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Great Sermon! A Note to Faarke:
Eschatology is a very intricate topic and must be grounded on sound Hermeneutics. I firstly appreciate your enthusiasm, but research the strong views held by scholars before closing the door on a post-tribulation return of our Lord.
I suggest Anthony Hoekema: The Bible and the Future (A good Biblical, honest dealing with the 4 major views. A-Millennial) or Boettner: Postmillennialism.
I hope that this helps....
Your Servant in Christ
How can Matthew 24:33-51 be Post-Trib? Dr. Stewart appreciates Faarke's question. Faarke says: I've always thought that Jesus will take his bride away before the tribulation. Now I heard about Stewart's sermon, I had some doubts. I brought this to the Lord (and know that He hears my every word), and immediately I read Matt.24: 40-42. Please Read This and don't forget these are the words of our Saviour Jesus Christ ! If you read verses 34-51, you'll see that this is impossible if the rapture was post-tribulation. Dr. Stewart responds: Several things should be said in response to my Brother's comments. First, we must not separate verses 34-51 from their context of verses 1-33 in which our Lord sets forth the chronology of events leading up to His glorious Return. This chronology appears to establish the Abomination of Desolation (15), the time of tribulation (16-22), then the Sign of His Coming (27-30), and then the Rapture of the Church (31). Jesus warns His followers to be keenly aware of the signs of the times and to be prepared for His Coming (32,33). Verses 33-51 can only be properly understood in this larger context. Second, apparently those early church fathers who openly embraced a post-tribulation rapture did not believe their position to be inconsistent with Jesus' words recorded in Matthew 24:33-51.
Great Sermon! It came as no surprise to me when I saw the title of Dr. Stewart's message. I first heard his fascinating, informative sermons on the end times and pre-trib rapture when I was an unsaved teenager more than twenty years ago. Although unsaved, I was very interested in what he had to say on this subject. I even got the tapes, which probably shocked my parents as I was an extremely wild and rebellious daughter. Only a short five years ago, I finally met my Savior and began to know Him instead of just about Him. As I studied, I, too, came to the conclusion that the pre-trib story was wrong and I was disturbed to find that there seemed to be very few pastors who had grasped this truth and even fewer who were willing to preach it. When my father told me that Dr. Stewart's sermons were available on-line, I couldn't get to my computer fast enough to see what he had to say about the rapture, after all these years. I knew I wouldn't be disappointed and I wasn't. I can't thank you enough, Dr. Stewart, for your genuineness, your integrity and your commitment to telling the truth about what God's Word reveals. I'll never forget your kindness to me during those hard years. Thank you so much... Dr. Stewart responds: Thank you, Patti (Parks) Ryan for your many gracious and kind words!
Great Sermon! Why, pray tell, would the Lord spare this generation of weak kneed Christians from persecution when thousands of the faithful thorough out history suffered as martyrs, unspeakably horrible deaths (read Fox's Book of Martyrs).
It is eternal damnation the redeemed will be saved from, not earthly discomfort!
If our witness is true and faithful, we will suffer. We ought to consider it an honor to suffer for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom.
Great Sermon! I am in full agreement with Pastor Stewart. We have studied this pre-, mid-, post-, for 5 years now and we USED to be pre-trib. We found out the same thing he did. Too many holes in the teaching. Bravo, Dr. Stewart, from some friends who have emailed you a couple of times from Missouri. The geese are still on the lake!!! Please do a follow-up message on this subject. We will be watching for it. God bless you. plw
Great Sermon! Derek writes: Good point about the Children of Israel and Egypt...To answer your question, the two examples of God removing his people were Lot...and Noah with his family. In addition, I have for many years been pointed to the fact that after Revelation chapter 4, the church is no longer mentioned until after the tribulation is over. And again, what about the 144,000 that will be preaching?...I believe it is clear that the church will be gone and Israel after the flesh will be again presented the Gospel by their own kinsmen...Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the subject, this gives us the ability to sharpen our thoughts...God Bless.
Dr. Stewart responds: Several thoughts come to mind, Derek. First, only seven individual churches are singled out by the Savior in the Book of Revelation. To say that the Church is absent (raptured) because no specific "church" is referred to after Revelation 3 is to argue from silence and to insist on a rather narrow definition of the Church that excludes it from being present during the Great Tribulation. While Lot was in fact delivered prior to the judgment, Noah was actually delivered through the divine judgment by the gracious provision of God (the ark). Noah could be viewed (and is) as an "example" of the Posttrib principle.
Great Sermon! Dr. Stewart appreciates the following comments: Great points Derek...The 7 year tribulation period referred to is God's wrath upon the world, not the persecution of the church by the world and Satan. Who would venture to think that God would pour out His divine wrath on the bride that He redeemed and purchased with the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Stewart responds: Humm? A closer observation of the Scriptures suggests that it is only the last 3.5 years of Jacob's Troubles that involve the "great tribulation" referred to by Jesus in Mat. 24:15-21. The wrath of this period is from two sources and is directed at different objects. First, there is the wrath of God which is directed against the unbelievers (Rev. 6:15-17, 14:9-10, 15:1, 16:19, 19:15), initially for the purpose of bringing unbelievers to repentance (Rev.9:20-21, 16:9-11). Second, there is the wrath of Satan with is directed at faithful Jews and Believing Christians (Rev. 6:9-11,12:11-13), apparently in Satan's attempt to destroy both Israel and the Church. The note of victory is struck in favor of the saints when John states, "And they overcame him (Satan) because of the Blood of the Lamb and because of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death" (Rev. 12:11). Does this help?
Believers through Judgement?? Dr. Stewart welcomes Derek's comments: The comment was made that the Church will go through the tribulation...But please consider the nature of God, who NEVER CHANGES. When God's judgement ( not the tribulation that man brings upon believers) falls upon His creation, he has always removed HIS CHILDREN. How on earth can we leap across this chasm and say that this time, God's going to leave them to suffer...Just some thoughts. God Bless.
Dr. Stewart responds: Thanks, Derek. Pretribbers and Posttribbers agree that the Bride will not be the object of the divine wrath during the last days. I would point out that the Children of Israel were in the Land of Egypt during the catastrophic judgments which befell the Kingdom. Yet, God protected His people from the devastations of these judgments. Historically, it appears that the righteous (like Daniel and Jeremiah) suffered with the unrighteous, but were sustained and protected throughout. It would be very, very helpful, my friend, if you would share with us some examples of God's removing His people prior to the falling of His judgments on the earth. Thanks for your imput!
Great Sermon! After eleven years of believing in a Pretrib Rapture, I finally let the Word of God speak clearly to me and I discovered I was mistaken. There is only one "Second Coming." I agree fully with your conclusions.
One thing to consider: In this time of apostasy, we must be able to differentiate between the essentials of the faith and the errors of eschatological misinterpretation. Pretrib's have sometimes elevated this doctrine to "essential" status and thereby alienated true brothers and sisters in the Lord. When I did believe Pretrib for those eleven years, I have no doubt I was saved, but my error came as a result of neglecting to study this doctrine fully on my own. I had simply accepted what I had been taught on the pulpit and bible studies with little investigation of my own. I also might add that I am an avid bible student and this one simply "slipped by me."
God bless you Pastor, stand firm - God's truth must always come before man's imaginations. May our "Blessed Hope" be Christ Himself and His salvation. It is certainly not a small group of "end-time Christians" being taken out of persecution that every believer of all ages has been promised.
Great Sermon! The biblical principles shared in this message will be a help to those who have questions concerning living wills. I appreciate the insight and pastoral spirit in which Dr. Stewart communicates these basic guidelines.
Great Sermon! I greatly appreciated your sermon. Several years ago I came to the same conclusion. Just a word study of the same Greek word translated "tribulation" and "affliction" in the New Testament reveals the fact that with one exception the tribulation is for God's people and not the other way around. The problem is the confusion that so many have with the "wrath of God". God has always used tribulation to prepare "saints". And though there is room for controversy in the prototypes, they too point to "going through" and being "preserved in" tribulation, and not a grand escape. The sad irony is that many who expect to escape will be a part of the great apostasy because of being disallusioned. Thanks so much for the research.
Great Sermon! What a wonderful way to spend a morning listening to your sermon. Why, oh why, was I not able to save it? Is it possible for me to obtain a CD of this sermon so that I could give this as a present to some one who I feel might benefit from listening to it?
I give thanks to God for bringing you and your sermon to my attention.
Dr. Stewart Responds: You are very kind! For some reason my return email to you failed!?! Sorry! Try downloading the sermon to your hard drive and save it there. You can either burn a CD from your computer, or you can use a patch cord from your computer to a cassett recorder and capture the message on cassett for free! Blessings to you, my Friend!
I have studied and found Pre-Trib more likely. (Dr. Stewart welcomes the following listener's comments) "I fought with myself for a while now with the notion of Pre-Trib or Post. I have come to the conclusion that it must be Pre-Trib and no other explanation.
I have come across a very good site to explain the same thing I found. I hope this will be good information for anybody searching like I was.
Dr. Stewart responds: Thanks Justin for your contribution to the discussion. I look forward to looking into the website you referenced. I encourage you to read the excellent post-trib books by Gundry and Van Kampen (referenced in comments below)to add to your understanding of the issues involved. We must all be open to new insights and information.
Brilliant Sermon! A SOUL IS SAVED! I've got a friend, a health care assistant, to come into the office and listened on the computer to this brilliant, simple to understand sermon...RIGHT THERE IN THE OFFICE I LED HER TO SAY THE SINNER'S PRAYER. PRAISE OUR WONDERFUL LORD FOR THE LOVE HE HAS FOR EACH PERSON AND FOR THE WAY I KNOW HE LED ME TO GET HER TO HEAR YOUR MESSAGE ALSO...Keep on with your simple messages, they are beautiful to behold, and I feel the Lord saying to you, "WELL DONE THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT."
Great Sermon! Pre-Trib verses Post-Trib Rapture
I was amazed and encouraged by Dr Stewartâ€™s message on this topic, as I went through the same process as he did, of being brought up on hyper-dispensationism and the Pre-trib Rapture and then reading Matthew 24 with an open mind and I came to the very same conclusions as he presents in this message. As he so rightly says, the key issue is ones definition and understanding of what is meant by the â€˜churchâ€™.
This is such a vital subjectâ€¦â€¦.. it has an important bearing on our understanding of prophecy and the events leading up to the second coming of Jesus.
J N Darby (one of the founders of the â€˜Brethrenâ€™ movement) was a very gifted teacher of Scripture in the 1830â€™s and his teaching has influenced a lot of what we believe today, (a lot of it â€“ very good !) however his definition of the â€˜churchâ€™ and the pre-trib rapture were brand new concepts at the time and no record in church history agrees with him on those issues. (nor does Scripture IMHO)
This is what we are grappling with hereâ€¦.. not what Scripture teaches, but what Darby taught.
Thank you brother for your honesty and faithfulness to the Word of God!
Great Sermon! I am a student of biblical languages completing my M. Div. and I have been dissatisfied with the pre-trib position for some time now. I have had to put my eschatology on hold as I do not have the time to do the necessary research due to school. I will say that this sermon has opened my eyes to much that I did not see before. The fact that the Church goes through the Great Tribulation does fit with the OT record better. When did God ever take His people out of trouble?...Egypt?...the Wilderness?...the relentless attacks from foreign nations?...the eventual dispersion of the Jews from their homeland? God took them through and preserved them in it. The Greek of Rev 3.10 is correct, God will guard us IN the midst of the trouble, not FROM(in the sense of never having to suffer).
In the Jewish mindset, suffering is a part of what makes us human, and to deny ourselves that is to deny ourselves full humanity. A book which covers this need to suffer excellently is "Psalms: A Theological Commentary" by Walter Brueggemann.