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March 7, 1997

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Re: Pre-trib Rapture

Hello Everyone...

In reading from Revelation chapter 3 last evening with some teen-agers, some things popped out at me again regarding "WHEN" the Rapture is to take place. So strongly so, I realize more than ever, that the issue of the "Pre-Tribulation Rapture" is a defining issue regarding who is a Christian, and who is merely a christian. (Big "C" vs. little "c") And it's NOT Ok if people believe different things.

Since I know that many of you who hold to the Scriptural views on this matter, also encounter the taunts of others, it seems good to share this brief note with you. A little more "arming" for the battles. And a little encouragement, that you are "on the right track." THEY can sound rather convincing at times, and would seek to lead you astray.

In verse 3 the One with the Seven Spirits of God says, "Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you."

This expression "come upon" is rather chilling. The various forms of the original word include== to seize one and lead him off as prisoner, to treat abusively, despise, revile, insult, to lay hold on. The "thief" is never merciful, but comes to steal; and if one gets in his way...look out!

Christians (big "C") are exhorted, "Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." (Tit2:13) We are to look forward with anticipation..to "expect" His appearing. His "appearing" is His glorious manifestation; with conspicuity and illustriousness.

Unbelievers ridicule the Rapture by labelling it a "secret" (hush hush) event. Not quite!! It is going to be with a "shout" and with "the trumpet of God." (1Ths4:16)

The fact that Christians will not go through the Tribulation, but will be Raptured BEFORE is reiterated in Rev 3:10. "Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth."

Ok, so don't Christians "dwell" on the earth? This word "dwell" means == to settle, pervade, always be present.

This, in contrast to the position of the Christian, who is a sojourner (1Pet2:11), our citizenship is in heaven (Phil 3:20), we are ambassadors for Christ (2Cor5:20), Who is from heaven--not this world (Jn17:16,8:23,18:36).

This time of "testing" is for the world and IT's people. The Tribulation is a time of God's Wrath (Rev 6:16,14:19,16:1,19:15) which He is pouring out upon the earth in judgment.

Do not be deceived..."every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights..." (Jas1:17) God does not "cause" tribulation upon His own. The tribulation/persecution that comes to Christians comes from Satan. (Job1-2, Rev13:7, Lk22:31) And is allowed by God. But, in Jesus' own words, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Mat7:11)

It is quite clear that the Father gives "good" things to His children. That Jesus Christ is not going to pour out His "wrath" upon His Bride. ...those who have obeyed His command to persevere. And since He has promised to come for us (Believers), this is our blessed hope. It's been promised.

Woe to those who REFUSE to believe! (Rev 3:3) "My Master is delaying His coming" ...He's not "really" going to come SO SOON. He will be tossed out! "There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."(~Mt24:48-51)

He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly." (Rev22:20)

Amen! Even so...COME...Lord Jesus!

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