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TIME FOR TRUTH
THE ICHTHUS CHURCH > CHAPTER 19

Even So, Come Lord Jesus

While we have emphatically stated that there are no proof texts for a secret rapture of the Christian church in all of Scripture, many protest and proffer passages that they pretend to be scriptural substantiation of this unsound doctrine. However, upon close examination one discovers that the majority of these proposed proof texts are merely presumed proof texts. They are passages of Scripture rapture theorists prejudicially interpret according to the preconceived idea of a secret rapture that is already firmly planted in their minds. For instance, consider the following example.   

 

In Revelation 3:10, Jesus promises those with “patient endurance” in the church of Philadelphia, the church Christ loved, that He would “keep [them] from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world.” Secret rapture theorists are quick to cite this verse as scriptural confirmation of their unscriptural theory. However, to do so requires a pair of propositional presumptions. First, this verse must be presumed, without any scriptural evidence, to be referring to the secret rapture of the Christian church. Second, according to this presumption, Christ’s promise to keep those who are patiently enduring from the world’s coming hour of trial, must be presumed to be a promise to secretly snatch all Christians, whether constant and persevering or carnal and packing it in, up into the safety of Heaven before they stump their toe on any end-time tribulation.

 

In Christ’s High Priestly prayer, found in John chapter 17, He prays to the Father to deliver us from the evil of this world, without taking us out of the world (John 17:15). In the Old Testament, we read about God delivering His people from the judgmental plagues He brought on Egypt, without taking them out of Egypt (Exodus 8:22; 9:26). Likewise, God will deliver faithful Christians, who patiently endure end-time tribulation, from the judgmental plagues He will bring upon an end-time earth, without taking them out of the world. 

 

When the sorrows, which signal the birth pangs of end-time judgment (Matthew 24:8), are seen, not in a churchless world, but by the church within the world (1 Peter 4:17), we are, according to Christ, to “lift up [our] heads, for [our] redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28). Notice, we’re not to hang our heads in horror, because we’ve missed the secret rapture of the Christian church, but to lift up our heads in hope, because our Lord’s soon return is looming. 

 

Far from teaching us that we're about to disappear from the earth before end-time calamities commence, Christ taught us that the commencement of end-time calamities is intended to ready us for our redemption. The church, as Scripture clearly teaches, is about to be prepared for her Bridegroom’s return, not by being plucked from end-time perils and persecutions, but by being purged by them. The wheat is about to be separated from the tares in God’s field, and the dross of hypocrisy is about to be burned off the pure silver and gold of tried and true faith.   

 

“I have made you a tester of metals among my people, that you may know and test their ways. They are all stubbornly rebellious, going about with slanders; they are bronze and iron; all of them act corruptly. The bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed by the fire; in vain the refining goes on, for the wicked are not removed. Rejected silver they are called, for the Lord has rejected them.” (Jeremiah 6:27-30 NLT)

 

“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn…Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 KJV)

 

“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (1 John 2:18-19 KJV)

 

“And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads…After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:1-3, 9-17 KJV)

 

Thanks to the refining fires of end-time judgment, America’s carnal contemporary church is about to be prepared for Christ’s Second Coming. Christ is not coming back for the old hag we’ve been calling church for so long, but for a “glorious church,” without “spot or wrinkle,” which has bathed and basked itself in the “water of the word,” so that it will “be holy and without blemish” at Christ’s return (Ephesians 5:25-27). When Christ splits the eastern sky, it will be for a bride “prepared” and “adorned for her husband,” clad in such comely garments by the couturier of end-time calamity (Revelation 21:1-2). Then, the words of the Apostle John will reverberate in our ears: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:2-3). Hallelujah! Even so, come Lord Jesus (Revelation 22:20).

Don Walton