Skip to comments.The Not So Secret Rapture
Posted on 01/14/2011 5:57:52 PM PST by topcat54
Evangelical book catalogs promote books such as Planet Earth: The Final Chapter, The Great Escape, and the Left Behind series. Bumper stickers warn us that the vehicles occupants may disappear at any moment. It is clear that there is a preoccupation with the idea of a secret rapture. Perhaps this has become more pronounced recently due to the expectation of a new millennium and the fears regarding potential Y2K problems. Perhaps psychologically people are especially receptive to the idea of an imminent, secret rapture at the present time. Additionally, many Christians are not aware that any other position relative to the second coming of Jesus Christ exists. Even in Reformed circles there are numerous people reading these books. Many of these people are unaware that this viewpoint conflicts with Scripture and Reformed Theology.
(Excerpt) Read more at reformed.org ...
Judaism has 613 mitzvot (commandments) given in the Law, which God gave directly to Moses, of which slightly more than a half are the mitzvot of omission and the rest of commission. The intent is crucial. Those that would count as unforgivable are those intentional and premeditated.
Also, the sacrifice of Christ IS for unwitting sin (Adam's) -- repentance is still necessary in the Christian world for our non-venial sins. We are not Calvinists to believe that we should not repent
Yes, that is correct, all of it.
First, we Christians are to follow God Himself - not angels, mortals, organizations, etc.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. I John 1:15
[There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. - Romans 8:1-9
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. - I John 2:27
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? - I Corinthians 6:19
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. - Colossians 3:3
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. - John 15:4-5
And I John saw these things, and heard [them]. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See [thou do it] not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. - Revelation 22:8-9
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. - Galatians 5:22-23
If a man loves his wife and she wants the bedroom painted blue, he will do his best to see it done. And if he wants fried catfish, she will do her best to master that skill. Likewise between parents and children, lovers, friends and so on.
Indeed, when a person loves another deeply, he can no longer say whether he likes museums because she does or he does or whether he likes cheeseburgers because she does or he does.
So if we want what God wants it is because we love Him. And thereby, we don't need to "sweat the details."
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:35-40
It would also entail rejoicing in mercy, immersing ourselves in it because He wants it:
But if ye had known what [this] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. Matthew 12:7
Blessed [are] the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Matthew 5:7
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. Revelation 21:1-7
AND THAT, MY FRIEND, IS THE POINT!!!!!
Of course this argument falls flat. It isn't a choice. If you could rationally make a decision to go to heaven or hell you will always choose heaven. No one in their sane mind would choose hell.
Christianity says that faith is salvation and only God can save. Therefore only God can give you faith if he wants to see you saved. You do nothing.
The only way for you to make that choice is for God to open up your eyes through faith that He gives you.
Yep. With multiple locks. Then a series of iron bars. Multiple deadbolts. A couple windings of iron chain. And, just in case, pile up all the family furniture and moveables against the door, lest God's Grace should sneak in, in the dead of night, and violate one's "precious" ME....
I love C. S. Lewis. In him I find one of the greatest "doctors of the soul" who ever lived. Among other things!
Anyhoot, I think Henri Bergson's l'âme close the closed soul may be a good description of this bolting of "the gates of Hell from the inside."
So, the next question becomes: Why do people "close" their souls against God? This seems to be a burgeoning phenomenon in our post-modern age. But it marks a stark departure from earlier cultural and religious understandings of man in relation to God and to his world, physical and moral.
"Doctor of the Soul" (JMHO FWIW) Lewis undertakes to shed some light on such questions in an addendum to The Screwtape Letters that first appeared in the 1961 edition. This addendum, identified as a "Preface," is the essay "Screwtape Proposes a Toast".
The essay ostensibly is about "education." But it is ever so much more than that!
Let me just give you a sample, and you be the judge:
(The scene is in Hell at the annual dinner of the Tempters' Training College for young devils. The principal, Dr. Slubgob, has just proposed the health of the guests. Screwtape, a very experienced devil, who is the guest of honor, rises to reply:)I hope folks will read the full riveting text of "Screwtape Proposes a Toast" at the link which I was so very glad to find and share with you all.
...It is customary on these occasions for the speaker to address himself chiefly to those among you who have just graduated and who will very soon be posted to official Tempterships on Earth. It is a custom I willingly obey. I well remember with what trepidation I awaited my own first appointment. I hope, and believe, that each one of you has the same uneasiness tonight. Your career is before you. Hell expects and demands that it should be as mine was one of unbroken success. If it is not, you know what awaits you....
[Hint: Failed Tempters wind up as at least hors d'oeuvres at some future Tempters' Training College banquet and would probably be found "insipid fare" by the guests there. The main insight here is that evil consumes itself. See below for details.]
Your dreaded Principal has included ... an apology for the banquet which he has set before us. Well, gentledevils, no one blames him. But it would be vain to deny that the human souls on whose anguish we have been feasting tonight were of pretty poor quality. Not all the most skillful cookery of our tormenters could make them better than insipid.
Oh, to get one's teeth again into a Farinata, a Henry VIII, or even a Hitler! There was real crackling there; something to crunch; a rage, an egotism, a cruelty only just less robust than our own. It put up a delicious resistance to being devoured. It warmed your inwards when you'd got it down.
Instead of this, what have we had tonight? There was a municipal authority with Graft sauce. But personally I could not detect in him the flavour of a really passionate and brutal avarice such as delighted one in the great tycoons of the last century. Was he not unmistakably a Little Man ... a grubby little nonentity who had drifted into corruption, only just realizing that he was corrupt, and chiefly because everyone else did it? Then there was the lukewarm Casserole of Adulters. Could you find in it any trace of a fully inflamed, defiant, rebellious, insatiable lust? I couldn't. They all tasted to me like undersexed morons who had blundered or trickled into the wrong beds in automatic response to sexy advertisements, or to make themselves feel modern and emancipated, or to reassure themselves about their virility or their "normalcy," or even because they had nothing else to do. Frankly, to me who have tasted Messalina and Casanova, they were nauseating. The Trade Unionist studded with sedition was perhaps a shade better: He had done some real harm. He had, not quite unknowingly, worked for bloodshed, famine, and the extinction of liberty. Yes, in a way. But what a way! He thought of those ultimate objectives so little. Toeing the party line, self-importance, and above all mere routine, were what really dominated his life....
The sort of souls on whose despair and ruin we have well, I won't say feasted, but at any rate subsisted tonight are increasing in numbers and will continue to increase.... The "great" sinners, those in whom vivid and genial passions have been pushed beyond the bounds and in whom an immense concentration of will has been devoted to objects, will not disappear. But they will grow rarer. Our catches will be ever more numerous; but they will consist increasingly of trash trash which we should once have thrown to Cerberus and the hellhounds as unfit for diabolical consumption.....
...The great (and toothsome) sinners are made out of the very same material as those horrible phenomena the great Saints. The virtual disappearance of such material may mean insipid meals for us. But is it not utter frustration and famine for the Enemy? He did not create the humans He did not become one of them and die among them by torture in order to produce candidates for Limbo, "failed" humans. He wanted to make Saints; gods; things like Himself....
But do you realize how we have succeeded in reducing so many of the human race to the level of ciphers? This has not come about by accident. It has been our answer and a magnificent answer it is to one of the most serious challenges we ever had to face....
That invaluable man Rousseau first revealed it. In his perfect democracy, you remember, only the state religion is permitted, slavery is restored, and the individual is told that he has really willed (though he didn't know it) whatever the Government tells him to do. From that starting point, via Hegel (another indispensable propagandist on our side), we easily contrived both the Nazi and the Communist state. Even in England we were pretty successful. I heard the other day that in that country a man could not, without a permit, cut down his own tree with his own axe, make it into planks with his own saw, and use the planks to build a toolshed in his own garden....
... [Big snip to conclusion]
But now for the pleasantest part of my duty. It falls to my lot to propose on behalf of the guests the health of Principal Slubgob and the Tempters' Training College. Fill your glasses. What is this I see? What is this delicious bouquet I inhale? Can it be? Mr. Principal, I unsay all my hard words about the dinner. I see, and smell, that even under wartime conditions the College cellar still has a few dozen of sound old vintage Pharisee. Well, well, well. This is like old times. Hold it beneath your nostrils for a moment, gentledevils. Hold it up to the light. Look at those fiery streaks that writhe and tangle in its dark heart, as if they were contending. And so they are. You know how this wine is blended? Different types of Pharisee have been harvested, trodden, and fermented together to produce its subtle flavor. Types that were most antagonistic to one another on Earth. Some were all rules and relics and rosaries; others were all drab clothes, long faces, and petty traditional abstinences from wine or cards or the theatre. Both had in common their self-righteousness and the almost infinite distance between their actual outlook and anything the Enemy really is or commands. The wickedness of other religions was the really live doctrine in the religion of each; slander was its gospel and denigration its litany. How they hated each other up there where the sun shone! How much more they hate each other now that they are forever conjoined but not reconciled. Their astonishment, their resentment, at the combination, the festering of their eternally impenitent spite, passing into our spiritual digestion, will work like fire. Dark fire. All said and done, my friends, it will be an ill day for us if what most humans mean by "religion" ever vanishes from the Earth. It can still send us the truly delicious sins. The fine flower of holiness can grow only in the close neighborhood of the Holy. Nowhere do we tempt so successfully as on the very steps of the alter.
I LOVE *Screwtape Proposes a Toast*.
Thanks for posting that.
Thx for the ping.
Outta the park and down the road...
You're so welcome dear sister in Christ! Oh but please do read the whole thing if you haven't yet done so. I only gave a "selection."
Say, how much snow do you have on the ground right now, where you are?
Oh my, but I've got over three feet on the ground where I am. I don't have a clue where we will put the snow from the next storm predicted to be a "biggie!" the next time we have to shovel out.... Not to mention the worry I have about my roof, under so much icy pressure....
I hope and pray that all is well with you and all your dear ones! Especially the one in California....
In Christ's love and peace, dear sister in Him!
We’ve got a couple feet in the yard. Believe me, we’ve been there with the snow and not knowing where to put it.
Heavy snow loads on roofs are no laughing matter. I will be praying that you get some warm to melt it.
This has been an awful winter. And my weather radio has been going off to day with the winter storm warnings for tomorrow night through Wed. It’s bad when they put the warnings up so far in advance with that kind of certainty. That’s one of the criteria I use in determining how prepared to be for the storm.
Are you well stocked up with food , etc?
It’s been in the 70’s in CA. Every once in a while she calls to rub it in.
I don’t make a habit of posting lies.
“I became a Marxist because of my social position...and also...because of the harsh intolerance and Jesuitical discipline that crushed me so mercilessly at the Seminary. “
Source quoted from :Joseph Stalin : a bigographical companion by Helen Rappaport
Thanks much for the ping Dr.E
We only have one Holy Father , our Abba is in heaven.
Christ’s vicar (representative) on earth doesn’t sit on an early chair in Vatican City , Christ’s vicar is the Holy Spirit.
Take your own pick.
Affirmative. However, I had read some long, winding and impassible windage from certain Calvinists who claim that 'all' here only means the elected selected elite.
only the followers of Calvin have the unscriptural view denying that the love of God is there for all sinners. No one goes to hell because God pre-damns him.
You mean that God is not in control? Horrors!!!! What is the Calvinist Imitation of Christ, I wonder...
The ones who do, resist the Holy Spirit's work: Act 13:46; 7:51; Matt. 23:37
You mean that the Holy Spirit does not report to Calvin?
They were prosecuted as ersatz Christians who followed another Gospel and were thought to lead others astray. Not persecuted. If your loved one's immortal soul is in danger of eternal damnation, what lengths would you go to? How far would you go to convince them of their error?
In the 16th century, those who employed Latin were the upper crust, the educated and those whose life experiences and understandings have extended beyond their sty.
How has that changed?
I suspect that Cronos does not take or eschew action at your bidding.
They apparently had it as late as the 4th century. Did the Church lose the scriptures?
Earlier than that. What you hold in your hands is not what the Council approved. For one thing, it is in English. Where is the authority that approved your Bible, Harley? And who?
Didn't Jesus tell them of their final Judgement? Is that not more final and eternal than killing?
If you believe in Judgement, how might you think Jesus would have Judged those who would have simply permitted the Waldensians to go to hell in their own handbasket unopposed?
Jesus said it might earn the Fathers approval as He would call such His children:
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matt. 5:45) The preceding verses may be enlightening to you also!
What do you think that preaching the Gospel and practicing the Beatitudes and Christian life is for? An exercise only? Or is it for the purpose of rescuing others from the grave of hell?