Pro and Con 33, uploaded 11-13-97
"His" and "Her" Email Exchange Forwarded to me in case I wanted to put in my two cents worth
Her response to a previous email
Thank you for your email. You have put your finger on the most important aspect of Christianity, the sacrifice of Jesus for forgiveness of mankind's sins.
Jesus came to FULFILL the Mosiac law. He was noted by John when he first saw him, St. John 1:29, "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, 'Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'"
John was not referring to Mary's cuddly little lamb of nursery rhyme fame, but to the passover lamb that was slain and eaten after his blood was applied to the doorposts of the Jewish homes in Egypt that the death angel would "pass over" and not kill their firstborn sons and cattle. The Egyptians did not have this blood over their doorposts and the first born of every household was slain that night. This brought incredible grief to the Egyptians who then were eager to get the Jews out of Egypt as they had requested. We now must have the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, over the "doorposts" of our hearts.
Speaking of Jesus as the sacrificial Lamb of God, Revelation 7:7,8 states, "...authority was given him (Jesus) over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Bood of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." From this we note that God, as omniscient, or all-knowing, knew from the beginning of time that mankind would sin and therefore lose the right of fellowship with Him. Mankind would require a blood covering as sacrifice for their sins since the scriptures tell us that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Hebrews 9:22.
When Peter tried to suggest to Jesus that it should not be necessary for Him to be sacrificed on the cross, Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." Mark 8:33.
We thank God for His willingness to provide a pure, acceptable sacrifice for our sins, the blood of Jeus Christ, the Son of God in human flesh. Without this sacrifice we would have no forgiveness for our many sins, or transgressions from the will of God. We would be required to be banished forever from the presence of God and would have to spend eternity paying for our sins. Through our faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as a covering for our sins we are seen by God the Father through the blood of Jesus as pure and holy, acceptable in His sight to have fellowship with Him throughout eternity. This one-time-only sacrifice of Jesus suffices for all sins if we accept this fact by faith in Jesus' name and resurrection as the Son of the Living God. This is an incredible benefit and an act of mercy, grace and love on the part of Jesus and the Father God. We can never repay Him for the wonderful gift of salvation through His blood that He has bestowed upon us. For this He deserves our love and worship unconditionally forever.
God bless you as you strive to understand God's words. You'll find all of these references in the Holy Bible. I recommend that you begin reading with the Gospel of John to gain a real understanding of the Divinity and purpose of Jesus Christ on our behalf. In Christ
Thank you for responding to my letter. Still, it raises more questions than it answers. I am a father of 5 and cannot imagine sacrificing any of them for any reason. It just doesn't make sense that a good god would do such a thing. It implies that the end justifies the means. What kind of a world would this be if we all behaved as god did? Is god not bound by the same rules as we are? And if not what kind of a message is this.
I am an agnostic searching for a spiritual path but I am afraid that Christianity, at least in this form scares me.I have read John and it is a confusing story with many different ways of looking at it. As an example, as you wrote, you have John claiming that Jesus is the Messiah, but a few verses later from prison you have him sending someone out to see if he indeed is the "one". This is only one of dozens of contradictions that I found. If I accept this on faith, what then is my faith based on? Half truths? Where is the good news I hear so much about from my friends?
The "Good News" of the gospel is the best of all news. We now have access back to friendship with God through Jesus' incomparable sacrifice. He did for us what none of us could do for ourselves. The fact that God the Father would be willing to allow His own Son to be sacrificed for US! is evidence of His love. Of course, Jesus did not stay dead. He was resurrected 3 days later, as prophesied throughout the Old Testament. One of the most beautiful prophecies is Isaiah 53 Chapter 53
Isa 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
Isa 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him.
Isa 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isa 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
Isa 53:5 But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
Isa 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
Isa 53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither [was any] deceit in his mouth.
Isa 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
Isa 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
Isa 53:12 Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."
You refer to the barbaric practice of human sacrifice. The truth is that sin is such a terrible thing since it banishes us forever from God's presence and brings with it the condemnation of death. Animal sacrifice was carefully outlined by God in the Mosaic Law as a means of removing man's sins through its transfer onto the head of the sacrificial animal before its sacrifice. These were given as examples for them, pointing to the ONE perfect sacrifice that alone could remove sins, Jesus Christ. By their faith the Jews looked forward toward Christ since as Paul said in one of his epistles, it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats would be sufficient for the forgiveness of sins. We by faith look BACK toward Jesus' sacrifice and by faith dump our sins onto Him on the cross. That was His reason for coming to Earth to die in our place and demonstrates the great love of God for us. God really wants to enjoy our fellowship but cannot until we have our sins removed through this transfer by faith.
You mention John the Baptist's question. John understandably was confused since he had recognized Jesus as the Son of God. Yet John had been imprisoned after this. John did not have total knowledge like God but could only know what God allowed him to understand from time to time, like the rest of us humans. John, like most of the Jews who believed in Jesus, expected Him to establish His kingdom there in Israel at that time. But as Paul stated in his epistles, this salvation first had to be extended to the rest of the world that we not be left out of this tremendous blessing. Only God is all-knowing. We humans must live by faith in the name of Jesus and in His sacrifice to please God.
It is interesting that in AD 70 the Jewish temple was totally destroyed and never since that time have the Jews been allowed to have an animal sacrifice for their sins. That is because Jesus is our one and only sacrifice. To have forgiveness for sins we MUST access this Divine provision for removal of our sins. Unless we access this gift by faith we will be responsible for our own sins. The Scriptures tell us that "The soul that sins shall surely die" (Ezekiel 18:4, Romans 6:23)
We escape this death (second death) only because of God's willingness to allow His own son to be sacrificed for us. This is love that cannot be comprehended by humans. This is mercy, (unmerited favor). This forgiveness makes us free of sin, justified in the sight of God (just as if it never happened). There is no other way to be forgiven except through God's sole provision for us. To try otherwise to enter into God's Kingdom of eternal life will cause us to be barred forever from His presence, a terrible price to pay for sins. He is the judge. We have no court of appeals. We accept His perfect provision or stand before Him without excuse for our sins. There is no other way.
Below is a part of an email that Marilyn Agee wrote to someone else who has placed her faith in another way toward eternal life, but which can only end in her failure to achieve those goals and punishment for her sins. Sin is, after all, the principle focus for all of us. Mankind has a great propensity to sin, and only Jesus did not yield to the temptation to sin, and thus, only He could be the perfect sacrifice.
"Some churches will teach over and over how to be saved, passages like the following, and never get past these necessary first steps so they can help the church grow and mature with full knowledge of things that are coming upon this generation. These concern the first steps:
"John 3:16: '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.'
"John 3:36: 'He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.'
"Romans 10:9: '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.'
"Acts 4:12, 'Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.'
"Once we believe in Jesus Christ as our Saviour, we should not only pray and tell him of our decision, but confess our belief to someone else. At the moment of true belief, Jesus baptizes us with his Holy Spirit. It is as if we were a vessel being dipped in this living water and being brought up full. From that moment, we are a new creature, born into God's family. One of God's attributes is love, and we are filled with his love.
"From this point, churches do go on to teach how to live the Christianlife, one step at a time. However, some seem to get the needle stuck in the record and play this much over and over and over and never get around to anything else. The Bible is packed with information, more than we will ever be able to dig out in this lifetime. Only God could have packed so much into such a small book. Man could never have done it. Scripture is truly God breathed...."
Hope this helps to answer your questions. God honors honest doubt and will extend help for the honest seeker of truth. At some point, however, one must yield his own will to the will of God if one hopes to receive forgiveness, since every one of us is guilty of grievous sins before God wether we are willing to admit it or not. It is His great love for us that makes it possible to enter into forgiveness and fellowship with God. God bless. In Christ
You are doing the first thing that anyone who is not already a Christian should do--search for the "good news." How else can you find it? If anyone truly wants to know God, God is obligated to get the necessary information to him somehow so this person will have a chance to make a decision for or against the only Saviour that the Sovereign of the Universe has seen fit to provide us. He has not delegated to us the right to decide if this is the way we would have done it. He rules, and his decision on the way we could be saved from having to die for our own sins stands. It is the only way.
Christ took the punishment due us, but it only applies to us if we accept him as our own personal Savior. If we do not accept him, we have no other out. We will die for our own sins. One of the attributes of God is perfect justice. The penalty of sin is death, and the only way to avoid it is to accept Christ's sacrifice in our stead. Without shedding of blood, there is no remission.
When we accept Christ, God places into what he calls the Body of Christ. Jesus is the Head and we are the members. Since the Head has already paid the penalty, it also applies to the rest of the Body. It is as if we died with him and were resurrected with him to a new life. Water baptism symbolizes this.
Every word in the original editions of the Bible is true, but why should you believe me on this? I am not a prophet. I am just one who has studied the Bible as deep as I can go ever since at least 1960. Even so, you can't just take my word for it.
Again, God has done things his own way. He has provided the proof himself that the scriptures are true by telling us ahead of time what was going to happen and then bringing it to pass exactly as foretold--in such exquisite detail that there can be no mistaking the fact that it was his doing. Because God has been right 100% of the time in the past, you can believe that he will be right 100% of the time in the future. Filfilled prophecy proves the Bible is true.
Scripture witnesses to many important points at least two or three times so we can be sure we correctly understand what he is saying. John the Baptist asking if Jesus was the "one" was for our edification.
> I am a father of 5 and cannot imagine sacrificing any of them
> for any reason. It just doesn't make sense that a good god would do such a
> thing. It implies that the end justifies the means. What kind of a world
> would this be if we all behaved as god did? Is god not bound by the same
> rules as we are?
God forbids our sacrificing any of our children. You might say that God is bound by his own attributes. He is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, perfect justice, love, etc. We are powerless in the face of his capabilities. What he says goes.
Because of Adam's sin, mankind was lost eternally because in a sense, we were all in his loins. We are all descended from him and his DNA. Would God have been a good God if he had not given any of us a chance to be saved? Sin came into the world through one man, and sin could be taken out of the way as as issue in salvation by one man. The first man was of the Earth, earthy. The second man was the Lord from Heaven.
II Corinthians 5:18,19 explains that "God...hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that GOD WAS IN CHRIST, RECONCILING THE WORLD UNTO HIMSELF, not imputing their trespasses unto them." Thanks be to God that he cared enough about us to give us a chance.
Will you take him up on his offer? What have you got to lose? Nothing. What have you got to gain? Everything. The Bride of Christ is heir with him of all that he is heir to. Believers are adopted sons, "Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ" (Galatians 4:7). Care to take a chance with that kind of odds?
His response to her
Thank you for what I believe to be your genuine concern, still, I have always believed that there is nothing to be saved from. My limited understanding of the Bible leads me to believe that god will be more understanding than his creation, after all he created Buddhism too.
God could not have created Buddhism. That would be evidence that God is confused and the scriptures state that God is not the author of confusion. The Holy Bible clearly states that there is salvation in no other Name than the name of Jesus, Acts 4:12, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved". If any other religion is acceptable to God, other than Christianity, then God did not tell the truth and is confused.
Jesus said quite clearly that there is no lie in God and that He cannot lie. St. John 14:6 "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." Truth does not change to accommodate us and our theories. We adapt our plans and perspectives to agree with truth if we hope to remain in congruence with God.
It is amazing to contemplate possible reasons why anyone would care to reject the claims of Christ. His gift to us of eternal life in God's Kingdom of joy and peace comes without price. Jesus paid it all, Himself. We have only to receive in faith that He told the truth, that He was the son of God, sacrificed for our sins, then resurrected from the dead and will come again for us.
That alone is enough to cause one's soul to be saved, in a heartbeat, for all eternity. Why would anyone wish to reject an offer such as that? The only reason I can think of is pride, in that one does not wish to admit that he has ever done anything wrong and needs forgiveness and a Savior. The Bible tells us very clearly, and from my counseling with people know that everyone in his heart knows that it is true, Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Followed by Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." This is absolutely a gift. Why turn it down?
Different person's forwarded Incoming Email, Re: concept of the rapture
> I have always found the concept of "the rapture" a bit vague. As a
> Christian I was waiting for the return of Christ and the establishment
> of the Kingdom of God on earth. I believe that most of the passages you
> quote have other meanings as well and that it is possible that the
> "second coming" should be our focus. Are we talking about two different
> Thanks for your help in clarifying this.
For a better discussion on the comparison on the two concepts than I can provide, I'd like to refer you to Marilyn Agee, to whom I've cc this. She has an extensive website that explains these ideas very well. Her site: http://www.kiwi.net/~mjagee/ More later. Love
> > I have always found the concept of "the rapture" a bit vague.
You are not alone. There are churches that seem never to get around to explaining it. Why, I don't know. It is our "blessed hope."
Titus 2:13 says that "we should live soberly, 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; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
When my own brother started reading my first book, he looked up at me and said, "What is the Rapture?" We were raised in a Methodist Church where it was not emphasized. There, we heard Bible-based stories. One reason I understood more than my brother was because I changed to a Baptist church that opened their Bibles and studied directly from God's Word. That is the best way. If a minister says something, it may be true and it may not be true. You have to compare it with Scripture to see. But, if you read it in Scripture, you know it is true right then.
Some churches will teach over and over how to be saved, passages like the following, and never get past these necessary first steps so they can help the church grow and mature with full knowledge of things that are coming upon this generation. These concern the first steps:
John 3:16: "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."
John 3:36: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
Romans 10:9: "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."
Acts 4:12, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Once we believe in Jesus Christ as our Saviour, we should not only pray and tell him of our decision, but confess our belief to someone else. At the moment of true belief, Jesus baptizes us with his Holy Spirit. It is as if we were a vessel being dipped in this living water and being brought up full. From that moment, we are a new creature, born into God's family. One of God's attributes is love, and we are filled with his love.
From this point, churches do go on to teach how to live the Christian life, one step at a time. However, some seem to get the needle stuck in the record and play this much over and over and over and never get around to anything else. The Bible is packed with information, more than we will ever be able to dig out in this lifetime. Only God could have packed so much into such a small book. Man could never have done it. Scripture is truly God breathed.
> > As a Christian I was waiting for the return of Christ and the establishment
> > of the Kingdom of God on earth.
When Christ returns and sets up his kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven, all believer saints will return with him.
Jude 14 says: And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam prophesied of these, saying, Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints."
Revelation 18:14 says, "And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean."
Zechariah 14:5 cinches it: "and the LORD my God shall come, and ALL THE SAINTS WITH THEE.
Now, let me ask you a question. If all the saints are in Heaven so that they can come back with Christ, how did they get there?
They were caught up to Heaven in the Raptures. There are two of them, one for the Bride of Christ and the other for the rest of the Body of Christ, the Tribulation saints.
Since the first Rapture is before the seven-year time of testing and trial called the Tribulation, it is the Pre-Trib Rapture, when the Bride of Christ is chosen from among all the saints and is called up to Heaven.
To these, Job 5:24 says, "And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle shall be in peace; and thou shalt VISIT THY HABITATION, and shalt not sin."
Psalm 149:5 says, "Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds."
Since the second Rapture is before the outpouring of God's Wrath on the 2,300th day (Dan. 8:14) of the Tribulation, it is the Pre-Wrath Rapture, when the rest of the Body of Christ is called up to Heaven.
The day they are called up is Coronation Day, when Christ receives his golden crown in Heaven. After he is crowned, the Marriage of the Lamb takes place, then the Judgment Seat of Christ. All saints receive their rewards at that time, so the whole Body of Christ is present. "And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth (the Tribulation saints) to the uttermost part of heaven (the Bride of Christ who were called up in the first Rapture)" (Mark 13:27).
Revelation 11:17,18 speaks of this time: "Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty (Christ is the Almighty God, Rev. 1:8, Isa. 9:6), which art, and wast, and art to come (the Second Advent is still seven months in the future, Ezek. 39:12);because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry (they attack Israel), and thy wrath is come (Ezek. 38:18-20), and the time of the dead, that they should be judged (the Judgment Seat of Christ), and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth." While the believers in Heaven are given their rewards for their belief, the unbelievers on Earth receive their just rewards for their unbelief.
Things happened to Israel to show us how to interpret prophecy. These are types, patterns or examples. I Corinthians 10:11 says, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world (ages) are come." They are especially written for us for we are now living in the time of the end.
In Numbers 10:2-4, Israel was told, "Make thee two trumpets of silver...that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps. And when they shall blow with them (both), ALL the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door (symbol of a Rapture, Rev. 3:8: 4:1) of the tabernacle of the congregation. And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee." These two trumpet calls represent the two trumps that sound at the two Raptures.
After the first trumpet call, the Princes of Israel, the elders, are seen in Heaven in Rev. 4:4). John played out this Rapture. Rev. 4:1,2 says that "a door was opened in heaven," then a "voice...as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, "COME UP HITHER...And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven."
I Thess. 4:16,17 also speaks of this trumpet that sounds at the first Rapture. It says, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
This Rapture is as it was in the days of Noah. The passage in Luke 17:27 mentions marriage. All the people in the Ark were married, even the animals went in two by two. This typifies the floating up of the Bride of Christ on the living waters of the Holy Spirit.
The last trump:
I Cor. 15:51-53 says, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."
This Rapture is as it was in the days of Lot. His wife did not make it out, and "the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all" (Luke 17:29). It will also rain fire and brimstone the day of God's Wrath. A binary asteroid will strike Earth. One piece will hit the Mediterranean Sea (Rev. 8:8). The other will destroy Babylon (Rev. 8:10; 18:21).
Many shall see the first Rapture and trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:1-3 explains, "I WAITED patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay (our bodies of clay), and set my feet upon a rock (Heaven), and established by goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth (sung after the Rapture in Rev. 5:9), even praise unto our God: MANY SHALL SEE IT, AND FEAR, AND SHALL TRUST IN THE LORD."
My prayer is that the Lord will use his scriptures to speak to your heart and help you understand. First, this is why we were put on Earth, to make a decision for or against believing in Christ. Second, to see who is the Bride of Christ. Salvation is a free gift and cannot be worked for, but rewards can be worked for. The best prize of all is to be chosen as the Bride.
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" (Luke 21:36).
The Philadelphians, filled with brotherly love and deserving no condemnation, have the open door set before them (Rev. 3:8). The 10th verse shows that the Lord will keep them from the Tribulation: "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee FROM the hour of temptation (trial), which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly (he comes quickly at the Rapture): hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown."
"THE righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are TAKEN AWAY, none considering that the righteous is TAKEN AWAY from the evil to come (i.e., Pre-Trib). He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness" (Isaiah 57:1,2).
May God wrap you in his love and bless your study of His word.
I read your book "The End of the Age" last summer, and in September we got on the internet, and I found your web site. I check it often to see any updates and new information. My question to you is how to approach the whole topic of Christ's soon return with young people in general, and my children (ages 12 and 13) specifically. It seems that people in this stage of their lives are not as eager to see Christ come, just because they want to grow up and have a full life here on earth. In some ways they would feel "cheated" not to get to do "adult" things here. I know that there must be a generation of children who will never reach adulthood before Christ returns, and I feel that my own children will be part of this group, so how can I approach this with them, not frightening them, but helping them to be as eager and expectant as I feel? How can I help them feel a greater desire to be with Jesus than their desire to grow up here? Also, because of their maturity level, I don't want to frighten them about "the end of the world." Do you have any thoughts about this? How have you approached this with members of your own family? Thanks for any help you can give me.
> they want to grow up and have a full life here on earth
They can grow up and have a full life in a better place. Trust the Lord when he says it is better than here. I Cor. 2:9 says, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." Bad times are coming here and they are better off taking Jesus up on his offer to take them to Heaven. Besides, Rom. 8:16,17 says, "that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ." Wow! Think of what he is heir to. We have a promise of better things.
My children have grown up with the knowledge of what is coming. They are anxious for the Rapture to take place. They have found out that this world is not all that great, certainly not worth giving up the chance of a lifetime for.
My outgoing Email, Re: He who holds the lawless one back
In your new file, you said,
> 2TH 2:5 Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these
> things?  And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be
> revealed at the proper time.  For the secret power of lawlessness is
> already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do
> till he is taken out of the way.  And then the lawless one will be
> revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his
> and destroy by the splendor of his coming.
> >>Notice in this verse the male gender of the one who holds back. Small ³h².
> This is an indication of the body of Christ. He is the head. We are the
> body. The body is the same gender as the head. The body, the Church is
> holds the Lawless one, back. Then it is moved out of the way, so that
> evil one can be revealed, come to power in the earth. The Holy Spirit
> still be on the earth in order to lead men to salvation, and the Holy
> is omnipresent and cannot be removed from anywhere.
This point is well taken. The Holy Spirit/Spirit of God/Spirit of Christ is omnipresent. He is operating in the world through believers now, and he will operate in the world through believers during the Tribulation. Actually, when he takes the Bride of Christ to Heaven at the first Rapture, he will just quit restraining the appearance of the lawless one.
Since Elisha got a double portion of the Holy Spirit because he saw Elijah taken up, those believers who get left behind but who see the Rapture take place may get a double portion also. They will take up the mantle and get to work.
"Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof,. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over" (II Kings 2:12-14).
The Lord showed Elisha that he was still there. He also showed that Elisha too could pass over Jordan, just as the Laodiceans can go to Heaven in the second Rapture. They are not left without hope in this world.
I don't think the Rapture will be as secret as some make it seem. Psalm 40:1-3 says, "I WAITED patiently (as the Philadelphians do, Rev. 3:10) for the LORD; and he inclined (bent down) unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit (as Jeremiah acted out), out of the miry clay (out of our bodies of clay), and set my feet upon a rock (Heaven), and established my goings (the Rapture). And he hath put a new song (sung after the Rapture, Rev. 5:9) in my mouth, even praise unto our God (Rev. 5:12,13): MANY SHALL SEE IT (the Rapture), and fear, and shall trust in the LORD."
If a carnal Christian saw the Rapture and still got left behind, it seems that he would become one of those who are so sure that the scriptures are right that they would be the ones willing to die for their faith during the Tribulation.
Thanks for the return.
A quick thought about that event with Elijah. You know the Lord did not take Elijah from inside of Israel per se. He had to cross over the Joran first back into Gentile Lands. Now The thing to consider here is that Elijah had to Go to where Moses had been buried, Probably to the very spot. Elijah and Elisha, were sort of lead by the spirit to this place in the Gentile nation. Then the Chariot of fire comes and takes him(them?) away. I think that he also resurrected Moses at the same time.
Moses represents the dead in the Lord, the believers who sleep, and Elijah represents the Believer who are alive and wait for this catching up. And in both cases it is from across the Jordan. This is a wonderful picture of the rapture of the Gentile church. After this Elisha picks up the mantle in power and become a mighty witness for God!
You bet it's neat. You taught me something too. I always love that. Two heads are better than one. Keep up the good work.
My heartfelt thanks to all who like my Web Site. God's wonderful blessings on you all. May we meet at the assembly in Heaven right after the Rapture.
(Mrs.) Marilyn J. Agee
Pro and Con 34
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