Hi, again! I have a feeling that the thing about Dispensationalism that bothers you all the most is the Rapture of the Church, the Body of Christ.
When you come to understand that the Risen Christ made a totally unexpected surprise visit back to earth, but in the air, to convert Paul and give him a new gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone, then you will understand that in this very same manner, in the air, Christ will return to collect all those who have been saved by that gospel…I like to think of the two secret comings in the air as being the two ‘parentheses’ that border our unique dispensation. Neither one of those comings was prophesied in the Old Testament or even the Gospels. They have nothing to do with Israel’s prophetic program, except that the first coming began the temporary setting aside of God’s direct dealings with Israel; and the second will herald the resumption of God’s dealings with Israel. In between you have a people saved in a way different than Israel was to be. Therefore, as He is not the Author of confusion, God will remove us and our gospel of Grace before resuming His dealings with the Chosen People.
The Church of today is not the ‘Bride of Christ.’ Israel is to be the Bride of Christ. We are His Body. There is a difference. I would much rather be an actual part of Him than just an entity joined to Him, wouldn’t you?
God wouldn’t leave the new believers that will go through the Tribulation and inherit the Kingdom on earth without some specific instructions, would He? Well, he hasn’t! The books of Hebrews through Revelation are right where they should be…following our Pauline epistles, where they await the coming Tribulation believers as their guide through the Day of the Lord. These books are for us to read, but they don’t contain our doctrines. We are saved by grace through faith without works; these books instruct believers who are expected by God to prove their faith BY their works. (James 2:24). That’s how we know they’re not for us today.
The popular ‘Left Behind’ series by LaHaye and Jenkins makes one very fundamental error! The moment after the Rapture, they have people being saved by the same gospel as those who are gone. WRONG!!! Those who place new-found faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah of Israel will be saved in much the same way as Jesus told the rich young ruler in Luke 18. The Trib believers will have all things in common and rely totally on the Providence of God to get them through the extreme persecution by Anti-Christ. The Lord’s Prayer that Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 6 will apply to these believers. At the time Jesus taught it to His disciples, the expectation of all, including the Lord Himself (Matt. 24:36), was that the next thing on the time schedule was the seventieth week of Daniel. Jesus could not have made a legitimate announcement, and the apostles later a legitimate offer, of the Kingdom to Israel if He had allowed Himself to ‘know’ that it wasn’t going to happen for 2,000 or so years.
I would NEVER pray the Lord’s Prayer myself now that I understand what an insult it is for a member of the Body of Christ to pray it today! Why on earth would I ask God to forgive me my trespasses AS (or the in the same measure as) I forgive others? What a slap in God’s Face to beg to return to a performance-based merit system like Israel was under when, as Paul tells us in Eph. 1:7 and Col. 1:14 that through His Blood, we HAVE the forgiveness of sins as a present possession! My heart breaks along with the Heart of God when He hears those who claim to be His so callously disregarding His Blessings!
I’d like to say, too, that, yes, John Nelson Darby recovered the truth of the Rapture, although his dispensational theology was not yet as developed as we know it today. And, he had absolutely nothing to do with that MacDonald person people try to link him with. She had demonic visions of the end times that had a very legalistic twist to them, which is what demons always promote, so there is just no connection.
Any questions on the Rapture? Want to go with us? Place your full trust in Jesus Christ alone in His death for our sins on the Cross and His conquering resurrection over death as our eternal guarantee of salvation. ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Romans 6:23) ‘And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.’ (1 Thess. 1:10) ‘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 shuld live together with Him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together , and edify one another, even as also ye do.’ (1 Thess. 5:9-11)