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Conflict in the Church

The return of Jesus Christ and the setting up of His millenial kingdom are issues that sometimes causes Christians to break fellowship with other believers who believe differently about these issues than they do. In the pre-tribulation view (supported by these scriptures: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:50–54, and John 14:3) it is believed that Jesus Christ’s Second Coming will occur in two stages. In the first stage He comes for His Church by meeting believers in the air, and in the second stage He comes with His Church to set up His Kingdom on Earth. [1] In the mid-tribulation viewpoint people believe Jesus will return for His Church at the mid-point of the tribulation and again at the end of the tribulation to set up His millenial kingdom. In the amillenial viewpoint people believe that Jesus will return for His Church at the end of the tribulation and there will be no millenium.

Jesus said that people would experience trouble in this life in John 16:33: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” However, there is a major difference between people experiencing tribulation in their daily lives, and people experiencing the wrath of God. This Earth has not gone through the period that Jesus described in Matthew 24:21: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

There is reliable evidence that the Lord Jesus will come for His Bride before the Tribulation begins. Throughout the Bible God saved obedient, righteous people from going through catastrophic events and He will save true believers from the catastrophic events that will occur during the Tribulation. Some examples of God saving faithful people from disaster include:

  • God miraculously parted the Red Sea to rescue the Israelites from the Egyptians. (Ex 14:15)
  • Noah and his family were saved from the worldwide flood. (Genesis 7:1-24)
  • Lot and his daughters were saved by Angels from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis 19:29)
  • Three Hebrew children in Babylon were saved from the fiery furnace. (Daniel 3:16-28)
  • Daniel was rescued from the lion's den (Daniel 6:22).

God also said that true believers would be spared His wrath in the following scriptures:

"And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come." (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)

"Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." (Romans 5:9)

"Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth." (Revelation 3:10)

Early Church Fathers such as Clement, Ignatius, Irenaeus, and Victorinus believed the righteous would be spared from God’s wrath, and in the doctrine of imminency. [2] The trend away from the pre-tribulation view of eschatology and the beginning of spiritualizing scripture began when it was popularized by Augustine of Hippo in 400 A.D. [3]

The following is a quote by Jan Markell speaking about people who say the Rapture is a teaching by John Darby that only got started in the 1800s. She states: “Of course he didn’t! He may have popularized it somewhat. But I was going to say back in the early church they were saying, “Maranatha” to one another. They were expecting the Lord’s return during the early church.” [4]

Belief in a pretribulation rapture is not merely the desire of Christians to escape from the increasing evil and trouble in this world. The truth of this view is clearly supported by scripture and the early Church Fathers. However, whatever end times view a follower of Christ believes in should not be a reason for anyone in the Church to ostracize, criticize, or exclude that person from fellowship.

 References:

  1. Brian Broderson - https://backtobasicsradio.com/the-second-coming/
  2. The Rapture: A Pre-Darby Rapture by David Petterson, July 2020 https://truthandtidings.com/2020/07/the-rapture-a-pre-darby-rapture/
  3. Amillennialism from Augustine to Modern Times: https://bible.org/seriespage/4-amillenniallism-augustine-modern-times
  4. David Reagan - Jan Markell on the Mockery of Bible Prophecy:  https://sermons.love/dr-david-r-reagan/10113-david-reagan-jan-markell-on-the-mockery-of-bible-prophecy.html

 

3 Comment(s)

  • author image

    charlie.trayal  11/13/2023 5:23:32 PM

    Absolutely lovely. I agree❤️

  • author image

    ksporl351  10/30/2023 5:24:57 PM

    I agree with you too.

  • author image

    heather123  10/30/2023 12:39:46 PM

    I agree with you thanks!