To some, the idea of the Rapture, Armageddon, the Antichrist and a 1,000 year earthly reign of Christ may seem harmless, although errant, variations on the end of time. But buried inside these teachings is a hideous idea that will condemn souls to eternal punishment. It teaches a second chance salvation which is not taught in Scripture. A sort of reverse purgatory is taught where the unfaithful experience a period of terrible tribulation upon the earth for a period of time (no more than 7 years depending on the teaching). During that period they may come to Jesus and ultimately, eternally, be saved in Heaven. It is this idea of a second chance at salvation, that is so dangerous. The time of our preparation is now according to the Bible and there is no second chance. To declare otherwise is a devilish doctrine.
Christians agree that there is a coming judgment. Jesus told of his return (Matthew 16:27; John 14:1-4; John 21:22-23). The writer of Hebrews promised a judgment (Hebrews 9:27) and John told of it in the Revelation (Revelation 20:12-15). We all agree that a day of reckoning is coming and all teaching that we should live now in a way to glorify the Lord and serve his interests. Yet to teach people that if you miss the first judgment you can still make the second is profoundly different from clear Bible teaching.
Can you not imagine a man who reasons within himself that he will enjoy the pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:25) in his youthful and adult years but become faithful as he ages? Does it take much more imagination to think that the man, is comforted in the idea that even if the Lord returns before he makes his life right with God he will endure but a brief, albeit terrible, period of persecution on the earth. What a surprise when, like the rich man of Luke 16:24, he opens his eyes in” torments.”
“Behold, now is the favorable time; behold now is the day of salvation” declared Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:2. The apostle was encouraging brethren to remain faithful and not hold the truth vainly. Salvation is present now for those who will obey. The present time benefits of salvation are many but beyond the scope of this short article. It is sufficient to say that one will enjoy many blessings today for his decision to follow Christ. While an ultimate, eternal reward is sought, hoped and dreamed of we know that even now we enjoy immeasurable comfort from our common faith.
We all prepare for undesirable events. We prepare for automobile accidents by wearing seat belts and carrying car insurance. We prepare for illness with health insurance policies. We even plan for our own death with life insurance policies. Those who fail to prepare are viewed with pity as being irresponsible. How much more should we prepare for the one time judgment that we know is coming to all? Let us reject the novel ideas those who teach falsely. Let us reject any idea that offers a second chance salvation unknown in Scripture. This idea of the Rapture was born in the late 1700’s in this country and so it is a new idea apparently unknown to the inspired writers of the Bible and to 1700 years of Christians. Let us stand safely in what we know and reject teachings that conflict with Scripture.
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