What About the Rapture?

Much of The Rapture talk of the past seems to have tapered off somewhat. This might be because of the large number of failed predictions that have been made down through the years. Hal Lindsey in his book, The Late Great Planet Earth, of the 1970s, predicted that the Rapture would occur in 1981. Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins have written a sixteen-volume series of books, Left Behind, dealing extensively with the Rapture, but have never predicted a date. But I’m sure they would be more than happy for someone to buy their books while thinking about the subject. One of the most recent failures was made by Harold Camping, a denominational preacher from northern California. He predicted that May 21, 2011, then October 21, 2011, would be the day of the Rapture. Many of his followers quit their jobs and emptied their bank accounts. On November 1, 2011, Camping made a public apology for his false predictions.

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A Costly Failure

It seems that through the years one area of God's teaching has been ignored by many in the church. I don't mean that it has not been taught. I know many of God's messengers have spent countless hours teaching both publicly and privately on the importance of this topic. Teaching on this subject is also included in sermons, Bible classes and home studies that are mainly focused on other topics. Teaching on this topic is of utmost importance because failures in this area will have devastating consequences in all other areas of our life, both as Christians and in society. In fact, I am convinced that failure to give heed to God's teaching in this one area is a root cause of all the trouble we have in the church today, as well as the downfall of our society as a whole. This topic is so important that almost every enemy of God has been working to destroy its influence for decades. In fact, it has been under attack almost since the beginning of time. Have I got your attention? Do you know what area I have in mind? Is it the working of God's grace in our salvation? Is it the importance of obedience on the part of an individual? Could it be immersion for forgiveness of sin? Heaven? Hell? Premillenialism?

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Did My Generation Neglect The Grace of God?

I cannot understand how so many of the younger generation of preachers (sometimes encouraged by a few older ones) can talk about how woefully the generation before them neglected to tell people about the grace of God. They boldly speak about it as though it was a settled fact of history and that their generation is going to correct the matter by speaking more about grace and less about commandment keeping. As a qualified member of the preceding generation, as one man once said, “I deny the allegation and renounce the alligator.” They have apparently not read the writings nor listened to the sermons of their predecessors.

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“Why do you seek the living among the dead?”

Luke 24:5

All of us are familiar with the resurrection story, but I want to notice something a little different. Early on the 1st day of the week, following Jesus’ crucifixion, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James and Salome, and other women approached Jesus’ burial tomb to anoint His body. As they approached they were expressing concern about how the large stone covering the entrance of the tomb would be removed Mark 16:3-4. But, when they arrived the stone had already been removed and the body gone. As they wondered about this an angel asked “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” He tells them Jesus is no longer there among the physical dead. “He is not here, but is risen!” He had conquered death and they were wasting their time seeking Him there. He lives. Let’s ask the question the angel ask, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”

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Should We Keep The Sabbath?

Sometimes I hear preachers use terminology or phrases I think lend itself to causing confusion. One such term or phrase is “Sunday is now the Christian Sabbath.” One wonders if they are not trying to appease those in denominations who hold to the view that the Saturday Sabbath is the Christian day of worship? I wonder if they are trying to mix Old and New Testament requirements in order to soften what God has ordered, to make it more palatable. Is the Saturday Sabbath (7th Day) the Christian day of worship? Some churches would say yes, some would say no. But to 'answer this truthfully we need to study God's word.

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