Posted in jesus, new earth, pets, rapture

Pets and the Rapture*

By Elizabeth Prata

I’m asked more often lately about what will happen to our pets when we’re raptured. Some ask about the animals we keep, being a farm community. My county abounds with cows, bulls, buffalo, mules, goats, chickens, sheep, pigs and more. I find the question fascinating, and also encouraging. I’m personally invested in the question, too, being an inside cat owner.

The book of Genesis tells us that we are unique in God’s creation, being made in His image and likeness. Also, though we and the animals have the breath of life in us, we were made to have dominion over the animals. Jesus died on the cross for salvation of his people, not animals, who as far as I know do not have a soul, at least, not an eternal soul. It is reasonable to assume that our futures will be different, being of different flesh and having had different roles on earth.

Continue reading “Pets and the Rapture*”
Posted in rapture, theology

How Long Must The Lord Tarry? Habakkuk Asked the Same Thing

By Elizabeth Prata

Any sensitive Christian these days is probably be feeling what I am feeling. The gravity of the times and the perilousness of the dwindling time for the lost weighs heavily on me. I mourn the lost: the hand of Jesus is outstretched to one and all, but many bat it away, or refuse to see it in the first place. The knowledge that millions will be lost forever is truly an ache in my heart. As the time of rapture grows closer, and their moment of deadline for the closing of the church age grows nearer, that ache grows worse. Jesus said that many will be lost, the way is broad, and books will be opened (while the saved are so few their names can be contained in one book). Knowing how terrible hell is, and knowing how the perishing have to literally step over Jesus to get there, the horror of their eternal loss is absolutely crushing to me.

But we are told these days would come, and that they would be perilous: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: “For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3:2-5)

The violence in the world is another ache. Some days the ache is only dull, other times, like today, the ache is sharp. The regard for human life is at a low, but I won’t say an ‘all-time low’ because that low regard for life and the high violence will get worse during the Tribulation. In these last days of the Church Age, though, the violence is certainly bad enough. The commonness of child-murder in the form of abortion has lent itself to this low regard for life. Lately there have been so many shootings.

I hear of tragedies and shootings and rebellious atheism and hatred of Jesus, and I just weep for Jesus. He is so good, so kind, so patient, dying for us, and we simply spit at Him and His love. I was asking in prayer today “Why, Oh, Lord? Why do you wait so long? Why do the unjust prosper? Why do the children suffer?” and He led me to Habakkuk, an Old Testament prophet asking the same questions 2700 years ago.

clock

O LORD, how long shall I cry,
And You will not hear?
Even cry out to You, “Violence!”
And You will not save.
Why do You show me iniquity,
And cause me to see trouble?
For plundering and violence are before me;
There is strife, and contention arises.
(Hab 1:2-3)

The Lord replied:

“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time;*
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.”

The *cross reference in His answer is to Daniel 8:17, which is: “So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, ‘Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.’ ”

The LORD answered Habakkuk in chapter one that He was planning to take care of the immediate problem in Habakkuk’s days, by raising up the Babylonians to punish the Israelites. But more importantly, God said in Chapter 2 that overall justice would come, but in the last days.

I pray that people will come to know Jesus’ love. I also pray that His justice will be done. He will not be mocked. Killings and murders and knifings and beheadings and most important, hatred of God and His glory are equally tragic and troublesome to my spirit as those who refuse His love. He came as the Lamb. He will come again as the Lion. Are you ready? May His will be done.

*This essay first appeared on The End Time on August 2010.

Posted in eschatology, prophecy, rapture, second coming, tribulation

12 Things to Know about the Antichrist, or, Why Prophecy is Important

There are niche segments of study within the theological world that are more valued than others. Discernment gets a bad name, often rightly, because many discernment writers tend to drift toward a more “censorious spirit” as Gill said in his Exposition, stating, “Censorious persons rarely have the good will of their fellow creatures” in mind. However as the pendulum tends to swing, it makes a full arc and for a while discernment receives a poor reputation in total, even while there are good discernment writers and speakers out there (Justin Peters comes to mind) mixed in with the cranks and angry ones.

Though all Christians are called to discern between right and wrong, some have been given extra discernment as a gift of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:10). While on the one hand it’s not to be abused, it’s also not to be dismissed. (FMI on the gift of discerning of spirits, go here).

Eschatology is another area of study which also receives a poor reputation, in no thanks to many Christians themselves. Eschatology is the study of last things, AKA, prophecy, especially the period since the First Coming of Jesus Christ. Though it’s forbidden, some date-set and of course the end date at which their predictions pass with no fulfillment make a mockery of Christ’s name to unbelievers and a disappointment to the believers who were drawn in. Others who study eschatology badly simply perpetuate ridiculous theories concerning the end times. Others wrongly insist that eschatological subjects are biblically unknowable.

My blog covers three areas; discernment, prophecy and encouragement. I’ve seen the pendulum swing from side to side in each of these areas over the last 7 years of daily blogging here at The End Time. I have maintained from the beginning of my blogging life and my Christian witness in real life, that prophecy is important – because it was important to Jesus. Last days are spoken of in almost every book of the New Testament. Paul spent a good deal of time teaching it to the Thessalonians. Even as the babes in Christ that they were, Paul pulled out all the stops to ensure that these Thessalonian Christian babies knew the importance of living with a very present knowledge of Christ’s imminent return. Doing so gives us a heart for the lost, a fervency in life, and a strength to look forward beyond persecution or trouble. I refuse to marginalize prophecy as a legitimate area of study.

Here is Michael Holst stating the point of eschatology so much better than I ever did.

12 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE ANTI-CHRIST
by Matthew Holst • April 01, 2016

One of the Apostle Paul’s great preoccupations in both of his letters to the church at Thessalonica is the second coming of Christ. He was not only concerned with getting the doctrine “right” but also with the great pastoral implications of such teaching. In 1 Thessalonians he writes concerning the second coming of Christ in relation to the resurrection of the dead and the gathering together of saints who are alive at that time. In 2 Thessalonians he reinforces what he had already taught at Thessalonica (2 Thess. 2:5) concerning the dangers of the last days, specifically with regard to the great apostasy in the church induced by the revelation of the Man of Lawlessness. 

Depending on your eschatological framework, your identification of the Man of Lawlessness and his activities may differ from what I wish to offer in this post. Coming to terms with the fact that there will indeed be a Man of Lawlessness plays an important role in the life of the believer as he or she eagerly waits for the day of Christ’s coming. In days of relative peace, we must ready ourselves and forthcoming generations–especially our own children–for the days of anarchic deception that will accompany the Man of Lawlessness. 

We, in the Calvinistic and Reformed church, have not done justice to the Scripture’s teaching on this matter. We often rightly respond to the “Left Behind” industry with dismay and sarcasm. In so doing, however, we have, perhaps inadvertently failed to sufficiently and soberly grasp Scripture’s teaching on this period of history which will be instrumental in bringing about a catastrophic and irreversible apostasy. Here then, are twelve biblical observations about the Man of Lawlessness (MoL) to help prepare us for that day.

For the rest of Mr Horst’s essay, go to the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.

I’d like to reiterate that the Rapture (when Christ calls for His Bride in the air, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) and the Second Coming (when His feet touch down at the Mount of Olives at the end of the Tribulation, Mt 16:27, Zechariah 14:4) are two separate events.

Posted in barnhouse, prophecy, rapture, second coming, tribulation

Expecting God

Dr Donald Gray Barnhouse preached a great 22 minute message called “Expecting God”. In it, he ties together prophecy from Matthew and Malachi, regarding the Tribulation and the removal of the Church prior to that Great Day of the Lord. He teaches this so clearly and concisely but so insightfully that I wanted to share.

One thing Dr Barnhouse said was that the coming of Jesus we are eagerly expecting will be in several stages. This is a notion that even recently in one particular comment stream on this blog, people have a hard time understanding. It is an obstacle which often makes them want to deny the literality of the coming 1000-Year Kingdom, AKA the Millennium Kingdom.

Just as Jesus came the first time over 33 years, Barnhouse said, His second coming will be 7 years plus 1000 years. (Tribulation plus Millennium).

I can only link to the sermon, it is not on Youtube to embed. When you go to this link, the screen shot below is what you’ll see. Just click on “Expecting God” and enjoy!

Posted in prophecy, rapture, salvation, tribulation

Will any people be saved after the rapture, during the tribulation?

A friend on Facebook asked me a question. I like questions. They send me searching the Bible for a Spirit-led answer. I enjoy studying for a purpose. Here is the question:

How it can be that the bible states that most people will go to hell, yet in the tribulation, so many are saved they can’t be counted? Is the dynamic different in the Tribulation?

As for most people going to hell, yes that’s true. The Bible says that Jesus promised-

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:13-14)

A specific answer as to how many will be saved during the wrath known as the Tribulation period can’t be given, because we cannot quantify “many” and “few”. We know for example, that many people died in the Flood (most actually). Few were on the narrow way, (only 8 people actually. Noah and his family). We know that most were sent to destruction when four of the five cities of the plain were destroyed. Admah, Zeboiim, Sodom and Gomorrah were thriving cities full of people, and most were sent to destruction when the angels came to destroy them with brimstone. (Genesis 19:13, 24-25; Deuteronomy 29:23). Only a few were saved (4 actually, and one of those turned out to be a false convert).

Over the course of world history we can’t know how many means few and how many means many. But we notice the fact that as soon as Jesus began teaching the hard truths, most left him. (John 6:60, 66). If we look at the scene in context as a microcosm of the world population, most people throughout history have either rejected Him outright or left the faith showing they never were of Him at all.

Therefore I believe the dynamic in the Tribulation is different. I base this on the verse in Matthew where Jesus said the Tribulation will be a unique time in world history. (Matthew 24:21,

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.

As for why so many would be saved, it is because the Tribulation is the fulfillment of the Bible’s promises. John MacArthur says in his sermon “Tribulation Saints part 1”,

“We have prayed that some day there would be a sweeping revival across the world that would bring millions of souls into the Kingdom. It has been the prayers of God’s people through the centuries that God would bring a great harvest of souls. And He will. One day it will come. It will be the greatest movement of God’s saving power in terms of sheer numbers that the world has ever known. Now that anticipation of that should not shock us because God longs to save…”

Revival is something we always pray for, but we don’t often realize that the revival that comes might look very different than the revival we envision in our head. Usually we envision a peaceful, joyful revival that sparks cultural change and personal peace. Yet the revival ahead in the Tribulation will be in a time of blood and war and grief and widespread martyrdom.

The reasons so many will be saved are found in Romans 11:26, that all Israel will be saved, and in Genesis 12, the fulfillment of Abraham’s covenant that all (pagan) nations through Abraham will be blessed.

If you’re interested, you can hear about salvation during the Tribulation explained more fully in John MacArthur’s sermon “Tribulation Saints” parts 1 and 2, expositing these verses from Revelation 7 under discussion.

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9-10).

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:13-14)

Praise the Lord who saves!!

Posted in birth pangs, prophecy, rapture

Lord, I’ve never been this homesick before

The LORD is obviously preparing the world for His Son’s return. Though this preparation has been ongoing since the Fall, since before the foundation of the world even, it seems to me to be accelerating of late.

I love bluegrass Gospel music. Posted below is the Paul Williams Trio with their song Lord I’ve Never Been This Homesick Before. Remember, we have a job to do on earth, but it is not our home and it is not our final job. We are aliens and strangers here.

The lyrics:

First Verse
There’s a light in the window
And the table’s set in splendor
Someone’s standing by the open door
I can see a crystal river
Oh I must be near forever
And I’ve never been this homesick before

Chorus
See the bright light shine
It’s just about home time
I can see my Father standing at the door
This world has been a wilderness
I’m ready for deliverance
Lord, I’ve never been this homesick before
Second Verse

I can see the family gather
Sweet faces, there all familiar
But no one’s old or feeble anymore
Oh this lonesome heart is cryin’
Think I’ll spread my wings for flyin’
Lord, I’ve never been this homesick before

Posted in church, fullness of the Gentiles, israel, prophecy, rapture

Re-post: No dates! The rapture is a number-driven event

I wrote this in October 2009. It bears repeating. 🙂

For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” (Romans 11:25)(NAS) (Above, poster source)

Paul writing to the Romans here assuring them of the fact of it happening but reminding them that it will not happen until a certain “number” has come in. And after that, Israel’s spiritual blindness will be lifted. The NIV translation states, “full number.” The full number refers to a nautical term, that a ship cannot sail until the required number of sailors had been signed on. And ‘come in’, well, who has not heard of the old saying, “My ship has come in”?

In 1806 the British Parliament passed an act releasing ships from having to stay in port until the ‘full number’ has been reached, and allowing them to sail to certain ports with less than their ship’s required complement. In Dixon Kemp’s “Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing and Architecture” (11th and final edition, 1913) the “full number is defined as “Complement.– The full number; the whole ship’s crew.” These two examples really have nothing directly related to the scripture in Romans, except to present original documents that show the term is indeed nautical and number-driven.

In Mark 13:32, Jesus told the Apostles, “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” Many Christians take this to mean that since we cannot know the day nor the hour, we should not study end time prophecies. Others say that they are simply unknowable. But these notions are incorrect. Kelley again explains, using scripture, that the ‘day nor hour’ refers to the very end, the Second Coming of Jesus after the tribulation. As for the Rapture, we are actually commanded to watch, to look, and to encourage each other as we wait. The Crown of Righteousness is reserved for those Christians who have actively longed for His appearing.

In reality, there are several things Christians can do to hasten His coming, in reaching that pre-determined number. One is to witness, and the other is to pray. If we have shared the Gospel with an unbeliever, we should pray for that person to receive it on a prepared heart and through the drawing of the Holy Spirit. The fullness of the Gentiles will come in when that last person claims the gift of grace, so witnessing and prayer are key in that process. If we never share the Good News then obviously it will take longer to reach the “fullness.” (Though God already knows when that will be.)

Since there is not a date on which God has said the Rapture will take place, praying for it to occur will not violate His precepts and it even confirms them. When we pray we are being obedient to Him who wants to hear from us. In Luke 18:1-7, Jesus told a parable about how important it is to persevere in prayer. (The Widow and the Judge). So pray for hearts to receive His Gospel and for Him to gather his sheep from the coming storm!

We are commanded to witness, (Matthew 28:19), and we are commanded to ask, to seek, and to knock, (Mt 7:7-8). Ask the Lord for His soon return, and then go out into this fine day and share the Good News. Who knows, the person you lead to Christ might just be the one destined to complete the number, and then the ship will sail!