Thursday, July 14, 2011

Twelve Signs of the End Times: Hope in the Rapture

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Can having hope in the Rapture also be a sign of the end times?

On Saturday, April 9, 2011, I was interviewed by host Brian Thomas of the Blessings to Israel Ministries Saturday podcast show. During the hour long interview we took a look at twelve major end times signs in an attempt to raise the awareness of people concerning the numerous things going on in the world currently, how they relate to Bible prophecy, and the imminent return of Jesus Christ.


Blessings to Israel Ministries


#2) Hope in the Rapture

Brian Thomas: The world is getting increasingly more wicked, and that's why I'm really looking forward to the Rapture of the Church, because as bad as things are today, they will become worse tomorrow. We can already look around us and see the escalating immorality and crime and just the sin nature, and it can get a bit depressing. To think that these things are going to become so much worse during that seven year period called the Tribulation, well there is just no reason why I would want to be here to experience that. I know sometimes that we who believe in the Pre-Tribulational Rapture get accused of being cowards or escapists, but we simply are going along with what the Bible states — that we are not appointed to the wrath of God.

I do think it's important that we bring up the Rapture because it brings the Church hope.

Nathan Jones: Indeed, the Apostle Paul said in Titus 2:13 that the Rapture is our "blessed hope." As we see these prophetic signs increase and as we see the world just coming to ruins around us, believers in Christ can be encouraged that Jesus is coming back. Our response to the Rapture in and of itself becomes a sign of the end times.

The Rapture is an amazing hope to have, Brian! It is an amazing hope to have because we can know that as terrible as it is getting out there, believers in Christ don't have much longer to worry about it. We also don't have to worry about having to endure the 21 judgments God pours out upon the earth as soon as Jesus opens the Seal Judgments during the Tribulation which will just devastate the planet ecologically, politically, and well you name it. The world will be in utter ruins the Bible forewarns us.

Being part of the Church and being saved means we won't have to be here to witness the truly rapid descent into immorality. Now is the time for anyone out there who isn't saved to ask Jesus to be their Savior and so be included in the Rapture.

We can read about the Rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15 and John 14. When Jesus Christ comes to take believers in Him up to Heaven to dwell with Him during those seven years of tribulation which will befall the planet, we can say with high probability that will not look down and see what is going on the earth, and that's a good thing. We instead will be with the Lord celebrating the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, which is a great party that He throws. We will also be going through the Judgment of the Just when the Lord will reward us for our work done while on earth. And, we will be preparing to come back with Jesus who at the end of the Tribulation returns to the earth to conquer the Antichrist and his one-world system. Jesus will afterwards set up his thousand year Millennial Kingdom right on here on earth.

Believers in Christ don't have to worry about living through any of the Tribulation. We can look at the signs of the times around us and instead of dreading being possibly destroyed by them, we can be encouraged and have hope that we will be rescued from them through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Brian Thomas: Absolutely! You make a great point that when we look around us and see all the immorality and pain in the world that it can be depressing, but I quickly remind myself and I hope others do the same that even though we are not happy that these things are happening, we do find joy in knowing that all these "labor pains" are pointing to the return of our Messiah. We know that we will be with Him very soon, and so there is just so much great hope and joy in that fact.

Nathan Jones: That is a great hope, Brian! That is also an important point you bring up, because there are some people who believe that if you are looking forward to the Rapture then you are just getting your kicks from watching the world get trashed by crime and violence and all these natural disasters going on. That is just so far from the truth!

The reality of it is the joy in knowing that the Lord is coming soon, and even though the world will go through seven years of intense suffering the Bible says that millions of people during that time will come to know Jesus as their Savior. It surprisingly takes that much devastation to get people to start thinking about the Lord. And then, we know afterwards Jesus ushers in a thousand years of Him reigning right here on earth in peace and righteousness and justice. So, for the believer in Christ, we can look at all this and say, "Wow, it is great that we know the Lord is coming soon and it is awful what is going on now and we have to endure some of that, but when He comes we will be rescued from it." That is the hope that the believers in Christ have and only believers in Christ can have.

Brian Thomas: We have so much to look forward to. So many say Bible prophecy is all gloom and doom, but this is not a gloom and doom message. Bible prophecy provides a message of great hope and joy because we have so much to look forward to.

Nathan Jones: Concerning Bible prophecy, too many people focus on the negative aspects like the Antichrist and the Mark of the Beast. They will obsess over those aspects and over the horrors that will happen during the Tribulation. But, this only covers our short time leading up to the Tribulation, and then the seven years of Tribulation. After that we are talking about 1,000 years of the Lord ruling. Sure, it will get bad again at the very end of the Millennial Kingdom when Satan is released, but again that is just for a brief time. Then we get to experience eternity. Eternity is all about being with the Lord who loves us, who created us, and was willing to die for us. Yes, we have to get through the little bit of bad points along the way, and we can tend to focus too much on them because that is where we are living on stage right now where all the bad stuff is happening. But, this terrible time is just like a small blip on the radar of eternity and wonder ahead of us, if we know Jesus as our Savior.


The next end times sign we'll look at is the increase in natural disasters.

31 comments:

Billy said...

"Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to ESCAPE all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

Yes! I AM an escapist and proud of it!

If I did NOT want to escape the tribulation would it be for the glory of Jesus or me? That's the question that mid and post tribbers have to answer.

JESUS IS LORD said...

I agree, and like many believers, the sooner the better. However, since the Apostle Paul and all the generations between his life and ours hoped for the return of our Lord to take us up out of this mess, it should probably not be seen as a sign. Any more that earthquakes, diseases, etc. In fact, as I see it, there are no signs of His coming to rapture the Church. That is why it could happen at any moment, from the time of His Ascension unto now.

Mrs. J. and Miss J. said...

Like Billy said, I too, am an escapist and not ashamed of it, it is the hope of the chasm of our soul to be with our Lord, face to face. As John the revelator stated, “Come quickly Lord!”
Mrs. J.

Expected Imminently said...

Hello Nathan
Here comes another ‘bee’. :)

Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, IN THIS PRESENT WORLD; 13.LOOKING for that blessed hope, and the GLORIOUS APPEARING of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ…

Posties claim that ‘the blessed hope’ is connected to the 2nd Coming; (glorious appearing) therefore we Pretribs have no right to claim it before the Tribulation. NOT!

Paul connects this to the ‘present world’; including himself and his hearers and us in the here and now, who are to look for the ‘blessed hope’.

The appearing ‘epiphaneia’ of Jesus will indeed be glorious to our glorified eyes when we at last, behold Him ‘face to face’ at the Pre-trib Rapture.

Plus.

‘Looking for’ ‘prosdechomai’ is PRESENT tense, not future as it would be if the Church had to wait for the Tribulation to see the 2nd Coming.

Even the word ‘hope’ is confident assurance, not the modern negative of a shrug of the shoulders meaning maybe, maybe not. That is Postie ‘hope’, it is deferred, and hope deferred makes the heart sick.

I realise I have said this before, but for whatever reason, 'they' still persist in pushing their faulty interpretation of Scripture.

Looking up!
Maranatha
Sue

Nathan Jones said...

Hear, hear, Sue, well stated! What hope could there be for believers if we knew we were expecting God's judgment upon us and most assuredly a horrible death?

For the Church, it's hope knowing we'll be rescued from God's wrath. Now, for the Jew, their hope is in rescue from their darkest hour, and that is the Second Coming. Post-Tribbers have such a hard time differentiating between the two.

Rex said...

When the church is called the bride of Christ, why would God send wrath upon it? This is why I believe in the pre-trib rapture. I don't believe in a post trib rapture because if we are raptured at the end of the tribulation and the separating of the sheep & goats happens, what sheep is on earth if they were just raptured to Jesus in the air? What's to separate, it already happened. I haven't come to a point yet of not saying a mid-trib is possible knowing the wrath really happens at the mid-point but still believeing the pre-trib makes more sense with the saints raptured allows all the evil to dominate. Hope this makes sense. Rex

Expected Imminently said...

Hello Rex

Amen!

The different timings from the very obvious Pre-trib are down to a ridiculous game of symantics.

The Wrath of God is certainly the worst to occur from the Midst of the Week. However the Four Sore Judgment of God's wrath in e.g.Ezek14:21 are very plain to see from the start of the Seven with the Seal judgments in Revelation6 of Sword, Famine, Wild Beasts and Pestilence.

Maranatha!
Sue

Anonymous said...

you people will never quit with this pre trib crapture lie. you twist scriptures and think that just because you believe it will happen,it's going to. believe this idiots-you are all going thru the trib-there's only 1 rapture-and that's at the end of the trib. my satisfaction comes from the fact that you're all going thru it, because i know that you'll never let go of that sacred cow of the pre trib rapture.

Expected Imminently said...

Amouse

A pat on the head from that 'sacred cow'is awarded to you for your Scripturally based argument in defense of Postie. :)

Anonymous said...

Pre-Trib rapture = Strong Delusion

Expected Imminently said...

Amouse

2Thess2:11 doesn’t have the word Pre-Trib in my Bible?

Hm! See what I mean about having to be careful about the correct translation? I have checked with the Greek - but no – nothing about Pre-Trib; how very strange?

Interesting thought about the strong delusion being in the present tense as in my Bible it places the context within the 70th Week.

Ah! THAT must mean the a/c is already revealed (according to vs 8) so therefore we are already IN the Tribulation – well I never did, fancy that I must instantly alert Nathan to this very disturbing news! After all, there is no way a Postie would deceive us – is there? :-\

Anonymous said...

What about Matt.24 Where Jesus said "After the tribplation you will see the son of man comming on the cloulds in great glory and garthering his elect from the fore corners of heaver and earth" Thats after the trib he says that will happen. So is Jesus a lier????????

Anonymous said...

No where in the bible does it say that we will escape tribulation or persecution, however we will be raptured before the wrath of God is poured out.

Anonymous said...

Many people are being deceived, some are even saying the RAPTURE will occur next month.
They are going to be so 'shattered' when they are still here UNTIl the wrath is poured out.
I would say it is time to have your hope in Christ and NOT be disappointed
or deceived.

Expected Imminently said...

Anonymous.

Have you ever wondered that the Church was not born until Acts2 ?

Previously, In Matt 24 Jesus is plainly speaking to Jews, after he had left the Jewish Temple on the Mt of Olives in the land of Jewish Israel, sited just outside the Jewish city of Jerusalem BEFORE the death, resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ – that is BEFORE Christ’s atoning sacrifice to take away the stain of sin.

At that time Jesus was speaking to national Israel concerning the opportunity of a physical, literal Jewish ruled Messianic Kingdom which was ‘the gospel of the kingdom’. He knew the religious Jewish leaders would reject Him as their Messiah and he was/is/will be speaking to the Jews about the 70th Week of Daniel otherwise called ‘The Time of Jacob’s Trouble’ generally known as THE (definite article) Tribulation.
69 Weeks have already been prophetically fulfilled to the Jews. We are now in a ‘gap’ known today as ‘the Church Age’ or the ‘Dispensation of Grace’.

The prophetic clock stopped for Israel at the time of the crucifixion. Fifty days later the Church (Jew and Gentile) was born on the Feast of Pentecost because the Jews had finally rejected Jesus as their Messiah.

In Matt 24 Jesus was prophesying what would happen when the prophetic clock restarted for ISRAEL to go through severe judgment in order to bring Israel to faith in the Jesus the Jewish Messiah. This is the context of Matt24; Jesus was speaking to Israel NOT the Church as she wasn’t even born at that time
The Tribulation of altogether seven years is specifically designed for Israel and NOT the Church. God’s plan for Israel (the Wife of Jehovah) is distinctly different to God’s plans for The Church (Christ’s Bride).

By not recognising or accepting this distinction is why there is such a thing as the faulty Post-Tribulation rapture theory. It is part of anti-Semitic Replacement Theology. Matt24:29-30 concerns the 2nd Coming of Jesus at the end of the Seven years which ends when the 7th bowl judgment is poured out and a voice from the Temple in Heaven says ‘It is Done’! This is what AFTER is referring to. Then it’s all over, no more suffering for Israel who by this time a remnant are saved.

Matthew 24:30 concerns the prophesied re-gathering of scattered Israel from all around the globe as well as the Resurrection of the O.T. Saints.
The living Jews of Israel will go physically into the physical Messianic Kingdom to repopulate the greater land of Israel. Those Gentiles who have survived and have accepted Christ, will physically re-populate the Gentile nations of earth – through the 1000 years – until Eternity begins

Expected Imminently said...

John 16:33: 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.

Jesus is speaking about Tribulations we ALL go through; some far worse than others. But it is not THE Tribulation – THE Time of JACOB’S Trouble when God’s severe wrath is poured out onto the final Gentile rule on earth by the last Gentile ruler the man of sin, the Anti-christ during the final 70th Week to the Israel – not the Church who is told she is not appointed to wrath because she has already been judged IN Christ.

Expected Imminently said...

Pretrib teaches IMMINENCY. This is because the Apostles and the early Church all expected Jesus to retrun 'at any moment'.

We do NOT support date setting of any kind.

There are no prophecies to be fulfilled before the Rapture can happen. All signs are for the 2nd Coming NOT the Pretrib Rapture.

Anonymous said...

I have been on both side s of this aurgument. Pre-trib or post-trib, I would advise each of you to be prepared. Prepare for a time prior to a pre-trib rapture, days will grow dark, spiritually before that time and you will need to survive. (No "Lord will provide" please, heard that and if you are still contributing to your 401K plan then you should stop because the Lord will provide. If you have the means now to prepare your physical needs then He is providing)

I know this, this is one area that can be interpreted either way, so you better be ready either way.

Corrie Boone wrote against a Pre-Trib rapture because if it does not happen as you want it to, then how many will fall away?

DrNofog said...

Anon said... "Pre-Trib rapture = Strong Delusion"

Now, why should we believe ANYTHING an angry, clearly disturbed & deceived person says, who ripped that Scripture clean out of context, misapplying it to Christians, to make his point AND violates more of the Word by heaping insults on us with "...crapture lie. you twist scriptures ...believe this idiots ...my satisfaction comes from..."?!?

And then you end your tirade proudly declaring that you derive "satisfaction" from wishing evil upon Believers???

In context [for a change], the "Strong Delusion" is reserved for the Trib and is clearly sent upon "them that perish" [the Earth-dwellers], AFTER the AC is revealed, because they bought into the "power, signs, and lying wonders" and "received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved".

It is also clear that this "strong delusion" is a world-wide falling away from the truth, the "apostasia" if you will, "that they should believe the lie".

It is also evident from surveys that the "Pre-Trib rapture" position is in decline [as truth would be in the last days], so it can't be part of the Strong Delusion and Apostasia, as more and more of the world falls into Israel-hating Replacement Theology, Preterism, Pre-wrath, Postie, Emmergent, New Age, Islam, and Atheism [as one would expect in the last days]...

And since yer planning on going thru the Trib, I would think that should be great cause for concern since yer anger level might just indicate that you have no "love of the truth" and you just might be filled "with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."

You might want to check to see "if you have believed in vain"...

Anonymous said...

Well I for 1, despite my many personal problems, am glad that my entire relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is not dependent on a pre trib or post trib rapture. I could be dead tomorrow for a myriad of reasons some as simple as taking a walk and getting hit by a runaway car.
Some seem to focus their entire relationship on a rapture and it seems to me that a personal relationship with the Lord God should be first and the rapture a distant second.
I read an article recently where the author pointed out that a lot of Christians associate the rapture with the tribulation together but that they may be two distinct entities and some time apart and if that is indeed the case the pre trib rapture may be closer than we think!

Anonymous said...

I have seen the coming of the City of Heaven ...and the brightness of the glory of Heaven.

Have no doubt, this is the last generation.

In the name of our Father in Christ
''fear not, go with God''
''Make straight the way of the Lord''

Expected Imminently said...

Anonymous # ?

The Blessed Hope gives the expectant believer an important advantage over those who defer this ‘hope’ until AFTER severe tribulations; and most likely, a horrible, fear filled, death.

1John3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM; FOR WE SHALL SEE HIM AS HE IS.

3. AND EVERY MAN THAT HATH THIS HOPE IN HIM PURIFIETH HIMSELF, even as He is pure.

Expected Imminently said...

Anonymous # ?

Corrie Ten Boom was wrong to teach her fear as if it were Scripture.

Jesus plainly told us to WATCH (be ready)for His 'unexpected' return!

Her fear was based on an un-belief of that statement - no doubt as a direct result of the Tribulation she and her family endured.

NO-WHERE does Jesus give believers a command to make specific preparations toward putting an escape plan - of any kind - into operation against the 70th Week of Daniel.

Those who make money out of selling such equipment would encourage the fear of the Tribulation to make money out of that fear. It is much easier than applying faith, and trusting in what Christ ACTUALLY said.

LOOK to your wallets, you are being ripped off by fearmongers.

Matthew 7.

Anonymous said...

Wow, just seeing the comment blog for the first time...I am seriously shocked at some of the comments in such an unChristian like manner.

One thing I have learned throughout my life of growing up half Catholic, half Baptist, living with a Jehovah's Witness StepMom and now residing with the Morman's in Salt Lake City is: The Holy Spirit works by keeping things simple...not complicating. I was so terribly confused growing up by all the translated documents, supposide lost books of the Bible, tradition and Hellfire and Damnation and such. I finally, through intense Bible study came to the realization that a personal relationship with Christ is all you need, the Holy Spirit will show you the way. Everything else is just complicated, confusing, stuff...there to confuse the searching soul.

Prophesy is not coded, not a mystery and not something just for scholars. Its very important, and the Holy Spirit will give your heart the answers you need.

Expected Imminently said...

Anonymous # ?

My son reads his Bible but has yet to grasp God given truth.

He decided to trust the Holy Spirit to guide him which is great WITH God's written truth being applied alongside. Without searching the Scriptures, The Holy Spirit is pushed to the back of a life while ANOTHER spirit does its work to deceive. It has taken him into an Emergent 'church' and changed his personality for the worse.

FEELINGS are un-reliable,the FACT of God's Word is paramount. Eventually The Holy Spirit WILL bring my son back onto the right path - I have no doubt, but it will have been a totally un-necessary journey causing hurt to himself and loved ones all along the way.

Actually prophecy isn't THAT easy to understand. It takes study to be able to compare Scripture with Scripture. This is why there are so many varying views on prophecy.

Jesus said IF you love me, you will obey me. If we don't take note of His Word and apply it to guide us, then we don't love Jesus, we are deceived and pandering to SELF.

Look to Jesus who IS The Word; that's the only way to have a 'relationship' with Him. His rules, not mine.

Nathan Jones said...

Anonymous, just lively discussion about something worth being passionate about, that's all you'll find here.

Take the advice of our good mum E.I., you need Bible study as a Christian. Don't be lazy about it. Seek clarity from the Lord where you are confused by various passages. You will then open a treasure trove of insight from the Lord and grow in your relationship with our Savior.

"Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul." - Proverbs 2:9-10

Expected Imminently said...

Nathan

I LOVE it!

"...our good mum E.I.,..."

It makes E.I. sound like a Sailing Ship fully rigged with billowing sails - a fast Tea Clipper would be good - but not the Titanic, she was a steamer and sunk - don't want that eh me hearty?

Wot larks :D
x

Anonymous said...

"Prophesy is not coded, not a mystery and not something just for scholars. Its very important, and the Holy Spirit will give your heart the answers you need.'

EI is right, prophecy isn't always that straight forward. The Holy Spirit may well guide someone to a scholar who has done the ground work. If everyone who claimed that the Holy Spirit showed them some truth, were correct - then there'd be no contradictions. But there are.

rg

Anonymous said...

It's very important to read the Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to guide interpretation, if needed. I was a Christian but not reading the Bible much, then my husband and I started serious Bible study with K-House, and it made a big difference. It will help with discernment of the spirits, so needed today.

Thanks for the scriptures, God. Help us to discern them rightly.

Anonymous said...

Where in Revelation does it talk about 7 years Endtime tribulation? It doesn't! That 7 years is divided into two sections. The first 3 1/2 years was Jesus' time here on earth. The next 3 1/2 is the rule of the antichrist and we will still be here. If all believers were to go the Holy Spirit would go to so who would be left to draw people to the Lord. Some re-thinking needs to take place I feel!!
Penny

Anonymous said...

"Many are they who have put on sack cloth and ashes and gone up upon a mountain saying 'the ends times are upon us.' All, at length, have come down again saying 'the end times are not yet." Bishop of Albi, 1486
You people are all living in a primitive fantasy. Personally, I hope the rapture is a fact so that you all will be taken up from the Earth and free the rest of us from having to deal with crazy fundimentlists