Temple Baptist Church - 8-8-20182 Peter 3:14-18Introduction:A. As we end the Second Epistle of Peter, we find an admonition by the great Apostle to stand fast in the doctrine of the Scriptures. This message will be straight and without apology as I believe it to be essential to the steadfastness of the saints in these last, perilous times.2 Timothy 3:1-10 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2) For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (3) Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, (4) Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; (5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (6) For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, (7) Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (8) Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. (9) But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. (10) But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, (Moses, God's man, was sent to deliver the people of God from Egypt and these two men, Jammes and Jambres, withstood him. “So do these also resist the truth!)B. Peter wrote these two Epistles because of the difficulties that the “strangers scattered” were having.1. They wanted to know what their relationship was to the Nation of Israel now that they had been born into the Family of God.2. They also wanted to know their relationship to the Law.3. They had become infiltrated with false teachers.C. I believe that the Apostle Paul wrote the Book of Hebrews (verse 15), one of the Jewish Christian Epistles, but Peter also references his other epistles in verse 16 . He did not sign the epistle with his name because the saved Jews feared him because of the way he persecuted them before his Damascus Road conversion.2 Peter 3:15-16 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; (16) As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.1. Peter mentioned such a letter. 2 Peter 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;2. Paul mention those in bonds of which he was one. Hebrews 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.3. Paul mentioned Timothy, his son in the faith, coming to them. Paul often used Timothy and Titus to carry letters to churches while he himself was incarcerated. Hebrews 13:23 Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.4 Paul signed the Book of Hebrews with his token signature. Hebrews 13:25 Grace be with you all. Amen.2 Thessalonians 3:17-18 The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write. (18) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. The second epistle to the Thessalonians was written from Athens.D. We live in the last day phenomena of false teachers. Peter fought them; Paul fought them; we fight them! They are everywhere. They are on the television, radio, colleges, and churches. The “falling away” of 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2, has been in full swing for over 100 years now. I have no “axes to grind” tonight but must preach on these verses.2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even asthere shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2) And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (3) And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 1. These false teachers were not and are not outsiders. We do not listen to the heretics on TV or the radio. These false teachers were and are among us! This means that they have creditability and acceptance. 2. If a preacher got into this pulpit and said that there were mistakes in the King James Bible or said that this word could been translated differently or better, you would run him off. This is the way it is in most good churches. 3. But a college professor can undercut the purity of the bible and they are protected. If they did not have acceptance and protection, they would not be tolerated. When God's men preach against them, there is resistance.E. Before we dissect our text, let me bring this prophecy close to home for us all. I feel it necessary to use Peter's final admonition to “the strangers scattered,” which is prophetic of our day, to point the people back to God's Way and God's Word. Out text explains the problem and gives the solution.F. Since other churches, TV and Radio preachers have no effect upon how we believe and operate, I want to look at the one area of problem that all of us face. Now for a little history lesson to show how far the God's people have been led from the truth.1. Before the beginning of the 20th Century, the local churches were places where the Bible was the accepted as the final authority. It was all that the child of God needed for doctrinal correctness. God gave us the local church, not a college, university, or seminary.2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (The bible is all that God's people need to perfect and thoroughly furnish God's men.)2 Timothy 4:1-4 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (These are the days that we live in. People do not want a straight preaching, King James Bible Church. They are wanting a sermonette from a preacherette that will make them feel good about themselves, not bring conviction and repentance.)a) Paul called the church the “pillar and ground of the truth.” From the beginning, God gave the local church to the believers as a place of doctrinal grounding and fellowship. God gave the churches pastor-teachers to grind out the scriptures and feed it to the “flock of God.” 1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.Acts 20:26-31 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. (27) For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (28) Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (29) For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. (30) Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (31) Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.2. Before the beginning of the 20th Century, God's people did not argue over which bible to use; there was no generation gap between young and old. In the early 20th Century, this new phenomenon began to grow. a) Young preachers sat at the feet of older, settled, doctrinally correct men of God until they were grounded in the scriptures and doctrine. b) Each new generation followed the “Old Paths” that their fathers followed.Acts 2:41-42 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (42) And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.3. In the 20th Century, instead of relying on what God chose to spiritually educate believers, religious denominations began starting seminaries for the instruction of God's men in the doctrine of their choosing. Methodists, Presbyterian, Baptist, etc. began to send their young preachers off to “college” to learn the Word of God and become sound in doctrine. Local churches were no longer deemed sufficient to do what God established it for.Ephesians 4:11-14 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;4. The independent Baptist Movement was no different as they certainly did not want to send their young preachers to a denominational college that was not of like precious faith, so they started their own colleges. They began to rob the local church of its young, God called men! These colleges soon became infested with liberalism and the product was young men filling pulpits who were not doctrinally sound. They in turn begat followers of like heretical beliefs. 5. In the beginning, independent Baptist Churches started their schools of higher learning under the authority of the local church, but parachurch (outside of or against - the concept of the parachurch ministry was unknown to the first century church and is therefore not mentioned in Scripture)seminaries began to arise.6.The first bible schools were seminaries that were meant to aid in the training of Christian workers and preachers, but the people began to feel the need to educate their children in Christian schools instead of secular ones. Therefore, the seminaries adapted and began to offer Liberal Arts degrees along with bible educations. 7. The Liberal Arts degrees were and are good, but their bible education is often contrary to the teachings of the local churches. Schools and colleges became places of pride and, to some degree, allegiance to the graduates. The Latin phrase “Alma Mater” means “Nourishing or Bountiful Mother.” 8. There became a gap between the pulpit of the local church and the professor in the classroom. I look back over my college years and see that I learned little or no doctrine in the classroom. I learned my doctrine by sitting under my pastors and studying the Bible. In college, I did learn things that were more “Baptist” than “Bible.” The same in my post-graduate work.9. We are independent, autonomous local churches. What other churches preach, where they stand, has no affect upon us. If they stand, praise the Lord. If they go liberal, that is their business and does not affect our church. Bible colleges, seminaries, etc. can and do affect local churches because their people attend them.10. I owe no allegiance to any school. I owe my allegiance to my local church and pastor! I want you to fully understand what I am about to say. I am a BIBLICIST before I am a Baptist. That does not mean that I am not glad to be a Baptist; it means that where the Baptist and the Bible do not agree, I stand unerringly with the inerrant, infallible Word of God!G. Now, with all of that said, let us look at our text.1. The end time existence of unlearned and unstable men. These are people who place humanistic thinking about the authoritative Word of God. These are the people who wrestle with the Word of God. These are dangerous men and God called them wicked in verse 17. a. Peter and followers were unlearned and ignorant. Ignorant means to not have been taught. Not to have knowledge pertaining to a subject; uneducated, untrained, uninformed.”Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.b. These men are unlearned and unstable. This means that they are not ignorant of what the bible teaches, but they do not accept the truth of its teachings and are unstable or changing. They are never satisfied with one version of the bible but go from the King James to the NASV to the ESV to the NKJV, etc. 2 Timothy 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.c. They have read the same bible that you and I have read but come to a different conclusion. Whereas we take God at His Word, they do not think that the bible is completely correct. This is the exact opposite of what the bible teaches.1 Corinthians 1:26-31 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: (27) But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; (28) And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: (29) That no flesh should glory in his presence. (30) But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (31) That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.d. Now, before anyone labels me a heretic, let me say that not all men of education and wisdom are lost or heretical! God has and can use educated people, but their education must not destroy their faith in the Bible! The Apostle Paul was among the best educated men of his time.Acts 26:24-25 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. (25) But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.c. These men are unlearned in that they do not believe the bible. The bible claims to be the perfect, inspired, preserved, inerrant, infallible, living word of God. I believe it to be so, but these men deny what the bible claims. Who is right, these men or the bible.d. These men are unstable because their version of the bible is in a state of constant change. Their bible is constantly being traded for a newer updated version. Bible believers remain with the bible and do not change.2. The end time existence of men who wrest with the Bible. The word “wrest” means to twist or to fight against. Peter mentions things hard to be understood. The simplest way to understand the bible is believe what it says is right and always interpret hard scripture (will never understand everything in the bible) with easy, plain verses. Wrestlers make the bible conform to their theology instead making their theology conform to the bible.2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.a. The Word of God is just that: THE WORD OF GOD!1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.b. God's people believe the Bible, not wrestle with it. “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.c. God intended for His people to be grounded in truth. God never intended for His people to be ignorant of what He said. His will is for people to get saved and sit under pastors who will teach them.Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (To teach them all things, you must have all things.)Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (To live by every word, you must have every word. Was our Lord so wrong as to make this statement knowing that the Word of God would one day become erroneous.)3. The end time existence of being led away. Peter mentions the possibility of being led away with the error of the wicked. Thus, falling from their steadfastness.a. We live in days of instability. Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (I have never seen so many people who are regular in church that are doctrinally ignorant! It matters not where they go to church and believe that every denomination is alright. I do not want to preach a doctrinal series right now, but doctrine is important.)Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.b. We live in days of falling away. 2 Thessalonians 2:2-3 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. (3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (People who once stood with us no longer believe what we believe. We believe the Bible.)1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (2) Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;c. We live in days of wrestling with the scriptures. Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. (To wrestle is to fight with or to fight against. Why can people not just believe what the Bible says and quit trying to make it say what they want it to say. The Bible is right, and man is wrong.)
Temple Baptist Church - 6-20-20182 Peter 3:3-8Introduction: A. In these verses, we find those who scoff at the Second Coming of Christ. Peter gives us hope through the analogy of God's time found in the Bible. To scoff is to mock or make fun of something. Present day science falsely so-called is an enemy of God and truth. Biblical creationism has been replaced by the Theory of Evolution which is an assumption based upon false information. I do not want to write a book on this subject, so we will generally explore evolution and move on to preaching truth.1. The Bible says that our universe is only six thousand years old. Evolutionists say that it is billions of years old. Why do scientists talk of billions of years if it is so young? They do so for a several of reasons. a) One, they are God haters! They do not want there to be a God, so they must come up with something plausible to explain Him away and explain the beginning of the universe. Everyone knows that the universe must have had a true beginning, thus the Theory of Evolution. b) Two, if there is no God, then the existence of the universe must have another beginning: thus, the Theory of Evolution.c) Three, for their theory to be plausible, there must have been billions of years to achieve the evolution of our universe from nothing to its present state. Long expanses of time had to have occurred. 1) Theory - a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained. 2) Supposition – a belief based upon suspicion, to surmise, a conjecture, speculation, guess, feeling, hunch, assumption, presumption.d) The Theory of Evolution is based upon speculation, not facts. Enough of that crowd as they will never open their spiritual eyes and recognize God.2. God created a mature universe, not a baby one that must grow. God created Adam as a grown man, not a baby.B. Peter speaks of God's time. God's time is not our time. He is always on time. In verse 8, we see time as God sees it. The Second Coming of Christ will be in two distinct parts: The Rapture of the Church and the Lord Coming in His Glory, separated by 1,007 years.THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH: THE CATCHING AWAY OF THE BODY OF CHRIST.1. THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH: THE CATCHING AWAY OF THE BODY OF CHRIST. The next event on the prophetic calendar is the rapture of the Church. A. The word Rapture is not found in your Bible. Rapture comes from the phrase “shall be caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17: “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” These four words are one word in the Greek: arpazw harpazo har-pad'-zo, which means to catch up, take by force, catch away, or to pluck, to claim for oneself eagerly. Harpazo is the Greek equivalent of our word Rapture.RAP'TURE, n. [L. raptus, rapio.]1. A seizing by violence. [Little used.]2. Transport; ecstasy; violence of a pleasing passion; extreme joy or pleasure.2. The Rapture is that event in the future when the Lord Jesus Christ will as a thief in the night and will catch away all the saved people of the world. It is a time, known in the Bible as the blessed hope of the believer - Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;A. It is eminent (Brand New Feeling In The Air! 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.B. It is encouraging (hard times almost over forever) 1 Thessalonians 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.C. It is exciting (just watching the Lord work and prophecy fulfilling) Revelation 22:20- He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.3. The “last trump” holds tremendous Scriptural truth concerning the rapture. John heard “as it were of a trumpet talking with me” in the Revelation. The first mention of trumpet speaks volumes concerning its meaning and use. Exodus 19:13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount. (It was used to gather Israel into the presence of God.)A. In Roman days, when a Roman legion moved, there would be three blasts from the trumpets:B. The first trump would tell the troop to take down their tents, and to prepare to move.C. The second trump would alert them to fall in and line up.D. The last trump would be the signal to move out.E. We are leaving at the "last trump"4. The Rapture will be in fulfillment. of His promise.A. Before Jesus went to the cross, He promised His disciples that He would return for them - John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.B. He later reaffirmed this promise to the Apostle John - Revelation 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.C. When Jesus ascended back into Heaven, angels told His disciples that He would return - Acts 1:9-11 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.5 The Rapture will be in fulfillment of His purposes.A. His purpose was that we might be with Him - John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.B. His purpose was to receive His bride unto Himself - Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.6. The Procedure of the Rapture.1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.A. The Dead in Christ (saints of God who have gone one before) will rise first. Their spirit and soul is already with the Lord and coming with Him but their bodies will come forth, changed into a body like His glorious body – 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.Philippians 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.1 Corinthians 15:22-23 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.B. The Alive in Christ - 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.7. The Rapture In Truth – We are premillennial, pre-tribulation rapture saints.A. The Denial of The Millennium - 2 Peter 3:3-4 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.1) Post Millennialisma) In Christian eschatology, postmillennialism is an interpretation of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelationwhich sees Christ's second coming as occurring after or post- the thousand year "millennium". Although some postmillennialists hold to a literal millennium of 1,000 years, most postmillennialists see the thousand years more as a figurative term for a long period of time (similar in that respect to Amillennialism). Among those holding to a non-literal "millennium" it is usually understood to have already begun, which implies a less obvious and less dramatic kind of millennium than that typically envisioned by premillennialists, as well as a more unexpected return of Christ. (These teach that the world will get progressively better, revival will break out, and then the Lord will return to sit upon the throne of David.)b) Postmillennialism also teaches that the forces of Satan will gradually be defeated by the expansion of theKingdom of God throughout history up until the second coming of Christ. This belief that good will gradually triumph over evil has led proponents of postmillennialism to label themselves "optimillennialists" in contrast to"pessimillennial" Premillennialists and Amillennialists.2) Amillennialisma) Amillennialism teaches that the Kingdom of God will not be physically established on earth throughout the "millennium", but rather that Christ is presently reigning from heaven, seated at the right hand of God the Father, that He will remain with the Christian church until the end of the world, as he promised at the Ascension.b) Amillennialism also teaches that at Pentecost, the millennium began, as is shown by Peter using the prophecies of Joel, about the coming of the kingdom, to explain what was happening, and that, therefore theChristian church and its spread of the good news is Christ's kingdom.3) Premillennialisma) Premillennialism in Christian eschatology is the interpretation of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation in the Bible which sees Christ's second coming as occurring before or pre- his literal thousand year reign on earth (Revelation 19) which some envision to be centered literally on King David's throne in Jerusalem. This is a fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant.1 Kings 9:5 Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.b) Premillennialism is distinct in that it usually interprets these "thousand years" literally; other views often interpret this as a figurative term for a long, undefined period of time (particularly, Amillennialists and manypostmillennialists). Premillennialism also holds this period of one thousand years is eschatological, and has not yet begun.4) The correct position is Premillennialism.B. The Denial Of The Pre-tribulation Rapture1) Mid-tribulation Rapture – Matthew 24:15-21 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Antiochus Epiphanes, B.C. 175-170 – greatly persecuted the Jews and offered a sow on the altar.)2) Pre-wrath Rapture - Zephaniah 2:2-3 Before the decree bring forth, [before] the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD'S anger come upon you. 3 Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger. (A relatively newer version of the mid-tribulation rapture theory.)1 Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,3) Pre-tribulation Rapture – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; Revelation 3:10; Revelation 4:1 (At the end of the Church Age and prior to Revelation 6:1 and the revealing of the Antichrist.)4) The correct position is Pre-tribulation Rapture. The Church of Believers is absent in Revelation 4-18. The Church is mentioned 17 times in the first three chapters of Revelation, but after John (a member of the Church) is called up to heaven, at the beginning of chapter 4, he looks down on the events of the Tribulation, and the Church is not mentioned or seen again until chapter 19, when she returns to earth with her Bridegroom at His glorious appearing. Why? The answer is obvious: she isn't in the Tribulation. She is raptured to be with her Lord before it begins! (The Church will be at the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. They will then return to earth in Revelation chapter 19 with the Lord.)8. The Rapture In Type A. Manifested In Enoch - Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.B. Manifested In Lot - Genesis 19:22 Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.C. Manifested In Elijah - 2 Kings2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.D. Manifested In Paul - 2 Corinthians 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.E. Manifested In John - Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.9. The Rapture In TimeA. The Analogy of God's Time - 2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.Psalms 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.B. The Allotment of God's Time - Exodus 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Six thousand years from the beginning to the Rapture and the seventh one thousand years is the Millennium or Sabbath Rest.) C. The Achievement of God's Time - Matthew 17:1-2 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.Hosea 6:2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.D. The Acknowledgment of God's Time - Luke 17:26-29 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.Matthew 24:4-8 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.1 Thessalonians 5:1-4 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;2 Timothy 3:1-5 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.10. The Rapture In Triumph
"This know also..." Paul's words to Timothy (and to the Church), describing the perilous times to come, were not just a warning to turn away from these characteristics, but to turn away from those who portray or embody them as well. To any child of God it is obvious that these characteristics absolutely define the times we live in now. There is no place in history where these things have been so utterly fulfilled as to the point where they seem to be overflowing and ready to explode, as today. If fallen, sinful man is a vessel for these things, I cannot imagine how he could hold any more of it. Even the world's heroes, icons, leaders and entertainers manage to glorify and justify these things to those who follow them. Simply turn on your tv, or walk through a bookstore, or go to a university campus, or even sit down to dine at a local restaurant. These characteristics are pervasive, invasive, and almost overpowering. "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." ~ 2 Timothy 3:1-5These verses were read from the pulpit a few weeks ago, and I was suddenly struck by the following understanding:Turn away from people who love themselves.Turn away from people who are covetous.Turn away from people who boast.Turn away from people who are proud.Turn away from people who are blasphemers.Turn away from people who are disobedient to their parents.Turn away from people who are unthankful.Turn away from people who are unholy.Turn away from people who are without natural affection.Turn away from people who are truce breakers.Turn away from people who are false accusers.Turn away from people who are incontinent.Turn away from people who are fierce.Turn away from people who despise others who are good.Turn away from people who are traitors.Turn away from people who are highminded.Turn away from people who love pleasure more than they love God.But this is nothing new. What I am writing has been written many, many times before. So why write about it now? For personal reasons. I write about this now to share my convictions with you. I've heard this passage before, but this was the first time I thought to apply that last phrase from verse 5 to each of these characteristics of the last days. I have only just realized the scope of the words "...from such turn away". This resonated through me during the service when I heard it. Why? Because I don't always turn away from these things. How? Every time I allow myself to be "entertained" by this world's media. Am I so prideful and self-assured as to think that I can somehow filter out this garbage from the things I let into my home, in the form of "entertainment"? Why would I ignore this warning before? When I watch a program that I may even deem as "innocent," yet plainly it contains some element of the characteristics from 2 Timothy 3:1-5, why do I not turn away? Why have I been so prideful for so long, thinking that I could pick and choose which parts of the Bible I want to ignore because they infringe upon my use of time, and the lusts of my flesh? Why do I turn away from only a few of these things: the ones that are gratuitous, glaring, outwardly dangerous, and avoidable? Why not all of them? Am I in less need than Timothy of this prophetic warning? Do I know more than Paul? Does my confidence in my flesh outweigh my fear of God, who breathed these words into existence? These are perilous times today. Timothy saw a vision of the future through the apostle Paul's words that was comparable only to the days of Noah. Now, in the nearness of the extent of their fulfillment, do I heed them? Or do I obey the flesh? "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." ~ Romans 13:14Make no provision for the flesh. There is my answer. And to what end? Obedience to my Lord and Master; glory to God the Father; separation from the world; and the edification of God's saints - my brothers and sisters in Christ.Able to write to you by the grace of God,Aaron EveringhamRomans 12:1,2Aaron Everingham and his wife Brittany live in Edmonton, Canada, and by the loving grace of God they were saved through the ministry of an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in June of 2007.Â He is currently preparing for a life of serving the Lord as a pastor of a local New Testament Baptist Church.Â For more articles like this one please visit his blog at Aharown Qadowsh.
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