I believe the Bible is the word of God.
I also believe the Bible has power and authority – however not to the point of deification. The physical book itself is not divine but contains the words and wisdom of the King. So in this light I respect the Bible as coming directly from the King.
I believe the Bible is to be taken literally in it’s historically grammatical context. Through prayer, diligent study, and meditation we can truly understand what His word is saying to us and apply it accordingly. When we hold it in this context we learn that this book is not simply a historical text but is an active and unfolding truth in our own day. We are part of it’s message and we are witnesses to it’s truth unfolding.
2 Timothy 3:14-17
“14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
18 “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
“Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'”
Why do I emphasize this issue so strongly? Because if you don’t believe that the Bible is the word of God and if you don’t believe that there is power and authority in it’s pages, then you are already doomed to be faulty in your thinking towards God, truth, spirituality, prophecy and the future. In fact I don’t even take seriously people who claim to be Christians but reject the authority of Gods word. That type of attitude is misguided and disrespectful towards the One who gave us this book.
Now why do I make an issue about this in a post about the rapture? Because unless you believe in and uphold the authority of Gods word you will be willing to degrade and dilute it to spiritual allegory and history lessons. I feel sorry for those who lower the Bible to that level – they’re missing out on some incredible blessings.
Now then, if you do accept the words in the Bible as being from the King then you will respect them and take them literally! God has revealed to us His plans for the future and they include a rapture! So by the authority of the word of God I say to you that there MUST be a rapture or Christ himself has not been raised from the dead and we are still dead in our sins.
1 Corinthians 15:12-19
“12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.”
I thank God for the promise of the rapture, or as the apostle Paul refers to it the ‘Blessed Hope’ – it will happen one day, catching the entire world by surprise. Also, I firmly believe that it will be pre-tribulational. To fully understand why this is you need to understand the prophecies from Daniel of the 70 weeks. I have no intention of going into detail here but basically Gabriel gave Daniel a prophecy that from the time of the decree to rebuild the city of Jerusalem in 445 BC until the time of Jesus Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem (days before He would be crucified) would be 69 weeks of years (483 years, as each week represents 7 years.) These 70 weeks were specifically for the Jews and were the summation of the future.
24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.
While this could have happened 7 years after the crucifixion, it did not because the Jews did not accept Jesus when He presented Himself as their King. The 70 weeks prophecy was put on pause with 7 years left to be fulfilled and rest assured, God has not forgotten them.
In order to understand the rapture better, we need to understand the church better. You see the church is a side project – we are a blessing brought out of the Jews rejection of Christ. The church is a wild olive branch grafted onto a cultivated olive tree – but in order to make room for us the branches of the unbelieving Jews had to be cut off. The Jews were promised the kingdom of God and were being groomed for it ever since the day God led them out of Egypt.
When Jesus came the first time He repeatedly stated “The Kingdom is at hand!” He was telling the Jews that they could have their promised Kingdom now, if they would only accept Him as their King – but they would not. They failed to recognize the time of their visitation because they were expecting a military leader to come in and overthrow the Roman rule – but Jesus came first to atone for the sins of the world and then upon their acceptance would set up His Kingdom, but they only wanted the Kingdom.
However because of their rejection of the Messiah, God destroyed their city and their temple and He dispersed them out among the nations. He used their rejection for good, to draw a group to Himself of all peoples, nations, tribes and tongues and He called this His church. It’s critical to remember that the church is not a replacement for Israel but we are an addendum per se.
At the appointed time in the future, God will rapture the church off the earth and return His focus to Israel and finish the last week of Daniels prophecy. This is why it’s referred to as the 7 year tribulation, because each week represents 7 years. It is also referred to as the time of Jacobs trouble (Jacob’s name was changed to Israel) so we know it’s a time meant specifically for Israel and not the church.
1 Thessalonians 5:9
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Also, immediately after delivering a message on the tribulation Jesus said:
34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
We are commanded to watch (be aware of the signs and times) and to pray that we may be counted worthy to escape the tribulation. The great tribulation is a time of Gods wrath being poured out on the earth for two specific purposes. Judgment on an unrepentant world and to open the eyes of the Jews, causing them to realize that the One they rejected and had crucified is the God of the universe and their messiah Jesus Christ. It is only through Him that we can be rescued from this terrible time that is going to overtake the world. If we surrender to Christ and abide in Him, He will be faithful to rescue us from that time by rapturing us off of this planet.
Keep looking up and pray to be counted worthy. Israel was regathered as a nation in 1948 so we know that God is getting ready to finish the 70th week and if the 70th week is near, how much closer is our redemption!!
If you’ve become lukewarm, or if your heart has become weighed down with drunkenness and the cares of this life, I urge you to pray and repent today – the rapture will happen in the blink of an eye, so you may not have much more time.