Not Appointed For Wrath

In 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians Paul, led by the Holy Spirit, teaches about the Second Coming of Christ.  The Lord’s return is addressed from three different aspects.   Paul states without equivocation that Jesus Christ will return and that we will be gathered to Him in 2 Thessalonians when writing to reassure the Thessalonian believers that Christ had not yet returned.

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.  2 Thessalonians 2:1-2

In order to reassure the Thessalonian believers that Christ had not come, Paul revealed to them the events that would precede His return.

3Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.  5Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?  6And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.  7For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.  8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.  9The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10and will all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  11And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.   2 Thessalonians 2:3-12

The descent of this world into the willful wicked rejection of the truth and the subsequent adoration and worship of the Antichrist, along with the murderous persecution of those who belong to Jesus Christ, will be the culminating sinfulness which evokes the wrath of the Lord Jesus Christ upon this disbelieving apostate world.

3We are bound to thank God always for you brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, 5which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer, 6since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  9These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.   2 Thessalonians 1:3-10 

This just wrath of God is poured out upon the reprobate condemned because they love the evil one and despise the Lord of glory.  Those who belong to Christ are not appointed to God’s wrath.  We who are alive when the rapture occurs will be caught up with Christ in the air along with those who have died as believers.

15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.  16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first.  17Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write you.  2For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.  3For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.  And they shall not escape.  4But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.  5You are all sons of light and sons of the day.  We are not of the night nor of darkness…9For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  1 Thessalonians 4:14-5:5 & 9

  Paul teaches in the letters to the Thessalonians that Jesus Christ will return after the Antichrist is revealed and He will pour out His wrath upon this corrupt world.  He also teaches that we will be gathered to Jesus Christ and that we are not appointed for His wrath.  We will meet the Lord in the air before He comes to pour out His wrath upon this unbelieving world.  We will be with the Lord in heaven during the tribulation that God will send upon this earth as prelude to the destruction of the Antichrist and his kingdom.

When Christ returns, we will return with Him and accompany Him as He pours out His wrath upon this depraved and wicked world.  The church is not mentioned after Revelation chapter three until Christ comes to this earth to judge the wicked.

6And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia!  For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!  7“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him gory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”  8And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.  9Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”  10And I fell at his feet to worship him.  But he said to me, “See that you do not do that!  I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus.  Worship God!  For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”  11Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse.  And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.  12His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns.  He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.  13He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God.  14And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.  15Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations.  16And He himself will rule them with a rod of iron.  He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:  KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.  17Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on the, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”  19And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.  20Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.  These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.  21And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse.  And all the birds were filled with their flesh.  Revelation 19:6-21

There are those within the church who teach contrary to what the Bible says and they actually speak against those who are waiting for Christ to come.  They twist the Scriptures to their own destruction and lead many astray and ignore the Scriptures which teach us that we will be gathered to Christ before the tribulation which is the beginning of God’s wrath upon an evil world system.  Those who believe that the “church” can usher in the kingdom of God on this earth are on a fool’s errand and are actually working with the enemy, assisting his deceitful schemes. The true heart of belief waits and longs for Christ to return as it endures with patience persecutions and tribulations because of faith in Jesus Christ.  The purpose of Christ’s return is to gather His redeemed to Himself and execute the wrath of God upon this unbelieving world.  When Christ comes in glory with His saints and His mighty angels He will destroy all those who oppose Him and His Father.  We are to await the return of Christ for His own, sharing the gospel with those who don’t know Christ, encouraging one another with love and good works, knowing that Christ will establish His kingdom on this earth for His glory at His return.  May God bless us as we wait for Him.

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24 Responses to Not Appointed For Wrath

  1. As we study Revelation, it is always good to know the encouragement that scripture has for us to continue to dig deeply into its teachings. In Revelation 1:3 we read: “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it,,,,” Thank you for your continued study of God’s Holy Word.

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  2. Pingback: Not Appointed for Wrath | End Times Prophecy Report

  3. Bob Wheeler says:

    Eliza, Where in the Bible does it say that the Rapture will take place before the Tribulation?

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  4. gracealone1 says:

    Bob, The Scriptures given in this post are more than enough to answer your question (there are others, also). [This response is given from the standpoint that you are not a PTR (pre-trib rapture) proponent, if you are then perhaps these thoughts will help you answer those who are not.] So why do you insist and WANT the Church to go through the Great Tribulation? What of the other members of the Body of Christ (the real Church) that are currently “asleep” in the Lord? Would you have them resurrected in order to be subjected to the GT as you insist that the currently living members should be? [If the GT is for the Church to endure, why is the majority exempted due to death?] Do you not understand that the teaching of anything other than the “pre-trib rapture” is an assault on the Character of God Himself” The GT is the righteous wrath of Jesus Christ against UNREPENTANT sinners, not a disobedient child of God (Heb. 12 and nearly all of Revelation). This apostate teaching of no pre-trib rapture makes God out to be a cruel master who is so angry with His Bride that He inflicts on her the greatest wrath ever seen by mankind, is this the God that you serve? Also, where is the obedience to “watch” for the Lord to return at any second if the GT must (at least) begin first? The warnings of impending wrath (GT) to members of the churches in Rev. 2 & 3 are given to those fake “believers” who make a show and pretense of righteousness, not to those who have not defiled their garments.

    Again, if you are not in opposition to PTR I hope this will help as you talk with those that are.
    Darrel

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    • Bob Wheeler says:

      It’s not a matter of what I want; it’s a matter of what the Bible teaches. And if you look carefully at the Scriptures mentioned in Eliza’s blog post. especially II Thess. 2:1-3, they clearly indicate that the rapture will take place after the Tribulation. My concern here is exactly the sentiments you expressed in your comment. It is inconceivable to most American Christians that God would want His church to suffer persecution. And yet this is exactly what the New Testament teaches, and it has bee the actual experience of believers through most of the history of the church. Try and tell the persecuted believers in North Korea that a kind and loving God would never allow them to suffer persecution! My concern here is that the American church is totally unprepared for what lies ahead — perhaps in the very near future.

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      • Eliza says:

        Persecution is what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ experienced as He taught the truth to the erring Jews. He said that His servants would be like their Master, in other words we can expect persecution. The Holy Spirit through Paul taught that we enter the kingdom through trials and tribulation, but this is in reference to the opposition that the world hurls against us as they are led on by Satan. Persecution is not the Divine Wrath of God poured out upon unbelievers. Where are the Scriptures to support your assertion?

        We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith grows exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other abounds; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12

        These verses make it clear that God’s wrath is poured out upon unbelievers for persecuting His beloved believers. God bless us.

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  5. gracealone1 says:

    Being persecuted as a Christian and being subjected to the GT are two entirely different things. People have romanticized the GT into the very thing you speak of: persecution, but it is not persecution at all but the unendurable righteous wrath on the unrepentant masses, not the church that has committed sins (are not ALL of our sins forgiven in Christ, or is the current living portion of the Body of Christ gone so far off the rails that she now deserves the GT?) What an insult to the Savior. Show me the Church, the Body and Bride of Christ in any of Rev. 4-18. She is not mentioned once until Rev. 19. There is a lot of unlearning that needs to be done by those professing Christ as Savior and coming King which should start with discarding this wild-haired idea that the Church must go through the GT. No where in Scripture is this even alluded to, much less spelled out in unambiguous terms as you and others would have me/us believe. If you think there is then please provide the verses you think apply here, for up til now there is nothing but empty reasoning that passes for logic.

    Darrel

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  6. Bob Wheeler says:

    First of all, start with the Olivet Discourse in Matt. 24 & 25. Read it through from beginning to end. Jesus tells His disciples “When YOU see these things …” “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation . . .” (24:15). Then He goes on to say, “immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days . . . he shall send his angels. . .and they shall gather together his elect” (vv 29-31). He goes on to describe the rapture in vv. 39-42. Throughout the passage the rapture and the Second Coming are viewed as the same event, occurring AFTER the tribulation. In I Thess. 4:15-17 Paul specifically states that the Rapture will not take place until after the Resurrection of the Just, which we know will not take place until after the Tribulation (cf. Rev. 20:4-6). In I Thess. 5:1-11 Paul says that “sudden destruction” will come upon the wicked, and then says “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief” Iv(v. 4), implying that we will be here on earth when it happens. Then, in II Thess. 1:7,8 we receive rest from our persecutors “when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance . .,” the clear implication being that we will be persecuted right on up until the Second Coming. In chapter 2:1-3, concerning “our gathering together unto him,” Paul equates it with “the day of Christ,” and specifically says that that day will not come until “that man of sin be revealed.”
    Throughout the Book of Revelation the Antichrist persecutes the “saints,” who reign with Christ during the Millennium precisely because they suffered with Him in the Tribulation.
    And yet there is not one single verse anywhere in the entire Bible that says that the Rapture will take place before the Tribulation. It is a doctrine that no competent biblical scholar ever heard of until the 19th Century.

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    • Eliza says:

      Not really, we are not of the night or of the darkness for that day to overtake us as a thief, but we are of the day and light, because of this we are saved from the wrath of God. If you compare Mark 13 with Matthew 24 you will see more light shed upon this matter. This is why it is so important to let Scripture interpret Scripture and look at Scripture within its full context, because if we don’t the we do go off on a tangent.

      But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
      1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11

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  7. gracealone1 says:

    It is easy to see how you have come to these conclusions that you have been taught by double-minded and unstable men. When everything is melted together into one gigantic event such erroneous statements (post-trib) are better absorbed. Matt. 24:1-14 deals with the days before the GT, the warning signs can only be seen for what they are by the elect. Matt. 24:15-28 Jesus speaks to the Jews who are alive at the time of the GT (v 16 “in Judea”). Matt. 24:29-35, describes what the lost will see—-the Savior Whom they have spurned and hated and rejected will come to reign over the whole earth; v31 refers to those saved during the GT as seen in Rev. (I’ll leave it to you to find those verses). Matt. 24:36-51 where v36 specifically states that no one knows the “day and hour” yet the post-trib crowd (you included) seek to redact this verse from Scripture with your “list of events” that must occur prior to the GT or the rapture, namely the revealing of the person of the anti-Christ. By what authority do you do this? So if Christ will not come for His Bride prior to the revealing of the man of sin, just who is it that you are watching for, the anti-Christ or the real Christ? There is no need to watch for the “blessed hope” (in your scheme of things) until after we are shown the identity of the abomination of desolation. Even a casual observer could see the fallacy of this demented thinking. Noah is perhaps the best example of the Pre-Trib Rapture of the Bride of Christ given in Scripture, but you blow past it as if it were not there. Noah, called of God and elect according to His purpose. Noah built the ark in obedience to God (as we should be obedient daily). Noah, shut in the ark by God to protect him and all that was in the ark from the judgment being carried out on all the rest of the world (did you ever think that Christ is represented by the ark and entire scenario is a representation of the love Christ for His Bride?, obviously not or you would not insist that God display His wrath toward His Bride).

    1 Thes. 4:13-18 does not say what you want it to say. The phrase “resurrection of the just” is not found in it. It does say: “And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” There is no partiality with God, the entire Bride of Christ (those dead from long ago and today’s living) will “meet the Lord in the air”. How can we meet Him in the air when it plainly states that His feet will land on earth in the instant of His Second Coming? Where is the “comfort” of v 18 when we must await the man of sin before we can witness the One Who defeated him (as your post-trib stance plainly dictates)? What does 1 Thes. 5:3 actually say and not the twisted interpretation offered by you and your friends? “For when THEY say ‘peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon THEM…..” I don’t see where the Church is mentioned in that verse, where is she in that verse? Why have you left out v9? “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” You have to ignore this verse in order for your fantasy theology to “work.” How wicked is that? And in v 11 Paul again offers “comfort” to his readers (us), so where is the comfort in this nonsense of the rapture occurring after the judgment of the lost world? How cruel is your god? As for your contention that v4 “implies” that we will be here when the man of sin is revealed, it does no such thing. We are not in darkness because we are watching for the Savior, and not the man of sin. 2Thes. 2:1-8, wow, how you massage things to fit your pattern! The implication of your “logic” is that everything happens in one day at one instant, but that is not what Scriptures teach. When He (the Holy Spirit) is “taken out of the way” and stops His restraining power against the wicked one is when the ‘lawless one’ will be revealed.

    There are two real and present dangers in your theories of how things ought to be. Your post-trib model gives no comfort to the Church, it in no way magnifies the Lord Jesus and His care for His Bride, it does not encourage the Church to obey His command to watch (for Him) rather the focus is on the man of sin. Two: you are only a few steps away from the a-mill heresy and the incumbent dominionism, a very dangerous place to be for universalism will shortly be on your heels.

    Darrel

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    • Bob Wheeler says:

      You’re thinking like a typical American evangelical. For most Christians, throughout most of the church’s history, persecution was a present experience and the spirit of Anti-christ was already at work. Hence, for all they knew, Christ really could have come at any time.
      The judgement on the world comes at the end of the Tribulation — the “sudden destruction” of I Thess. 5:3 which is the “wrath” to which we have not been appointed in v. 9.
      Bear in mind that the New Testament was written to a persecuted church — many of the epistles were written from jail cells. Paul could write that it “For unto you it is given int he behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake” (Phil. 1:29), and Peter could write, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (I Pet. 4:18).
      And I come back to my original point. There is no passage of Scripture anywhere in the Bible that explicitly says that the rapture will take place before the Tribulation. The idea of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture is an inference based on extremely weak exegesis. Throughout the New Testament the “blessed hope” is the Second Coming of Christ (parousia) at the end of the Tribulation.

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  8. gracealone1 says:

    “The judgment of the world comes at the end of the tribulation” You need to read Revelation more than twice in your life time and then reconsider the total lack of understanding that you are exhibiting.

    “There is no passage of Scripture anywhere in the Bible that explicitly says that the rapture will take place before the Tribulation.” No, I don’t suppose it would to someone incapable of seeing what is as plain as the nose on your face. Likewise, there is no place in Scripture that supports your fantasy theology of a post-trib rapture, which is no “rapture” at all and does not coincide with the events of Revelation (something you should acquaint yourself with). Since confusion seems to have the upper hand in your mind it is no wonder that you are so easily swayed by false teaching. You say that the teaching of the pre-trib rapture did not exist until the 1800’s, but Scripture disagrees with you along with it’s authors, Paul, the Lord Jesus and especially the Holy Spirit. You contend that the GT is mainly about the persecution of Christians, and again that is nowhere in Scripture. The GT is about the judgment of a lost and unrepentant mass of humanity, most of which will not survive ’til the end of it. If we are to believe you that the GT is about persecution of Christians then you must address this question: does God persecute His Church, His Body, His Bride? That is what you are saying, God persecutes the Church. Why you insist on this convoluted and unbiblical notion that the rapture occurs at a time not specified in the Word. You seem unwilling or unable to answer the simple questions I posed to you in my previous responses. Quite rude of you to avoid pesky questions that poke huge holes in your fantasy. So here’s one more for you: what good are you doing the Church by stealing the hope of the imminent return of her Lord and Savior? And why do you make the revealing of the man of sin more important than the appearance of the Lord Jesus in the clouds?

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  9. gracealone1 says:

    Also, if you, Bob, are unable or unwilling to properly and in a gentlemanly manner answer the questions I asked of you then I see no further good in being an encouragement to your bully pulpit. There is enough spiritual abuse going around (and yes, that is the persecution of the church in America today) coupled with the attending false doctrines that try to give legitimacy to the nonsense that comes from today’s seminaries (a better spelling would be c e m e n t a r y) where all that is produced is children of hell twofold worse than their “teachers”. Matt. 23:15. Don’t mistake the facts here for whining on my part, I don’t whine.

    Darrel

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  10. gracealone1 says:

    Having begun with “kid-gloves” in my first response (I did not ‘label’ you either way) it quickly became apparent where you mind was. Who was it that said: “It is a doctrine that no competent bible scholar heard of until the 19th Century?” [How many learned men did you insult with this notion, not to mention the insult to the Holy Spirit?] You set the tone, Bob, when you took nice off of the table. Your inability to answer my questions is more than enough proof that your fantasy theology is just that: a fantasy. And gee, these were the softball questions and you couldn’t handle them. Who is persecuting the Church now with your false doctrines? Goodbye Bob.

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  11. Eliza says:

    It is better to attack the doctrine rather than the one presenting the aberrant teaching, exhorting with the truth in love. It isn’t okay to attack the individual, although explicitly stating the error and then giving it a reasonable characterization isn’t against God’s Word, for He has done that many times throughout His Scriptures and He has rebuked those who rebelled against Him in no uncertain terms labeling them in less than generous terms. God bless us.

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  12. Actually, it’ very difficult to get amillenialists or post millenialists to understand that Christ does not intend to beat his bride before he takes her home for the wedding ceremony. They have been taught “replacement theology,” which is a false doctrine. Their churches, Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopalian, and Lutheran all believe the church has replaced Israel and that it is the church spoken of in Matthew and Luke going through the tribulation.

    But God has stated that Israel is His wife, and he will not forsake her, even when she’s living in idolatry, she will return and accept Messiah at the end of the tribulation. And the tribulation doesn’t begin until the signing of the 7 year covenant. One has to really twist God’s word to believe that the church goes through the tribulation. Read Hosea, it is the whole story of Israel.

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