Monday, July 09, 2007

Strange Sounds from the Pretribulational Camp

"For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?" - 1 Corinthians 14:8


It never ceases to amaze me the way the pretribulational rapture teaching can make such fantastic conclusions out of such straightforward Bible passages. As one commits to an honest and objective study of the interpretations presented by pretribulation advocates, one cannot help but notice the gross discrepancies which inescapably arise between the supposed doctrine and the inspired Scriptures. A prominent German theologian put it rather bluntly: "[Pretribulationism] must be refuted as a dangerous distortion of New Testament eschatology."

It is my object in this article to cover a few of the most obvious Scriptural discrepancies that arise from holding to a pretribulational position, in the hopes that those who read the following few words would consider the strangeness and error of this 19th century doctrine.


A SECOND COMING BEFORE THE SECOND COMING

"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." (Hebrews 9:28)

The term "Second Coming" is actually never found in the Bible, although the concept most certainly is, just like the word "trinity" is not found in the Bible but the concept is unmistakably there. Though the verse above is the only mention of the word "second" in connection with the future coming of the Lord, the belief that Jesus will once again return to earth a second time saturates the Old and New Testaments. Jesus announced to His disciples the night before He was crucified, "I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:3) Likewise the angel announced to them also on the Mount of Olives just after Christ ascended, that "this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11) The expectation of the apostles was that Jesus will return a second time to earth in the same manner that He ascended. This is shown by their continual unanimous testimony concerning Christ's coming:

Paul - "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

Peter - "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?" (2 Peter 3:10-12)

John - "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen." (Revelation 1:7)

Notice the apostolic expectation is simply the full and glorious appearing of the Lord Jesus and that no dual distinctions are made. The reason why there are no distinctions ever made between the "second coming" and a "secret pretribulational coming" is because no duality of "comings" existed in their doctrine. The apostles purely preached that Jesus Christ would come again, plain and simple.

On the other hand, pretribulationists, if they are to remain consistent with their theology, must believe in three comings of Christ, a notion utterly foreign to the teaching of the New Testament. Neither Jesus, nor the apostles, ever taught such a thing. To save themselves the embarrassment of such a conclusion, pretribulationists attempt to maintain the expression "the Second Coming of Christ" while at the same time believe in a coming prior to it. They cannot have it both ways. If they say the "secret rapture" is NOT a "coming", then they disqualify all the verses they have since used to support a pretribulational rapture which utilize the word "coming" (see 1 Corinthians 15:23, 1 Thessalonians 4:15, for instance). If they say then that the "secret rapture" IS a "coming", then they must believe in three comings, and therefore maintaining the expression "the Second Coming of Christ" as the final glorious appearing of Christ makes no logical sense.


A LAST TRUMPET BEFORE THE LAST TRUMPET

"Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

One of the most popular pretribulational verses in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, quoted above, and yet this Scripture is in fact one of the most strongest arguments AGAINST pretribulationism!

The context of this verse is speaking about the resurrection of the dead when Jesus comes. Paul says in verse 22 and 23, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." (Notice again that there is no distinction between a second coming and a pretribulational coming... just "His coming"). The key to interpreting when this transformation occurs (if it wasn't already obvious) is the pronouncement, "at the last trump." But what is the last trump and where is it found in Scripture?

It is not difficult to discover that the final trumpet spoken of in the Bible occurs at the very end of the age when Jesus returns to earth in great power and glory with all His holy angels. In our Lord's own words spoken to the apostles in the Olivet Discourse, it is stated: "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Matthew 24:29-31) The last trumpet and the gathering of the saints are synonymous. When the trumpet is blown, it signals the reapers to go and separate the wheat from the tares. A simple comparison of Matthew 24:29-31, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 clearly reveals the timing and nature of the last trump: it's timing is when Christ comes at the end of the great tribulation; it's nature is that it instigates the rapture, or gathering, of the saints. After the event described in Matthew 24:29-31, there is never another trumpet prophesied to come.

Therefore, if the pretribulationists are using 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 to support a rapture prior to the glorious appearing of Matthew 24:29-31, they run into an irreconcilable dilemma. How can an earlier rapture feature the last trump if there is yet another trumpet to be sounded at the end of the great tribulation? How could 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 be speaking of anything else but the final coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as it's context clearly shows? Either verse 52 is truly talking about the last trumpet, or Paul was terribly mistaken.


A FIRST RESURRECTION BEFORE THE FIRST RESURRECTION
"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." (Revelation 20:4-6)

The last discrepancy we will examine involves the resurrection of the dead, which doctrine is an elementary principle according to Hebrews 6:1-2. Our text above clearly reveals that the first resurrection takes place at the end of the great tribulation when Jesus returns in glory. Christ returns to earth and destroys antichrist at the end of chapter 19 and those who are resurrected suffered greatly under the wrath of the beast. But notice also that the first resurrection is not exclusive to only those who passed through the great tribulation; no, it includes all the saints of God from all generations. John sees all those who had suffered for the Word's sake, and states in verse 6, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." This is written for all believers, for we are all "kings and priests unto God" because He "loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." (Revelation 1:5-6) "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed men to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made them unto our God kings and priests: and they shall reign on the earth." (Revelation 5:9-10) The requirement for the second death to have no power over you is for you to take part in the first resurrection. To this all believers will attain by the grace of God.

Throughout the Bible there is only this one resurrection that Christians are promised to receive. We have already looked at 1 Corinthians 15:23. Jesus said in John 6:54, "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." He repeats this expression, "on the last day" four times in chapter 6 so that no one would be confused as to when the resurrection will occur. If we are to believe in a secret resurrection that takes place before the last day then we are not following the plain teaching of Jesus Christ, our Cornerstone.

Either John was correct in saying this is the first resurrection or the pretribulationists are right in saying it is not, and that there is a prior resurrection at the secret coming before the tribulation. What folly! Not one Scripture supports such an idea.


THE TRUTH OR CONJECTURE: YOU DECIDE

In this cursory article we have briefly examined how the pretribulation theory requires 1) a coming, 2) a rapture and 3) a resurrection all prior to the prescribed time clearly set forth in the Holy Scriptures. It is up to pretribulationists to decide whether or not they are going to continue attempting to squeeze the Word of God through the filter of prejudicial conjecture or simply believe the Bible for what it says. In the words of the late W.J. Erdman, the third pastor of Moody Church in Chicago who was once a pretribulationist and an editor of the Scofield Reference Bible before a "further searching of the Scriptures" convinced him otherwise: "Better the disappointment of truth than the fair but false promises of error."

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)

13 comments:

Dave Jamer said...

Hi Eli
An excellent presentation of the truth of God's word!
May the Lord continue to bless you and allow you to keep on proclaiming the truth on these key issues.
Sincerely in Him!
Gramp

Todd Nielsen said...

Hey Eli, what would you say is the impact on a believer's life in Christ who holds to either the pre-trib or post-trib view? How do you think their view for either will affect their walk with the Lord? I guess what I'm trying to find out is what is the weight of this matter in light of all the other doctrines and teachings. How and why is it important? Todd

Christian Gowan said...

interesting comment todd. I'm interested in hearing a response. I enjoyed the read Eli. Lately this has been in the forefront of my mind (along with people coming to a fuller knowledge of our lord Jesus Christ)...

For the first couple of days in Sidney, right over the airport, I thought I hear Jesus Returning. Unfortunately, as each airplane passed by, these we're false alarms. lol.

Eli said...

Dear Todd, very good question.

It matters much in every way, and especially as we draw closer to the end of the age. Jesus did not give us the option of not knowing or being ignorant on the subject. Our Lord told us very clearly and specifically what we were to expect and how we are to prepare for His coming. There is a huge difference between being ready to be whisked away on a cloud and being ready to enter the Olympic Games in a week. A person entering the Olympics must be prepared to enter fully in the rigors of athletic competition. How much more Christians, entering the most serious and trying time Christ said would eclipse anything of it's kind?

Pretribulationism is a false teaching that originated in the 19th century which has lulled the Church into a deep sleep rather than preparing itself for the final hour of trial. Like Jesus, we have a final cross to bear but I fear many Christians have no concept of suffering. How you view the coming end times radically changes how you live day to day, and whether your mind is in line with Christ's or not. I believe with all my heart that because many will not be prepared, many will fall away.

That is why this is such a great burden on my heart.

vince said...

Eli,

I stumbled across your website and, unfortunately, I am unloading my long term disagreement with most literal interpreters of prophetic literature. Sorry for the length. Just think about these things for a few moments.


I have little regard for any very specific and fantastic interpretations of biblical prophecy of future times. The specific fulfillment of prophecy on earth seems to be only properly interpreted by humans after the events. Note the first coming and Old Testament prophecy. Would you have gotten its interpretation right in the pre-christian era? I think not. Why should we expect to get it right now? There will be a future day of the Lord and eventual new heaven and new earth, but specific predictions about the future will only mislead those that are certain in their reading. Pre-, post-, mid- positions about the future should be held with humble hearts not certain heads.

Also, I find that too often the literalist interpretation of prophecy tries to make the fantastic language of prophets into fantastic events. The Hebrew prophetic language is full of graphic description of events in heaven, but most often these protend mundane history on earth rather than supernatural, fantastical events. There are certainly fantastic events that happen in heaven while the historical events happen on earth (see Daniel's description of Angel Micheal's efforts in heaven as historical Persian wars happen on earth). There is a set of parallel supernatural events in the unseen world but the parallel events in the world most often appear as mundane history. Human history often looks purely mundane, but it fulfills prophecy because of the sovereign God (and the actions in heaven).

Examples of fantastic language that have historical interpretations: The red moon and darken sun spoken of (Joel, Amos, Mark, Revelations) is the burning of fields as war approaches. Don't deny this. This is how the Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled with the Assyrian and Babylonian conquering of Israel and Judah. Why must we think Revelations will be different? Oh, we really want to have a fantastical end times interpretation, but the past has shown us that our sovereign GOD WORKS IN HISTORY. The Hebrew Prophet spoke in a fantastic language, but very mundane history fulfills the prophetic writings. The fantastic battles will occur as angels battle in heaven.

Another example. The angels pour out seven bowls in heaven. On earth the result will be non-fantastic history. I seems to me that these bowls are being poured out NOW! One third of the oceans will become dead, one third of the forests will be burned, one third of the earth's species will die. Yikes. Mundanely, humanity is fulfilling the heavenly pouring out of the bowls!!!! I ponder the prophetic language of intense heat from the heavens in Peter's letter. Is the proper earthly interpretation of this prophetic language global warming? Is humanity accomplishing its own judgment of the greedy living, of the unsympathetic neglect of the poor, and the terrible stewardship of the earth? I think YES. Perhaps WE will destroy the earth with intense heat. Oh, the sins of the harlot (greedy commerce). Oh the sins of the horns of the beast (rulers lusting for power). We place many faggots of wood on the flames of destruction and fill the sky with smoke to turn the moon red and the sun dark. Oh, I do see Revelations being worked out in our history and I wept at our sins.

So, Eli, the fantastic fulfillment of prophecy on earth is not the proper interpretation of prophecy. God is the God of history and in heaven the fantastic battle between light and darkness rages. Hold to particular interpretions and predictions of future events lightly. Wait in faith, hope, and love.

Rethink the Tim Layahe (John Darby) fantastic interpretations of fantastic events on earth. This is not how God has fulfilled prophecy in the past. There are only a very few injections of God directly into history (Darkness in Egypt, Mt. Sinai appearance, filling of the Solomon temple, Jesus' birth, Jesus' ministries, and Jesus' resurrection, Pentacost). The much of prophecy is fulfilled by normal historical and physical events. The future fulfillment will be no different ... with the exception of the new advent of God on earth. His advents (Sinai, Jesus, Jesus's return) will be fantastic!

vince said...

Eli,

My suggestions above on non-fantastic interpretions of Revelations are mere speculation.

However, do we read the signs in the skies correctly? Are the pollution filled skies darkening our sun to portend our destruction through intense heat from the skys? Will the earth and its inhabitants witness against us as 1/3 of the species die and 1/3 of the forests burn? Are the bowls pouring out now prior to our end?

How do you read the skies?

Eli said...

Vince,

Thanks for your comment, although I must say I am a bit confused about what you are trying to get at with the mundane and the fantastic. It seems to me that Bible prophecy has always been very specific.

"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)

I contend that the reason the Jewish people missed Messiah is because THEY DIDN'T take prophecy seriously.

"For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place." (Jeremiah 29:10)

God was very specific when He foretold the captivity in Babylon. Whether mundane or fantastic, I have found prophecy always to be very specific. Where allegory is used allegory is interpreted, but where allegory is not neither do we interpret it to be allegorical. I'm sure many scribes wanted to take Isaiah 7:14 or Psalm 16:10 allegorically.

I disagree also with your stance concerning our knowledge about the Second Coming. You say we cannot know and so we cannot be certain. This circumvents everything Jesus ever taught us about the end! Jesus said, "Behold, I have told you before." (Matthew 24:25) No excuses, no ignorance. If what you say is true, everything Jesus warned us about was a waste of His time seeing we cannot know.

There is too much eschatology in the Bible to overlook it or to pass it off as mere historical simplicity. Daniel's prophecy in chapter nine was fulfilled to the day... is there any reason why his other visions should not be fulfilled specifically as well? I'm talking about the 'mundane' as well. Daniel spoke of the rise of the Persian, Greek and Roman kingdoms and they all happened exactly as he said in history. Likewise what he saw concerning the end will happen.

Brother, if you are struggling between what is allegorical and what is literal, fine; but if you are saying everything is mundane and we cannot understand prophecy as it is spoken I strongly disagree with you. We can and we must know, for it is always the will of God for His people to understand, and He has sent us the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth, "and He will show you things to come." (John 16:13)

Bless you Vince,
-Eli

PS. I do not at all agree with Tim LaHaye. I believe Jesus Christ - one final post-tribulational coming to save His saints and destroy the wicked.

Todd Nielsen said...

Hey again Eli, thanks for your quick response to my question. I was preaching at the Halifax Tall Ships event this past weekend (http://onmywalk.blogspot.com/2007/07/waterfont-fun-with-gospel.html) and after my Kirk finished his preaching a couple walked up to him and asked are you pre or post trib? Kind of funny as he and I were just talking about in the car on the way down. Not your typical street response eh?

Ok, I've got a question about your response above. What preparations would a believer need to make for a post-trib return? Store bottles of water and dried food in the basement of their houses? (not trying to be sarcastic here)

I'm not sure how I would live or prepare any differently spiritually. The urgency to urge sinners to repent doesn't change as we need to "prepare to meet thy God" since death can take us any moment.

Preparing for a venture through the tribulation seems like a distraction to the work of preaching the gospel? The Bible doesn't tell us to go out and warn the world of coming catastrophy, but to repent and believe the gospel right?

Eli said...

Todd,

Praise God for the wonderful report! It's good to know the gospel is going forth back in New Brunswick. Thank you Lord!

Understanding the prophetic Scriptures doesn't retract in any way from soulwinning, on the contrary it adds to the burden. We realize the day will not last forever and time is growing short before men will no longer put up with the truth. It spurs us on to save souls as we see the ominous clouds forming.

It is in no way a distraction for Jesus taught the disciples the things of the end, but they went all throughout the nations preaching the everlasting gospel. Paul taught eschatology everywhere he went (Acts 14:21-22, 2 Thess. 2:5) Having our sights on the coming of Christ is perhaps most influential and practical vision.

Very practical, especially in light of the times now. Like I said before, there is a great difference between being ready to ride the escalator and being ready to compete in the Olympic Games, which I think describes pretty much the difference between pre and post-trib. I believe one of the greatest lack in the Church today is the willingness to suffer for Christ. We are comfortable and don't like to experience discomfort. Many of us would compromise rather than experience discomfort (Peter did). It is SO EASY to say you won't compromise and that you'll be ready for tribulation... it's another thing to BE ready and NOT compromise in tribulation, as Peter found out the night Jesus was betrayed. Are we ready to suffer the implications of economic, spiritual, mental and physical crisis beyond anything this world has ever seen?

Someone once said, "The world is now closer to the greatest catastrophe in the history of mankind and the Church has never been less-prepared." Most Christians don't know what is going on, and many think they'll disappear before anything happens. Oh, the devil has done good.

I strongly suggest we begin to identify ourselves with the suffering Church. Read about martyrs from the past, engage yourself in their trials and victories. We need have the heart that Paul had when he prayed, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death." (Philippians 3:10) When was the last time you heard someone pray that?

The Church will soon go through her own Garden of Gethsemane and many will fall out because they were not living a life of self-denial and cross carrying. Jesus learned this all His life. He was fully prepared to surrender His will to the Father's will because He had done it since He was a boy. This is the "mind of Christ" that we must put on. The mind of humility, self-sacrifice and suffering for the glory set before us.

I think if this mind is not in us then it really doesn't matter how else we prepare (ie. food, shelter, etc). Jesus said, "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:31-33)

All these things are important, and I believe God will give us the master-plan, but the greatest need I see today for the Church is to pick up the cross and follow Christ: stop thinking we are going to conveniently raptured from our great high calling; and start growing up into the fullness of the Son, Christ Jesus. We are preparing for a wedding, and the way we currently are is not acceptable.

This is true eschatological preparation.

Vince said...

Eli,

I thank you for your scholarship into prophecy. I am not saying it is wrong. I probably agree with most. However, I do suggest giving grace given to those who have different interpretations. Interpretation of prophecy is not easy (probably by God's design).

I do want to answer your questions about my earlier comments.

Mundane: I don't mean 'boring'. I do mean 'normal history on earth' as opposed to 'obvious supernatural events'. God seems to work through His sovereignty in people and history. His judgment is often locusts or human armies or disease. Interpretation of prophecy should not assume that obvious supernatural events will be the fulfillment of prophecy even if 'fantastical language' is used in the prophecy. Mundane also does not mean that the parallel events in heaven (a la Daniel) are not being described in prophecy, but we will not 'see' these events behind the scenes of history. In Daniel, Michael the archangel is battling 'above' history where no human sees. Mundane history happened for us to 'see'.

Fantastical: I don't mean 'unbelievable'. I do mean 'colorful, descriptive language'. In particular, Joel's fantastical description of an army marching on Israel was probably just a locust horde. I have seen a small scale locust infestation and it was indeed terrifying. I assume his fantastical hebraic description of the terrifying army is matched by the terrifying middle eastern locust swarm. We don't have to spiritualize the fulfillment of his prophecy with fantastical supernatural events to match his fantastical language. We should not assume that all fulfillment of the fantastical language in Revelations will be a fantastical supernatural event. My example in my previous comment was a naturalistic interpretation of the pouring of the bowls.

Going back to my main point, that is, give grace to others who have different interpretations. Your logic may not be the right logic for interpretation, but it might not be. Understanding prophecy before the events is very difficult. You know how to look for the particular 200 sections of the Old Testament and put them together into a coherent story of the history of God's advent in the New Testament. However, the scriptures are scattered (Zechariah, Psalm 22, Isaiah, Malachi, etc) AND there are interpretations of each section that related to the events of Israel prior to Jesus. Many have double fulfillments (even the birth to a maiden in Isaiah 7:14 given to King Ahaz as a sign for his victory in a coming battle). It is not that apparent how to put the verses all together to predict the Messiah's coming prior to his birth, life, and death. The disciples didn't understand them fully for several years after Jesus resurrection. I am sure they kept discovering prophecies along with those that Jesus showed them.

You have hindsight to help you. Don't belittle the pre-Christian Jews because they missed 'the obvious'. It wasn't that obvious. Another example: Daniel can (and is by Jewish rabbis) be interpreted as a prophecy of the Maccabees battles against an antiChrist, Antiochus IV Epiphanes. The pre-Christian Jews were prepared for the Messiah, but exact interpretation of the many fragments of prophecy was not simple for them.

I assume God obfuscated the prophecies a bit to 'manage' Satan's and people's abuse of the actual advent. The prophecies still make it clear AFTER the FACT that Jesus is the messiah.

Just some brotherly advice. Give a little grace to other's interpretations and don't be so certain in your own. Also Keep studying and trying to understand ... you may be right on the specifics, but it is the 'being ready' that matters. 'Being ready' means being a good steward (Matt. 24:42-51) in expectation of his return.

Eli said...

Dear Vince,

I do understand what you are saying and I thank you for sharing your point of view. I agree that not everything is literal (ie. beast with seven heads, which is figurative of the real thing) though it will be fulfilled completely. At the same time there is going to be some real literal fantastic events in the future, like water being turned to blood (Rev. 16:3-7). God did this in Egypt, and there is no reason to believe He will not do it again. It is a righteous judgment, in that while the people of the earth loved blood so much (violence, murder, war, etc) God will give it to them to drink. I absolutely believe this will be literally fulfilled. Not everything is normal. God has done many wonderful works in the past and will do many more in the future.

Vince, the reason I take such a stance on eschatology is because I don't believe in "prophetic preference". I take 2 Peter 1:20 very seriously: "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation." Today's Church gives you the preference of denomination, worship style, Bible translation, you name it... and now you can pick and choose whichever prophetic preference you like: pre-mid-post-preterist... you get to choose! I abhor this mentality!

There is only one truth. This should prompt Christians to thrown off this apathetic multiplicity. I realize most people will dislike me saying this, but I preach post-tribulationism because that is what the Bible teaches. I'm past the point of trying to figure out what is true, I've found it! (the very thing pseudo "seekers of truth" hate the most!) And there is a great responsibility to uphold the truth especially in light of the present situation. We always must be gentle in teaching and have grace, but never flexible on truth. If we do not preach truth as truth it's because we've probably never found truth.

Wow, this will probably be taken poorly... but it's true!

God bless you brother Vince,
Much love in Christ Jesus,
-Eli

vince said...

Eli,

I agree. There is truth and Jesus is Truth. There should be bold confession of Truth. But we do need to remember that "for now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known" I Corin 13:12

I am a realist (there is truth). I just have to keep reminding myself that I need to be humble with regard to my ability to see that reality clearly. I should speak boldly to others about the truth (with courtesy) as well as listen humbly to others (with courtesy) in hopes of seeing the Truth more clearly.

I realize you know these things.

Thank you

Eli said...

Amen brother Vince, on this we can agree!