You folks probably have no idea how many times a day I receive e-mail messages from tribulation saint wannabes who write to encourage me to rethink my belief in the pre-trib rapture. Because Rapture Ready is now one of the leading sites on the subject of the rapture, I'm constantly receiving messages that challenge my pre-trib view.
Many of these people get into a rant about how I'm setting all my readers up for the big Antichrist deception. I'm constantly being told the pretribulation is the "great apostasy" and anyone preaching this view is an agent of the devil.
Most of these people are so much in love with the idea of a post-trib rapture, they don't even bother to validate their view against scripture. I would estimate that 90 percent of the people that write me never quote a single verse from the Bible.
If for some odd reason the rapture fails to occur before the tribulation, they believe despondent Christians will mistake the False Messiah for the real one. Of course, nowhere in the Bible does it say this type of scenario will take place.
Even if, for the sake of the argument, you grant them the possibility that the rapture transpires at a later time frame, there's no logical reason for a Bible believing Christian to be tricked into following the Antichrist. It's normally the post-trib folks that are the most vocal about their predictions of mass defections from the faith.
I think telling the difference between Jesus and the Antichrist will be as easy as telling the difference between a $5 watch sold at Wal-Mart and a $5000 watch made by Rolex.
Because the Bible teaches we will be raptured to meet the Lord Jesus in the air, no man on earth could possibly qualify as the Messiah. I would simply say, if you haven't been raptured yet, keep waiting for the real Savior.
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Th 4:16-17).
Because Revelation proclaims Jesus will return with great power and majesty, it's pure folly to follow after a political leader that appears on the scene via a humble stage door.
"And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb" (Rev 6:14-6).
The most disturbing error I find with the pro-tribulation crowd is the belief that Christians are promised special protection from the tribulation horrors. Some people try to use pre-trib scriptures like Rev 3:10 to claim God will protect Christians, but most use their own logic to conclude God's grace will allow us to stay perfectly safe those seven long years.
The Bible repeatedly states tribulation saints will face a strong likelihood of being martyred under the Antichrist's demonic rule. Many so-called scholars are able to read the following scriptures and conclude the passages only suggest a mild level of persecution will occur during the tribulation.
"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations" (Rev 13:7).
"He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints" (Rev 13:10).
"And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed" (Rev 13:15).
"Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them" (Rev 14:12-13).
"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years" (Rev 20:4).
Jesus made his own prediction about how bad the global persecution of believers will be during the tribulation. He added an ominous warning that some people will betray one another.
"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another" (Mat 24:9-10).
"For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be" (Mark 13:19 KJV).
During the tribulation period, the Jews will suffer a horrendous amount of persecution. The prophet Zechariah predicts two-thirds of the Jewish people will perish. If 66% of Israel is wiped out, where does that leave the poor Gentile Christians?
"And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God" (Zec 13:8-9).
I've read tens of thousands of messages over the years and I've searched through numerous post-trib and pre-wrath web sites, and I can only recall finding maybe one or two people who realized they would likely be martyred for their faith. The majority of these folks have this bizarre joyous view of the coming tribulation that simply makes a mockery of the Bible's dire warnings. They also seem to think they're going to be able to walk up to the Antichrist, poke him in the nose, and say, "OK buster, I've got you all figured out."
Clearly we have an over abundance of the type of bravery Peter and the other disciples briefly displayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, before they all betrayed Jesus. The Roman soldiers displayed no desire to apprehend them, but when they slapped the cuffs on Jesus, the disciples ran like the devil was chasing them.
Without a doubt, people that generally make the boldest statements are often also the first to run. Because they've never fully counted the cost, they're able to make valiant declarations they could never live up to. I would be an absolute liar if I said I could boldly and easily make a life and death decision.
Unlike these people who feign bravery, I have considered what it would take to lay down my life for the cause of Christ. I think it would take many hours of prayer to reach the point where I'd be able to face starvation or an executioner's ax. Jesus prayed many times for an alternative to the cross, but when he realized there was no other way, he chose to follow God's perfect will.
One of the most glorious benefits the pre-trib rapture offers is the chance to be delivered from the 7 year tribulation. The only bad thing about it is the fact millions of people continue to pass up this amazing opportunity to escape God's judgment of the earth. I think it's a far better choice to be able to avoid the King of Terror and instead stand in the presence of the King of Kings.
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" (Luke 21:36).
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