August 13, 2006

Mockers Come A-Mocking!

A Bible-believing Christian cannot turn on the news these days without being hit in the face with reminders of prophecies found in the Bible. After all, the Jews are back in the land (Ez. 37:21) and all the nations are debating the fate of Jerusalem (Zec. 12:3). And Israel is surrounded by her enemies. This should trigger all of us to begin looking up (Luke 21:28).

But for many professing Christians, the opposite is happening. Many are rejecting long-held beliefs in the Rapture of the saints, and false teachers are rising up teaching Preterism: the belief that "the end-time events specified in the New Testament have already been fulfilled. They were accomplished in the past, particularly during the Roman-Jewish war of 66 to 73 CE." (source: http://www.religioustolerance.org/gl_p.htm)

The unwise speculations by well-meaning Bible prophecy teachers has created a backlash from those who do not take the Bible literally. No need to go over all the wrong predictions from teachers like Hal Lindsey, Harold Camping, J. R. Church, Chuck Missler and a host of others. Nor is it necessary to rehash the ideas of Y2K, "prophecies in the psalms," or the 40-year generation.

But that brings us to the condition of Christendom in the aftermath of all this wrongful handling of the words of prophecy. The belief in the imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ coming for His Bride, the believing Church, is on the decrease, even during a time that birth pangs are at their strongest so far in history.

There have always been differences of interpretation on the subject of the Rapture and on its timing, but today it has taken on a new hostility. The views of the last days, i.e. Premillennialism, Postmillennialism, and Amillennialism fill heaps of theological books. Nothing has changed as far as that’s concerned. The recent success of the "Left Behind" series written by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye have generated as many books trying to refute Premillennialism as there are books in the fictional series.

The liberal side of the "church" has published many books to cash in on an interest in the subject of Bible prophecy. These include "The Rapture Exposed" by Lutheran Barbara Rossing, "Left Behind? The Facts Behind the Fiction" by American Baptist LeAnn Snow-Flesher, and "The Last Disciple" co-written by CRI marauder Hank Hanegraaff. These false teachers try to convince believers that Bible prophecy has little or no relevance today, and have met with some success in shipwrecking the faith of many.

And the Roman Catholic Church has also been trying to reel in their own people whose eyes are opening up to the signs of the times. They have published scores of articles in newsletters, newspapers, and magazines trying to dissuade Catholics from reading the "Left Behind" series or watching Jack Van Impe Presents on TV, whose ecumenical ties to Rome have caused many professing Catholics to keep him tuned in. Recent books by Catholic publishers include such titles as "Will Catholics Be Left Behind?" by Carl Olson and "The Rapture Trap" by Paul Thigpen.

But, "Let God be true, but every man a liar" (Rom. 3:4). The wise virgins in the church, though they may be only a remnant, will still keep their lamps lit looking for the Lord’s return by the signs of the times all around us. And those who deny the truth of the Lord’s 1,000 year earthly reign and refuse to believe what the Scriptures teach regarding our being gathered to Him are truly the foolish virgins and we all know what happens to them (Matthew 25:10-13).

And Scripture interprets Scripture and verifies the above, that the Lord is only coming for the ones looking for Him. "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation" (Heb. 9:28).

Yet before He comes, Scripture tells us that many will razz us for believing in His return and in His coming for us. "Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation" (2 Peter 3:3-4).

This sign is happening today. It isn’t merely a difference of interpretation that is being referred to, but an out-and-out mocking or scoffing at us who are looking at the signs of the times heralding His return for His bride before the time of the great Tribulation.

Here are two similar conversations on blogs of young so-called Christians. The first is from The Ooze, a blog for those who identify with the Emerging Church, followed by a blog called the Phoenix Preacher made up of those formerly associated with Calvary Chapel who often ridicule the ones still going to Calvary. Both threads are poking fun at the date 6-6-06, inferring that some people thought it might be the date for the Rapture, though to my knowledge nobody in any teaching position ever made that inference. This is just a foretaste at how the mockers that were prophesied in the Bible are now among us. I’m merely taking the pulse of where some young Christians are heading in regards to end times awareness.

From the Ooze: (Under 35 year-old – Emerging ones). Title of thread: "90% chance of rapture todAY!!!"

"I think that the pre-trib RAPTURE of the church is poor theology and bad science fiction" – L

"I've said this other places before, I used be a full-fledged pre-trib pre-mill guy but I'm not anymore. I just don't see the RAPTURE being laid out in Scripture." – P

"I became posttrib, seeing the pretrib as a reflection of western escapism. Then, after leanring more about the historical context of these writings, I've come to realize that the RAPTURE is not biblical" – L

"Seriously...it's 6-6-6. If God doesn't RAPTURE us all today then we all know the RAPTURE can't be true. God wouldn't pass up an opportunity like that. So I won't be driving out of love for my fellow man. Be safe today! Don't do anything you wouldn't do if you knew you were going to suddenly disappear! (But not your clothes) (clean underwear, etc.)" – B

*crosses fingers* - C

good thing I'm wearing clean underwear – I

i just showered, so if it happens in the few hours that are left, I'm ready! – CJ

Good thing I'm wearing my "Christians Aren't Perfect, Just Forgiven" boxers! – B

That's why I said 90% chance. There could be a slight possibility that God is holding out for 7-7-07... – B

Will we be RAPTUREd in our clothes, or will their be lots of piles of empty clothes with Scofield Bibles on them? Will we be able to bring our Scofield Bibles with us? – D

Don't worry, caught the last five minutes of O'riely last night and he was interviewing LaHay who promised it would not be this week – G

And as for Scofield Bibles, OF COURSE we will be RAPTUREd with them - how else will we be able to test God to make sure He is really God? – B

note to self, dont wear clothes on 7-7-07 to show God I'm serious about this RAPTURE thing. – I

maybe the RAPTURE was *supposed* to happen, but jesus came back and didn't find any *real* disciples...okay, that's it! i'm burning the entire book, book-on-tape, dvd and left behind decoder ring!!! damn that lahay and jenkins...false prophets! apostates!!! – N

90% chance of RAPTURE...yesterday -- 100% chance of sarcastic remarks/rebuttals...today – D

Hey! I did only say 90%! There was a ten percent margin of error that God used to his advantage! – B

this is so funny because I don't even accept the theological notion of a RAPTURE - I really can't add anything else - P

Phoenix Preacher (made up mostly of disgruntled former Calvary Chapellites.)Thread name: "ARE YOU READY???"

The Rapture Index is 157 just upgraded today because of 666 which means its time to fasten our Seatbelts. 666 is on us and well the rapture crowd is just winding up for a wild ride. - Moderator

I didn’t know the return of the Lord was tied to interest rates. Thanks, RaptureReady! – J

Actually, I meant "you know what that means for interest rates"….they rise. I guess interest rates ARE tied to the rapture index after all! – F

I will be on watch tomorrow if any raptures happen or the antichrist is revealed I will be here to blog about it. Don’t worry. The Phoenix Preacher staff will keep you up to date on all things end times related. – TA

6 more minutes until 6-6-6 – OH

You’ll be getting a visit from the CCOF black helicopters soon enough, my friend… ;) – BG

Ouch! Just got stung by a demon. Anybody else noticed the price of barley has jumped? – J

barley and hops have jumped. I notice it everytime I go to buy beer!-S

But don’t drop the oil and the wine! – P

♥♥♥

Dear Jesus, we expectantly await the promise of Your gathering us to You in the sky, along with our brothers and sisters who have passed on before. We fix our eyes upon You now, knowing the sure word of prophecy that all will be fulfilled, every jot and tittle. Keep us in Your grace and mercy and cause us to stand worthy by Your precious blood to stand in Your presence. Help us to stay awake and be on the alert for ourselves and for one another. Protect us from the deception we see all around us and give your people the needed discernment to escape the traps set by the enemy of our souls. Thank You that his judgment is sure and our victory in You is the inheritance of the saints. We long to see You face to face. Even so, come Sweet Yeshua Hamashia.

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