The past couple of nights we've spent at a prophecy conference hosted by another independent Baptist church in the area, Anchor Baptist Church in Burnaby, BC. I'm not sure how to spell the speaker's name, so I'll look that up on his ministry brochure tomorrow and let you know! We heard this man last year at another church, and we really enjoyed his sermons, so we were glad to hear him again. He's been in the ministry for 20 years, and although prophecy is not his "specialty" he has done some in-depth study and has the ability to make the Scriptures come alive on this subject. Our kids learned so much from him in just these two nights!
One thing that I learned is why we believe in a pre-Tribulation Rapture of the church. I knew basically why, having grown up in Baptist churches, but I'd never heard a sermon that had exactly why. I'm going to tell you the five scriptural reasons that he gave for why he believes pre-Trib. I believe this way also. Having said that, let me say that my blog is not a debate blog. I won't debate this with anyone. If you have questions, please print this out and go to your own pastor! If you disagree with me, that's fine with me! As the preacher said last night, there are many saved, devout Christians who believe differently on one point or another concerning prophecy. It will happen, but I'm not going to debate about it. There! That's off my chest now!
Five Reasons Why I Believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture
1. The church is taken out of the world before the anti-Christ is revealed - II Thess. 2:1-3. Every time the phrase "falling away" (vs. 3) is used, it is qualified by its context. In this context, verse 1 speaks of "our gathering together unto him," talking to saved people (brethren). The "falling away" of verse 3, then, is speaking of the Rapture of the church, then the revelation of the anti-Christ.
2. The church is not mentioned at all in the Tribulation chapters of Revelation, chapters 6-19. The saved in these chapters refer to those saved during the Tribulation and are not part of the church.
3. Believers during our present age will not go through the Tribulation - I Thess. 5:9 - "For God hath not appointed us to wrath . . ." This is in the context of the second coming of Christ.
4. God has promised to keep us from the "hour of temptation" - Rev. 3:10. Speaking to the church of Philadelphia: "I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."
5. The Tribulation was not designed for the church, but for Israel, to bring them to repentance - Daniel 9:24-27, the 70 weeks of Israel. The church is not found in the first 69 weeks, nor is it found in the 70th week of Daniel. We are in a parenthetical time between Daniel's 69th and 70th week - the mystery of the church that the Old Testament prophets could not understand.
As I look back on what I've written, it doesn't do justice to all that we heard these last two nights! There was so much information that I was writing furiously the entire sermone! Again, if you have questions about the above statements, please ask your pastor, who could help you far more than I could on a blog comment or e-mail.