In Do We Want to Be Taken? Guided Bible Study (Part 1) we looked at scripture that teaches us about the coming of the Lord Jesus and what that entails. The focus was to challenge the rapture teaching. We considered scripture used to support this doctrine by reading a broader context. When taken in context, we see a few different things going on. There are:
- Events that must happen before Jesus returns.
- Events that happen when Jesus returns.
- A great battle to which many are “taken” after Jesus returns.
Originally, I thought I would write a few articles in a single series to consider all the ideas mentioned in the previous article. Now, I’m thinking this might be more like a digital book. I had been thinking about writing something like this for a while, but I was not sure how it was supposed to play out. Unless I am mistaken, this might be that work I’ve been waiting to do.
I will attempt to paint a clear picture of key events and Christian teaching using the scripture. I will pull in additional scriptures along with those mentioned in the previous article. Once written, this will be a summation of what I have learned over the past several years as it pertains to the gospel of the kingdom of heaven.
All this being said, one of the most valuable things I have learned is that there is always room to grow and more to learn, and we don’t know anything as well as we aught to. Therefore, my beliefs could be lacking. Even so, in a nutshell, this is what I believe according to the scriptures:
- Jesus is the only name by which man can be saved.
- Jesus is the everlasting and fully divine Son of God in the flesh who died on the cross for remission of sins.
- Jesus was resurrected from the dead and ascended to take His place on the right side of the throne of God.
- Jesus cannot return at just any time:
- There must be a falling away first and the son of destruction revealed.
- The son of destruction will deceive the whole world.
- Many who claim to be Christian will be deceived; they are collectively the Great Whore of Mystery Babylon.
- Jesus gave many teachings to warn of falling away and the fate of those who are not faithful.
- The Old Testament provides much history about God’s people falling away. This history is a shadow of present and future events. History repeats, and we should pay attention.
- Jesus will keep His chosen and faithful from being deceived by the son of destruction.
- Christians are not appointed to wrath; we are appointed to suffering for His name sake.
- The seventh trumpet sounds after the last of the faithful witnesses are slain by the son of destruction.
- Jesus returns at the last (seventh) trumpet as seen in the book of Revelation and elsewhere.
- The dead in Christ are raised when Jesus returns.
- The transfiguration occurs in short succession after the dead in Christ are raised.
- The faithful Christians are caught up together to meet Jesus in the clouds.
- Jesus returns to the earth with His army of faithful servants and they ride to the great battle of Armageddon.
- The wicked are “taken” to the battle by way of deception spoken by the false prophet.
- The wicked are destroyed.
- Jesus and His saints are triumphant.
- The son of destruction is bound.
- Jesus and His saints will rule for 1,000 years.
- The son of destruction is loosed to again deceive.
- There is a rebellion.
- God swiftly stops the rebellion and destroys the rebels.
- The dead (not in Christ) are raised and judged.
- Those not written in the book of life, along with Satan and his angles, are cast into the lake of fire.
- The lake of fire is an everlasting “second death.”
- New Jerusalem is established forever.
All of this considered, there are many opposing ideas commonly taught among Western Christianity. These ideas include:
- Legalistic salvation.
- Abuse of grace and forgiveness.
- Worldly Christian culture.
- Denial of God’s sovereignty over salvation.
- The idea of going to heaven immediately after death.
- Worldly concepts of heaven.
- The idea of eternal conscious torment in “hell.”
- The rapture doctrine.
- Poor ideas about “end-times” preparation – or lack thereof.
Along with these ideas, I might write a more personal section that reflects on things I have learned about striving as a Christian. I might approach this by discussing what I think it means to keep the “weightier matters of the law: judgment, mercy, and faith,” because I have made mistakes in these areas over the course of KindlingTruth.
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