Monday, August 10, 2009

God Will Remove The Church

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Couldn't God just protect believers during the Tribulation? Is it really necessary to remove them from the earth?

Yes, the Lord could provide believers with supernatural protection. In fact, He will do precisely that when He provides saints who are present in the Tribulation with protection from the stings of the demonic locust attack that will be part of the trumpet judgments (Revelation 9:4).

But God's promise to the Church during the Tribulation is not one of protection, but one of deliverance. Jesus said that when the signs pointing to the Tribulation "begin to take place," believers are to look up because their "redemption is drawing near" (Luke 21:28). He also urged believers to pray that they might "escape all these things" (Luke 21:36).

There really is no purpose for the Church to be present during the Tribulation. It is a time of the pouring out of God's wrath upon those who have rejected His grace, love and mercy.

There are some who argue that the Church must be "purged" during the Tribulation to purify it. But to me, this idea is absurd. The blood of Jesus is sufficient to cleanse us of all our sins. That is an accomplished fact for those who have put their faith in Jesus (Ephesians 5:26-27). Furthermore, the concept of purging the Church during the Tribulation converts the whole period into a Protestant version of purgatory. It also violates the wedding imagery that the Bible uses to describe the relationship between Christ and His Church. Jesus is not going to beat up His Bride for seven years and then marry her!

Some who believe that the Church will go through the Tribulation often point to the example of Noah and his family. They were left on the earth as God poured out His wrath, but they were protected by the Lord. But this example ignores the fact that Enoch was raptured out of the world before the flood began (Genesis 5:24). I believe Enoch is a symbolic type of the Church and Noah and his family are a type of the Jewish remnant that will be protected through the Tribulation until the day that the Messiah returns.


Junbuggg said...

Thanks Dr. Reagan, I have heard many people say, "well God did not remove Noah and his family, he just protected them, why would He need to remove us, rather than protect us like He did them?" Until you gave that bit of understanding, I always just said, "well then, who would have repopulated the earth?"

Buggg :-)

Laura said...

Great point, Dr. Reagan, about the sufficiency of Christ's work on the cross. Christ said, "It is finished," and then He "sat down at the right hand of the Father," because His payment for our sins was complete. So we do not suffer to atone for our sins (as if that were even possible). We definitely suffer in this world, but it's because we live in a fallen environment, and God uses that suffering to bring us to the end of our self-sufficiency. He uses it teach us to trust only in Him and the finished work of Christ on the cross.


Billy said...

I just hope today is the day. I want outta here!

son of thunder said...

I had always pictured Enoch as a picture of the Rapture, but had never even considered Noah, Mrs. Noah, and the kids as a picture of the Jewish remnant left during the Trib.

That's some food for thought.

And amen, Billy.

Anonymous said...

I recently received a differing perspective from a "Messianic Rabbi" living in Jerusalem on this very subject. Dr. Reagan what is your take on this Messianic Jewish perspective? I tried to condense it, but it's still lengthy, sorry. I felt it important to send: "These seven passages (Matt.24:29,24:38, Mark 13:24, Lk.27:27&29, ICor. 15:52 (Lev. 23:24, 25:9), IThess.4:15-17,& II Thess. 2:3) indicate that the timing of the rapture is after the tribulation. The popular teachings that the rapture comes before the tribulation are doing damage to the body of Messiah worldwide.[Note: There is also some reference to the rapture in the parables of Matthew 13:41 and 49, as well as in Yeshua's teaching on the "Father's house" in John 14:2-3.] We are to prepare the international Church to stand with Israel in the spiritual battles of the end times. If the saints believe they will not be here during the tribulation, they will not prepare, and thus be caught off guard, easy prey for both the devil and the anti-Christ. Yeshua never promises to take us out of tribulation, but to strengthen us (John 16:33 – "In the world you will have tribulation, but be encouraged, I have overcome the world") and to protect us (John 17:15 – "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one"). Like Yeshua, let us pray and teach the saints to be victorious during the end times.Let us root out dangerous false teachings that the Church will be raptured before the tribulation, leaving Israel alone to suffer and fight the anti-Christ."

Thank you Mr. Reagan for a response.

Anonymous said...

why would God promise a special blessing for reading, understanding, and OBEYING the book of revelation if we were not going to be around to at least experience part of it?


Anonymous said...

Hello All

I read a Christian Novel back in the 1980's that had it's them as a Mid-Tribulation Rapture. I tend to believe that a Mid-Trib is the way it will go down or Up. For one thing the Bible says that "Unless those Days be Shortened No Flesh would be Saved". I don't believe that the Days of Suffering in the Church will be Totally be done away with. Even in a Mid-Trib Scenerio there would be Chrisitan Sufferings but the Mark of the Beast will not become Mandatory untill the Second Half of the Trib. The Last 3 1/2 years.

Another thing that I think would fit with a Mid-Trib Rapture is when the Bible talks about a Great Falling Away or Apostacy in the Church during difficult last days times. To me to Teach that the Church will be Evacated Before (Any) of the Tribulation sets the Church up for a Huge Dissapointment if Jesus does not Return and Evacuate them before the Tribulation Starts. If the Christian Church is not Raptured Out before the Tribulation then
Many will think that God has Abandoned them when in reality it is our Perception of what we think will happen in the last days of Difficult Living that may let us down.

I was a Boy Scout and the Motto of the Boy Scouts is (Be Prepaired). We should Hope for the Best and Prepare for the Worst. I think that the Worst is to have to Live at least through Part of the Tribulation Period or Else No Flesh would be Saved. We should Prepare for Hard Times and limited but Difficult Persecution if we have a Mid-Trib Rapture.

LisaB said...

Dear Dr. Reagan,

There are two comments below that I wish to echo. They are both titled "anonymous", but I have to strongly agree with our "faulty rapture theology" from the Messianic perspective. First and foremost, I would ask you, what you mean by our Messiah beating up His bride? Martyrdom is a very great honor according to the word of God. Peter, Paul, James, Thomas etc.. all had this honor. Also, there is a scripture I've never heard preached that talks about the reward of the first resurrection being specifically directed toward the martyrs. Secondly, the judgements of God, and the wrath of satan/the beast according to the word will affect all men. We as His children are spared His wrath... the wrath of our God, but the timing of His wrath poured out, and the protection of His Bride, the Woman, who is given to wings as of an eagle to flee into the wilderness where she is protected, is very clear. The beast makes war with those who have the testimony/faith of Yeshua the Messiah, and keep the commandments of God. We must take all of the word in context, and unfortunately, when we use for example, just the New Covenant Scriptures w/o the old, we come up with strange new doctrines. Not one disciple or Apostle, or prophet spoke of a "rapture" as we've defined it in Christian theology. Knowing, understanding, and observing the Feasts of the LORD is the key to Revelation, and the end time scriptures. "To him who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying." Thank you for letting me comment. In Messiah Yeshua, Lisa Bearinger

Frank 67 said...

What do people say to this that the anti christ is alive and well and living today. And who would be a perfect prototype? Say Tony Blair
What do you all think about that?

Nathan Jones said...

The "time of Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30:7) is just that - the time when the world is against Israel and God. God in part uses the Tribulation to bring a remnant of Israel to salvation (Isa. 11:11). The Tribulation is not for one iota for the Church, but for Israel.

A common misconception is to say that Christians have suffered before and so shouldn't be exempt from the Tribulation, or that the Tribulation is like any other time in history. It is not. The Tribulation is a time different than any other time other than the Flood - a time for God to pour out His wrath on the world for it's continued rebellion against Him.

Believers in Christ will suffer during the Tribulation, but because they refused to accept Christ before the Rapture and so "escape all that is about to happen" (Lk. 21:36).

For information on why I believe the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is the best argument for the timing of the Rapture, please visit this blog series or article.

Daniel said...

I believe the Church will be raptured before the Tribulation. (That is, true Christians). At some point I think we all may have pondered the Church going through the Tribulation, or at least part of it. We see so many people that claim to be Christians even the Bible believing, but they live like the world and chase after the things of this world. It's hard to tell them apart from the world, other than they may embrace a more conservative lifestyle and philosophy. I believe God will Rapture the true Christians not because of our "righteousness" or "goodness" but because of His great mercy and promises. Also, the "wicked" despise Christians for their beliefs and their attempts to block embryonic stem-cell research, abortion, homosexual marriage, etc. With the Christians gone, the unbelievers will have no more obstacles and roadblocks to thwart their wicked agenda.
On a side note; recently I heard a pastor speak on a Christian radio program about the abundance of food and housing that will be available after the Church is raptured. The Anti-Christ will take credit for this "temporary" abundance of food, housing and material goods. The people that have been left behind that had claimed to be Christians (unbelieving churchgoers, salvation by works crowd, etc) will have to make a decision; 1) to reject the Anti-Christ, and accept Jesus Christ as the true Messiah 2) or take the mark of the beast and continue on the path to everlasting destruction.

Papa Dick said...

Dear folks,
The pre-trib rapture position is built on circumstantial evidence, a verse here, a verse there. In contrast a post-trib, or pre-wrath position is clearly taught in many places such as Mt. 24, Mark 13, 2 Thes 2 etc. The way the pre-tribbers try to explain these away is to make the “elect” of God, the Jews.
However, if you study the word “elect” it is used 20 times with only 4 of these being the Jews. The Christians are called “elect” about 13 or 14 times with a couple of verses that could go either way. If we will simply take Mt. 24 literally and admit that CHRISTIANS will be hauled up for inquisition (Mt 24: 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.) Then it becomes obvious that a pre-trib rapture is wishful thinking.
As an old friend commented one time, if we are not going to go through the tribulation, why did God tell us so much about it?
Papa Dick

glen walling said...

good point lisa about the lords feasts

passover 1949 - lunar eclipse
feast of tabernacles - 1950 lunar eclipse (after israel became a state)

passover - 1967 - same
feast of t - 1968 - same (after liberating jerusalem)!!

2 more lunar eclipses are due on passover and feast of tabernacles days in 2014 - AND also in 2015!! thats 4 in total in the space of 17 months which apparently is previously unknown
inbetween these lunar eclipses, 2 solar eclipses are also due in 2015. And 2008,2009 already had one on on av1 days, and another is due on av1 2010

"the sun shall be turned into darkness,and the moon into blood before the great and terrible day of the lord come"

check this site out lisa it's very informative

Nathan Jones said...

There's that Church-centric mindset, Papa Dick, in that Christians think the whole Bible is about us. It is not. Matthew wrote to the Jews, and that is who Jesus is addressing and filling in the details to.

For the thinking behind the Post-Tribulation view, check out this past article.

Papa Dick said...

We will soon see if the pre-tribbers are right. I suspect there will be some hasty covering of tracks in an attempt to explain away such a dogmatic, bone defending view of a man-made doctrine that is not taught in the Bible. I hope you are right, but it is clear to those who are not wedded to what they were taught that, yes indeed, we will undergo great tribulation but will be spared the wrath of God.
Papa Dick

Anonymous said...

The purpose for Believers in the Tribulation is to provide desperately needed, mature leadership to the new believers. In the New Testament Church, new Believers were trained for 1 to 2 years. Are these new Believers in the Tribulation going to train themselves in less time & with the same accuracy? Will they know the difference between the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Deception? Especially when mature Believers today are having trouble?
My job today, tomorrow, and all during the Tribulation is to provide Biblical leadership while following the Spirit of God.

Sal said...

You'd be surprised how persecution makes one mature quickly. Plus they'll have the Holy Spirit. Trib Saints don't need us to be there to teach them... that's just silly.

Sal said...

Oh, and don't forget the 144,000, the 2 witnesses in Jerusalem and an angel that proclaims the Gospel to the world. Trib Saints got them, too. No need for the church.

Anonymous said...

Gal 1:11-12 For I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin. For I did not receive it from a man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.