Where is the "church" in America going in the 21st Century? Let's keep it simple and get right to the point - NOWHERE!! Except for Isaiah 57:1, we, the "church" will be right here on Earth where judgment begins with the house of God (1Peter 4:17). According to a recent Gallup poll, 77% of Americans claim to be Christians. If this is true, do the math. That's a better than 2 to 1 advantage to fulfill 1Tim 2:4, 2Peter 3:9 or Jude 1:23. So, imagine if everyone who claims to be a follower of Christ, instead of standing, looking to the sky for the "Pre-tribulation Rapture", would ask the Holy Spirit to lead them to share their faith with at least one other person, (standing as in Ephesians 6:13).This message is from an 87 year old Korean War Vet who became troubled when prayer and Bible reading in schools became unconstitutional. Today, In spite of the plethora of TV ministries proclaiming the “Gospel”, the moral decline of America has been gathering momentum at warp speed of darkness, [since light (John 3:19) is being turned off].
So, what’s the problem? Why do we have so many different groups, sects, denominations, etc, all claiming to be “Christian”, but with conflicting messages from the Bible? Right after Pentecost there were divisions and disputes between the original followers of Jesus, so for 2000 years people have been able to pick and choose what they want to believe. (No doubt this commentary will also be accused of the same, and being judgmental.)
Many of the various entities called “Christian” focus on how much God loves mankind, and many have found Bible passages where God becomes the proverbial “Genie in the lamp" ready to grant them every wish. But let’s get real with what the Bible tells us -
Yes, God loves you; yes; He wants the best for you; yes, Jesus came to die on the cross to take the sins of anyone in the whole world who believes in Him; yes, He is coming again to rule over the entire world for 1000 years. However -
Here is a list of just a few Bible passages that are not ‘warm and fuzzy’ but tell how God deals with mankind - Proverbs 9:10; Hebrews10:31; Galatians 6:7; Psalm 9:17; Rev 3:15, 16; Isaiah 29:13, 14: 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11, 12; Matthew 10:34-35, 36-37, 38-39; 1Peter 4:17; Habakkuk 1:5, 6, 7; Isaiah 10:5-6; ...and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things will be finished. (Daniel 12:7b). There are many more passages that expand on the theme, but that’s probably enough from the “doom and gloom” section to get your attention. Let’s move to some “hope and challenge” – Daniel 11:32, 33, 34, 35; Jude 1:17-18, 19-20, 21- 23, Matthew 10:18-19, 20; Ephesians 6:13; Matthew 24:22; Zephaniah 2:3; Isaiah 26:20; Isaiah 10:24; Isaiah 10:12; Rev 22:11, 12.
God has told us how and why “judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17), and He has also told us what we should be doing in the “hope and challenge” passages, and warns how to be prepared. One problem with the “church” today is a sneaky lie that has been festering in the eschatology/theology throughout the church in America. What is the lie? It is one right out of the Bible. Not from scripture, but from the foot-notes in the ubiquitous Scofield Bible. For over 100 years the C.I.Scofield Reference Bible has been indoctrinating America with Darby’s 19thcentury pre-tribulation “Rapture” doctrine. (The main reference is 1Thes. 4:17). Many charts and graphs show a time line of events that will occur at the end of the age, where the “church” will, (supposedly), be “Raptured” before the tribulation.
From Bob Summers (1975 book) Outback with Jesus: In my work, I had interviewed noble Christian apostles from behind the Iron Curtain, those from Germany who survived Nazism, a woman from China who survived a mass butchering of Christians …All these believers witnessed with the same urgency: “Go back and warn Americans that their moment is coming! Tell them they must get tougher-spiritually. And please tell them to stop preaching non-tribulation doctrines of escapism!” I used to shrug off such witnesses as false prophets. But in Jerusalem I took the time to discuss this with Corrie ten Boom, an old saint from Holland, whose story is told in The Hiding Place (Chosen Books). She answered decisively … “Don’t listen to these false prophets who come in the name of Jesus declaring that believers will not suffer tribulation! Go back and tell your American friends that the rapture-before-tribulation doctrine is now an exclusive American message. (Daily news confirms her comments).
The American “Baby Boomer” generation, grew up in a "land flowing with milk and honey", Hollywood, Las Vegas, the lottery, 401-Ks etc, but is now beginning to be turned back out into the “desert”. Having experienced the material “good life” they are now vulnerable to the many present day “spiritual leaders” messages telling them that they will be greatly blessed for supporting their particular ministry, and are going to be “raptured” with a free boarding pass on the first flight in the first class section!! Being told to go “AWOL” just when the “church” should be preparing for the major event. (Actually, the tribulation is the time of the "final exam" for the "true church"! Instead of floating around up in the clouds, believers will be more active than ever right here on Earth, fulfilling - Joel 2:28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and Jude 1:22, 23 before Rev 22:11, 12).
In 2Thes.2:2, 3, 4 Paul clarifies confusion (in 1Thes.4:17) about the timing of Christ’s return - (the man of sin will be revealed first). Rev 3:3 does not describe the rapture, but rather the tares that are gathered first (Mat.13:30). [Christ's coming (at an unknown day, hour or as a thief, or - Ezekiel 22:20) has a negative connotation. This is judgment, not the gathering of the elect, or "rapture"].
If the "church" is raptured before the tribulation, then who are the people that "do know their God" - Daniel 11:32, 12:10, Mark 13:11?
How can American Christians study the Bible, read any history of the martyrs or the news of the persecution of Christians around the World, and naively think that “American” Christians are special and will be “raptured” before the tribulation?
Is it not evident that America, the nation that proclaims - "In God we trust", is under judgment?
America is following the steps that brought the demise of ancient Israel and Judah – (Isaiah 5:1-30; 2Chron 36:15, 16, 17).
Is there anything that has done more to neutralize and delude the "church" than the preaching of the Pre-tribulation Rapture? It is either blatantly proclaimed as the truth, or not exposed as false doctrine from pulpits of America today. This debilitating doctrine breeds false hope, complacency, inaction, and creates a mollifying “Holier than thou” attitude instead of repentance, and warning others (Jude 1:21-22, 23) and praying for the Grace of God to be with us through the tribulation.
A special warning to the spiritual leaders of the "church" - Ezekiel 33:2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
'Jonah' is on the beach of - Isaiah 29:13, 14. Is it too late for 'this people' - 2Chronicles 7:14 ?
May God have mercy in the judgment of the “house of God” (1Peter 4:17) in America!!