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.
Notable Sermon! One can hear the wisdom that the Lord God has imparted to Dr. Stewart through this sermon. With expository preaching so rare in this age, it is refreshing to hear a teaching of this caliber.
Great Sermon! A very pointed, practical and direct sermon. Here is the challenge, bring every thought captive and subject to Jesus Christ. Dr. Stewart does us all a very good service by asserting this can be done through the power of the Holy Spirit and our persistence in Him.
Great Sermon! (Dr. Stewart welcomes the following listener's comments)"I thought I had a clear understanding of our "Blessed Hope." I heard a teaching suggesting that the Body of Christ would, indeed, go through the tribulation. It absolutely broke my heart. Not that I was seeking comfort by wanting to avoid the tribulation, but I so longed to see Him, that my hopes were crushed in this life....I absolutely KNOW that the Church (our Lord Jesus Christ's Body) be removed BEFORE the seven year tribulation period begins."
Dr. Stewart comments: Thanks Bonnie for your thoughts. Various sectors of the Church have suffered great persecution in every generation since the first and have been purified, not destroyed, by their hardships because of the faithfulness and grace of the Lord Jesus! Most PostTribs believe that before entering the last 3.5 years there will be a great outpouring of the Spirit (Joel 2:28-32) which will be more than adequate to prepare, sustain, and lead God's people in victory whatever may come our way (Rev. 12:11). Remember: "Greater is He Who is in you, than he who is in the world". Jesus' followers need have no fear, and never be broken hearted, over His perfect and loving will for us, even when pain is involved. Grace to you, my dear.
Fascinating Message Your message on blood covenants has opened up for me a deeper understanding of the New Covenant of my salvation and why I can never be lost once saved. Thank you for this new information. Very, very helpful!
Way Off Base (Dr. Stewart has posted the following listener's comment) "Way off Base! This is way off base and he takes a lot out of context...the Pretribulation rapture is the only way to look at it as God does!...Going to the "Greek" is a farce and there is no such thing as a "Septuagint" that was proven to be written before the time of Christ!...This stinks and so does the preacher!"
Dr. Stewart responds: Vincent, it looks like I need to invite you out for a cup of coffee! I believe that Dr. Dwight Pentecost (Things to Come) would disagree with you on your issues with the "Greek" and Dr. Merrill Unger (Unger's New Bible Dictionary) would disagree on the existence and importance of the Septuagint in the life of the early church. I have always believed that the rapture issue is a disagreement within the family of faith and that we should discuss these issues with Christ-like grace. Just between you and me: I can hope that your rapture position is somehow correct; I just don't see it in the Word. I guess the Lord will have to resolve this issue with His glorious Appearing. People must be made aware of all the possibilites so they can make whatever preparations necessary to remain faithful to our Lord whenever He comes. Grace and peace to you, Brother!
Pre-Trib No Mistake! (Dr. Stewart is glad to post the following listener comment) "There has been much evidence overlooked on the Pre-Trib side...Dr. Thomas Ice displays an ancient sermon, Pseudo-Ephraem (c. 374-627) that he found...You can go to Dr. Snow's prophecy website and examine these sermons (www.raptureready.com/featured/ttcol.html). I would encourage everyone to test and prove all these things like the Holy Writ commands us to do."
Dr. Stewart comments: Thanks David for your input into this discussion. I encourage every interested person to visit the website above and test all things. I would also suggest listeners read Robert H. Gundry's exceptional book: The Church and The Tribulation (Zondervan) and visit The Last Trumpet website at http://www.geocities.com/~lasttrumpet/ where legitimate questions are raised concerning the Pseudo-Ephraem document and its actual authenticity. Ephraem's genuine writings in the Ante-Nicean Fathers nowhere seems to hint at a pretrib rapture. Curious, isn't it? How else will we come to agreement on the Truth of God's Word unless we all come to the table and discuss these relevant data? Thanks, Friend.
Still Not Accurate Enough (Dr. Stewart appreciates and has posted the following listener comment) "Stewart's sermon is a good one in that he acknowledges the horrific problems of the Pre-Trib position...But he still has not dug deeply enough... He "assumes" that the Great Tribulation is the "entire" last 3.5 year period, which is not stated in Scripture...So "Pre-trib" is not accurate, "Post-Trib" is not accurate, "Mid-Trib" is not accurate. The most accurate term is "Pre-Wrath"...before the wrath of God begins...He needs to study this topic more carefully, but he is on the right road..."
Dr. Stewart Responds: Thanks Alex. I actually agree with you that the rapture is prior to the revelation of the wrath of God. I would refer listeners to Van Kampen's excellent work: The Sign (Crossway Books); and to Marvin Rosenthal's work: The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church (Nelson).
Great Sermon! Thank you for your honest discourse and the time spent on this subject.All the more reason to stay close to our Lord & Saviour. In any case no prophet was ever saved from what he prophesied but went through it all with the poeple.
I trust that the Lord's prayer to deliver us from evil will always apply.
Great Sermon! I feel that Charles Stewart's sermon on "How to Affair-Proof Your Marriage," gives both Biblical and practical advice for all couples to follow. I forwarded it to my whole Adult Bible Fellowship; take a look, listen, and be prepared to learn.