So do you, dear reader. There will be no excuse for lack of due diligence.

    And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve...but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Jos 24:15 AV)

    Amen, keras.

    BTW, my family and I are presently sojourning at the North Island, near the Waihi Beach area. How about you?
     
  3. Chuckt

    Chuckt New Member

    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    4
    I don't feel like I am getting a fair deal here. Now I understand why my church has moderators protecting certain international speakers speaking on the rapture against unwarranted attacks.
    I can find anyone willing to argue on the internet.
    Entrance into heaven is based on belief in the Son of God (John 3:16) and not whether someone believes in the rapture or not.
    New American Standard Bible
    "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
    http://biblehub.com/john/3-18.htm

    The difference is The Great Tribulation is God's wrath against unbelievers. We have already had our sins judged on the cross.

    Ephesians 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

    http://www.blbclassic.org/Bible.cfm?b=Eph&c=2&t=KJV#3

    We were the children of wrath. Since we are no longer by nature deserving wrath, God's wrath won't fall upon us because Jesus took our wrath.
     
  4. sojourner4Christ

    sojourner4Christ sojourning non-citizen

    Messages:
    388
    Likes Received:
    8
    Let’s not mischaracterize the issue.

    This thread concerns the doctrine of dispensationalism. It sounds like you had something else in mind.

    ..."can", or "cannot"?

    You’re joking, right?

    With the Internet, an intrinsically reprobate person can pose as a Christian with something scriptural to say. He or she can stay hidden away from any public scrutiny as their credentials (or lack thereof) are not automatically placed into evidence. They can wage word-wars without ever demonstrating any accountability — or any qualifications of any kind to validate their unwanted perspective. They simply log in on the various bulletin boards and start to stir up trouble. Their weapons are an inexpensive computer, a free email account, and the spirit of Antichrist to empower their malicious maligning of the truth.

    I’ve already addressed this. Deception is the name of the dispenso game.

    Yep, ...against the children of disobedience. But again, this is not indicative of any pre-trib “rapture.” The Holy Bible, if nothing else, is a veritable chronology of God leading his people through adversity -- not evacuating them out of it.

    ...unless you’re one of “the children of disobedience.”
     
  5. Chuckt

    Chuckt New Member

    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    4
    No. I'm not joking. This forum is not a debate forum.

    Noah was evacuated. Lot was evacuated.

    King James Bible
    And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
    http://biblehub.com/matthew/24-22.htm

    According to Matthew 24:22, you wouldn't be led through adversity because there would be no flesh saved.
     
  6. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,471
    Likes Received:
    304
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    I'm not suggesting that all people who believe in a pre-trib rapture are racist, what I'm saying is that the doctrine has its origination in racism and fear.
    I was taught about the rapture by men that I respected and trusted as brothers in Christ, and I believed the doctrine until the Lord taught me something different, over the course of a few years and while reading through scripture a few times.
    Because of the growing doubt in my mind over the doctrine, I had started a study about the claims of those that teach the doctrine, examining each scripture used as a "proof text" in its context, but I never completed it.
    At that time my devotional reading was nearing the end of the book of the Revelation and some verses "jumped off the page" with the glaring contradiction regarding the first resurrection.
    Not long after that happened, I heard a message by John MacArthur explaining away those very same verses as speaking to not two resurrections but of two types of resurrections, that of the just and unjust.
    JM circumvents the obvious problem with the doctrine by defining the resurrection of the just as occurring at multiple times through history, while the resurrection to judgment he keeps as a final judgment for those who don't know God. His unique interpretation may allow him to believe that he has strengthened the argument that he stands upon, but it creates logical problems when considering those that are justified by faith in Christ during the tribulation period. These "tribulation saints," though saved in the same manner as everyone before the tribulation, who also return with Christ to live and reign with Him, are supposed to be saved at some time after the rapture without the intervention of living saints (they missed the boat so to speak), but the primary proof text for the pretribulation rapture, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, not only points to the first resurrection as a single event, but to the gathering of all the saints together and to the Lord. JM has no problem with the notion that the Lord would gather together all the church to wisk them out of harms way during the tribulation period, but still leave "tribulation saints" who are little more than "infants in Christ" behind during the tribulation to suffer martyrdom and witness every evil thing, because they are of Jewish birth and therefore deserve to be treated differently by God than all the other saints. In other words, God who is our impartial judge, will allow the Jewish Christians to suffer more than gentile Christians because they rejected Him. So, God is vindictive? The logic is so poor it would be laughable if it didn't find its source in such well trained and otherwise sound minds.
    Fear is the driving motive behind rapture doctrine. Fear that God is unable to protect people from the judgments which come against all flesh, fear of death, and most significantly fear that Jesus will not keep His word that whoever believes in Him, though he die will yet live.
     
  7. sojourner4Christ

    sojourner4Christ sojourning non-citizen

    Messages:
    388
    Likes Received:
    8
    This is an eschatology forum, which simply means "any system of doctrines." And we've just exposed, with documentation, one of those doctrines i.e. the pre-trib "rapture" theory. There's not yet been any factual "debate" or rebuttal about it.



    No, Noah and his family literally rode out that tribulation. We're talking many months.



    No, Lot and his family were lead through the situation. During that exodus, his wife failed the journey when she would not let go of her stuff. Thus, disobeying God's command during that journey, she was turned into a commodity of the day (i.e. a pillar of salt).



    Rather, it says, "...there should no flesh be saved..." -- not 'there will no flesh be saved.'

    God shall shorten those days for my (the elect's) sake; thank you, Lord!
     
  8. Chuckt

    Chuckt New Member

    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    4
    I don't believe you.
     
  9. sojourner4Christ

    sojourner4Christ sojourning non-citizen

    Messages:
    388
    Likes Received:
    8
    .


    Indeed. Scroll back and read post #80 or read it here.
    .
    .
     
  10. Chuckt

    Chuckt New Member

    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    4
    Have it your way. I decided not to stay.
     
  11. sojourner4Christ

    sojourner4Christ sojourning non-citizen

    Messages:
    388
    Likes Received:
    8
    I definitely don't do BURGER KING®.



    Maybe start a thread on pre-wrath?
     
  12. keras

    keras Writer of Bible study guides

    Messages:
    1,191
    Likes Received:
    51
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    New Zealand
    What those who hold to the 'rapture' theory fail to see, is what the great promises of God to his people actually are.
    They are for protection during, not removal from, His terrible Day of wrath, His fiery judgement of the nations, so extensively prophesied in the Bible. Hab. 3:12, Isaiah 63:1-6. This protection and redemption is promised to all who 'call upon the Name of the Lord'. Joel 2:32
    Isaiah 43:2b ...walk thru fire and you will not be scorched. Psalm 31:23-24, Zechariah 9:15-16, Isaiah 51:16, Nahum 1:7, Psalm 37:9 & 18-19, Jeremiah 17:7-8, Joel 3:16, 1 Cor. 10:13 and many more.
    The best example that God is capable of this protection, is when the 3 men were in a super hot furnace and weren't even scorched. Daniel 3:19-27

    So then, after this sudden and shocking worldwide devastation, the call will go out to those survivors to travel to and gather in all of the holy Land. Psalm 107 is one of the best accounts of this, confirmed by Isaiah 66:15-21, Jer. 31:7-14, Ezekiel 34:11-16, Amos 9:13-15.

    There, at last, a nation will be born, Isaiah 62:1-5, Isaiah 66:7-9 that will fulfil what God always intended His righteous people to be; a light to the nations and sending out 144,000 missionaries to proclaim the coming Kingdom of Jesus.

    S4C, contact me- 07 868 2385
     
  13. rockytopva

    rockytopva Well-Known Member Encounter Team

    Messages:
    3,220
    Likes Received:
    304
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

    Matthew 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

    Luke 12:40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

    2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition


    We are in the time of the great falling away. The only thing we lack is the revealing of the AntiChrist.
     
  14. Trekson

    Trekson Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    Likes Received:
    142
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    To S4C & Mike, I'm going to respond to our conversation concerning the "R" word in a new post. It will take me a few days to write it up as things are a little hectic right now but I'll be looking forward to your comments.
     
  15. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,471
    Likes Received:
    304
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Belief has nothing to do with truth. Truth is absolute, not relative. What the Lord and Creator of all things has revealed is true. What men come up with on their own is usually fantasy and typically evil:
    21. And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, "I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.
    22. "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.'' Genesis 8:21-22

    But to get back on topic, in case you don't believe what John gave us in the book of the revelation:

    19. Your dead shall live; together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; for your dew is like the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. 20. Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past. 21. For behold, the Lord comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain. Isaiah 26:19-21


    Isaiah places the resurrection of the just after the indignation (the wrath of God poured out to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity.) If these last verses from Isaiah remind you of the Passover from the book of Exodus, they should. Jesus is our Passover.
     
  16. keras

    keras Writer of Bible study guides

    Messages:
    1,191
    Likes Received:
    51
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    New Zealand
    Mike, your quote from Genesis proves that God will not so completely destroy all living things, this next time. We are now, once again 'as in the days of Noah' and a judgement/punishment is extensively prophesied as 'fire from the heavens'. Isaiah 66:15-16, Zeph. 3:8, Hebrews 10:27, Rev 6:12-17
    All of the holy Land will be cleared and cleansed; Hosea 4:3, Isaiah 10:23, Ezekiel 20:47, Joel 1:15-20 and the rest of the world will be devastated with the loss of our modern infrastructure, but most people will survive.
    Re Isaiah 26:19 - yes the resurrection of the just is after the wrath of God, but this won't be until after the Great Tribulation, Rev 15:1, and until after the Return of Jesus; Rev 20:4.
    So what Isaiah is telling us in verses 20-21, is that the Lord is about to 'punish the inhabitants of the earth for their sins', and we will need to take cover from the heat, earthquakes, storms and tsunamis caused by a massive explosion of the sun. Isaiah 30:26, Malachi 4:1, Rev 14:17-20
    This event is the next to happen of the sequence as given in Revelation. It will be the Day [a literal day] of the Lord's vengeance and wrath; the Sixth Seal. It will 'reset civilization' and set the scene for the One World Govt and for all who have kept their faith, to go and live in all of the holy Land, as so beautifully prophesied in Ezekiel 36, Jer. 30&31, [note in Jer 30:4-7, how there will be a 'time of anguish' for us; Israel and Judah] and in many other scriptures that describe the blessings God will give to His people.
    It IS the great Bible story; it WILL happen!
     
  17. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,471
    Likes Received:
    304
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    I'm with you on everything except the explosion of the sun. The sun needn't explode for those events in scripture to occur, though astrophysicists have been predicting the eruption of super flares from the surface of the sun which would have a devastating affect upon our technology. The same sort of activity could also increase the electrical current passing through the earth (if the phenomena observed between Jupiter and it's moons exists on a larger scale between the Sun and it's planets) which could lead to increased volcanism, increased storm activity and that sort of thing.
    A movement of the earth slightly out of our current orbit could cause the same effect, but a change in the sun's core and of the fusion cycle within it seems a more probable explanation of what we've already observed (given that other planets have shown signs of warming.) One way or another, its not a surprise that observed global phenomena matches what the Lord has said would happen in His word. Even so, come Lord Jesus, come. Amen.
     
  18. keras

    keras Writer of Bible study guides

    Messages:
    1,191
    Likes Received:
    51
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    New Zealand
    Why not think that a CME sunstrike will be the way God will punish the nations? Isaiah 30:26 cannot be explained any other way and a CME will literally fulfil ALL the prophesies about that surprising and devastating one Day event:

    A Worldwide Punishment, the Next Prophesied Event

    Isaiah 24:1 Be warned: The Lord is about to strip the earth.... everyone will be affected.
    Isaiah 24:13 So it will be throughout the world, among all the nations.
    Obadiah 1:16 All the nations must drink of the Cup of Wrath.
    2 Peter 3:10 the sky will dissipate and all the earth will be brought to judgement.
    Psalm 110:5-6 The Lord judges kings on His Day of wrath, He judges the nations.
    Isaiah 2:9 .....mankind will be brought low.
    Ezekiel 7:2-9 The end is coming, it will affect all the earth.
    Isaiah 66:16-17 The Lord will judge with fire and test all mankind. All the wicked will die
    Isaiah 34:1-5 My wrath is upon all the nations. My sword appears in the heavens, it descends in judgement.
    Psalm 50:1-3The Lord speaks and summons the world, sending consuming fire and storms
    Zephaniah 3:8 The Day I accuse the whole earth, it will be enveloped by My burning anger. I will pour out My wrath upon the nations.
    Jeremiah 25:29-33 I am bringing punishment upon the inhabitants of the world. Ruin spreads from nation to nation from a worldwide mighty tempest.
    Ezekiel 30:2-3 A Day of reckoning for the nations. All the Middle East lands devastated.

    Habakkuk 3:12 Furiously You traverse the earth, trampling the nations.
    Isaiah 63:2 ...I trampled the nations in My anger.
    Psalm 77:18 Your arrows flashed around the world.
    Psalm 97:2-5 His lightning flashes light up the whole world.
    Joel 2:11 All the nations are in anguish.
    Isaiah 30:30 The Lord shakes the nations in a sieve of destruction.

    Isaiah 52:10 The Lord bared His holy arm in the sight of all the nations, the whole world will see the deliverance of His people. Ref: REB. Some verses abridged.
     
  19. rockytopva

    rockytopva Well-Known Member Encounter Team

    Messages:
    3,220
    Likes Received:
    304
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    If Christ does not call his saints pre trib then he comes not as a thief.
     
  20. sojourner4Christ

    sojourner4Christ sojourning non-citizen

    Messages:
    388
    Likes Received:
    8
    I see you've repeated the first sentence of your OP:



    Even though I have been a Post-Tribulationist for many years and have been repeatedly and viciously attacked by Pre-Tribulationists, I am consistently surprised at how many believers continue to view the various 'Thief In The Night' passages in the Scriptures as being descriptive of a pretribulation rapture. Through widespread usage, the evocative phrase has evolved into a somewhat universal description of the much touted hypothetical secret coming of Christ to evacuate believers before the tribulation begins.

    Christian books, multitudes of prophecy tapes, dramatic video productions, and a host of other media have been utilizing the theme for many years. For example, a feature film entitled Thief In The Night has been extensively screened (on film & video) to Christian audiences throughout North America -- even as the word thief has found its way into the titles of numerous rapture-oriented prophecy books and magazine articles. Clearly, a large portion of the church believes the various thief verses in the Bible provide Scriptural support for the fictitious doctrine of the pre-trib rapture.

    The fact is, the verses in the New Testament that reference Christ's coming as a thief, without exception, refer to his second coming -- at the very end of the tribulation.

    The word thief actually appears 27 times in the entire Bible. It's found 12 times in the Old Testament, and 15 times in the New Testament. None of the OT references are germaine to the study as they typically describe the sanctions and prohibitions against theft; e.g. Thou Shalt Not Steal. (Ex 20:15).

    In the New Testament, all 15 occurrences of the word thief are relevant, so they are representative of the intent and meaning inherent in the phrase 'come like a thief,' or 'thief in the night.' At the Olivet mountain, Jesus taught that "... if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up." (Mat 24:43). In this account, which is echoed in Luke, we see the concept of watching for the unexpected arrival of the thief.

    However, what most rapturists miss here is the obvious fact that the thief is spoken of in a negative context for his actions are hardly desirable as his activity is textually limited to the 'breaking up' of the goodman's house -- hardly descriptive of someone coming on a mission of rescue and evacuation. It's also important to remember that this particular reference about the thief COMING TO DESTROY appears in the very chapter wherein Christ is articulating the events surrounding his return -- Matthew 24.

    In the next occurrence of the word thief, we see Jesus responding to his betrayal and subsequent arrest by the Jewish and Roman authorities. As Judas led the armed guards to his former master, Christ asked "Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me." (Mat 26:55). Here the text illustrates that thieves were considered to be dangerous enough that their arrest warranted 'swords and staves.'

    In the book of John, Jesus further elaborates on the characteristics of a "... thief (who) cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy...." (John 10:10). It is apparent from this passage that the term thief connotes someone that does far more than simply steal. The thief also comes to destroy. Indeed, when one remembers the two thieves that were ultimately crucified next to Christ, it's not difficult to see that the title was applied to persons that came to perpetrate an act of violence or pure destruction, for Roman society considered thieves a sufficient threat that they crucified them.

    Moving on to the epistles, while the rapture crowd chooses to characterize the allusion to a thief as an indication of the imminency of the so-called rapture, the Apostle Peter chooses to describe the coming of the thief in the night as incredibly destructive, highly visual, and even very noisy:

    "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 a fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." (2 Pet 2:10).

    This vivid description doesn't sound at all like what one might expect from a 'secret coming' that suddenly and discriminately snatches up the faithful believer, and leaves everyone else in the clutches of the Antichrist. After all, if the earth is "burned up" and the heavens pass away with a 'big bang' WHEN this "thief" comes, how could there then be 7 years left for the tribulation?

    In addition to these citations from Matthew, Luke, John, and Peter, the Apostle Paul also taught that the coming of the thief in the night would be accompanied by a tremendous and final destruction. In a favorite passage frequently cited by the group I've come to refer to as The Rapture Cult, Paul writes that "... the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." (1 Thes 5:2, 3). Once again, the arival of the thief in the night coincides with "sudden destruction."

    When both Peter and Paul describe the arrival of the thief in the night as an event of tremendous destruction, they both state that true believers will not be caught unawares for they will be watching for the return of The Lord.

    Paul actually uses the word thief again in the very next verse following his first reference to the thief in the night. He writes that the true believer is "... not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." (1 Thes 5:4).

    This verse succinctly states that believers WILL be on the earth when "the day" arrives, but they'll be prepared for that day for they've been WATCHING and anticipating the Lord's arrival. This is precisely what Christ instructed the errant church in Sardis to do in order to renew their right standing with Him: Repent and WATCH.

    The allusion to Christ's return as a thief actually occurs twice in Revelation. In fact, the similarity between The Thief of Sardis in Revelation 3 and the thief mentioned in Revelation 16 is striking. Both verses are the actual words of Jesus. Both verses refer to Christ coming as a thief. Both verses admonish believers to watch. Both verses state that believers are to keep their garments from being "defiled."

    Obviously, both verses merit a close look.

    When The Thief of Sardis (Jesus) states that those who do not repent and watch "will... not know what hour (he) will come upon thee" (Rev 3:3), he states that his coming will then be "as a thief." (Rev 3:3). Much later, in Revelation 16:15, Jesus says "Behold, I come as a thief... Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."

    At this point, all 7 seal judgment have occurred. All 7 trumpet judgment have gone by. And at least 6 of the 7 vial judgments have been poured out. Indeed, the very next verse says "And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon." (Rev 16:16). It is at the battle of Armageddon that Christ returns to the earth -- after the tribulation has fully run its course (Rev 19:19). Yet immediately preceding this battle, AFTER the seal, trumpet, and vial Judgments, Christ says in the FUTURE tense, "Behold, I come as a thief." (Rev 3:3).

    Furthermore, there is no doubt this is the same coming of the thief that is referred to in Revelation 3 -- the words spoken to the church of Sardis, for both references include specific details such as not defiling one's garments, watching, and the actual reference to Christ's return as being like that of a thief. In short, this is precise and irrefutable Scriptural proof that the thief in the night comes AFTER the tribulation.

    -- Brother James
     
Loading...