- Mar 12, 2015
None of this is evidence for pre-trib. I am not asking for a ride on the pre-trib highway of circular reasoning. I am asking for the on-ramp. Where do you come up with pre-trib....from scripture... in the first place.
Also, as I continue to point out, those who believe that the church is going to be on the earth during the time of God's wrath, have not understood the severity of that wrath, that by the time that it is over, the majority of the earths population will have been decimated and all human government dismantled. It is also important to understand that God's wrath was already poured out upon Jeseus, satisfying it completely. Therefore, God's wrath no longer rests upon those who believe in His Son. This is some more of that circular highway stuff that you need to include in your eschatology.
Why shouldn't I take a common-sense approach that if Jesus wrote about His parousia (coming) and Paul wrote about it, that they are talking about the same thing?
Parousia is just a word! You are trying to pigeonhole this word to refer to a specific event, while at the same time ignoring that circular highway stuff. In short, you can't see the trees for the forest.
While you are trying to convince me that the our gathering takes place when Christ returns to the earth to end the age, you ignore the fact that scripture also says that we are not appointed to suffer God's wrath. In essence, you adopt one part of scripture and then sweep the information under the rug by creating weak apologetics in support of your claim.
If you assume pretrib and make this refer to two different comings of Christ, two different gatherings of the church and/or elect, and eisegete that into the text, then you can read it that way. Notice that other scripture uses 'elect' in reference to the church. The problem is this is that it is not reason to assume two second comings of Christ or two 'gatherings' of the elect.
The gathering of the church = Jesus descends from heaven, the dead in Christ rise first and then the living are changed and caught up to meet the Lord in the air. At that point and according to John 14:1-3, Jesus then takes the entire church back to the Father's house to those places that He prepared for us. At this point, Jesus does not return to the earth, but appears only to gather His church.
Second Coming = Jesus, along with the church and the angels, descends to the earth to strike down the nations who will be gathered against Him at Armageddon. It is at this same time that the beast and the false prophet are thrown alive into the lake of fire and when Satan is locked up in the Abyss. This is also the time when the Lord will establish His millennial kingdom.
The end of Revelation tells of the New Jerusalem descending out of heaven after the 1000 years. Christ went to prepare a place for us. Trying to make John 14:1-3 out as proof of pre-trib isn't work when there are other scenarios in scripture that fulfill it.
In the past example we see in history, God preserved His people when He poured out judgments in Egypt--which is similar in some ways to some things we see in Revelation.
"Because you have kept the word of My patient endurance, I also will keep you out of the hour of the trial being about to come upon the whole inhabited world, to try those dwelling upon the earth."
In the scripture above, Jesus says that he will keep us out of that hour of trial, not through it, or during it, but keep us out of that time of tribulation, which is going to come upon the whole inhabited world.
We won't be here!
There is also the issue that Paul, whose immediate audience was first century (or centuries) Christians who are already asleep in Christ, that they were not appointed unto wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Is Paul talking about living on earth during a time when God pours out wrath on it, or is He talking about their not being objects of God's wrath, but rather of mercy? Then you are also assuming a certain chronology to Revelation as opposed to some of these things being pictures of events that happen at the same time.
"Brothers, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who are without hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, we also believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him. "
First of all, Paul is addressing believers, referring to them as "brothers." He is comforting them regarding those believers who have already died, that when the resurrection takes place, the spirits of those who have died Jesus will bring with Him, where at which time they will be reunited with their resurrected bodies. So, those Paul is referring to that have died, are believers of whom he is comforting them about. Immediately after that, we who are still alive will be changed and caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air. Then according to John 14:1-3, Jesus will take the entire church back to those dwelling places, whether it is referring to the New Jerusalem or other places that He prepared, it doesn't change the fact that Jesus will be taking us back to the Father's house in heaven.
This is one of the problems that comes with entrenching yourself in a theological position and then using interpretation of apocalyptic literature as your primary approach to eschatology? The arguments you have for pre-trib are not weighty (or conclusive) enough to outweigh direct teaching of scripture on the matter, or to posit two parousia's or two gatherings of two different elects in the eschatalogical passages.
You are very confused in your understanding of end-time events! One of your problems besides misapplying scripture, is that you don't understand the nature of God, that He does not punish the righteous with the wicked. In answer to this you say, God is going to protect the church during His time of wrath, which shows that you don't understand the severity of that coming wrath, nor do you understand who God's wrath is going to be poured out on during that time and why.
You will just have to wait and find out the answer to this. And when you see it take place just as I and others have said it would, then you will say, "ah, they were right."
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