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Thank you dear brother. May The Lord bless these practical and helpful words!
Bob, sorry to see the working over you are getting from ‘gracealone1’ over on Eliza’s blog. He made some quite provocative and unedifying comments in my view. Calling fellow Christians heretics and false prophets and implying they are working for the Devil is a pretty low approach in my view. But that seems to be his style he did something similar to me a while back. In my view it is a waste of time seeking to engage with folk of his ilk.
For what it is worth, I have always wondered why people get hung up about things like the rapture and the millennium kingdom. Seems to me they are very much secondary issues.
Having observed Christian History I have noted that virtually every generation of Christians have been convinced they were living at the time when Jesus will return. Well they have all been wrong so far, and I think it best to assume that the same will likely be the case in this generation.
I have to admit that I have to watch myself when replying to some of his vitriol — the temptation is to respond from the flesh and say some unedifying things myself. And I do wonder if it is worth replying to him at all, except I also have to think about Eliza, who is apparently following the whole discussion.
The timing of the rapture is a secondary issue — Unfortunately a large number of churches and Bible schools have written the Pre-Trib position into their doctrinal statements and have made it a test of fellowship, which is extremely frustrating to me, since I think they are the ones who are probably wrong on the issue. On the other hand there are passages in the Bible that deal with the last things, and they are there for a reason. There is a practical lesson to be drawn from them, and we should try to understand what it is.
And you are right about past generations thinking that they were living in the last time. I had a history professor in college once who said that people who think that we’re living in the worst of times don’t know what the 10th Century was like! But every generation has its own struggles and is called to faithfulness, and these passages I think are meant to challenge us and encourage us, even if it should turn out that we really are not living in the last days. My concern right now is that most American evangelicals are ill prepared for what may lie ahead as the surrounding culture grows more hostile toward Christian orthodoxy. We may be soon reliving the First Century Christian experience, and some of these passages may take on fresh relevance!
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