Our Blessed Hope
As persecution and even martyrdom -- Littleton, Peducah, Fort Worth etc. -- have become known here in America, many Christians have gone from being "pre-trib only, " to a"post-trib" Rapture.
"Post-trib"- ONLY (meaning a rapture that comes after the Great Tribulation is over) is not a Blessed Hope; it's resigning to "fate", with no way out.
Now, some think that we will see only persecution until the earthly return of
Jesus Christ. Are some of us losing our Blessed Hope?
"Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
For ye have need of patience that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
For yet a little while, and He that shall come, will come, and will not tarry."
Hebrews 10: 35-37
We must not give up on our Blessed Hope---whether it's deliverance FROM or THROUGH--God always Delivers; He NEVER abandons us to "fate".
Let's see what the Scriptures have to say.
PRE- GREAT TRIB fits every verse in prophecy
Please see "addendum" hopetotheend.com/addendum.html for timing.
The Scriptural teaching is that Jesus Christ will return for His own, before global antichristian persecution breaks out (sanctioned by all governments).
In other words, when there's no where else to go but up, then it's UP we go!
Today, America is still a glimmer of hope for Christianity, although it is in its waning stages.
Day by day, we see the harassments against Christians accelerating.
We see Christians becoming the target of hate groups, while at the same time being insidiously called "a hate group".
In other words, the victims ---we Christians---are being called perpetrators.
No matter that Peducah, Littleton and Fort Worth clearly defined the issue--
that it is Christians who in fact are the target of hate groups.
FALSE DOCTRINE OF IMMINENCY (Imminence ... meaning the Rapture could occur at any time )
Jesus is OUR BLESSED HOPE. He has promised to raise up ("harpazo", "natzal") all worthy believers to be with Him. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-19.) He did not say He would come at any time ( imminent ). The false doctrine of Imminency (occurring at any time) causes 3 things:
1. GIVING UP
The false doctrine of "Imminency" causes people to give up believing in the Rapture. It's just like when a person cries "Wolf" too many times, people then turn a deaf ear. Well, "Imminencly" cries "rapture" too many times, and then people begin to turn a deaf ear.
2 Peter 3: 3, 4 "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers , walking after their own lusts
And saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming ? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."
Never Give Up http://hopetotheend.com/dontQ.html
2. FINANCIAL JEOPARDY
This false doctrine of imminency causes people to radically change their financial lifestyles, thus jeopardizing their future here on earth. (Not keeping up with retirement plans, insurance plans, unnecessary job changes, accumulating debts that they erroneously feel they'll beat the odds and not have to pay back, selling homes, unnecessary relocations, gambling against time in many other areas of decision-making in their lives.)
How many people can testify that this was true in their lives?
We ourselves experienced "rapture fever" (imminency) many years ago and made some serious financial errors. We had to search the Scriptures very carefully ourselves in 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2 to find out the plain and simple truth. Certain events have to come first.
One must just keep on keeping on, with sound financial investments and plans, until Our Lord comes.
"Occupy till I come" Luke 19:13 ....meaning 'continue as usual till further notice' (signs).
Two signs are clearly given in 2 Thessalonians Chapter Two.
MAN OF SIN FIRST ! 2 Thessalonians 2
"Now we beseech you brethren by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him ( the rapture ),
That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled,
neither by spirit, or by word, nor by letter as from us,
as that the day of Christ (our rapture) is at hand"
[ "Day of Christ" means Rapture and is only found in KJV Bibles ( which pre-dates the modern mis-translations which switch the word "Lord" here instead of the original word "Christ" . The "Day of the Lord" means severe judgment.
The mis-translators switched the word “Christ” for the word “Lord” in order to have it mean what they WANTED it to mean: a rapture before any judgment.
Not so. That is wishful thinking and will be severly judged. Rev. 22: 18 and 19.
We do not leave until Rev. 11: 15--18. (after the 6 trumpet judgments.)
( The Holy Spirit, speaking through Paul the Apostle, is telling us here ( 2 Thess. 2) that the Rapture is NOT IMMINENT. Paul emphasizes the fact that they are not to let anyone tell them that ).
" Let no man DECEIVE YOU by any means:
for that day of CHRIST shall NOT come except
1. there come a falling away first ( apostasy, non-Biblical faith being endorsed by "religious " leaders )
2. and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition."
This means that our rapture can NOT come until 2 very visible signs occur:
1. apostasy within the church ,
2. and the revealing of the man of sin, sitting in the temple as God.
We have already seen apostasy, as many people fall away from Biblical doctrine.
But we have not seen the man of sin SIT in the Temple as God yet. ( as of February 10th, 2017. )
2 Thessalonians 2: 1-- 4
In eternity, many shepherds are going to have to face the fact that they did NOT warn their people of those two PRE-conditions, before the rapture could ever take place :
1. the global apostasy,
2. and the rise of the man of sin sitting in the temple as God. 2 Thessalonians 2: 2-- 4.
They were commanded to warn in Ezekiel 33 and Isaiah 56:10
is a GOOD Shepherd. He tells the truth, the WHOLE truth, and nothing but the
truth. He warns His flock of certain signs to look for.
Our Lord anticipated "rapture fever" and He wanted to protect His flock from this false doctrine of "imminency", and that is why the Holy Ghost spelled it out plain and simple for us in
2 Thessalonians Chapter 2 :
If the man don't show, we don't go. Period.
Marvin Rosenthal agrees that the Rapture cannot take place until the man of sin sits in the Temple as God.
We at Hope To The End do not believe in Imminency;
However, we do believe that we will be raptured before the Great Tribulation. ( the last 3 and 1/2 years of this era. )
We base this upon 2 Thessalonians 2 (the 2 events which must take place FIRST before the Rapture ); and we base this
upon 1 Thessalonians 5 : 1--7 .. that we could possibly leave at the same time as the destruction of WW 3. (2 Thess. 1: 7,8.)
Please see Luke 17: 29 and the term "same day".
Also we will be as in the days of Noah: as the rains came down, the ARK went up.
When we leave our first love--- Scriptural verification--- we get into
false doctrines, like "imminency" (rapture can happen at any time). Where does it say that Jesus can come at any time in Scripture?
No where. But it DOES say He will come after 2 events occur.
Next, this false assumption leads to presumption (rapture-guessing) and then each time a Jewish holiday comes along, the "rapture-index" goes way, way up, and then after the holiday passes without an event, the disillusion and depression sets in. For some, this is a very deep plunge, and they get disillusioned with church altogether.
Our faith is not built on roller-coaster rides. Our faith is built on the solid rock of God's Word, immovable forever. We need not put ourselves through an emotional roller coaster ride, by needless expectations, followed by despairing realizations.
Our Solid Rock, Jesus, gave us the specific signs to look for explicitly in
2 Thessalonians Chapter 2. Are we obediently listening to His still small voice ?
Or are we allowing ourselves to presume ?
The Church is not Israel, and Israel's feast days are for Israel's Messianic fulfillment.
The Church is to be in step with the Holy Ghost, described as a "wind" in John Chapter 3 that goes where it will. Are we keeping in step with Him?
Our Lord told us that He would come at a time we think not.
(Matthew 24: 44) Could that mean that the Church is not to be in harmony with Israel's Feast days
of Leviticus 24 ? Possibly.
"No man knows the day nor the hour." Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32; Luke 12:40.
We are to wait on the Holy Spirit, and for the specific signs given in 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2.
Then---and only then---will we know the day and the hour.
A DECLARATION, A DEMONSTRATION and a PROCLAMATION
No, Our Lord never taught a counter-productive watching. He explicitly and
VERY CLEARLY gave us 3 definite signs to watch for.
SIGN NUMBER ONE :
Jesus tells us in 2 Thessalonians 2 that first there must be a "falling away" (most likely a definitive
declaration made, that would divide Christianity....
including the heresy that 'all faiths are equal'..... inclusiveness ).
This is known as 'the Apostasy' . ( 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2:3)
This Apostasy is a world-wide concept: that all faiths are equal. This concept is not sanctioned by Bible-believing, true Born-again Christians. To be born again is to be born from on high (John 3:27)
To have global religious-solidarity here on this planet is to be born
from below, "earthy" (1 Corinthians 15:47,48 ).
The False Prophet comes from the earth. Revelation 13:11.
Jesus said : "There is none other name under heaven given among men,
whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12
"I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Me" John 14:6
SIGN NUMBER TWO
Once the apostasy is established, then there can be the arising of the man of sin, sitting in the
Temple SHOWING himself as God.
This sign would not be a proclamation, but a demonstration.
2 Thessalonians 2:3
The reason that the man of sin hasn't shown himself before is because the apostasy wasn't thoroughly established or entrenched
( "now you know what witholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time." ).2 Thessalonians 2: 6.
SIGN NUMBER THREE
He also told us that there would be a proclamation of: "Peace and Safety
(1 Thessalonians 5:3)
One sign has already occurred.... the falling away (division among believers).
There remains 2 other signs which have not occurred as of yet, although they could happen quite quickly as we watch current events.
When all 3 events have taken place,
(a declaration , a demonstration and a proclamation) then we can safely and most assuredly say that the Rapture is soon to take place. But not until then.
To teach the false doctrine of "imminence", is to cause people not to look for these three very distinct signs given in 2 Thessalonians 2, and for some, to eventually give up looking at all.
SALVATION AND WORKS
Only the sinless One, Jesus, is accepted by the Father as a righteous
sacrifice for the sins of mankind...."the Just for the unjust".( 1 Peter 3: 18)
When Jesus sacrificed Himself on the Cross on our behalf, He opened the flood gates of Salvation for us. But Salvation is not automatic. We have to perform a work in order for Salvation to be applied personally.
"This is the work of God : that you believe ( trust ) on Him whom He hath sent." John 6:29.
"Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." James 2:24
There must be repentance ---- Psalm 51;
true and genuine sorrow for sin, and a Godly change in our lifestyle.
Isaiah 55:7....Ezekiel 18:21
Repentance that is sincere is daily, and ongoing. ( Proverbs 24:16 ). We examine our conscience and motives daily.
Only our confessed sins are covered under the Blood of Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:8, 9 and 1 Corinthians 11:31
"This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent." John 6:29
Without our personal belief in Jesus Christ ( our trust in His blood-atonement for our sins ), Salvation cannot be applied.
ABIDING AND WORKS
When we work the work of faith, believing and trusting in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, then we must continue in works:
"Even so Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone" (James 2:17)
Our work then is our lifestyle of righteousness (daily obedience) to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit within.)
"And to her (speaking of the Bride of Christ) was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." Rev. 19:8.
MAINTENANCE through the Holy Ghost
Some Christians do not believe in works. Works do not save us, but works of obedience maintain us. Some believe that Salvation is automatic and on going. Not so...we can lose Salvation. Hebrews 6:4-6
Even David cried out, "Take not thy Holy Spirit from me" Psalm 51. David asked in humble brokenness. He did not presume on "spiritual rights", or in his past obedience. Ezekiel 18:20-32;
NO OSAS ( Once Saved Always Saved )
Matthew 13:18- 22 + 51. Though we cannot earn or merit Salvation ( it is a free gift ) we are responsible for MAINTAINING our spiritual state. We are to respond to the Holy Spirit's voice within us that prompts us to good works ..such as are enumerated in Matthew 25: 31--46. Unless the Holy Spirit prompts us, our own works will be vain. Our works stem from our own inclinations; the Holy Spirit leads us by His voice to an obedient abiding in God's will for us.
" Faith without works is dead" James 2: 17, 18.
Simple Analogy: A person can give you a car. It is up to you to maintain that car , or else the car becomes ineffective.
Some Christians believe that nominal-Christianity ( in name only, church attendance only etc.) inherits all of the blessings of Christianity. Again, not so. The Lord gave an explicit parable to show how that concept is misunderstood.
In Matthew 22 many Christians are called to the Marriage Supper.
They are the "Called". They believe in Christ as Savior.
But those who did not believe in works--- the righteous linen garment of the saints mentioned in Rev. 19:8 --- were cast into outer darkness in Matthew 22, meaning they were left for the Great Tribulation. This does not mean
" inner darkness", which is being in a condition without hope. They are still the 'Called'. But they were not the "Chosen".
The "Chosen" chose to believe in works of righteousness, maintaining their abiding in the Vine of Jesus Christ ( John 15 ).
That is not the work (singular) that saves or redeems, but the works (plural)
of a righteous continually-repentant lifestyle and daily obedience that keeps our relationship with Our Lord in close communion; the works of abiding in Jesus through a lifestyle of purifying obedience. John 15:10...and 1 John 3:3
Those who choose to believe in works of righteousness, obedience and
an abiding relationship with Jesus Christ in close communion are the "Chosen" in Matthew 22. And they are the wise virgins of Matthew 25.
They go in the Midnight Rapture. They are counted "worthy". Luke 21:36
Those left behind will need to become broken and contrite in heart and spirit. They will need to repent and have their lifestyle match their beliefs in a much more dedicated and committed way. They have the Cockcrowing Rapture (CCR) to look forward to; and indeed that is truly a great and Blessed Hope !! See also http://hopetotheend.com/ccr.html
PRAY TO BE COUNTED WORTHY
We are to "pray always that we be counted WORTHY to escape all that is coming upon the world
and to stand before the Son of man". (Luke 21:36)
To be counted worthy is to believe in and work the daily works of righteousness.
We must be living lives of holiness and separation from the world, and from those things of which
we are cautioned against in Holy Scripture.
Without separated lives of Faith (intrinsic to obedience) to our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, we
can not please God. Hebrews 11: 5,6
Because of this fact, some Christians are more prepared than others for the Lord's return at the
Midnight Rapture. This is proven by Matthew 25.
The 5 wise virgins knew exactly when their Bridegroom was coming, and they had their lamps filled with oil and glowing. They were filled with the Holy Ghost and shining the light of witness in their lives.
Those who were not ready did not have light, and were left behind. But let us remember, these were all virgins, a Biblical term for the Church.
Just because they weren't ready doesn't mean they were abandoned.
It means they were cast into outer darkness, the Great Tribulation. This is not inner darkness, which is being in a state of hopelessness ( hardened, unconfessed sin ).
Are those who are left-behind left without hope? No. God never abandons anyone to hopelessness, unless they choose to live apart from Him.
He has promised to be with us until the end of this Church Age (Matthew 28:20).
The Church Age ends at, or near, the time of the Ascension of the 2 witnesses. Rev. 11:12.
Jesus has promised to never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
"You'll Never Walk Alone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN8oN8I3lrk
PRE-WRATH RAPTURE (COCK CROWING RAPTURE)
please see "Sheaves" hopetotheend.com/ch5sheaves.html
What hope do those who are left behind have?
If they then live lives of separation from sin, and apply daily obedience to Jesus, and if they have never taken the 666 implant (mark of the beast, Rev. 13: 16-18) in their right hand or forehead (and if they have not yet died by the terrible conditions within the Great Trib, nor been martyred) then they have the slim Blessed Hope of our Lord coming as a thief (at a time unknown to them) to rapture Believers before the final vials of wrath are poured out upon an unbelieving world. Rev. 16:15
This is not like the Midnight Rapture where the 5 wise virgins knew the hour of their Lord's coming. This rapture is unknowable. But it is a rapture all the same. Why do we believe so strongly in this rapture?
For 2 very good reasons. It is verifiable by Scripture (mainly) and it is consistent with God's nature.
A GOD OF HOPE
Our God is a God of Hope (Romans 15:13) and He NEVER leaves His people hopeless. He has a hope for the dying (Isaiah 43:2) and He has a hope for those living during the Great Tribulation (Rev. 16:15).
We are saved by HOPE. Romans 8:24
"Who against hope believed in hope" Romans 4:18
"Thou art my HOPE in the day of evil" Jeremiah 17:17
"Our hope unto the end" Hebrews 6:11; 1 Peter 1:13
"Which hope we have as an anchor" Hebrews 6:19
We are aware that these issues are highly controversial. Yet we can only proclaim Scripture , truth,
enlightenment, hope and courage. That is our commitment here at HOPE TO THE END. We chose
that title from the very beginning to underline the fact that even in the worst of times---
---we STILL have "that Blessed Hope and glorious appearing of the great God
and our Savior Jesus Christ ". Titus 2:13
Our God is not only a God of Hope, but most importantly of all, He is a God of MERCY.
"He that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out" John 6:37
May He come soon. Maranatha!
Index of all Articles
on the Rapture: ( complete list of all
articles pertaining to the Rapture )
Enoch and Elijah ...raptures proven in Scripture
Sheaves ...." evening, midnight, cockcrowing and morning" .... Mark 13:35
The Blessed Hope ...false doctrine of immanency
Coming to Terms .... explaining the words that concern the raptures
2 Thessalonians 2 .... man of sin sitting in temple first, before the rapture
The Cockcrowing Rapture ......" one will be taken and the other left "
The Maiden on the Shore by J A Seiss ..." I come quickly"
Please see Index for more articles on the Rapture