Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Were Verses Used Out of Context?

I've posted before that it's a bad idea to use a single bible verse, always look for the content first before you use a verse. I'm beginning to see where some modern doctrines come from using bible verses out of context to support a potentially unbiblical doctrine.

While cruising YouTube looking for funny cat videos (well, if I told the truth and said I was looking for steam locomotive videos from the 1940's you'd think I was a nerd) when I stumbled across a video by Monica Dennington about pre-trib vs. post trib beliefs. She starts with the following verse:
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:18)
This is a nice verse, but Jesus is speaking of his resurrection and sending the Holy Spirit to his disciples, there's nothing in the context of that verse that has anything to do with His second coming or the tribulation, or the timing of the rapture. And luckily Monica doesn't use it for backing up either doctrine, she just lets it hang there and continues on to speak about the fact that we don't know when Jesus is coming back, even Jesus doesn't know, and He spoke at length in Matthew 24 about His return. So if Jesus doesn't know when He will return, an event which is in the bible, how could we possibly know anything about a pre-tribulation rapture which is not in the bible? Were Bible verses used out of context when formulation the pre-tribulational doctrine? Was the Bible used at all?

There is nothing in the bible that states prima facie that there will be a pre-tribulational rapture. Yes, it says Jesus will be returning, yes it says when he returns we will be caught up in the air with him when he does return and after the dead saints are raised (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), but Jesus also said that He didn't know when He was going to return as clearly stated in Matthew 24:36.

My bride is a follower of the pre-trib doctrine, and her favorite argument in favor of a pre-trib rapture is "The Church isn't mentioned after Chapter 4 in Revelation." so my response is now "Without adding a word to scripture that isn't in the Bible, what does that mean?" Her response is "It means that the Church is gone, we've been raptured out." 

No, it doesn't. The fact that the Church isn't mentioned after chapter 4 simply means that the Church isn't mentioned after Chapter 4, that's all. If there's more to it than that we don't know because John did not record it. Cats are not mentioned in the bible at all, can I infer from that omission that cats do not exist? No I can't, all I can infer is that cats are not mentioned and that's it. To believe that we are raptured off this rock primarily because the Church isn't mentioned after Chapter 4 of Revelation means that we are adding words to the bible which is expressly forbidden:
Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)
I call this the Proverbs 30:6 grenade. If you're saying something with authority but have no biblical authority to back it up I'm going to lob a Proverbs 30:6 grenade at you. "Homosexuality is cool with God..." Proverbs 30:6 BOOM! "God loves everyone so he's not going to send anyone to hell." Proverbs 30:6 BOOM! God says I can take my pet Yorkie to heaven with me." Proverbs 30:6 BOOM! "There's going to be a secret second coming to take all Christians off the earth before the tribulation." Proverbs 30:6 BOOM!

Parsing words and arguing over translations or interpretations is one thing, which is also forbidden
Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. (2 Timothy 2:14)
But we must keep our doctrine clean and doctrines without biblical basis must be expunged. My #1 biggest worry is that when things start getting bad, when we start getting fired, locked up, tortured, and murdered for the sin of being a Christian a lot of people are suddenly going to realize that the tribulation is upon us and the imaginary pre-trib escape hatch never existed. They're going to flee the church like rats from a sinking ship. The horrible part is that we know it's going to happen;
10 At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12 Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. (Matthew 24:10-12)
I know I'm going to hear people say "But we were promised that we wouldn't be in the Tribulation!" Proverbs 30:6 BOOM!
Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. (Matthew 24:9)
You may have been promised a rapture, but you were also promised a tribulation. Seriously - what is so special about us? Over the centuries millions of people have been enslaved, murdered, tortured, captured, beaten, and persecuted economically, legally, and physically for their love of Jesus, why should this generation be walking around with a Get Out Of Tribulation Free card in their pockets? The events of the coming years are going to make Fox's Book of Martyrs look like light comedy, our ranks will be purged of the goats in the most horrific ways but those that stay with Jesus will return with Him to finish His work.

Until that time we need to keep our brothers and sisters on the path of His word. Will there be a rapture? Of course, it's in the bible 
And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. (Matthew 24:31) 
When will it happen? Well, Matthew 24:29 says it will be after the tribulation, but as for date, year, day, hour, no one knows. We must keep our brothers and sisters focus on Jesus, not on the rapture. Heck, they may be right about a pre-trib rapture, but while my salvation does not depend on the rapture, their salvation might. If the tribulation strikes and they're betting their eternal life on a pre-trib rapture, their disappointment is going to be horrific when reality sets in. We must break the cycle of dependence on a false doctrine, every soul we can save is one of our bretheren, who Jesus commanded we love. And that's how we must lead them to the true word;
24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:23-26)

1 comment:

  1. Great points! The pre-trib doctrine just doesn't compute and it will ship wreck (or expose the falseness of?!) the faith of many.