Posted by: biblestudyseattle | January 2, 2016

Don’t Be Left Behind!

From a Billy Graham tract:

“Jesus is coming back!  God’s Book, the Bible, promises that Jesus will return to take his faithful followers to live with him in his glorious presence forever (John 14:3).  Everyone else will be left behind to face the most difficult times mankind has known.”

Believe or else!  The last line above is wrong.  The faithful will go through the most difficult times mankind has known, some from heaven, some on earth.

“If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.”  Matthew 24:22

In other words, those awful days must be shortened or the faithful would not survive!  Continuing in the Billy Graham tract:

“When will that happen?  The Bible made clear predictions about the times leading up to Christ’s coming for his own.  It says that in those days people will be lovers of pleasure instead of God, truce-breakers, blasphemers, unthankful, heartless, without self-control (2 Timothy 3:1-5)  Clearly the evidence of those predictions being fulfilled is all around us.  The news is filled with reports of greed, murders, robberies, immorality as well as a worldwide convulsion of violence and terrorism.  All the sign seem to indicate that something will happen soon.”

Have there not always been robberies, murders, blasphemers, etc?  How do we know that it’s so much worse today than 500 years ago?  In fact, if you look at look term homicide data, it could be that things were much worse centuries ago.

Graph above from Claude Fischer.  Europe:

But perhaps there are other vices that make up for this?  Certainly, if abortion were included in the above data, there might be higher rates in the last couple decades.  But life is notably better today than it was centuries ago.  This may reverse, but it will probably take more than just a few years.  Here is an article on violence through the centuries:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/22/world-less-violent-stats_n_1026723.html

Further in the tract:  “After Jesus comes for his own ‘there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations…people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world’ (Luke 21:25-26).  Everything will be in upheaval, and there will be earthquakes, wars, violence, and people betraying one another.  It all leads up to the ultimate rebellion against God – Armageddon.”

The reader is lead to believe that this will happen soon.  It will not.  Many other things are prophesied to happen.  They have not occurred yet.  The church must be completed (it is not yet), and then the Israelites must be resurrected.  It’s funny that of all the groups crying The End Is Near!, they never mention this resurrection.  There’s a reason Jews leave a chair for Elijah at Passover.  “The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”  Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things.”  Matthew 17:10-11

When those most horrible days since the beginning of man come, other notable people will be on the scene.

“Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.”  Daniel 12:1

“Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah.  It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.  In that day,” declares the Lord, “I will strike every horse with bewilderment and his rider with madness. But I will watch over the house of Judah, while I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness.  Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘A strong support for us are the inhabitants of Jerusalem through the Lord of hosts, their God.’”  Zechariah 12:2-5

 The Lord also will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem will not be magnified above Judah.  In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord before them.  And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”  Zechariah 12:7-9

King David will be alive in those days!  In those days, Israel will be even more prominent than it is today(2016).  The promise of God is that he will be with us even in our afflictions.   No one will be left behind.  Jesus shows this in his parable:  “What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying.”  Matthew 18:12

No one will be left behind.  Everyone will be resurrected.  That doesn’t mean salvation will be a cake walk.  Resurrection is solely God’s work.  But salvation involves our repentance and forgiveness.  Salvation comes after resurrection; they are not the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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