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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Six Unscriptural Traditions, continued
After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (I Thessalonians 4:17—NIV)
But didn't the Lord in First Thessalonians speak of catching up His saints?
Yes, He did. But if you will notice they first are raised from the dead. This makes them invulnerable to Antichrist and tribulation even before Christ destroys those who had persecuted them.
Second, they are never caught up to Heaven. We are not raised from the dead so we can go to Heaven but so we can live once again on the earth. Think about this.
They are not caught up to Heaven but into the air. They go to meet the Lord as He is returning. They do not rise to return with the Lord to Heaven. Most of those who will be raised in that day have just come from Heaven with the Lord. Why should they return? We are transformed and caught up into the air to meet the Lord at His return so we can descend with Him and destroy the wicked.
So the teaching that the weak believers are caught up to Heaven so they cannot be harmed by Antichrist or the great tribulation is totally unscriptural and totally illogical.
Furthermore the doctrine of the catching up to Heaven is turning the minds and hearts of the believers away from the all-important pressing toward the first resurrection from the dead, which is the real issue of the Day of the Lord, giving them the unscriptural hope that in their carnality they will leave their bodies and ascend to Paradise where they will have no more trouble. This hope springs from the adamic nature and is nothing more than a desire to escape from pain and dread. It is not a desire for increased righteousness or the knowledge of the Lord.
When Paul spoke of his hope of being delivered from the body of sin and death it was so he would be free from sin and able to keep the moral laws of God. Check out the context!
The millions of Christians who have been tortured, maimed, and murdered throughout the centuries were not delivered by removal from the earth. Are we so much more favored that God cannot stand to see us suffer?
The preaching that goes on in Evangelical churches, appealing as it does to the pleasure-loving American people, is absolutely sickening. It is an abdication of our responsibility to be a watchman on the wall. We are betraying Him who died for us when we curry favor with the lukewarm believers of our day, refusing to present to them the demands of discipleship, telling them that any moment now they will be removed from all trouble.
Why are we, who profess to care about the nations who do not know Christ, so ready to flee to the spirit realm? Are we that anxious to leave the peoples of the earth to the tender mercies of Satan?
The truth is, the greatest revival of all time will occur at the time of the coming of the Lord!
To be continued.