Pro and Con 121, Uploaded 6-11-98

Incoming Email

Chris Nelson wrote:
you wrote:
>Please give it a try. Your eternal destiny depends on it.

Can you please tell me how you come to this conclusion?

>What have you
>got to lose anyway? There is everything to gain and nothing to lose.

This argument is known as Pascal's Wager, first put forward by the philosopher Blaise Pascal. It is fallacious on many fronts.

1. What if I worship the Christian God but end up in Islamic Hell (the Koran explicitly states that Jesus is not divine, and only Allah is to be worhipped as God) for my sacrilege? Which god should I worship, out of the thousands of gods ever worshipped by man? How does one know which god is the right god? This is known as the problem of "avoiding the wrong hell." And what if the nature of God is such that he rewards skeptics and punishes the gullible?

2. Wouldn't an omniscient god know that I'm believing only to save my skin?

3. A truly infinitely wise god would not be petty enough to punish people for not believing in him given the fact that he doesn't show himself to us.

4. "Nothing to lose"? I would lose a lot of time by going to church, praying, or worshiping. I would lose money by tithing. I would lose my freedom by having to follow arbitrary laws set out in scripture. I would lose my freedom to think for myself by having preachers tell me what to think.

Your argument is unconvincing.

I enjoy a good debate, and am looking forward to hearing your answers.

Sincerely, Chris Nelson

My reply

Hi Chris:
When email I forwarded to you was returned, my heart sank. I thought you did not want to hear from us. Many are praying for you and would like to help you, but you have to let us tell you why we believe in God and accept His son, Jesus Christ as our own personal Saviour. We each have our own reasons, one for a certain reason, another for a different reason. Yet, we have all found God and the way to Him through His son.

In all the world, in all the maze of religions, there is only one way, set up by the Sovereign of the Universe, that man can be saved. The book he gave us to show us the way says, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

The way to God is through his son, Jesus Christ, the only one in all the world that was ever qualified to take the punishment due us upon himself and die for our sins so that those that believe in him can live--eternally. Yes, I know the physical body can die, but man is body, soul and spirit. The physical body is just the house we live in at the present time. Those that believe in Him will never die. The dead in Christ are absent from the body but present with the Lord. Later, they will get a resurrection body too, so that they will have lost nothing, but gained eternal life.

God created our intricate bodies, with their miles and miles of nerves, arteries and veins, with brain cells that are capable of God consciousness, something that all the animals lack. He planted in us a hunger to know Him. Until we find him, we are continually searching, not quite knowing what it is we are searching for.

I wish you could talk to someone that, as a young man, hesitantly answered an altar call, walked down that long aisle in front of the congregation, and burst into tears down in front when he realized that he had at long last found what he had been searching for. His tears were not the only emotion he felt as the Lord Jesus Christ baptized him with His Holy Spirit. Very likely, he felt like laughing and crying all at the same time, but the tears won out. He may have wondered whether he was hot or cold, but as the warmth of God's love poured into him, the warmth won out. He was forever changed. He had been born into God's family as an adopted son in an instant of time. He walked in not understanding, and walked out understanding.

> > Your eternal destiny depends on it.
>
> Can you please tell me how you come to this conclusion?

God created Earth. He created Heaven and Hell. He created man and gave him a choice, will he obey God or not. He loved us and knew that every man would sin and be lost to Hell, so he also planned to give us a chance to be saved. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:16-18).

Every man has sinned. The entire world is guilty, and whether they have had to gospel preached to them or not, they are without excuse. Romans 1:19,20 says, "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse."

UnGodly religions came into being, both because Satan wanted to create counterfeit religions to confuse mankind and because of man himself. "Because that, when they KNEW GOD, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things" (Romans. 1:21-23). See, man started out knowing God. It is man who has drawn away from God, not God that has drawn away from man.

Now man must cut through the chaff and find out how he can draw near to God, and there is only one way, set by the Creator, the one in charge. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).

> 2. Wouldn't an omniscient god know that I'm believing only to save my skin?

Of course. But he has given you that chance anyway. Are you too proud to have him know your reason? Satan's sin was pride. Jesus says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28,29).

> 4. "Nothing to lose"? I would lose a lot of time by going to church,
> praying, or worshiping. I would lose money by tithing. I would lose my
> freedom by having to follow arbitrary laws set out in scripture. I would
> lose my freedom to think for myself by having preachers tell me what to think.

What better have you to do with your time? Would you lose your life for any of those things you do with your time? Tithing was an Old Testament concept. They had a temple and the priests had to be sustained. Today, we give love gifts. God does not want what you begrudge to give. He only wants what you want to give because of your love for him and what he has done for you. The laws have been nailed to the cross, taken out of the way as a way of salvation. None were able to obey them. All were lost without a Saviour. Now, the way of salvation is, "What think ye of Christ? whose son is he?" (Mt. 22:42).

No human being, preacher or otherwise, me or anyone else, should be believed without checking to be sure that what they say jibes with the Bible. It is the only rock-hard truth we have. No one can speak the truth like God can. The Bible is God-breathed. When he decided that man would have to walk by faith, he knew it would not be a fair test unless he gave man a book of instructions. Otherwise, man would stagger in his own blindness, without hope in this world.

Romans 10:9 says, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." It is that simple. Didn't he say, "my yoke is easy, and my burden is light"? People want it to be hard, but it isn't hard. God is holding out to you a free gift. All you have to do is accept it. Ephesians 2:8,9 says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; Not of works, lest any man should boast."

When you first pick up the Bible to see what this is all about, start by reading the book of John. Then read the New Testament before you read the Old Testament. When Jesus died, his last will and testament went into effect.

That he was resurrected from the dead is proof of who he is. He ever lives to be our Saviour.

When he left to go to his Father's house, he said, "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:2,3). We look for his coming, glad that he has given us not only salvation, but a chance to be with him when civilization as we know it is destroyed on Earth. We are living in the end times. Destruction cometh.

My prayers are with you. In the abundant love of God

Incoming Email

Subject: Rapture
I can't believe that anyone, much less you, could misunderstand a simple verse like Gen 7:4. This is a seven day warning to Noah, not a delay. If you  look at this scripture with an open heart and mind, instead of reading into it what you so very much want it to say, then you would  clearly see all it says. If anything prophetic can be gleaned from this scripture, it would be that God may give us a short! warning before the rapture. I'm afraid that you spilling the beans would not suffice as that warning, sorry, it would have to be some worldwide event, or simply an understanding delivered by the Holy Spirit. I do enjoy your site and hope you continue, however, you were wrong on this date, admit it and go on.

My reply

Sorry. I had not had time to go back and take a close look at the Flood account. I have now, as you can see by the posts. The KJV is not as clear on this as the NIV. Noah and his family were probably going in and out of the Ark during these seven days loading food, etc.

Hang in there. This delay may be a test, separating the wise virgins from the foolish. Mt. 25:5 says, "While the bridegroom TARRIED, they all slumbered and slept. Stay strong and stay ready no matter how long it takes.

Human beings are not infallible, me or anyone else. Our understanding may be faulty, but the Scriptures are true. That is what we must go by. Jesus will return according to his plan he made before the world began. The day draws nigh. We must not be like the evil servant that says in his heart, "My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder (cut him off), and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers" (during the Tribulation) (Lu. 12:45,46).

We want to be a faithful and wise steward. Luke 12:42-44 says, "Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath."

Who are rulers? Take a look at Rev. 5:10: "And hast made us (those taken up in the first Rapture) unto our God KINGS and priests: and we shall reign on (epi, over) the earth."

This is not said of the Tribulation saints. Rev. 7:15 says, "Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple."

There is great reward in remaining steadfast right now. It is no time for throwing in the towel. Just remain strong in faith and wait patiently until the Lord returns. He knows when it will be even if we don't. My life is in his hands. Yours is too. The days are evil, and we want to be accounted worthy to escape all these things that are coming upon the world. We must walk circumspectly, be careful to consider all circumstances and possible consequences. In His love

Incoming Email

Subject: BLOW THE TRUMPET IN ZION
MARILYN--I TAKE NO CREDIT FOR WHAT WAS REVEALED TO ME THIS MORNING.I WAS AWAKENED THIS MORNING. THE VERSE THAT DESCRIBES WHAT HAS TAKEN PLACE IS ISAIAH 50:4--IT IS FOR YOU AND FOR ALL THOSE WHO HAVE SO DILIGENTLY STUDIED THE WORD AND YEARNED FOR HIS APPEARING--AND YET NOW HAVE THE RISK OF BECOMING "WEARY". THE VERSE SAYS HE "AWAKES ME...TO GIVE THE WORD THAT SUSTAINS THE WEARY." PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING: THE CORRECT DAY OF PENTECOST WAS 5/31/1998. YES, ISRAEL IS A TYPE OF THE CHURCH. YES, ISRAEL WAS RESURRECTED FROM THE DEAD ON MAY 14TH 1948.YES, IN TYPOLOGY THE CHURCH SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN SCHEDULED TO BE RAISED 50 YEARS LATER--IN MAY 1998. OH, BUT WAIT !!!!!! YES WAIT FOR THE VISION FOR IT IS SURE--THOUGH IT DELAY--IT SHALL SURELY COME TO PASS!!! WAS ISRAEL RECOGNIZED IN 1948--NO!!! WAS A WAR FOUGHT FOR THEIR INDEPENDENCE???YES!!! WHEN WAS THE WAR WON???JANUARY 7, 1949.. AND WHEN OH WHEN WAS ISRAEL ADMITTED TO THE UNITED NATIONS????!!!! MAY 14TH ,1949!!!!!!! ISRAEL WAS THEN RECOGNIZED BY THE WORLD AS A NATION!!!! EVEN THOUGH IT REALLY ALREADY EXISTED!!! THE CHURCH WAS BORN WHEN JESUS WAS RESURRECTED FROM THE DEAD--"WE WERE BURIED WITH HIM." IT WAS ALSO BORN WHEN JESUS BREATHED ON THE DISCIPLES AND TOLD THEM "RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT". BUT WHEN WAS IT RECOGNIZED BY THE WORLD ???---ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST AT 9:00A.M.SO JUST AS ISRAEL WAS RECOGNIZED IN MAY 1949 ...SO 50 YEARS LATER IN 1999 THE CHURCH WILL BE "RECOGNIZED" BY THE WORLD AT THE TIME OF THE RAPTURE. SURELY "MANY SHALL SEE IT"-THE VERSE YOU HAVE SO OFTEN QUOTED!!! NOTE THE EXACTNESS OF THE DATES..MAY14 TH 1948 ISRAEL PROCLAIMED HER INDEPENDENCE...MAY 14TH 1949..ISRAEL RECOGNIZED AS A NATION BY THE UNITED NATIONS!!!!! PLEASE GO BACK TO YOUR PRO AND CONS. P/C #115--SOMEONE REPORTS BEING JOLTED SAT. NIGHT/SUN. MORNING--THEN GIVEN WORD ON THE RESURRECTION. THIS WAS ON THE MAY 31ST DATE!!!!!! GO TO P/C #117 SOMEONE FELT AN "EARTHQUAKE" AT 11P.M. THIS WAS 9:OOAM JERUSALEM TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AGAIN, THIS WAS ON THE MAY 31ST DATE!!!THIS WAS GOD'S SIGNAL THAT THIS PICTURED THE RESURRECTION OF ISRAEL IN MAY 1948. IT IS ALSO HIS SIGNAL FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EYES TO SEE IT OF THE RAPTURE TO COME ONE YEAR LATER IN MAY 1949. PEOPLE GET READY. THIS IS NOT FROM MAN. I WRITE THESE WORDS FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT.

My reply

Before I get into what you said, I want you to know that I am open minded. What I think is not set in stone; never has been. Any time that I can see something else in Scripture, I am willing to change my mind. However, unless next Sunday, June 14, passes uneventfully, I think that day makes more sense than any other. If not then, June 21.

> WAS ISRAEL RECOGNIZED IN 1948--NO!!!...MAY 14TH 1949..ISRAEL RECOGNIZED AS A
> NATION BY THE UNITED NATIONS!!!!!

The USA recognized Israel right away in 1948, but Israel was admitted to the UN May 11, 1949, according to "The 1986 Information Please Almanac," p. 214.

The Sabbath years and the Jubilee year were to be kept "When ye come into the land" (Lev. 25:2). Doesn't that seem to fit 1948 better than 1949?

How does 1999 fit with Luke 13:6-9? That seems to indicate four Jewish years (5758, 5759, 5760, 5761). Also, the Jewish year 5758 ends as Sept. 21, 1998 begins.

The time when there are both green figs and the "tender grape" giving a good smell (Song of Sol. 2:13) says end of May or in June to me. Tender is "cemader," a vine blossom, so it must be the firstripe grapes. I am still hoping for this next Sunday. If not then, the next one, which is the first day of summer. Grape harvest begins in the end of May or early June.

If we start with June 7th, the Orthodox Pentecost, and add "yet other seven days" of Gen. 8:10 and "yet other seven days" of Gen. 8:12, we come to June 21, the first day of summer. Of course, those seven-day periods may or may not apply, but the Rapture is as the days of Noah, so they may.

However, if we start with May 31, we come to June 14, which is still spring. Song 2:11 says, "the winter is past," not the spring is past.

If the Rapture does not take place this spring, then I would have to consider next spring as a definite possibility, but right now, this spring seems to fit better. For now, I want to hang tight and see what happens this month.

This may be a test, a separating the wise from the foolish. Stay strong and stay ready no matter how long it takes.

Hebrews 10:34-38 says, "ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For YET A LITTLE WHILE, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him."

Incoming Email

Here is the parable of the barren fig tree. Luke 13:6-9 says, "He spake also this parable: A certain man (Jesus Christ) had a fig tree (Israel) planted in his vineyard; and he came (i.e., at the Rapture) and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years (5758, 5759, 5760) I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone THIS YEAR ALSO (5761), till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well (I think the Tribulation would not happen in that case): and if not, then after that (the four years, figured by Jewish inclusive reckoning, where the first year is counted as number one) thou shalt cut it down" (i.e., the Tribulation).

All your ()'s are interepretation. Is this what Jesus meant. Maybe so, maybe not. You except your interuputaion and then build on not the scripture but your interupatation of them.

and he came (i.e., at the Rapture). Does this mean the Rapture? Maybe so but also maybe not. The whole thing could have nothing to do with end time prophecy but just saying that we will should fruit bearers.

Why not open up your pages to discussion of whether this is the correct interputation?

I really appreciate all your knowledge but when things are filtered only to people who believe exactly the same way then how can we dig out the truth.

I challenge you to go to the following web site, http://www.signministries.org

They are pre-wrath rapture. They will send you a free text. Read it and see if it gives you any insight. They can be wrong just a you where but you may be able to pick something up for them.

I've read both Pre-Trib and Pre-Wrath and I feel both have there strengths and weeknesses. Bith are based on interputation of scripture and not scripture only.

I hope I don't come off as negative because I don;t mean to be. I just want to find the truth. I hope we have a Pre-Trib rapture, I hope you are right.

We are part of a body, the body would not function if it had only a heart or an arm. We need others to have the fullness of Christ. I don't believe only part of the Body will be taken at the Rapture. Remember the last time I wrote I said it was my belief that the Body and thge Bride are the same thing, ie. believers. I asked several pastors from several different denominations about this. I also talked to a Baptist and she seemed to believe they were to different ways of describing the same thing. What do the people in your local church believe or are you not part of a local body of believers.

My reply

My interpretation of Luke 13:6-9 could be wrong. I did not say that it could not. However, it says, "he came" and "he" is called "Lord." I believe that the first time the Lord comes will be at the Pre-Trib Rapture.

I Cor. 15:23 says, "But every man in his own order (tagmati, rank): Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." I can see that one coming to catch us up is in Rev. 4:1 and another is indicated in Rev. 7:14. In between them is Rev. 6, which covers from the very beginning of the Tribulation to when "the great day of his wrath is come" (in the last verse). I can see that those in Heaven in Rev. 7:14 are there between the breaking of the sixth seal in Rev. 6:12 and the breaking of the seventh seal in Rev. 8. I can see that all the Tribulation is "hereafter" the Rapture in Rev. 4:1.

Some people think that there is only one Rapture, the Pre-Wrath Rapture. They think that it takes place at the last trumpet of Rev. 11:15. Notice that it says that "the seventh ANGEL sounded." Those seven trumpets are sounded by seven angels. Rev. 8:2 says, "I saw the seven ANGELS which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets."

If that were true, then the Body of Christ would be on Earth during the Day of God's Wrath. A Rapture at that time would not be Pre-Wrath. It would be as the last trumpet of woe sounded. It would be after "a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood" (Rev. 8:8) when the second trumpet sounded. It would be after the "great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp" (Rev. 8:10) fell when the third trumpet sounded. It would be after "the bottomless pit" (Rev. 9:2) was opened and men prayed to die and couldn't when the fifth trumpet sounded. This seems very clear to me.

The trumps that sound at the Raptures are not sounded by angels. They are each "the trump OF GOD" (I Thess. 4:16). There is a huge difference. Those called up by the trump of God escape the seven trumpet judgments altogether.

> I don't believe only part of the Body will be taken at the Rapture.

If you mean that you believe that the whole Body will be taken up at the Pre-Wrath Rapture, what do you do when you find out that Christ is the head and that he is already in Heaven and has been ever since 30 AD?

What do you do when you realize that because the dead in Christ are absent from the body and present with the Lord in Heaven, that part of the Body of Christ is already in Heaven also?

Ok. We have the Head and greater part of the Body in Heaven now. Does it then make sense that the first Rapture could be one foot of the Body of Christ and the second Rapture the other foot? When a baby is born in a normal position, its head is born first, then its arms and torso. The legs and feet are born last, and one foot can be born a bit ahead of the other one.

Most pastors of churches I have attended think that the headless Body of Christ is all going to be caught up at once, that not a finger will be left behind. I don't argue with them, but I don't agree on this point. I listen to what they say and then search the scriptures to see if these things are so. If it agrees with Scripture, I hang on to it. If it does not, I believe what Scripture says.

I'm glad you are going out on the Internet to learn more about the Bible. I doubt that your High School library would be much help there. In my experience, even public libraries are not a great deal of help. I was fortunate enough to live close to BIOLA (Bible Institute of Los Angeles) and could use their extensive library for my research.

> I just want to find the truth. I hope we have a Pre-Trib rapture, I
> hope you are right.

Keep hoping. The Rapture is our blessed hope. Titus 2:12,13 says that "we should live soverly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."

Hebrews 10:34-38 says, "ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For YET A LITTLE WHILE, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." In His love

Incoming Email

From the same as above
In 2 Thes 2:1-3, the Greek work "apostasia" means departing. It is the Rapture, and it has to take place before the man of sin is revealed.

It means departing but it refers to a falling away or departing from the truth of Jesus not the Rapture. Once again your interputation of scritpures colors your views. Whose interputation is correct.

The scripture seems to say there will be a departure from the fath ie falling away, apostasy ie the Laodecians, then the man of sin will be revealed.

How can you possiblly make this a reference to the rapture? When some one asks you or challenges you respond with interputation of the scripture and not scripture itself.

I know, so do I. Ha Ha!

We both love Jesus and that is what is important!

My reply

> We both love Jesus and that is what is important!

Amen. He is first and foremost. Everything else is secondary. If we are right about Him, we will make it to Heaven even if we are wrong about other things.

In 2 Thes 2:1-3, "he apostasia" means defection from a state, separation (as in divorce); from the root "aphistemi," to withdraw oneself, desert a station in life, remove, go away, absent oneself from, depart.

It was translated as "the departure" in early Bibles, including The Geneva Bible, Tyndale's translation, Cranmer's version, the Great Bible, Breecher's Bible, Beza's translation and the Coverdale Bible.

I think we already have Laodiceans around, but we also have Philadelphians, who are the salt of the Earth. In breadmaking, salt retards the growth of leaven, which is a symbol of evil in the Bible. Right now, the Philadelphians are retarding the appearance of the wicked one because they are filled with the Holy Spirit, who restrains the evil one until the Philadelphians are taken through the open door of Rev. 3:8 and 4:1. Once this salt is gone, the leaven can grow fast. Then will that wicked one be revealed. In His love

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© 1998 Marilyn J. Agee
Updated 6-11-98