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Tag Archives: RAPTURE

Some Satire from the Babylon Bee: Left Behind?


BACKWATERTON, AR—Local man Rayford Williams has been in a coma for the past month, so he was excited to get back to his church family. Unfortunately, he was totally unaware of the COVID-19 outbreak, which has caused most churches to move their services online.

“Oh man,” he said as he walked into the empty church building on Sunday, assuming he had missed the Rapture. “I knew I should have paid more attention to that Kirk Cameron movie.”

Luckily, the church had prepared for such an occasion with a pamphlet titled “So You’ve Been Left Behind” available in the lobby. Williams read through the material and searched his heart, wondering when he had fallen away from his faith. “It was probably that time I played Dungeons & Dragons with my kids. I ran the race for years only to disqualify myself at the end.”

“There’s no time to change my mind – the Son has come and I’ve been left behind.”

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2020 in RAPTURE

 

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What Did Jesus Pray About? (Part 14)

Do you ever eavesdrop on someone else’s conversation?  Of course you do.  We all do.  But what if you are encouraged to do so?  We are given the great privilege of listening in on Jesus’ high priestly prayer — much of it for us! — here in John 17.  We’re on a bit of a side issue for several posts, because the Lord uses the word “world” seventeen times in His prayer.  That word “world” (cosmos) can mean (1) the planet; (2) the people of the planet; or (3) the pagan system opposing God and the things of God.  Let’s notice Jesus’ tenth use of that word today which is found in verse 15.

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before 1the world began.

Jesus Prays for His Disciples

6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of 2the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for 3the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in 4the world no longer, but they are still in 5the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in 6the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and 7the world has hated them, for they are not of 8the world any more than I am of 9the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of 10the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of 11the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into 12the world, I have sent them into 13the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Jesus Prays for All Believers

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that 14the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then 15the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of 16the world.

25 “Righteous Father, though 17the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2017 in the world

 

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“Will Only a Few Be Saved?” (Part 3)

This three-part discussion of Luke 13 in which a person asks Jesus, “Lord, are only a few people going to be

Is GOD a tightwad?

saved?” provides a foundation for us to discuss neo-universalism and its charge that Evangelicalism is stingy and holds that God is not generous in salvation.

Rob Bell (and to some extent Brian McLaren) advocate endless opportunities in the after-death state for God to “melt every heart” and win everyone over to salvation.

The Bible indicates that God owes no one salvation.  His greatness (contra Bell) does not depend on His saving many, a few, or none. Let’s look at our Luke 13 one more time:

22 Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”

He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’

“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’

26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’

27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’

28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

To review:  Jesus does not directly answer this question about “only a few” being saved.  Instead, he launches into an analogy involving a narrow door, a house, and a homeowner.  Jesus begins the story by encouraging His listeners to “make every effort” (the Greek word implies agony) to enter through the narrow door.

It appears that many will try to crash the house (“many will try to enter and will not be able to”) and will be turned away.  The homeowner will at some point get up and close the door, prohibiting any more from entering his house.

But those on the outside do not simply give up and walk away.  They began providing arguments why the door should be re-opened and they be allowed entrance.  They claim to have eaten and drunk with the Lord and to have heard Him teach in their streets.

The homeowner responds to their arguments by saying, “I don’t know you or where you are from.”  The clear implication is that entrance to the house is based on a relationship with the homeowner.  And they had none.

We are then told that He brings the conversation to a screeching halt by saying, “Away from me, all you evildoers!”  This hardly seems consistent with Hebraic hospitality.  But the issue isn’t hospitality, but salvation (remember the original question).

Jesus then describes the outside of that house as a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.  We pick up the text at this point.

28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

Let’s summarize and add a few questions for reflection.

Jesus uses the analogy of a house —

1.  there is a narrow door;

2.  effort is required to enter through the narrow door;

3.  there will be many (competition?) who will try to enter & won’t be able to (why not?);

4.  the house’s owner will get up and close the door (which, of course, is his prerogative — he’s the owner!);

5.  YOU will stand outside knocking & pleading, “Sir, open the door for us.” (v. 25)

6.  His response?  “I don’t know you or where you come from.” (v. 25) (= “you are a stranger to me — why should I trust you?”);

7.  YOU seek to identify yourselves:  “We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.” (v. 26).

8.  His reply:  “I don’t know you or where you come from.  Away from me, all you evildoers!” (v. 27)

9.  CONCLUSION:  “There will be weeping there . . .”

What do we know from Scripture THAT WE LIKE?

1.  He is not willing that any should perish, but that all come to repentance!

2.  Jesus did not come primarily to condemn, but to save.  He came on a RESCUE mission!  Judgment is God’s “strange work.”

3.  The Lord’s arm is not short that it cannot save.  There is no INABILITY in the Lord that prevents most or ALL being saved!

4.  He wants His house FILLED!

5.  He does not delight in the death of the wicked!

6.  He has declared that people from every tribe, people, tongue and nation will be at the throne worshipping!

What do we know WE MAY NOT LIKE from Scripture?

1.  God is thrice-holy and is allergic to sin!

2.  He WILL judge!

3.  Hell is a real place!

4.  Not all will believe!

5.  Satan has blinded the minds of unbelievers.

6.  Death ENDS all opportunities to be saved.

7.  We have an OBLIGATION to get the gospel OUT!

Discussion Questions:  Which of the above considerations need more attention by Evangelicals in light of the challenge of neo-universalism?  How might solid exegetical preaching help in providing answers to some of these questions?

 

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THE DAY AFTER! HOW TO PRAY FOR HAROLD CAMPING

Harold Camping, 88-year-old radio preacher and owner of 55 Family Radio stations, was wrong about the Second Coming yesterday. Unbelievers in the gospel are already laughing at Christianity. Christians vacillate from deriding Mr. Camping for thinking he knew something Jesus said “no one knows” (Mt. 24) to anger to . . . praying for him?

Yes. We should pray for him and for Family Radio’s ministries around the world that are biblical and faithful.
But before we get too serious, please take a look at this VIDEO which shows Harold Camping’s reaction to his failed prophecy.

How might we best pray for Harold Camping?

1.  We should pray that he would publicly repent and refuse to make excuses, claim he had crunched the numbers wrong, or miscalculated.  With every news outlet he should quote Matthew 24:36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”  He should spend his final days and years sharing the gospel with others and permanently resign from the prophecy business.

2.  We should pray for all who work for Family Radio and their families.  These will be difficult days for them to identify themselves as “employees” of Camping.  Rather than defend their boss, they should quickly acknowledge that he was wrong and re-focus their energies on recovering Family Radio’s ministries from this eschatological scandal.

3.  We should pray for all our unsaved friends, relatives, neighbors, and co-workers who will use this occasion to mock at or at least ignore the genuine claims of Jesus Christ on their lives.  How we believers behave can cause the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme His name.  Might I suggest that for the next few days we can engage our friends in a conversation that begins something like this:  “Aren’t you glad that Harold Camping was wrong about the end of the world?  What are your thoughts about the end of the world when it does take place?”

4.  Lastly, may I suggest that we pray for ourselves?  Most of us find this life way too comfortable to even consider the next life.  We cover over our needs with the trinkets of this world, forgetting that He has “put eternity in our hearts” (Ecc. 3:11).  C.S. Lewis said, “If I find in myself a desire which nothing in this world satisfies, the most logical explanation is I was made for another world.”  This world is important, but it is fallen and will one day be destroyed.  We should live our lives with those values in mind.

Discussion questions:  If you found yourself sitting next to Mr. Camping on a three-hour flight, what would you say to him?  Would you offer to pray for him?  How will you use his failed prophecy as an opening to share the gospel with someone today?

 
 

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NO DAYS LEFT! Why Harold Camping Should Return Everybody’s Money and Retire!

According to Harold Camping, octogenarian Family Radio station owner and self-taught Bible scholar, the 2nd Coming of the Lord Jesus should have happened by now. If you’re reading this, you’re either not one of the elect, or somehow Jesus overlooked you in the rapture, OR Harold Camping was wrong again!

I believe he was wrong again. And he should do at least three things before the day is out:

1.  He should apologize to the Christian family for embarrassing the name of Christ with his arrogant, gnostic, ridiculous calculation that, even though Jesus said we couldn’t know the exact date of His Second Coming, he was sure he knew.  Perhaps he needs to read up on failed predictions by our Seventh-Day Adventist friends, Edgar Whisenant in his Eighty-Eight Reasons Why Jesus Will Return in 1988, and one particularly troubling example from South Korea.  In 1992, Lee Jang Rim, the head of one of some 200 Protestant churches in that country, announced that the rapture would take place on October 28, 1992.  Based on a vision of a sixteen-year-old boy, twenty thousand Korean fundamentalists in South Korea, Los Angeles, and New York City took the prediction seriously.  Hundreds quit their jobs, many left their families, some women unfortunately even had abortions (presumably to make their own raptures easier).  Rim’s church bought costly ads in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.  They urged readers to get ready for the rapture and to refuse to have 666 imprinted in bar code on their foreheads or right hands.

On October 28, one researcher says, “Riot police, plainclothes officers, and reporters crowded outside Korean churches, flanked by fire engines, ambulances, and searchlights. Believers took the failure of the prophecy calmly, and there were no reported riots.  Only sadness. In December 1992 Rim was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison for having bilked $4.4 million from his flock. He had invested the money in bonds that didn’t mature until the following year!”

RECENT INTERVIEW ON CAMPING

2.  Camping needs to immediately retire from the ministry and put himself under the spiritual leadership of a local church and their leadership team.  This will be extremely difficult for him to do, especially in light of his cultic understanding that God has abandoned all local churches and that all Christians should disassociate themselves from local congregations.  But he should repent of his bizarre, unbiblical perspective on the local and universal Body of Christ (which He is presently building).  He should step down from radio ministry, turn the microphone and the good work that Family Radio stations do over to others, and humble himself before the family of God worldwide.

3.  He needs to do everything in his power to return every cent which believers have contributed to his ministry based on his wayward predictions of Christ’s Second Coming.  Here is his response to a caller who suggested he do exactly that on May 22nd, 2011:  RETURN MONEY?

He should spend some of his money to place billboards across the USA to undo some of the damage he has caused.  That billboard might look something like this:

Dr. James White HERE  accuses Camping of sliding further and further away from orthodoxy (apparently Camping advocates annihilationism as well as a kind of modalism, denying the deity of Jesus).

Discussion Questions:  How should we pray for Mr. Camping?  Is there any way that the wider Body of Christ can speak the truth in love to him and seek to bring him spiritual health before he leaves this vale of tears by way of death (or Christ’s Second Coming!)?

 

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FOUR DAYS TO GO: CAMPING’S PREDICTION ABOUT THE END OF THE WORLD

Harold Camping, octogenarian owner of 55 Family Radio stations, has mathematically calculated that the 2nd Coming will occur on May 21st, 2011.  So ……  you and I have four days left on planet earth — if we know Jesus.

Predictions of the timing of the 2nd Coming are almost as old as the New Testament.  But Jesus Himself said, “Of that day and hour no one knows!”  Christians have been routinely disappointed and embarrassed when the predicted rapture hasn’t occurred.

But one day He IS coming — and we should be ready.  Being ready involves being about His business which is to share the Good News of salvation with the world (the Great Commission, Matthew 28) and to show His love to all (the Great Commandment, Matthew 22).

If you knew you only had four days to go — how would your life change?  When asked that kind of question about the 2nd Coming, Martin Luther said, “I would still plant my apple tree and pay my bills.”  I like his answer.

Discussion questions:  What is wrong with looking forward to Jesus’ 2nd Coming?  How can we obey the Great Commandment and the Great Commission — and still long for His coming?

 

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