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May 15, 2020 1:00 am
Let me say this, below, there would be nothing comforting telling the church what you need to prepare for is the wrath of God is going to come on the earth for seven years, destroying 1/3 of the trees third of water pestilence danger death, the Antichrist, and all that's gonna take place.
Could you possibly write to the church and say no one to comfort one another with welcome to wisdom for the heart with Steve and Davey were so glad you joined us today and we are to pause our normal Bible teaching because twice a month we set aside to answer questions that we've received from listeners an opportunity for you to call in with your Bible related question, and we take as many of them as we can and Stephen answers them over the air will that's today and so we are eager to get started.
Here's the first question that we received this month my story. First Thessalonians or versus 1318 04 decades in terms of a rep your some of the leading theologians in the world they're saying regarding all wrong. What is the correct interpretation of the Scriptures. Cory, thank you so much for calling and Stephen. He's right.
The doctrine of the rapture really is coming under attack, and many scholars are denying that it's true. So what does the Bible say well in order to answer your question or you have my Bible open and I've turned in the text you've mentioned it is a classic text on a pre-tribulation rapture view which we hold to hear at wisdom for the heart. First Thessalonians chapter 4 and verse 13 was the text in mind in that paragraph.
So how about I just read a little bit of it in. Periodically, Paul writes, we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that were asleep means they've passed away so that you will not grieve or do as the rest who have no hope. Obviously, these individuals are asking Paul what happened to our beloved mothers and fathers and grandmothers grandfathers and children even. Perhaps you've died. How do we view their future and so what Paul is going to do is answer the question what was happening with these people who believe in Christ and then of died, he says further in verse 14. If we believe that Jesus died and rose again. We do, even so God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain as of the coming of the Lord will not precede those who have fallen asleep. So what he does now is he gives us a little chronology.
He says God is going to bring the people of died with him. He didn't describe where the with him is he at but these people who died aren't in the grave there with him. Paul said to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord so their spirit goes immediately to be with the Lord. There's no soul sleep. There is no limbo there's no period of time whether separated somewhere in the universe.
They go immediately to be with the Lord and God can bring them. That is their spirit back and now their body is going to be resurrected their body which looks like it's sleeping it's in the grave it's going back to dust that's going to come out of the grave. Verse 16 the Lord will descend from heaven with a shout now were told is bringing them with them. So there with him when he appears in the heavens and with a shout of the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God and the dead in Christ will rise first. That means their bodies are going to come out of the tomb, their tombs, their graves, they can be reunited with their spirits which have been with the Lord. Immediately following their death, their bodies would be reconstituted glorified perfected made ready for eternity. And this can be reunited with their spirit.
Now he goes on to tell these living believers that you and me what's going to happen to us. Verse 17 then we who are alive and remain. That is were still living on their will be caught up together with them, whose them, that the Lord and the believers who died to meet the Lord in the air and so we shall always be with the Lord. That word in the English language. That phrase caught up in the Latin Bible is the word rep Touro and that's the word he gives us our word rapture so we use that Latin transliteration.
The verse would read.
Then we who are alive and remain will be enraptured together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we shall always be with the Lord. It's obvious here Paul is explaining that, among other things, he expects to be alive when this takes place at the is very interesting for pre-tribulation, a viewpoint by the way he expects the sink to take place next and he's going to be alive. Then we who are alive and remain are going up that we won't die, so our bodies are going to be glorified, perfected, and our spirits immediately between here and there for screen is 15 describes it as, in the twinkling of an eye. So the very next moment in the history of biblical events in Paul's thinking is the rapture and by the way its comforting effect.
He ends this paragraph by saying therefore comfort one another with these words and let me say this beloved, there would be nothing comforting and telling the church which you need to prepare for is the wrath of God, which is going to come on the earth for seven years, destroying 1/3 of the trees, 1/3 of water pestilence, danger, death, the antichrist and all that's going to take place. Could you possibly write to the church and say now wanted to comfort one another with those words on the comfort is that we're going to be rescued enraptured prior to the wrath of God being revealed. There's going to be a great reunion with those who have already died.
His spirits are with the Lord, who then rejoined with her glorified bodies that come out of the great first and then we who are alive and remain go up as well to be with the Lord. Either we were going up to be with the Lord and off to the father's house. Nothing in that text tells us were coming back down. That doesn't take place until near the end of Revelation where you find the believers coming with him and then coming to earth to establish a literal kingdom.
And that's another question Scott will have to answer later on you so much Yuri for calling then and in Stephen, thank you for your answer but just before we leave this idea of end time events right after the rapture. There is another event called the great tribulation and we received a question about that. After break your bank. Talk about all of the people.
The great number. Great. I am told that it possible according to the game about the power of the only. Rapidly regulate dollars. People that couldn't be our only.
Thank you so much Kelly for calling in with your question, Stephen must break Kelly's question down into two parts.
So really he's he's heard that there are people saved during the tribulation. Is that true yes absolutely. In fact, Revelation chapter 7 is a reference. I think of what Kelly was sort of pointing at in and this is a scene in heaven that John sees where there is this multitude before the throne of God and their singing praise to God and their clothes in white robes and John is wondering where they come from, and the answer is given, and he said to me this is verse 14 of Revelation chapter 7. These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they've washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb. For this reason they are before the throne of God and they serve him day and night in his temple. So you have all of these believers obviously martyred during the tribulation and so all of this multitude representing every nation tried people and tongue are now before the Lord, so there will be more than likely millions of people saved during the tribulation. Okay, so we addressed it really was Yuri's question and Kelly has brought it up again this idea that during the tribulation the church will have been rapture prior to that, the Holy Spirit lives in believers and so Kelly is then wondering how is it possible that people could be saved during the tribulation. If believers are gone and as he puts it, the Holy Spirit leaves with them was a good question. I think it's based on a misunderstanding of second Thessalonians chapter 2, just because the church is enraptured, which I believe it is as we just discussed, and the Holy Spirit indwells the believer, the misunderstanding is that, well, if we leave earth, so does the Holy Spirit. What we know they can't be true. For one thing the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. He is equally divine with the father and the son he is omnipresent he will have a ministry on earth through the tribulation, just like he had. By the way, a ministry on earth before the New Testament before he descended, so to speak in acts chapter 2 and the church created was he on the earth will absolutely was. We know that creation couldn't of taken place without him, for he brooded over the water. Genesis chapter 1. Those first few verses. So just because believers leave in the spirit draws us doesn't mean that the spirit of God is a left the planet. He's alive and well is going to continue here on earth and he's going have a part in the salvation obviously of these millions of believers who are saved during the tribulation.
I think I can go back to that text that Kelly sorta referring to, and he mentions preachers and teachers refer to that.
He's actually talking a second Thessalonians chapter 2 and verse seven and eight it says for the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way that he is a reference to. I believe the Holy Spirit he's restraining lawlessness and he's gonna be taken out of the way. That doesn't mean he's taken away. It means he is taken out of the way. I like the way the message paraphrases it. He paraphrases it this way.
He says the spirit of anarchy is already at work, but the time will come when the antichrist will no longer be held back, but will be let loose. I think that's a wonderful paraphrase. The King James basically says that he'll be taken out of the way.
Phillips by the way I looked up his translation of the New Testament says basically the same thing that the restraining power which will operate until this time will be restricted or the restriction will be removed again were not talking about the Holy Spirit being removed of the Holy Spirit being taken off the planet or away in his influence because I agree you can't be saved without the work of the Holy Spirit through the truth of God.
Yes, he indwells the believer and there's going to be a difference in the tribulation with the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
We don't have any evidence he's going to indwell the tribulation saints, just like he didn't indwell the Old Testament saints.
He came upon them a commission them, he anointed them. This could be different and we don't have a lot of information on that. But we do know the Holy Spirit is going to be greatly involved and he's going to sort of step out of the way. The sense it is going to allow the antichrist and his lawless program to just have full reign going to be utterly horrible when this wicked man possessed by Satan himself has his way on earth, but if I could go back to the message paraphrase. He goes on to say, but don't worry the master Jesus will be right on his heels and will blow them away athletic that Scott Jesus is going to conquer this period of time has specific purposes. One of them is to regather Israel and prepare them to see the Lord coming. The prophet said the one whom they pierced, and they in repentance will receive him as he sets up his millennial kingdom. Thank you so much Stephen friends the number that both Yuri and Kelly used to call in their Bible question is this 910-808-9384. That number is available to you 24 hours a day seven days a week. It's set up simply for you to call in and ask your question, it will actually be recorded and you can call that number any time that you have a question about the Christian faith or the Bible.
It's 910-808-9384 please call us anytime just like this listener Christian, so no food and only water and for how long, how often, and why would you do it.
My thinking question. Is there anything that God won't forgive you know that you been forgetting still think about and feel badly about something in your past and forgiven. Should have peace instead of pain when you think about those things. Thank you very much.
Thank you Marie for calling and were so glad to hear from you Stephen she has to question so let's tackle those one at a time. Beginning with the question that someone has told her that she should be fasting very good question.
Thank you. There's a lot of Pietism unfortunately built in the Christianity is self-flagellation and self-denial and penance.
And you know making long journeys and crawling around on our knees and lighting candles a lot of edges builds its way into our very nature.
We certainly must do something to suffer in order to get God's attention. So maybe if I go hungry. He'll pay attention.
I can tell you right away that that is utterly and theologically corrupt Scripture does not command a Christian to fast. God does not require you to fast in order to get his attention.
He doesn't demand that if you really are serious about your Christianity they get a fast that if you really mean what you mean when you pray that you'll make sure you're hungry when you pray. In fact, I find it very interesting that fasting which was part of the ritual part of the ceremony of the Old Testament, they would fast between festivals by the time Jesus arrived. The Pharisees were fasting every Monday and Thursday and by the way they were doing it them because of her market days and more people could see them so they were making quite a show that the book of acts does record believers fasting before they made some important decisions as acts 13 X 14.
Beyond that, you basically have no evidence of any fasting taken place. In fact, of the KJV translates second Corinthians chapter 6 and verse three and four. As Paul going through many difficulties many afflictions, many hardships many fast things that were fasting simply refers to hunger.
In other words, there were times when he just didn't have anything to eat but let me let me sorta flip the coin over now, having said that, there's a lot of corrupt pietistic theology related to we do find in the book of acts which by the way is transitional, so be careful. There is no command in the epistles to fast. We find them focusing time in prayer and I would say that if you want to spend time with the Lord and the only time you can spend time with him is during your lunch hour and so you take that launch our new pray instead of eating because that's how committed you are at that particular point in time because some decision needs to be made will praise God for that Yuri or simply focusing on the Lord, the Lord isn't going to pay special attention to you because your stomach is growling he is going to be moved, as it were by your spirit and desire to pray in and gain his attention. Spend time with them and you know food guy gets in the way in such a way to demonstrate to the Lord, that you really are serious about that time of prayer. I'm afraid we connected with not eating and we put the two together and we think okay gotta really be impressed if I don't eat while nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, we do know that transitional book in the book of acts or came along and told Peter to kill bunch animals and Edom. In other words, enjoy the feast. Enjoy eating, eat well, but if there's a time when you want to just redirect your attention away from that lunch hour or away from breakfast a particular day, because that's the only time and really, you don't want to eat anyway because you're so troubled are your burden. That's more of the idea of what it means to skip a meal and go to the Lord in prayer.
By the way Michael fasting is not some supernatural planning to lose weight.
It is in some your divine plan to get healthier. It has to do with spending time and desiring intimacy with the Lord, and sometimes with your schedule food eating mealtimes are going to get in the way. Now I will mention one other tax because it is significant, the disciples of John the Old Testament prophet, and there there follow the fastings of the Old Testament rituals they come to the disciples of Jesus in Matthew chapter 9 affect. I think in all three or four Gospels it's mentioned every Gospel of John. Every gospel record, but John thank you Scott so this is pretty significant. They all come to the disciples of Jesus and they asked the question why are we fasting and why did the Pharisees fast but your disciples Jesus your disciples do not fast where they fasting and Jesus says to them, will the attendance of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them.
In other words, he says, look, this is a wedding context, the bridegroom is here were going to celebrate the feast of the wedding.
The last thing you would ever do it.
A wedding is fast. You don't fast at that scene you fees and the king is here so I think there's great caution to be made were celebrating beloved because the king arrived. He lives now in our hearts that there are times where we want to spend special time in prayer, but don't make some theology of fasting and some ritual and some pietistic mumbo-jumbo to where you're the spending of this time in God's really gonna be up a note to tell Gabriel a look at that guy you know about he is really serious Maria down there. She is really good to get my attention and I want to back the truck up because she skipping a meal. Now that's not it. Be careful, be careful.
Just make sure you're going to learn understanding. He loves to talk with you.
He loves to be in communion with you and when you pray, you can enjoy that when you get a full tummy or your stomach is growling Stephen. I know of people who have felt that certain things have started to encroach on the relationship with God.
And so they fasted from those things maybe taken a break from television for a while. Learn taken a break from other forms of media, and they they they call that a fast design. Yeah, I understand the use of of that I would use the word fast it's going to confuse younger believers in the thinking this this pertains to some New Testament command and also concerned to about that civil because of Roman Catholicism in the lens were you to give up things. Listen we celebrate what we have because we live in and under grace. Every meal we eat can be done to the glory got everything we do with our hands can be done for God's glory. Every activity we can sense his presence were celebrating our new life in Christ and in this idea that I'm going to suffer in some way to get God's attention really disturbs me as I'm sure you can tell because that robs Christ of his sufficient cross work to pay in full all the penalty of our sins so that we are now sons and daughters of God the father already royalty were just waiting for the kingdom to come. Thank you. And since Marie's second question is really unrelated to the first, let's go ahead and listen, and forgiving. Still think about and feel badly about something in your past, and forgiving to have peace instead of pain when you think about those things I guess I didn't catch it the first time Maria actually has two more questions. I thought it wasn't one but the first one I think you couldn't answer pretty quickly. She's wondering is there any sin that can't be forgiven. Absolutely not. There is no sin that's unforgivable except the one that you don't want to repent of. But when you came to Christ by the way, there is no way you could even remember all your sin so you simply came to the Lord is said, Lord, I want you to forgive my sin, the body of sin and that's what Paul talks about the Colossians Colossians chapter 2 in verse 14 tells us that that record the Jesus canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us, that is you.
You have this record of debt.
This record of sin and it was hostile to you.
It it it wanted to send you to hell, but the rest of that verse says, but he Jesus has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross all of your sin past, present and future. He paid for by the way he paid for it.
Almost to thousand years ago when he saw every sin you commit your first one, and your last one, and he paid for it all. But Stephen Marie's not alone in dealing with this idea that she thinks back on her past. There is regret in their sorrow over sin and instead of peace, you will Maria want to let you know that you join a club called Christianity.
And we all feel the same way, but only say quickly, something about memory, because we have some misunderstandings related to that. If I could take you to heaven in the scene in heaven. In Revelation chapter 6 where those individuals are referenced earlier in the program were martyred because of the faith in Christ and are killed by the Antichrist and his forces here. They are these saints they been martyred there now in heaven there glorified or perfected there in the presence of God and what are they saying in chapter 6 and verse 10 how long the Lord, holy and true, will you refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth. So here they are around the throne of God.
Guess what, they remember that they were martyred and they remember that they were mistreated and they remember that God has yet to judge righteously on their behalf. So don't think that even in heaven the word I can remember a lot of things, but it will be perfected. There will be no guilt. Our memory will be perfected, will seek God's providence and his purposes. All along the way. Ellis bring it down to where we live today. Let me take you to the apostle Paul in his own personal testimony and I don't know what you know about Henry but he persecuted the church before became a believer and he struggled with the fact that he put people in jail. He was probably responsible for the deaths of many individuals.
We know he watched his Stephen was stoned to death as the church was first created, but here he says in his own personal testimony in first grade. In chapter 15 and verse 10 and by the way Marie this is your testimony and this is mine. By the grace of God. He says I am what I am, and his grace toward me did not prove vain. That's a wonderful text is that the grace of God is made us who we are. Now let me redo the verse just before that Paul says I am the least of the apostles and I am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. Do you think Paul ever forgot to think he ever got over the regret of his sin against the Lord in this precious church no. He goes on, though, makes removing the verse 10 but by the grace of God I am today.
What I am so in your very well put question, yes, you can experience peace.
Sometimes you'll experience pain. Sometimes you go back and forth.
Just remember peace and pain. They're all transcended by God's pardon, there's another word with EP for you okay pardon of Christ is complete. Through his cross work and his grace on your behalf.
We remember sure but it belongs to Jesus paid for and your free now forever.
Amen thank you so much Steven and thank you Maria for calling in with your question. Let me give you our Bible question number one more time.
It's 910-808-9384 and we'd be delighted to receive and hopefully answer your Bible. Questions now if you'd like to speak with us, please call our office. That number is 86 648, when we come back on Monday. Stephen begins a new series quest assuring join us then right here on wisdom for the heart