Friday, February 9, 2018
The world is prepared for the “the man of sin…the son of perdition” (2 Thess. 2:3). When he arrives it will be “according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thess. 2:9–10). End-time deceptions increase.
The union of Christianity and Roman Catholicism is one of those deceptions, and the union of Christianity with portions of Judaism’s law is yet another. But the false pretribulation rapture tradition taught by the church itself is the chief deception to lead “the falling away” (2 Thess. 2:3), and will be a cause of great offense, hatred and betrayal one of another, see Matt. 24:10.
The late George Eldon Ladd (1911–1982), “professor of New Testament exegesis and theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California”, in his book “The Blessed Hope”, has set forth the truth of the posttribulation rapture taught by Christ and His apostles. Yet, Ladd said he “knows of a good number of outstanding Christian leaders who hold this same expectation, but they do not wish to be quoted and they have not publically expressed themselves.” Really!
How can this be! How can “Christian leaders” believe Christ and His apostle’s posttribulation rapture truth but remain silent! Is that love for God? Is that love for people? Is Christ honored and His Church protected? Absolutely not! Godly love is never, ever silent about deceptions!
Ladd challenges: “can we afford to be silent on this question? In light of the fact that the Word of God nowhere expressly asserts a pretribulation rapture, and since there is no plain affirmation that the Church will be taken out of the world before Antichrist appears, let us suppose that we are in fact in the very last days, and within a matter of months or a few years at most, God moves upon the events of world history so that suddenly a new Caesar or Mussolini or Hitler or Stalin appears who is unquestionably the Antichrist. Suppose that such a person, the incarnation of satanic power, actually gains domination of the entire world as neither Mussolini or Hitler or Stalin were able to do. Suppose that he uses this power to demand a worship of himself and his state upon penalty of death. Suppose that martyrs begin to fall by the hundreds of thousands, not only of Jews but particularly of Christians who will not worship the Beast or receive his mark. Suppose that suddenly the people of God find themselves engulfed in a horrible persecution at the hands of the Antichrist when they had been assured repeatedly on the authority of the Word of God that this experience would never befall them. What will be the result? We leave it to the reader’s imagination. Certainly we dare not propagate a teaching of safety about which the Word of God in not indisputably clear, nor should we accept the responsibility of filling the hearts of God’s people with what may be a false hope and thus leave them utterly unprepared for terrible days of persecution when and if they fall. If there is the possibility that the Church is to suffer tribulation at the hands of Antichrist, do not those who believe it have a God-given responsibility to do what they can to prepare the Church for what may be ahead, even though it is a very unwelcome message? Our responsibility is to God, not to man.”
Well said, George Eldon Ladd, “Our responsibility is to God, not to man”! But the problem is, many love the praise of man who is seen rather than of God who is unseen. Many also love the wealth that comes from teaching the pretribulation rapture lie entrenched in the Church.
But the day is coming when “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…” (2 Cor. 5:10–11).
When Moses led ancient Israel out of Egypt to Canaan, most of the people disbelieved God about their promised inheritance when they heard of terrifying giants in Canaan, and as a result suffered offense and exclusion of their intended inheritance. As fear of the giants turned Israel to disbelieve God, so too, Antichrist and the tribulation are today’s counterpart. Accordingly, many Christians disbelieve the plain Word of God for the end-times and will fall away in offense.
Though God plainly said that Christ “must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything” (Acts 3:21 NIV), while knowing that the restoration of everything does not occur until the last day of this present age, lest there’d be no tribulation, false teachers yet assert that Christ “will descend from heaven” (1 Thess. 4:16) for the rapture seven years before the restoration of everything! Such false teachers woefully blind themselves and their followers.
Though the Son of God plainly taught that He gathers His elect saints “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31), false teachers have persuaded the large majority of Christians through their academic jargon and flesh-pleasing nonsense that Christ gathers His elect saints before the tribulation and the revelation of Antichrist. They teach conjecture, assumptions, wishful thinking and falsehood! But the question is, are you discerning of their deceptions?
Though the Spirit of God plainly said “concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him…Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thess. 2:1–4), false teachers persuade the ignorant that “our gathering to Him” occurs before the man of sin is revealed!
Though Jesus Christ Himself said, while teaching on the resurrection of the righteous dead, that everyone who “believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40, 44, 54), false teachers say Christ raises the righteous dead seven years before the last day in a pretribulation rapture. They do grave violence to the authority and testimony of Christ.
One unrepentant lie begets another, and one undiscerned deception begets another, then another. The pretribulation rapture lie and deception now protected by the Church for over 150 years has emboldened the creation of a false god, as many in the Church believe according to their will. Don’t let that be true of you. You have the ability to believe the truth and prepare accordingly.
Marlin J. Yoder