A Voice in the
When people read the "Pre-Tribulation Rapture" position which VW submits to, some from other persuasions often respond. My InBox will receive URL's to sites totally dedicated to another view. Or, like one person retorted, "When you find yourself without any food to eat, don't come to me, 'cause you'll get the same response the '5 foolish virgins' got!" And...most recently, there was a request for VW to link to a site specializing in tribulation preparedness, advertising "fresh" canned goods and information on "how to survive" the Tribulation.
Let us take a brief look at Jesus' parable of the 10 virgins. The account is in Matthew 25. And, as is appropriate with parables, we look at the primary surface (obvious) issues illustrated, not attempting to teach doctrine from all of its little details.
All 10 virgins had lamps. They had the label that they "belonged." They all APPEARED to be "Christians."
But you notice, only 5 had oil with them. Oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit. The 5 foolish were Not Christians. "Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His." (Rom8:9b)
The announcement was made, "Behold the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!" Jesus said, "Now when these things BEGIN TO happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."(Luke 21:28) What are "these things?" To anybody with open eyes, we see prophecy being fulfilled right and left as things are prepared for what is to happen, as foretold, during the Tribulation time. And this period of time began most noticably when Israel became a nation again in 1948.
So, what are people doing in preparation for the Lord's return? To one respondent I made the comment that a telling feature of a Christian is the fact that he, "loves His appearing."(2Tim4:8b) That Christians are those who "look..for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ." (Tit2:13) When they have been faced with the truth...Pre-Tribulationally.
The person responded along the lines that: it seems that the most "awareness" of Christ's return seems to be among those with mid-trib or post-trib views. These people are busy preparing, stock-piling survival goods, getting involved in government, becoming prepared (mentally) for coming persecution.
But what did Jesus say? "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' "For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Mat6:31-34)
You see...these people have heard the midnight cry, and rather than having the Holy Spirit, and looking for Christ, are back in the villages buying up what they think they need. And while they are thus engaged, the Bridegroom comes (appears) and the Wise (with the Holy Spirit) follow Him in to the banquet hall.
"And the door was shut." (Mt25:10) And then the foolish come along, discovering they were wrong, and too late. And the Lord says, "Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you."(vs12)
Now, lest anyone is STILL confused (after all the other articles and commentaries on the subject), let us realise the term "appearing" refers to the Rapture, and is separate from Christ's Second Coming. Yet another verse of support says, "...at His appearing [and] His kingdom."(2Tim4:1) His "kingdom" is related to His Second coming to Israel, and His "appearing" is prior to that for His Church. Separated by the word "and" ...indicating two separate events.
One last "attitude" I have read. Some are "hedging their bets." They "SORT OF" believe that Christ will [probably] come before the Tribulation. But, JUST IN CASE they were "wrong" ...they are also making survival preparations. This is not true Faith. "whatever is not from faith is sin"(Rom14:23b)
TRUE FAITH HAS NO CONTINGENCY PLANS!
Let's keep one thing in mind about Tribulation Saints. They will be martyred!!(Rev20:4) For a "Saint" in the Tribulation time there is no such thing as "survival."
Jesus said, when we see these things BEGINNING to happen to "lift up our heads" and watch, for our redemption draws near. We are not to be engaged in things of this world. We are in spiritual warfare, and Paul put it this way, "No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier." (2 Tim 2:4)
So...what if you were wrong, and the Rapture happens, and you are left behind? You might think, "Oh, I can always 'get saved' ...THEN."
SORRY, FRIEND!! It doesn't work that way! When the "lawless one" comes he will display "signs and lying wonders..with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they [DID NOT] receive the love of the truth. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned [WHO DID NOT] believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness"(2Ths2:9-11)
Yes, many will be "saved" during the Tribulation. (Rev7:14) But, if you knew the Truth before the Rapture, and refused to believe, don't count on any "second chances" when all hell breaks loose!
For He says: "In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you." Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Cor 6:2)