For believing in the rapture I was accused of not believing the Bible. This came as a shock for me since my hope and my salvation and what I know about God came from reading the Holy Bible for over thirty years. Looking at the big picture of Christian beliefs, rapture is a topic that even Christians disagree, I have a Pastor friend who does not believe in the rapture but I had and have many Pastors who believe in the rapture. There are many Christian books written on the subject of Rapture by Hal Lindsey, Ed Hindson, Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel, Tim Lahaye, Jack Van Impe, David Jeremiah, Grant Jeffrey, Chuck Miesler , John Hagee and many others. My question is don't these people believe the Bible as some would claim ?
I would like to present my understanding in support of the rapture in short format.
!. The Gospels, Matthew, Mark , Luke and John contains much of the words of our Lord to the Jews and before He ascended to the heaven He gave authority to the Apostles and early Christians to spread the message to the whole world through the Holy Spirit. It was prophesied that the Gentiles will receive the gospel but the Jews will reject but will accept in the latter times.Will God deal with the church and the Jews separately or with no distinction?
2. From the beginning Satan has been seeking to destroy mankind and God's people but God ( the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) has been protecting His people, although some were/ are selected for martyrdom. Are all people destined for martyrdom ? Not all, in fact some who believe they will go through the great tribulation have long since died example is Walter Martin of Christian Research Institute. Same with the early church some experienced persecution and some are blessed with religious freedom. By the way some who believe they will go through the great tribulation , now do not reveal their complete name and minimize description about themselves, my request is come out of the open.
3. God and Satan are at war. Obviously God will win while Satan believes he can win. Satan does not care for anybody but God cares. God is not willing that any will perish but all will come to repentance. Satan does not want any to escape Satan's fury. God protected Sadrach, Meshech and Abedneggo, carried his people from Egypt, saved Noah and Lot. Shall God not protect His people in these endtimes ?
4. Those who believe there is no rapture , probably will build underground shelter, store a lot of food and water in undisclosed place. Since I believe in the rapture I do not have to do these. In case I am wrong about the rapture. I trust that God has plans for us. I believe I am doing my assignments now.
5. It was claimed that rapture believers are easy prey for Satan. By the way I found a verse in James that says, Submit yourselves to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. As long as I submit myself to God and resist the devil, then as the scriptures says the devil will flee. No one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit according to apostle John. I would like to hear and see those who claim there is no rapture to confess and share to others that Jesus is their Lord and Savior, that they are washed by the blood of the Lamb.
Whew , this is a long blog , but I have to defend myself from my accuser/s.
We live in a world of competition. We want to be number one. We want to be....Before I go any further by we I mean the humankind meaning us. We want to be famous, rich, good looking, brilliant. We want to be the general manager of the universe. If we are to be honest with ourselves we know we are self centered. I heard a question before that goes like this, when you look at a picture, whose image do you look for first? We enjoy looking at the mirror but the mirror can not see our heart, only God can.
Why did I write this blog? I was contemplating on my lifelong dream to be a chess master today, when the question who is the greatest came up. Being a chess master requires outplaying fellow chess players and to accomplish that requires a lot of time,effort and study. Our God is a Jealous God and when we have somebody or anything before Him, He does not like it. I have to confess I was putting God in the background.
Let us go back to the question , who is the greatest ? Our Lord answered that in Matthew 23:11,12
But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Comment: Did anyone of us qualify ?
By the way I heard the argument that Jesus never claimed to be God. For me He does not have to say it, His life, action, words reveal that He is God. The Scriptures testify of Him.No one did as Jesus did, He took the human form,born in a manger, live a sinless lfe, and offered His life a ransom for many.
Today's Christians are examples of disunity, or maybe that is a strong word. We even accused each other of all kinds of labels. Sometimes our worst attacks come not from the world but from people who claim to be our own brothers and sisters in Christ and we do the same to our fellow Christians. From history or from the New Testament even our Lord Jesus Christ was accused of being of the devil. People then think they are doing God a favor, and I believe it is the same now. So any suggestion/s for unity ? I will give my suggestions and you can give yours.
1. Start with ourselves. The Bible says remove the plank that is on our eyes first.
2. Let us describe God as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Nothing more , nothing less.We can still describe Him as our Creator, Provider, Healer, Lord , Savior, etc.
3. Agree that our Lord Jesus Christ will return. Rapture or no Rapture.
4.Salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ, not of works lest any man will boast.
5. That the Holy Bible is God's word.
6. Accept that we are on different levels of maturity. The mature to show the proper example to the new Christians.
I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in 1982 and have stayed with Jesus through the years. There were downs and ups, or joys and sadness, obedience and disobedience, success and failures, confessions and repentances but nevertheless I look forward to be with Jesus when I die.
However I notice some people disagree with me. I have a relative who thinks my belief is wrong and that she keeps writing and talking to me as the opportunity presents itself. Another person thinks because I believe in the Rapture that I am destined for hell. People quote to me the verse found in Matthew 7:21 " Not everyone who says to me , Lord, Lord , will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
What I found out is unless I agree with them and join them that I am not really saved. In fairness, each one of us has certain beliefs that we go by and we apply these on others too. We follow what we think is right. Could all of us be correct ? The obvious answer is "no". Then how will we know who is right ?
In Revelation 20:15 it says " If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."
Has anyone here on earth seen and read the book of life ?Maybe those who think I am not saved have seen the copy of the book of life.
I was taught God is Trinity as a child. When I grew up to about 24 years old I encountered a church that taught God is One or Oneness. Then I met a church that taught God is Two , the Father and the Son. Then another church taught that Jesus is not God. I was confused to say the least. So I made my own research, if God is One only then who is our Lord talking to ? If Jesus is not God, why is there Scripture that says God said to the Son, thy throne O God...To make a long story short, I took the stronger of verses like when Jesus said my Father is greater than me and while other verses like when God said to the Son, thy throne O God..Then I took the latter verse which is stronger besides Jesus could be talking as a man in the former verse.
On the Holy Spirit, I remember a verse that says Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven here ,now and forever.
On understanding the concept of Trinity , I learned not to overanalyze.And I tried not to add and subtract from it. I prayed to God I will just simply believe the way it was written. And from reading the Bible, there is Father, there is Son, there is Holy Spirit, and I believe it. And I am no longer confused. When I glorify one of the three I glorify the other. So glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever , Amen.
By the way, some asked how can one plus one plus one be one?. Some answered too, but one times one times one equals one.
Can we the creatures put our Creator in a box or fully explain who He is ? our answer most likely be no but we can know Him by His revelation of Himself through the written Word, the Bible , and the Word that became flesh and lived among us and through the Holy Spirit who helps us.
For a long time my cousin has been trying to persuade me to visit or join their church. Their church seems to be a hard working or disciplined church, but my main objection to her is their leader allowed himself to be called the "Appointed Son". For me the name "Son" refers to our Lord Jesus Christ and I believe no man should take the title of God. Exception to that rule is Jesus though man takes the titles of God because He is God in the flesh.
Last night I was researching the word holy in the dictionary and lo and behold I saw Holy Father and the dictionary says one of the titles of the pope. Whoa, I said to myself, isn't it Father refers God ? This title has been accepted for a long time. This gives me an uneasiness but I have to decide for myself. If I will be honest to my cousin then I have to be consistent or will I have to change my stand?
Study of Bible Prophecy is one of the fascinating studies that God gave to us. Prophecy I believe is used by God to warn us of things to come. Some doctrines in the Bible are clear like doctrine of salvation etc. Our study of prophecy reveals how we interpret, how we reason, how we discuss, how we react to different views.
On the bad side , it seems Christians fight over the details of the last days.But on the good side Christians are able to talk to each other and discuss.
Another question is how do we live in light of prophecy that we believe ? If we believe we will be here for the great tribulation, shall we build a cave somewhere with plenty of food and water to last for say three years or more? If we believe we will be gone before the great tribulation, shall we eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we will be or maybe raptured?
Why we differ in Bible prophecy ? My guess is we are not sure ( I am talking in general) if the message is for the Jews (Book of Matthew) or for the Gentile church (Paul's letters).
Whether we agree or not, I believe we can agree on this , to live a holy life in light of Bible prophecy. For God said " Be holy for I am holy."
I just witnessed the accomplishment of Roger Federer in winning his 14th tennis major singles title tying Pete Sampras. I can sense the excitement building up before and the joy when Federer won over Soderling.
We all experienced similar emotion, like experiencing our first child, graduating from school, receiving an award, our first communion, our baptism, winning school competition , coming to America, or in any case achieving something we have been dreaming and struggling for.
But what this blog is all about is what we Christians are looking for, the glorious appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Christians of all generations are all looking for this momentous event, and today's Christian generation is no different. But just as we are looking for our Lord , our Lord is also looking to meet His bride, the church.
I believe this event ( the return of Jesus our Lord ) is soon, and very soon.
We are all getting old and since we are all humans , I pretty much sense what goes in our lives. We all have lifelong dreams, ambitions,goals, beliefs. We have idolized fellow humans whether they are movie stars, world leaders , sports personalities, teachers, authors etc. We have collected items whether they are books, awards, cars, houses, properties,photographs, stamps, memorabilias , etc. But let us face it , these won't last for eternity.
So, what will we be doing for eternity ? For atheists, they do not think about this because for them there is nothing out there. From observation , man gets bored easy, could this mean in eternity ,we will run out of things to do ? You may be wondering, why I picked this topic, well I am close to retirement and I am preparing on what to do on retirement but I also don't know how much time I got left in this world. But I believe in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So let us take a quick look at Bible promises, 1) Jesus is preparing a place for us. 2) In heaven or whereever, there will be no more sorrow or pain, no more crying there. 3) no more death 4) no more night . .. I am guessing we would not get old there and there we will see our departed (saved) loved ones.
There will be unending hymns of praise for our God and Savior there. No more competition there. According to Scriptures, at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Before I forget , we will see God face to face. We will worship Him , forever and ever. Hallelujah !!!
Lately I am experiencing spiritual high and down, much like a roller coaster.Sometime I feel I am as close to the Lord as one can be and sometime I feel like my sharing of my Christian faith is exercise in futility.There are times I am thankful for the opportunity to express myself in the internet as truthfully and honestly as I can be yet I question myself if I am being used in the kingdom of God for His glory.
I guess right now I am dizzy after hearing from a co-worker about some articles in the internet about Jesus vs Paul. I took a glimpse of it and thought " Oh my... here is another article or articles to destroy someones weak faith.My quick defense to that is how can Paul be against Jesus when Paul said in Philippians 4:13 " I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me". Maybe somebody took the Lord's words out of context when He said " Saul, Saul,why do you persecute me ?" This I know ,for believers one does not need to explain but for those who do not want to believe no amount of explanation will satisfy them.
Lest I be misunderstood, Paul is God's chosen vessel to bring the gospel to the gentiles and I don't see any writings of Paul that is against Christ.
In this world of dizzying ideas, I will cling on the Word of God, the Holy Bible, with spirit filled people helping me and with the Holy Spirit helping me when things get confusing.