In this sermon we see how both Matthew 24 and Mark 13 teach that Jesus is coming back after the tribulation and that the gathering of the elect is a type of rapture. Moreover, a connection is established to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 to show that Paul is talking about the same event that Jesus is describing. Same angels, same trumpet same catching away or gathering. Additionally, 2 Thessalonians 2 shows that Paul also sees this event as happening after the son of perdition is revealed. Nothing in this sermon suggests that God cannot translate believers out of this world anytime He chooses in a 'pre-tribulation rapture.' He did it with Enoch and Elijah and can do it again. However, Matthew 24, Mark 13, 1 Thessalonians 4 are all describing an event that happens after the (7 year) tribulation and even more more specifically after the sun is darkened, the moon does not give its light, stars fall heaven, the powers in heaven are shaken, and "then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven.
Jesus said: These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16.33).
And Paul said: For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know (1 Thessalonians 3:4).
Christians down through the centuries have always experienced persecution and tribulations; therefore, the potential for more tribulation is not sufficient reason to insist upon a pre-tribulation perspective. What is needed are specific Bible texts that show that Christ is coming again before the tribulation.
What God has promised Christians everywhere is that they are not appointed unto wrath. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Thessalonians 5:9). Praise the Lord! God's wrath does not abide on His people. Consider how God protected His People in Egypt from His wrath. In the land of Goshen where the Israelites dwelt there wasn't any hail but everywhere else the ungodly experienced hail from heaven (Ex 9:26).
Finally, even if the 'church' is raptured and it may be. Some followers of Christ are still going through the tribulation. They are called 'saints' throughout the book of Revelation and they are not limited to Jews alone.
The bottom line which should be remembered by all is most Christians will die. Only two or three generations of one specific period of time will be raptured. Everyone else is going to die and await the predetermined time of Christ's return and their reunion with there glorified bodies.
In this sermon, preached at Freedom Christian Academy on 10.10.2012, I tried to bring to the students the most important truth in the entire Bible—God Made You! While this idea seems so basic, there perhaps is a perception that it doesn’t need to be emphasized, but I would disagree. I believe there isn’t a truth more important. Presently, the number of people affiliating themselves with ‘no religion’ is growing at a greater percentage than any other group (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/10/09/protestants-no-longer-majority-in-us-study-says/?test=latestnews). Yesterday I posted this simple tweet:
“Post-modernists and those who deny absolute truth can't be atheists because an atheist says, 'there is no God' which is an absolute truth.”
And the backlash was nearly immediate. Why? What does one who doesn’t believe there is a god care about what a person who believes in God thinks? Is it, perhaps, because inside even the fool (Ps 19.1) there is an awareness of his Creator.
Faith in evolution as the explanation for the origin of humanity is growing every day. In the church, people are abandoning faith in the biblical record presented in Genesis 1-3. Adam and Eve are thought to be fictional characters. What is not being considered are the implications of the abandonment of the inerrancy of these important chapters in Genesis. If these chapters are not accurate in what they present then the logical question that must be asked is: What else isn’t accurate?
The Apostle Paul authenticates the historicity of Adam in three different books (Romans, 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy). Is Paul a liar? If Paul cannot be trusted to present truth then nearly half of the books of the NT are all questionable in their veracity. But Paul is not the only one who authenticates the historicity of Adam; Luke does the same in Luke 1. And Luke is the author of more chapters in the NT than any other author. Finally, Jude authenticates the existence of Adam in Jude 14. If Adam is a fictional character we might well ask: Who else from the OT is fictional in their existence? What about Melchizedek, King of Salem, is he also a fictional character (Genesis 14:8)? To which you may ask: What difference does he make? Christ Jesus is NOT a priest after the Levitical order of Aaron, but instead Jesus is a priest after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:6). If Melchizedek is a fictional character what are we to do with a priest who is a priest after the order of a fictional character? Imagine saying: “Christ is a priest after the order of Superman”—how absurd! Or, Christ is a descendent of Adam—a fairytale character created by ignorant men with limited awareness of science and truth.
Do you see what is at stake with denying the historicity of Adam and the men of Genesis? The credibility of Christianity is at stake with the denial of the inerrancy of Genesis chapters one, two and three and every subsequent chapter of the 66 canonical books of the Bible.
This is why yesterday I preached on Genesis 1-3, and this is why yesterday the pastors of Berean sat down in my office to do roundtable discussion on the inerrancy of the Bible. Everything rises and falls on these two truths: 1) There is a God and He made you; 2) He, this God that made you, has revealed Himself to you in a book, the Bible, which is without error in its original autographs.
Now with that introduction I hope you will listen to both messages: