Does Believing the End Times Mentality Make Me Unregenerate and Rebellious?
Am I following “another Jesus” because of my end times mentality?
I believe the Rapture of the Church will occur prior to the coming seven-year Tribulation. This is known as the PreTrib Rapture position, an event in which the spiritual Church of Christ (His Bride) will be taken out of the earth in the “twinkling of an eye.” They will not be here to experience any portion of the coming seven-year Tribulation period discussed in Daniel 9 and numerous other passages of Scripture.
I realize that there are those who vehemently disagree with me. In fact, I’ve been told I’m going to hell because I’m apparently “deceived.” As I search the Bible, I see nothing that tells me that my salvation is based in any way, shape, or form on aspects of Eschatology (the study of the end times).
The Rapture is designed to remove us from the earth so that authentic Christians do not experience God’s wrath which is what the entirety of the Tribulation period represents – His wrath that He will pour out on the world for the way they have rebelled against Him and for how the nations have treated Israel.
A few days ago, Dean Garrison published an article here that made, what I consider to be, some false evaluations of the PreTrib Rapture position. He asks at one point in his article, “While America is enduring an onslaught of abuses greater than those of our forefathers, could it be a self-fulfilling prophecy due to the church’s lack of moral responsibility?”
The obvious implication is that because he sees those who hold to a PreTrib Rapture position as essentially doing nothing to help correct a situation in America, he wonders aloud whether or not there is “self-fulfilling” prophecy that will usher in the type of end times panorama that people like me speak about? That also assumes that America can be saved. Further, his question implies he doesn’t believe God is in control.
Garrison seems to think because some Christians are not doing enough in this world (in his view), evil is going to overtake America and the world. He equates that with people not following God’s commandments.
Ephesians 2 says Christians are already seated with Christ in the heavenlies. It is as good as done. Even though I know that I fall short, God does not see me that way. Because of the fact that Christ’s blood has been imputed to my account, (cf. Romans 4:6-8), through my faith in Him, God sees me as holy and perfect. My practical, daily experience is often different from that because the sin nature remains with me until I leave this earth.
Yes, I have certain responsibilities as a Christian and I need to take them seriously. At the same time, the biggest part of the challenge is depending upon and allowing God to work in and through me for His glory. That requires submission and it is a process. I cannot make myself more holy. I can only depend upon God to do that.
Garrison notes the word “Rapture” does not appear in the Bible. Neither does the word “Trinity,” yet it is a biblical doctrine. The phrase “shall be caught up” appears in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. It is from the Greek word harpagésómetha, and in the Latin, this word is rapere, from which we get our English word, “rapture.” Simple.
Garrison also accuses people like me of looking to “another Jesus” who will come and Rapture me out of this world when the going gets tough. Because I believe in the Rapture, Garrison says I am “unregenerate,” which is another way of saying that I do not possess salvation. He connects this with Titus 1:6 and other portions of Scripture. He doesn’t explain how he makes the connection. He simply states it as if it is fact. It’s really a huge jump.
His video is a meandering mishmash of Scripture passages where he attempts to show that people who believe in the Rapture are not obeying God’s commands. He assumes that all of us just sit around doing nothing, just waiting for God to show up. In essence, he sets up a straw man then easily knocks it down. He makes accusations. He says we create fear by teaching the Rapture. That’s like saying that if I remind people that they could die at any moment and they need to make a decision for Christ, I am guilty of inciting fear. It’s rather ridiculous and juvenile.
Let’s be clear on a few things. While some individuals have gone overboard by predicting Jesus’ return on a specific date, the majority of us who hold to a PreTrib Rapture understand that doing so is anti-Scriptural. Moreover, we also understand that we could die a natural death long before the Rapture (or Tribulation) occurs. We do not sit around waiting for the Rapture. We work, while we wait and watch, exactly what Jesus told us to do.
What is probably most troubling are the blatant lies Garrison uses in his video as he builds his straw man. In spite of his remonstrations, we most certainly do preach that greater is He that is in us that He that is in the world. We do teach that we are overcomers and are so because of the cross of Christ. Garrison believes that the teaching of the Rapture is teaching defeat. He misses the point entirely.
1 John 3:2-3 states, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
The more I fix myself on His return, the more focused and purified in thought I become. For more on the Rapture, what it means, and what I’m to do because of it, check out an article I wrote at my own blog.by