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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Ninety-first Psalm, continued
I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. (Zechariah 14:2—NIV)
It also is a fact that major prophecies are yet to be fulfilled, such as the rise of Antichrist and the gathering of the nations against Jerusalem. These events will not happen overnight. They shall take place over a period of time prior to the coming of the Lord. Teaching to the contrary is based on speculations and emotions, not disciplined biblical exegesis; at least this has been my experience.
When the Dispensational screen is placed over the text of the New Testament it creates numerous inconsistencies that must be explained away with remarks such as: "that verse applies only to the Jews"; or "there are things we don't understand"; or "the people of Paul's time could read between the lines and understood his reference to mean other than what appears on the surface"; or, even more suspect, "the Greek term apostasia (revolt against authority) means "falling away from the earth."
This sort of biased explanation would not be permitted with any cardinal doctrine of Evangelicalism. Why is it tolerated with the blessed hope of the Church?
The Lord's protection is not withdrawal to Heaven, it is as it states: "A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you." This is the scriptural comfort. The notion that prior to the rise of Antichrist we will be caught up to Heaven is not scriptural. There is not one verse in the Bible that states the purpose for the catching up of the saints at the appearing of the Lord is to protect them from harm. Not one! Not one verse!
I think the minister whose intention is to preach and teach the Word of God should consider ceasing to announce a pre-tribulation "rapture" of the believers until he or she can find at least one verse that states clearly the purpose of the catching up of the believers is for the purpose of protecting them from harm.
You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. (Psalms 91:8—NIV)
We will not be hidden away in Heaven when destruction comes, unless we have died in the meantime. Rather we will be present on the earth where we can observe the punishment of the wicked.
Note the following:
The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; But the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming. (Psalms 37:12,13—NIV)
Today in America we see what many of us perceive as the exalting of wicked people. When we behave righteously and suggest others should do the same, they become exceedingly angry. Those who do not fear the Lord rail against "those right-wing fundamentalists who are destroying the Republican party." It may be noted that this is a stereotype because there are many Americans who are not Christians who are righteous and have integrity.
Please observe carefully that the conflict, in the above verse, is not between those who are Christians and those who are not, but between the righteous and the wicked.
Many Christians are wicked. Many non-Christians are righteous and have integrity.
To be continued.