Recently I sat for an interview with Bill Feltner of Pilgrim Radio about Matthew 24, David Meade, the “Left Behind” (secret rapture) theology, and predictions of Christ’s return. We discussed what our Lord actually said on the Mt of Olives and what it means. We also discussed why Christians have been fascinated by predictions of Christ’s return (despite our Lord’s teaching that no one knows the day or the hour) and how Scripture should be interpreted. Pilgrim radio airs on a number of fine radio stations across the Mountain west including,
KNIS-FM 91.3 Carson City, Nevada, KNVQ-FM 90.7 Elko, Nevada, KDOX-FM 91.3 Bishop, California, KCSP-FM 90.3 Casper, Wyoming, KDNR-FM 88.7 Cheyenne, Wyoming, KTME-FM 89.5 Rock Springs, Wyoming, KPMD-FM 91.9 Evanston, Wyoming, KMJB-FM 89.1 Riverton, Wyoming, KLMT-FM 89.3 Billings, Montana. Pilgrim Radio also streams live on the web.
I don’t know why some folks (especially dispensationalists) call it a “secret” rapture. The rapture itself is a biblical concept (1 Thessalonians 4.15-17) even though the word “rapture” is not used in Scripture (like the word “trinity”). But there’s certainly nothing secret about it.
Indeed. With the shout, trumpet of God, and the like, that passage in First Thessalonians is one of the “loudest” in Scripture. Maybe it’s making the Second Advent known as lightning is from east to west?
Having listened to your teaching on the covenants I understand the error which is at the root of this theology. As a consequence of biblical pre-suppositions many of my, especially baptist and non-conformist friends, make this error in regard Israel. However, seemingly reputable theologians, namely John MacArthur and Master’s Seminary staff hold to this pre-trib rapture nonsense. I think of men I admire and would otherwise sit under their teaching such as Steve Lawson. Where I need your help is that I just can’t get my head around what is keeping them from recognising the error? I’ve reached the conclusion that they are simply products of their generation. Having seen the modern state of Israel established it reinforces what they have been taught, via the offices of JN Derby and the Schofield Study Bible and they have too much to lose by re-appraising their theology. If they get this wrong why would one trust the rest of what they teach?
Sorry, that’s a vague question, but it intrigues and frustrates me and want to know how I can help with the corrective.
We can say the same about Roman Catholicism and papal primacy. Jesuit Klaus Schatz S.J. in his book ‘Papal Primacy’ makes the following candid admission ‘If one had asked a Christian in the year 100, 200, or even 300 whether the bishop of Rome was the head of all Christians, or whether there was a supreme bishop over all other bishops and having the last word in questions affecting the whole Church, he or she would certainly have said no.’ But for Romanists the fact that the church of Rome became as powerful as it did is evidence that Rome’s interpretation of Matthew 16:18-19 is correct. A supposed ‘fact’ trumps truth and good theology. We could paraphrase your sentence thus in respect to them:
Having seen the modern church of Rome established it reinforces what they have been taught, and they have too much to lose by re-appraising their theology.
The ‘fact’ that a state calling itself Israel exists as a political entity is cited as proof of an certain interpretation of prophecy just as the church of Rome in its present form claims its existence must be proof of a certain interpretation. Perhaps you can ask your friends how pleading the existence of something proves that they are right, but Rome is wrong.
Adrian, I share your concerns and what troubles me even more is that some of them, who want to be considered Refomed, such as 1689 Federalists, bifurcate Scripture, claiming that anything before Christ’s death is the old covenant and therefore a covenant of law, and that furthermore the covenant of grace also did not begin until Christ’s death. According to 1689 Federalists anyone who was saved under their definition of OC was saved, not by looking to the promised One, but by some sort of anticipation that God would someday establish a new covenant, and they are very vague about the particulars. According to this teaching God’s purpose in dealing with His people was to keep this fleshly, unspiritual people together by giving them earthly land promises to preserve this line of people, from whom the Savior would come. They insist that this was not an administration of the covenant of grace, but only of works, for earthly land promises. It reminds me of the Marcionite errors.