Perversion of Soon Return of Christ doctrine

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Perversion of Soon Return of Christ doctrine

Postby MoNatureMan » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:17 am

I just finished this letter that went out to my E-Mail list.
Your thoughts.

I have a concern about the doctrines of the soon return of Jesus Christ and pre-tribulation rapture. This concern is not about the doctrines, but the direction some people are taking them.

There are many different doctrines concerning the times and the time of Christ’s return to earth.
Amillennial, pre-trib, mid-trib, and post-trib are some of those doctrines. To be truthful, we have to admit that Scripture is not clear on the subject.

The doctrines of the soon return of Christ and pre-tribulation rapture (pre-trib), are being used as the basis for 2 things going on the American church that are unscriptural and dangerous.

The first issue is a satanic doctrine that uses a belief of the soon return of Jesus to feed the lust of the flesh. It has been preached. that we can buy as much ‘stuff’ as we want, and leave the debt to the world when God returns to take us home. This perversion of Scripture is nothing but greed for the things of this world and has no Scriptural foundation. (1 John 2:16)

The second issue is more complex. Many Christians today see the problems coming upon America and are trusting in the soon return of Christ and pre-tribulation rapture to take us out of this world. Pre-Tribulation Rapture is seen by many, as a promise to escape coming trouble. Let me restate. This is not looked upon as a possibility or a hope, but as a promise.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like pain and suffering any more then anybody else. But to think that we are a special people and God has to protect us from any displeasure in this world is unscriptural. All over the world Christians are living and dying for their faith. Some may remember the ‘ring of fire’ from South Africa. The painful life and death of many believers is hard to comprehend, but they are standing firm in Christ till the end. (John 16:33)

How can we think that Christians in America are better or more important to God then others that are literally giving their lives for Him? There is no Scriptural evidence for that view. Are we as American Christians so powerful in ‘faith’ that no harm can touch us? I doubt it. Are we doing a work today that is so great that God has to protect us? I don’t think so. Look at what the American church has done. She has allowed our culture to kill millions of babies and accept homo-sexuality as normal. She stood silent as divorce became more then common. Even inside the church divorce is rampant. At the same time, doctrines like evolution have deceived many. American schools teach world religions, but the Bible is banned. For the most part, American Christians have been silent in word and prayer, and church membership continues to fall. Instead of an escape from trouble, it appears that the American church actually deserves judgement. (1 Peter 4:17)

The real source of these doctrines of greed and escapism comes from the god of this world. It is part of a world wide, major assault on Christianity. The purpose of the assault is to steal the hearts of the believers of Jesus Christ. When the things of this world, our pleasure, our comfort, or even our very life become more important then Jesus Christ, the enemy of our soul has won. I am not saying that we need to be sick, broke and deny ourselves of every pleasure. I am saying, we need to guard our heart. (I Peter 5:8)

No matter what happens. No matter if we are loved or hated. No matter if we are rich or poor. No matter if we are well or dying of sickness. It is the Creator God of the Bible that loved us enough to come to earth, live a perfect life, and die in our place. Then He rose from the dead, proving that He is really God and His words are true. (Hebrews 13:5-6)

I pray that you will not be deceived or seduced by this world, but that you grow stronger in Christ and stay true to the end.

Guard your heart and stay strong. (Proverbs 4:23)

In Him
Ron :cross:

Note:
Ring of Fire in South Africa - Tire was filled with gasoline was placed around believer. If the person refused to renounce Christ he/she was set on fire.
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Re: Perversion of Soon Return of Christ doctrine

Postby natman » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:40 am

MoNatureMan,

You echo my concerns precisely.

MoNatureMan wrote:There are many different doctrines concerning the times and the time of Christ’s return to earth.
Amillennial, pre-trib, mid-trib, and post-trib are some of those doctrines. To be truthful, we have to admit that Scripture is not clear on the subject.


There was a time when I would have agreed that Scripture is not clear on the subject. However, after reading the book, "The Apocalypse Code" by Hank Hannegraff, which is more about reading the Bible using proper hermeneutic principles, I now believe it is MUCH clearer and many of the difficult passages now make sense.

MoNatureMan wrote:The doctrines of the soon return of Christ and pre-tribulation rapture (pre-trib), are being used as the basis for 2 things going on the American church that are unscriptural and dangerous.

The first issue is a satanic doctrine that uses a belief of the soon return of Jesus to feed the lust of the flesh. It has been preached. that we can buy as much ‘stuff’ as we want, and leave the debt to the world when God returns to take us home. This perversion of Scripture is nothing but greed for the things of this world and has no Scriptural foundation. (1 John 2:16)


This was one of the issues that opened the eyes of Augustine as he witness people doing the same thing at a point when the Church assumed a "millennial" event was pending. It caused him to re-examine the Scriptures closely.

MoNatureMan wrote:The second issue is more complex. Many Christians today see the problems coming upon America and are trusting in the soon return of Christ and pre-tribulation rapture to take us out of this world. Pre-Tribulation Rapture is seen by many, as a promise to escape coming trouble. Let me restate. This is not looked upon as a possibility or a hope, but as a promise.


I agree. Nearly EVERY nation has gone through a cycle of discovery, revival, decay, decline, discovery, revival, decay, decline, ... . Why do we think that America is any different? In each case, people will say that they have seen the "signs" of Christ's eminent return, only to be disappointed. The Bible doesn't say WHEN Christ will return, only that He WILL return. In fact, we are warned NOT to focus on His return, but to constantly BE PREPARED for His return because it will happen quickly, like a thief in the night, as fast as lightning striking in the East and being seen in the West, in the blink of an eye. If that is all the time we have to notice and get ready, then we are ALL doomed. It is better to live our lives as if He is already here, standing beside us. In fact, if we believe that we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, then He is indeed already here... inside us.
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

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Re: Perversion of Soon Return of Christ doctrine

Postby bn2bnude » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:45 am

You know Ron, we all tend to be selfish. I think a lot of your points are right on.
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Re: Perversion of Soon Return of Christ doctrine

Postby Petros » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:22 am

In general I agree - including the proposition that the possibly relevant scriptures are by no means adequate to support most of the elegant structures that have been sand-castled on them.

I was not aware personally that "spoil the Egyptians" thinking was still[again?] active. But I suppose one should not be surprised.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: Perversion of Soon Return of Christ doctrine

Postby jasenj1 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:55 am

I've never been a fan of American Exceptionalism. It blends religious pride/arrogance with patriotism in a very disturbing way. It ignores the many sins of our country while claiming the USA is "better" than everyone else. Rather than being humbly thankful for God's blessings and warning us to take care, it fosters hubris.

With regards to the rapture & tribulation: Christ has given us plenty of things to be DOING (feeding the hungry, tending the sick, comforting widows & orphans, making disciples, etc.) that we shouldn't have much mental energy and time left over to be overly concerned with exactly when He will return.

Alas, even the first century church dealt with the issue of Christ's expected soon return being an excuse for partying and licentiousness. Why should we expect better today?

- Jasen.
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Re: Perversion of Soon Return of Christ doctrine

Postby natman » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:21 pm

jasenj1 wrote:I've never been a fan of American Exceptionalism. It blends religious pride/arrogance with patriotism in a very disturbing way. It ignores the many sins of our country while claiming the USA is "better" than everyone else. Rather than being humbly thankful for God's blessings and warning us to take care, it fosters hubris.


I tend to be just the opposite. While I do not believe that we should be "arrogant" in our expression, I do believe that we should ALWAY strive to be "exceptional" as a nation, as states, as local communities, as Christians, as individual churches and as individuals ourselves. Nor should we EVER overlook the sins of our past, but should strive to repent and NEVER commit them again.

I also think that the trend away from "exceptional-ism" has done great damage to us as a country. It was our excpetionalism that helped us be the first country to put a man on the moon and bring them back safely and to become the most productive nation per-capita in the world. Unfortunately, this coming generation see no need to continue leading and appear to be satisfied to follow and to allow themselves to become a "services"-based society, with no interest in producing anything nor becoming any more efficient at it.

However, this also appears to be the same trend of every other nation that has risen and declined before us, so why should we expect to be any different? (Sad!)
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

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Re: Perversion of Soon Return of Christ doctrine

Postby MoNatureMan » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:32 pm

I was talking to my pastor about this letter (I sent it to him too).

He shared that he sees so many Christians today that live only for today.
They buy and buy and enjoy and then eventually have to go into bankruptcy.
He said that the amount of greed in the Christian community is...

He also seemed to blame part of the sin on Calvinism.
I thought about that and yes there are some people that believe in Calvinism and the Once Saved Always Saved doctrine, that think they can do anything they want and still go to heaven. Yes another perversion of Scripture.

We have to be careful. It is true that we can be forgiven of sin. That is why Jesus lived that perfect life, died and rose. But as Paul talked about, we are not to go out looking for and enjoying sin.

In Him
Ron :cross:

Note: I have seen Once Saved Always saved in Southern Baptist and some Charismatic groups.
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Re: Perversion of Soon Return of Christ doctrine

Postby Ramblinman » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:20 pm

I do believe that the advent of Christ will be heralded by signs.
I did not make that up. I got it from a very good source.

However, I think we can take a lesson from the wise and foolish virgins parable.
The wise virgins bought enough oil to last a long time because : ""Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh"" Matthew 24:44.

This is an admonition to eternal vigilance, not rooftop waiting in our ascension robes.

And I hate to end on a grim note, but some of us, perhaps all, will join the dead in Christ before his return.
Those moments can be rather unexpected too!
A very dear man, the founder of this forum has already gone on to his reward...
Are you ready (and working)?

In the highways, in the hedges
In the highways, in the hedges
In the highways, in the hedges
I'll be somewhere workin' for my Lord


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Re: Perversion of Soon Return of Christ doctrine

Postby MoNatureMan » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:37 pm

Ramblinman And I hate to end on a grim note, but some of us, perhaps all, will join the dead in Christ before his return.

I think you are right. We don't know the time or year or day.
The early New Testament Church was looking for His return back then and I believe every generation since.

Will we be the generation??????????????????????
God knows.

Ron
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Re: Perversion of Soon Return of Christ doctrine

Postby natman » Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:20 pm

Ramblinman wrote:The wise virgins bought enough oil to last a long time because : ""Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh"" Matthew 24:44.


We have to be careful when using Matt 24, Mark 13 or Luke 21 (The synoptic renditions of the Olivette Discourse) when referring to "Christ's coming". In each of those cases, in context, Jesus is talking about the "soon" destruction of the Temple and of His "coming in clouds (of judgement)", in which I believe He is directly pointing to His judgement over Jerusalem, it's religious leaders and the Temple. THAT "coming" was heralded by signs of "wars and rumors of wars" as the uprising of the Zealots brought about the wrath of the Roman Empire upon the city, "the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel", which I believe to be the Roman Standards containing the symbol of Nero, standing in the Holy Temple to be worshiped along side Jehovah God, which caused the Zealots to revolt in the first place, and that "this generation (the generation of His followers listening to His voice) will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.".

However, Revelation 19 and 20 clearly point to His coming in FINAL judgement at the end of time as we know it, without warning.
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

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Re: Perversion of Soon Return of Christ doctrine

Postby prairieboy » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:41 pm

MoNatureMan wrote:I have a concern about the doctrines of the soon return of Jesus Christ and pre-tribulation rapture. This concern is not about the doctrines, but the direction some people are taking them.

This is true in general of teachings. I like Jerry Savelle and his message of favor. I like the health and prosperity teachings. There would be no point in going back and trying to live without believing in the message of grace.

However, it is imperative that we remember that the most favored man ever, who operated in the most grace, died at a young age in a violent grotesque manner. Peter, Paul, John, etc. also operated in tremendous grace and favor, yet spent much time in prison, and died at the hands of man.

John Bevere says that a survey was done of North American Christians and while almost all of them knew that grace was the power of God over the penalty of sin, only 2% identified grace as being the power of God to live in victory on a daily basis. For those that don't have a clear sense of where God wants them, or a strong commitment to that cause, who can blame them for picking the doctrine that sounds most appealing, and living unbalanced accordingly? I prefer the pre-trib rapture for this reason, I will be out of here before the real trouble starts. It is also what I have been taught, but I don't teach it because I don't know enough from personal study to have an opinion that I can support. It is a topic on which I need to become more informed about. In the meantime I need to live as if I will live to be 120, and yet as if each day could be my last, trusting in the Holy Spirit to guide and empower. Then it won't matter too much to me personally exactly when Jesus returns.
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Re: Perversion of Soon Return of Christ doctrine

Postby jochanaan » Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:02 am

The one thing we can know from the Bible is that Jesus will return! All else is conjecture, especially guesses about dates. The pre-trib teaching especially has no support in the Bible. I find it a dangerous teaching for that reason and because many have apparently based their own faith on it. What will happen if we find ourselves in the Great Tribulation? If one has based one's life road on being taken away, won't it be a great challenge to one's faith (to say the very least!)?
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Re: Perversion of Soon Return of Christ doctrine

Postby Petros » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:45 pm

"It was like that song of Harry Lauder's where he's waiting for the girl and says, "This is her-r-r. No, it's a rabbut." - quoted from one of P G Wodehouse's writings. The line in question is supposed to be in Lauder's "I love a Lassie"; I have just listened to about half a dozen recordings without finding it.

Ah, well.

Point: much of the hunting for end times signs is like that [been there waiting for people meself] - Here he comes - oh, wait, just a rabbit.

Well, Easter does keep coming and the record will stop spinning someday. Listen to a couple of those recordings and it FEELS like waiting for the 2nd coming.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: Perversion of Soon Return of Christ doctrine

Postby Bare_Truth » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:20 pm

MoNatureMan wrote:.... 2 things going on the American church that are unscriptural and dangerous.

... buy as much ‘stuff’ as we want, and leave the debt to the world when God returns to take us home. ....

Many Christians today see the problems coming upon America and are trusting in the soon return of Christ and pre-tribulation rapture to take us out of this world.


So I see these as essentially the same:
The ship is sinking!
I can't stop it!
So I'll just grab a few goodies off the buffet and go to my assigned life boat seat.

While I can identify with your concerns about this, I think it comes from being dispirited about the political situation, the corruption in politics, the disregard for the constitution, the general degradation and coarsening of our society, the economy employment The power of special interest groups and national debt, the apparent powerlessness of the individual citizen, bureaucracy screwing up what isn't broken and making incredibly stupid decisions about fixing what is broken, and a very big ETC.

With the country in need of CPR it is pretty easy to feel that the situation is hopeless and to want God to sort it out. It is kind of like if you are falling, can't stop, are distressed by thefall, and just wish to hit bottom and have it all over with. Other than that, it's not much of a problem.
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Re: Perversion of Soon Return of Christ doctrine

Postby bn2bnude » Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:22 am

Bare_Truth wrote:
MoNatureMan wrote:.... 2 things going on the American church that are unscriptural and dangerous.

... buy as much ‘stuff’ as we want, and leave the debt to the world when God returns to take us home. ....

Many Christians today see the problems coming upon America and are trusting in the soon return of Christ and pre-tribulation rapture to take us out of this world.


So I see these as essentially the same:
The ship is sinking!
I can't stop it!
So I'll just grab a few goodies off the buffet and go to my assigned life boat seat.
I guess I see things differently..... Everything is redeemable by God.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1 NLT)



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