Will the Body of Christ go into or even through the tribulation?
In Matthew 24:3, the disciples asked about signs of the end. Jesus’ direct answer in verse four was, let no man deceive you. Or, in other words, one of the signs is deception or confusion. Now, Matthew 24 is totally tribulation ground, but the world has to be prepared for even that. So, even though we are not seeing the super-natural events of the tribulation which are truly prophesied (i.e. the 2 witnesses of Revelation 11), common sense tells us the world cannot be made ready for the appearance of the Anti-christ and the False Prophet over night. So, we are naturally witnessing all the preparations. I have often likened it to getting the stage ready before the curtain goes up. Therefore, when Jesus warned of deceivers, it follows that we can see that happen before the tribulation begins.
One of the many deceptions cascading on the Christian community like an avalanche, is the claim that the Body of Christ will go into or even through the tribulation.
The one cord that binds all these deceivers together is the rejection of Paul’s Apostleship. For Paul alone reveals the Doctrines, Practices and the end of the Body on earth. For example, Paul alone reveals a salvation based on faith and faith alone in the finished work of the Cross. How Christ died for the sins of the whole world. How that His shed Blood and our faith in it brings justification. How the Power of His resurrection is imparted to us when we believe. Paul alone gives instruction for the Communion service, Paul alone gives instructions concerning Deacons (no one else uses the term) and alone gave instructions for the local church. So, also, Paul alone teaches us the end of the Body of Christ on earth. Consequently, Paul alone gives us the Scriptures concerning what many now ridicule – the rapture or the catching up of the Church which is His Body. The language of I Corinthians 15:51-54, I Thessalonians 4:13-18, II Thessalonians 2:1-3 can not be found anywhere else in our Bible.
Every book that listeners send me advocating a later out-calling mixes these verses with all other verses that apply only to the Second Coming when Christ will stand on the Mount of Olives. If you mix Paul’s doctrine concerning the rapture of the Church with the Second Coming, then you can mix law and Grace. And, when you mix law and Grace, Satan smiles and God is grieved.
In II Timothy, Paul paints a vivid picture of America today. But, in Titus 2:13, he gives us the Blessed Hope of the believer – the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. I have to believe we are getting close. I trust none of you will be “left behind.”