So, now, I want to take this opportunity to return the favor, and direct you toward his collection of music. After only a little research, I quickly found Robert has been quite respected in the “avant-garde” genre of musical composition. As he states, 99% of his music has been recorded in real time without the use of MIDI. (Ah, yes, I remember those days well, with my synths and Tascam 8-track analog recorder.) Robert has a vast library of songs, many still in the process of being uploaded to the net. The best site to go to for an introduction to his biography, philosophies, and the link to his personal web site is http://www.rspearson.com/rsmusic.html
I want to thank Robert for believing in my music and the Lord, though we may disagree on some doctrinal and ministerial points.
Now, on to this month’s message. I believe a person should admit when they are wrong, even when it comes to theological ideologies. As an artist, I require of myself to keep an open mind about everything, taking in as many sides of a story I can. In spiritual matters, it is extremely important to do so, because just when you think you have something completely figured out, you may automatically be closing the door to any new revelations the Holy Spirit wants to give you. My case in point is my last December’s blog about the pre-tribulation rapture theory.
At the time, I felt I had conclusive scriptural evidence the rapture would occur post-trib. After having researched and debated the subject much further, I have come to a new conclusion. There are definitely scriptures in the Bible to seemingly support all three rapture theories – pre, mid and post. Really. They all seem strikingly conclusive. They can all be interpreted to prove any of the three theories.
I want you to understand, my main motivation for writing the previous blog was I needed to defend myself from militant pre-tribulation rapture people who told me that if I didn’t believe in pre-tribulation rapture, then when it occurred, I would not be raptured. I would be left behind. I’m sorry, but I don’t believe in a God who would leave a faith-filled believer behind. I am, and have always been ready for Christ’s return.
I have also been told that pre-tribulation rapture believers display true, strong faith in God’s provisions, while mid or post tribulation believers display a complete lack of faith. This thinking doesn’t make any sense at all. To me, it takes greater faith for one to believe in God’s will, and if He desires, His provision and protection during the Great Tribulation! It takes the greatest faith we can have to surrender to God’s sovereign will for each of us, even if that may mean we are made martyrs for His cause. It is God who is in control, no matter what we may want to think. He has His reasons for every single thing that happens. It is simply not for us to know the “why” of everything He does.
Again, in 1st Thessalonians 4:15 –18, we read of the coming of the Lord (Greek: coming = arrival; advent –not a separate “rapture”) when the dead and alive faithful followers of Christ will rise to meet Him in the clouds. In 2nd Thessalonians 2:1-4, Paul sheds more light on Christ’s coming (again, arrival; advent). 2;3,4 reads, “Let no one deceive you by any means, for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” NKJV The falling away is of true believers. “Falling away” is the Greek word apostasia, meaning defection; apostasy. These verses also say the true believers at the time of Christ’s advent will at least witness the Antichrist sitting in the holy temple of God, proclaiming to be God.
If there were ever a place for Paul to mention that one must believe in pre-tribulation rapture in order to be saved, it would be within these passages! Here is an extremely articulate man, full of the Holy Spirit, who was given the mystery of salvation to the Gentiles; who was permitted to enter the realm of the third heaven at God’s very throne but not to utter what was revealed to him to any other living person...and yet, knowing it is God’s desire that none should perish, Paul doesn’t mention something as monumental as, “Oh, by the way, all must believe in this rapture theory in order to be raptured, or God is going to make you go through some really nasty stuff, even though you love Him with all your heart and have tried your best to be obedient to His Word.”
The point I’m getting at is there are way too many people who are out there arguing about when the rapture will occur for the sole purpose of being able to say they are right. They just want to win the debate. In order to defend myself, I got sucked into that kind of thinking myself. Now, thank God, I’ve moved on. My concern is saving souls and making sure the souls that are saved stay that way. So I still believe the can be a danger in investing all faith in pre-tribulation rapture. Because if, just if, the Father does not decide to send His Son back at the time a pre-tribber expect Him to, what could happen to their faith? “Let no one deceive you by any means, for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first...” Throughout church history we have seen this happen before, where someone or a group of people have set dates for Christ’s return. A massive revival would be occurring at the time. But when Christ did not return, guess what happened? The Holy Spirit ceased to work among the people, and the revival came to a screeching halt! The Spirit could no longer work within a people who had lost their faith! We must learn God does things in His own timing. As Jesus said, it is our job to watch.
Even if you believe in pre-tribulation rapture, I would hope you would appreciate my concern. Matthew 24:44, “You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” NLT That is His perfect way of making sure that we will constantly be watching as we should. It keeps us on our toes. It should forcefully prompt us to lead more faithful and obedient lives. The Holy Spirit’s point in inspiring those words was not to have everyone start arguing when it will occur. God simply wants us to know He runs the show. He is willing to give discernment and wisdom to those of us who ask for it, but He is not responsible for how we ultimately decide to interpret His Word.
As I said in my previous blog. What we believe about the rapture is a matter of theological opinion. Nothing more. There is no evidence in the Bible that I can see that specifically states we must believe in a particular theory to be raptured or saved. It would be such an important major doctrine, that the Word of God would make it crystal clear and simple, just as the Gospel can be understood by a child. There would certainly not be as much disagreement over it as there is, especially militant disagreement. The discernment and wisdom of the Holy Spirit does not bring the chaos this subject is bringing. That is the work of humans and possibly Satan. Let’s all just agree to keep the faith in Christ’s return, and let it go at that.
As always, do all things in love, and God bless you.