Waiting for the Rapture Bus to take them away.
Christian – Lite
By: Charles Ryalls
My pre-tribulation believing brothers tell me that the expectation of an imminent return of the Lord like a thief in the night is the best motivation to live a holy life, because you must always be ready. But this whole ‘Thief in the night’ thing is taken out of context. The thief in the night is not the Lord coming for the righteous but the devil who comes in upon those who are not saved or not living righteously and they are caught off guard and their entire house broken up. The thief in the night is the sudden destruction that that comes while the oblivious people are going about their regular lives. It is a warning to those who put off the call of God upon their hearts.
There is a theme that runs through the Gospels, the Epistles and the Revelation concerning the need for the believers, for the Church to be prepared for the events of the end times. And that advice is “Do not love your life more than the Lord” “Be prepared to stand in faith even until death”, “You will have persecution”, you will be arrested and they will kill you”, “Be an over-comer even until death”. There is not one thing in any of the scriptures that tells us to prepare for a sudden snatching away by the Lord. Quite the opposite. We are warned that there will be Perilous times, Great Tribulation and that it will be the worst conditions there has ever been in all history and that if the Lord had not shortened that time no life on Earth would survive. And he admonishes us to be faithful even unto death. What we need to do if make sure that we have adjusted our hearts so that our focus is on the eternal prize and not on the flesh life of this time. This is the motivator to righteous living, knowing that it all is coming to a terrible end and only those who remain faithful even unto death will be found in the coming Kingdom. This message of warning is the same in the old testament as it is in the new testament. In the Old Testament we are told about the coming consummation of all things and the day of the Lord. They all point to that time. They tell us about the days we are now living in! The Gospel is not the Good News that the righteous will not take part in the time of tribulation or that we will escape the hard times. The good news is that through faith in Yeshua we are forgiven our sins and given new life, and eternal life with God, no matter if we live through the events or if we die. The Gospel is the message that it is our faith in God’s mercy through Messiah Yeshua that we obtain all the promises of God and not through Torah observance or works of the law, or self righteousness, or even through our good deeds. Those things are the fruit of living in union with God through the Spirit but not legalistic observances that we must complete in order to be saved. We are not saved from tribulation or from physical death. We are saved from the penalty of our sins which would carry a judgement of eternal damnation.
Think for a moment about those early Christians who were saved through the Gospel and who had read the New Testament writings and yet they suffered under the Anti-Christ kings like Nero and were rounded up and tortured abused and killed in public spectacles. Did they feel that they had been lied to and that even though they were living in great tribulations they had not been “Saved out of” it, had not had a pre-tribulation rapture? Is there any indication that they had placed any hope in a secret snatching away from the Earth before the war against them took place? NO!
How can we expect anything better than all those saints, millions of them that have gone before us and were sawn in two, hacked to pieces, fed to the lions and used as human torches under the power of the devil? How can we expect an easy out when the Lord suffered so much?
My hope is to walk in righteousness and to have the victory over sin and over my pathetically weak flesh so that I do not cave in and take the mark of the beast in order to avoid persecution and death, and that I do nothing to separate me from the Love of God and the eternal prize. That is motivation that places us in direct face to face contact with the God who holds all our lives in his hands and calls us to walk humbly before Him placing our hope in Him alone.
Judgment starts at the house of God, and the temple of God is in us. We are the Temple of God. Judgment starts with us. We must judge ourselves because no matter what we think, his judgement will be more exacting and more just. He who overcomes, will receive the right to eat from the tree of life in New Jerusalem. I find it hard not to be critical of “Christian lite” the low calorie lighter than helium always head in the clouds group who have not taken a look behind the curtain, to see what’s really there. They stand on the platform at the bus station waiting for the Rapture bus to heaven even as the very signs of what Yeshua called the ‘beginning of sorrows’ preceding the great tribulation are already here. Like the storm clouds that filled the sky while Noah and his family gathered the animals into the Ark., the un-saved laughed and scoffed at Noah, and they do it today. I have been in some really nice fellowships in person and on the net and everything is fine until you mention that you do not believe in the pre-trib rapture and that Yeshua said that AFTER the tribulation the sun and moon would be darkened and THEN he would gather us all together. Wow! Now that kills a good fellowship. You are shunned, doors close, people delete you and will have nothing to do with you. Evangelical Christianity has become a social club and lives a fairy tail existence. I need to know, for me, how do I overcome the evil, the devil, the lies, the pressures, the temptations and all the rest so that I do not get my name blotted out of the book of life. That puts me before God more than any pre-rapture parties I have ever attended.
Let’s place our fingers upon the weakening pulse of the Church and give it a health check, or more to the point, see if there are any signs of life. Christianity is quickly dying away. Membership is down and getting worse. They have become weary of the new program church of dramas, praise rock bands, Starbucks stands in the sanctuary and the endless false alarms about the Rapture being on the next Jewish Feast Day. They are dead from following false doctrines and empty promises and corrupt and immoral leaders who have taught a Gospel of prosperity and only made themselves to prosper lavishly. All of Christianity is compromised and Apostate however since Catholicism makes up 80% of all Christianity world wide, then that is where you find most of the error. It is no accident that all the descriptors of the Apostate luke-warm – Laodicean church are present there.
We must all remember that our salvation is through Messiah and our being united with Him through faith and through the New Birth in the Spirit. “You must be born again.” Nothing else does us any good.
Rev 7:  After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;  And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.  And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,  Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.  And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?  And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.  They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.  For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
"When you awake in the morning, learn something to inspire you and mediate upon it, then plunge forward full of light with which to illuminate the darkness." -Rabbi Tzvi Freeman
Jewish adventures in the diaspora.
Scripture, ethics and spiritual formation