If I were to ask you what it means to you and to your future for you to be a believer in the finished work of Jesus on the cross — how would you answer? This is going to be the topic of today’s post.
The following scriptures and comments are taken from the site raptureready.com.
“‘And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming’ (I John 2:28).
That is how we “purify” ourselves with the hope of His return:’” Dan Payne
Before I give you the second verse and quote from Dan, I want to focus your attention on this first verse that he has quoted and on his statement concerning it. The author of this particular article is Dan Payne.
You may consider me at times a one issue blogger. I know that I do a lot of posts about the scriptures timing of the Rapture, but it is because of statements like the above that I had written a second book, and then established this site to begin with. This writer makes the teaching contained in the above verse about our focus on Jesus’ return. Don’t get me wrong His return is the fulfillment of the salvation and hope that He has granted us, but listen to Dan’s words: “That is how we ‘purify’ ourselves with the hope of His return:”. The verse tells us that we are to abide in Him for a reason. The verse is clear that it is the abiding in Him that will give us confidence and will keep us from being ashamed at His Coming or appearing.
So what is the difference here in what Dan tells us? He says that it is our placing our hope in His return that purifies us. So what’s wrong with that? If you go and read his article you will find that it is only in the pre-Trib Rapture that this hope can even be possessed. And therefore if you don’t believe this you are far less likely to purify yourself. He places no emphasis on our abiding as a basis for purification. His next quote here will help you see just where he comes from:
“Imagine miraculously surviving the horrors of the Tribulation, and achieving victory through the power of Christ by not worshiping the beast or his image, and by not receiving the mark of the beast (Revelation 20:4), and yet being ashamed at His return—does that make any sense?”
To Dan, and quite frankly to most who teach on the pre-Trib Rapture it is not Jesus promise to resurrect us at His Coming that is our hope, but it is the pre-Trib Rapture which will keep us from The 7 year Tribulation that is the only purifying hope of the Christian.
The Apostle Paul whom the Holy Spirit used to coin this truth “the blessed hope”, did not see the Rapture, and in fact, knew that he would be killed by going to Rome. Where was his hope? Peter knew that he would die, and not experience the Rapture. Where was his hope?
The only way that past believers could have possibly believed in the blessed hope, according to pre-Trib teaching was to believe that the Lord’s return was imminent in their time. So he and they must teach the possibility of an imminent return even before any of the Second Coming signs were in view. In fact, Grant Jeffery, who is given credit on raptureready.com. for “proving” the Raptures teaching in early church history (which by the way he didn’t do), says that if the Rapture had occurred in the first century AD, everything would have continued as it is until now when the signs of His coming are ripe for Rapture. By the way Grant is now with the Lord. He missed his blessed hope. Poor fellow. Sorry I can’t help myself.
So consider, is it possible that the rapture did occur in let’s just say 96 AD, soon after John completed the Revelation? Christians were being killed. Surely the Lord must have Raptured the rest to keep them from their Tribulation, and to purify them through that hope of Rapture. Or if that was not His appointed time, He may have Raptured those of the Middle Ages who were in danger of being burned at the stake as heretics? So can we be totally certain that the imminent return did not happen at some time in-obscurity during past history?
How ridiculous you say, and I certainly agree. The Rapture only occurs after the resurrection of the righteous who are in Christ. And Paul says that it is only in Christ that we can be resurrected. So, we can say for certain that the Rapture has not yet happened, because we are in Christ. But to go along with Dan, if we missed it then there is no hope — for we missed the resurrection as well. The resurrection preceded it.
So, let’s return to the quote above: “Imagine miraculously surviving the horrors of the Tribulation, and achieving victory through the power of Christ by not worshiping the beast or his image, and by not receiving the mark of the beast (Revelation 20:4), and yet being ashamed at His return—does that make any sense?”
Of course, it would make no sense, if the only ones that the verse in question was intended for are those who are exposed to Great Tribulation, and if looking for Jesus to come were the thing we must do in order to not be ashamed, but obviously from the verse itself that is not the case, because what he says is not true to this passage. It is all of those who are commanded to abide in Him so that they may not be ashamed at His Coming. Listen:
56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
John 6:56 NASB
4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
John 15:4 NASB
What I would then ask you, is how ridiculous is it for a teacher of the word to even suggest that we accept Dan’s meaning surrounding this verse. But raptureready.com. Posted his article on their site. And Tribulation Rising on fatcow.com says that this site has the best information on the pre-Trib Rapture argument against the origin issues raised by post-Trib contributors. It is the abuses made by pre-Trib scholars with which I take exception.
But then as always you be the judge.