Will the rapture really happen before any tribulation events? Will some people be “left behind” when the prophesied rapture occurs? Will all true believers be watching tribulation events from heaven? Many evangelicals are convinced that these things are so, as I was, for twenty-eight years. I say “was” intentionally…
These questions and their answers provided the motivation for me to write a book on the subject, which was published last year. The other motivation was that the “free world” is now changing rapidly in the direction of Tribulation-like social and political conditions. The time to prepare is now. That proverbial frog in the pot is getting very warm at this stage, and for the most part, doesn’t yet realize how serious his predicament is.
I’ve published the main points of the book on this blog in over thirty parts, completely free to the interested: just search “rapture” and perhaps another key word such as “wrath”, “saints”, “Church” or “elect” in the search box above. I have nothing to gain here in terms of remuneration or popularity. This book is the result of a sincere desire to know the truth and to share it. However, I didn’t publish the introductory chapter on this blog, so here it is, in two or three parts, and in an edited form for the sake of space. You can find my book on Amazon in paperback or kindle (the full title is below*).
In order to allay the fears of some who may be wondering which cult the author belongs to, I wish to assure you that I believe the rapture to be a real future event. I believe the Bible to be the only inspired Word of God. I am not a-millennial in my theology, and I consider the nation of Israel to still have a vital role in God’s prophetic plan. I believe in salvation by faith alone, in the only Son of God, Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus Christ is going to physically and visibly return, and exercise his Lordship over all the earth.
This book is written to those who are curious or confused about the rapture, or who are honest and brave enough to realize that there is possibly something other than the “safe” and cosy interpretation. It’s my contention that church leaders are failing their flocks by teaching a half-baked and faulty view, which is not preparing us for what may come in our lifetimes. Paul’s “falling away” will occur partly because people have not been informed and steeled for the truth.
ALL LEFT BEHIND critiques a common evangelical understanding of the timing of the rapture in relation to other events prophesied in the Bible. The prevailing belief is that the rapture will occur before any form of judgment or upheaval foretold in Scripture darkens our door. We will, adherents are convinced, be “snatched up” from this troubled world before things really heat up.
EX-ING THE EXPERTS
The subject of the rapture has always been present in my mind, and in sharp focus when it seemed like the Day of the Lord must be very close. However, my stance on this topic has changed, partly because over time the most influential teachers; the popular names in Bible prophecy; the very people I trusted to inform me on such matters, have on occasion been shown to me and to many others to be painfully and embarrassingly wrong in their interpretations and predictions. And so all the failed speculations helped fuel my own curiosity.
Not only are serious mistakes made, but the alleged “experts” seem to become entrenched in some kind of prophetic political-correctness, and refuse to budge from the mainline theory for fear of denying their faith and of going against the grain of current interpretation. Their attempts to fend off challenges to their entrenched positions are often weak and poorly motivated, and easily seen through by anyone with an open mind. Even big-name teachers, those known nationally and internationally, with a mile-long list of qualifications and perhaps decades of popular ministry experience, as good as they may be, sometimes say or write things which can be shown to be wrong by anyone with discernment, an open mind, and an open Bible.
Of course, interpreting Bible prophecy can be a tricky work, and the mistake so many make when examining legitimate prophecy is in attempting to force their speculations into present-day events, and possible future events, which are always “on the horizon”. It would be much better for them and us to either state honestly that they’re putting forward their own ideas which may or may not be right, or else to not speculate at all.
Why does the timing of the rapture matter anyway? It matters because there are huge numbers of people in the West who see that the world must indeed be heading for some sort of a date with destiny, but who are either badly misinformed or uninformed, and who fail to search the Scriptures for themselves. There are millions of others who have no knowledge at all of what’s going to come upon planet earth.
As I mentioned, the future falling away from the faith (2 Thessalonians 2:3) could be caused at least in part by a failure to prepare the people of God, so that if or when things begin to go badly for the Christian Church, many people will be offended, because the rapture, which all the “experts” had predicted and promised would occur first, had not happened. The stark, gripping truth is that for most of the world’s Christians, persecution is already the norm! It’s only in the pampered West, where the pre-tribulation rapture is most commonly believed, that we still have it good, but that’s already beginning to change. If our freedoms vanish, and the rapture has not come, how will believers react? Our leaders should be preparing us and informing us, not encouraging us to stick our heads in the sand.
Come back for the second part of my introduction to ALL LEFT BEHIND*.
* ALL LEFT BEHIND: The Case Against a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, by Nicholas Fisher, available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. Alternatively, you could just search this code within Amazon: B07K5NX5RB