We saw last time that The Great Tribulation Period is the “Day of the LORD,” spoken of by many of the prophets in scripture. We referenced a few of them who wrote about this disastrous time on the earth–Daniel, Zephaniah, the apostle John, to name just a few.
Many who read about all this destruction will say, What difference does it make? It doesn’t pertain to us. We Christians will be raptured out before the Tribulation starts anyway.
Many will not take this time of wrath to heart because they do not believe that it applies to them. They believe in a rapture/reward for being good little children of God. They do not believe that God could be that “cruel” to them and their families–to treat them just like the ungodly in that He would make them go through the end time calamities. God speaks about these foolish “followers” of Christ.
The Parable of the Five Wise and the Five Foolish Virgins
Christ was asked by His disciples what the sign would be for three things: the total destruction of Jerusalem where one stone would not be found on another, the sign of His return to earth, and the end of the world (Matt. 24: 1). He answers these three questions in the next two chapters. Everything in Matthew 24 and 25 is in answer to these three questions concerning “the end of the world.” And this also reveals that some lukewarm Christians will be around during the tribulation.
Christ uses two parables to convey the secret answers to the mysteries of when the end will come. In the parable of the ten virgins (Matt. 25: 1-13), five were wise and took oil in their lamps and had eyes to see, but five were foolish and had no oil for their lamps. They were virgins; they were little children of God, but they were lacking in the Spirit of God, the oil, within themselves. They had not studied and prayed and were told by the wise virgins to go buy their own oil from the same place where one may “buy the gold tried in the fire…and the white raiment…and the eye salve” (Rev. 3: 18). It was too late to pray and study for those little children, the five foolish virgins. For the bridegroom came while they were out and they missed the wrap up, the great marriage supper. And they cried to Him to open the door, but He told them, “I don’t know you” for this honor.
The Parable of the Five Talents
Another example of spiritual unproductivity is this parable in the very next verse (Matt. 25: 14-30). Three servants were given talents by their master, “according to his own ability”–five to one servant, two to another, and one to another. They all three were servants of the same master. Those with five and two gained the same and were praised upon the master’s return as “good and faithful servants.” The other servant was “afraid and …hid it in the earth.” “You wicked and slothful servant,” said his master. “Cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Then the master took the talent from him and gave it to the one with ten talents.
What went wrong with the unprofitable servant? He had no faith; he was disobedient and did not gain anything for his master with His goods. Of course, this parable reveals a mystery “kept secret from the foundations of the world.” The spiritual application shows us three levels of fruit production as in the Parable of Sower in Matt. 13–30, 60, and 100 fold. Christ has told all of His followers to study, pray, prove all things, and carry the good news of His kingdom into all the world. He has told us all to dig deep and build our house upon the rock, and call out others to this great kingdom soon to fill the whole earth.
Laodecean Church Age–The Condition of the Church at Christ’s Return
But do most children of God do this, really? I don’t think so. In this last church age of Laodecea (laity deceived) painted for us in Rev. 3: 16-17, we see that today’s average church goer is lukewarm in the spiritual works of God and is about to be “spued out of His mouth.” Why? Because they say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing.’ And they do not know that they are “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” Pride in one’s denomination [‘our church is a Bible church, rich in the word of God], a particular church father, one’s pastor, priest, saint, pride period–all these lead one to say, ‘I am rich [in faith] and have need of nothing.’ Many denominations actually say that they are the only ones who have the truth.
In their heart they will say, Hey, we’ve got the rapture. God will take care of us. He wants us to prosper, to be materially well off while we are waiting for His return. He’ll take us out of the hellishness of the tribulation period. We don’t need these doctrines (teachings). Mom and dad didn’t believe this new stuff. Besides, all we need is Jesus. And they go one as sheep to the slaughter never realizing that “whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God” (2 John 1: 9).
And they will go on their shallow ways, having never proven the “rapture theory” from the scriptures–having never seen that they base it on 1/2 of one verse, never even quoting the other half of the verse: “and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” They never realize that Christ is coming back HERE–not ‘up in heaven somewhere”! In our new spiritual bodies, we will rise up into the “air” [look it up in the Greek and see that it is where the birds fly] but we won’t get too far, for He’s descending to earth, touching His feet on the Mt. Olivet, cleaving it, and we will be with Him in that wonderful moment! “And so shall we ever be with the Lord!” [I Thess. 4: 16-17].
And so I have to ask the rapture believers: Since Christ is coming back bodily to earth at the time of the “catching away,” who will you be with when your imagination carries you away? Most have never considered what the scriptures really say in this one verse that they use to base the rapture on.
The Bridegroom comes here! If this rapture illusion is not straightened out in a person’s heart and mind, if they are counting on something erroneous that is not happening, do you think He may cast them “into outer darkness where “there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”?
And why will all of this misery land on so many people? It is because of their unbelief. Christ said it with a broken heart as He looked on the people of His pasture. “O ye of little faith.”
Unbelief–Just Like with Moses and the Children of Israel
But there’s nothing new here. The children of Israel just would not believe the word of Yahweh. “So we see that they could not enter in [to the Promised Land] because of unbelief.”
So, whose voice were the children of Israel listening to? They listened to Aaron, a voice from a false god, who led in the worship of the golden calf while Moses was up on Mt. Sinai. They murmured and complained and said, God would not put all this deprivation and sacrifice on us. We are God’s people. Out of 2-3 million people, only two, Joshua and Caleb, made it into the Promised Land. And what happened to all of those millions of unbelievers? Their “carcases fell” in the desert outside of Canaan land. They had a false conception about how that era would end. And they paid the price. They died never glimpsing God’s glory. And the things that happened to the children of Israel “are written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come” .
The consequences of their unbelief admonishes those living at the “end of the world”! That’s us. And we should take the warning to heart. To be one of the few to get into the promised land of His presence when He returns, we must throw away “every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God” .
The little children of God are mostly alive for what they can get from the Father. That’s why they are children and not spiritual adults in the Lord. They have consequently believed that the Father will miraculously deliver them in a supernatural “rapture” before tribulation breaks out.
The rapture is based on wishful thinking. It is an imagination and a lie that will not only disillusion millions of professing Christians, it will also alienate them from God. When they are not “raptured out” before the tribulation, many will turn against God and will be part of those who “gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores” (Rev. 16: 10-11). They will blame God for the wrath that He is wreaking, and not the liars that told them they would escape all of the bad things.
But even as just two people, Joshua and Caleb, entered the Promised Land, even so very few will denounce the rapture theory, one of the most addictive sugar stick false doctrines out there. Most will not believe. Consequently, they will not prepare, both physically and spiritually, for the tribulation period. And the sad part is, they are the ones who will be most disillusioned and upset at God. Kenneth Wayne Hancock
2. Hebrews 3: 13-18
3. I Cor. 10: 11
4. II Cor. 10: 5