Our topic yesterday was "What's this world coming to?"
- Like Drinking from a Fire Hose — Every week, we pray, & discuss, & debate about what's the "right" amount of info for that week & topic. We're trying to make sure (a) everyone learns something & is personally challenged, while (b) avoiding "information overload" where no one retains anything. But yesterday we decided to just "turn the fire hose on full blast" and trust that people who are interested would go back through the 4-page handout & listen to the message again online.
- Antichrist's Age — I mentioned that I was TOTALLY speculating about the age of the antichrist at the beginning of the 7-year tribulation period. Here are the details behind my guess:
- The antichrist will be a fake Christ, imitating Christ's coming
- The antichrist will be revealed for who he REALLY is at the midpoint of the tribulation period (i.e. 3.5 years into it). Then he will start a 3.5-year "public ministry" of death & destruction.
- But 2000 years ago, Jesus was revealed for who HE really was when He was "around 30" (Luke 3:23). Then He started a 3.5-year "public ministry" of life & hope.
- If the antichrist will be like Jesus, then he'll be around 29 or 30 TOO when he starts his "public ministry." This means that he'll broker the peace accord 3.5 years before that, which puts him at 26 or 27 years old at the START of the tribulation.
- Here's the wild part…this means that, IF the 7-year tribulation period will start in the next 26 or 27 years (by 2035 or 2036 AD), then he's ALREADY ALIVE somewhere in this world!
- The Rapture of the Church — The "rapture" is the event referred to in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 & 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. Like I said yesterday near the end of point 4, I have a Pre-Trib Rapture belief. If I'm wrong, I know God's promises of providing for me will still apply…or I'll join the ranks of hundreds of thousands of other martyred believers in history. :-) There seems to be 5 views out there about it's relationship to the tribulation period:
- Pre-Trib Rapture — The rapture will occur BEFORE the 7-year tribulation
- Mid-Trib Rapture — The rapture will occur AT the 3.5-year mark
- Pre-Wrath Rapture — The rapture will occur AFTER the 3.5-year mark, but BEFORE the plagues & hardship
- Post-Trib Rapture — The rapture will happen AFTER the 7-year tribulation
- No Rapture — The rapture is fictitious
- Children & the Rapture — I was asked this question, "What about children at the time of the rapture, how does God decide whether they stay or go?" I believe children go out in the rapture for several reasons. I'll just give you two:
- Jesus says in Matthew 19:14 that children are "of the kingdom of God."
- The Bible in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 refers to living people who are raptured out as "we who are alive [the Greek word "zao"] & remain." Compare that with Romans 7:9 where Paul refers to himself when still under grace as a very young child which says, "I was alive [the Greek word "zao"] once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died [not physically, but spiritually]." Since the Bible says people who are "alive" go out in the rapture, and very young children are still "alive" spiritually, they go out in the rapture too!
- More Resources — People asked about the books I referenced at the end of service. They are located here and here.
Be sure to bring a friend to next week's topic, "How Could God Let Bad Things Happen?" And could you move to the 8:30a or 11:30a service? We need to free up our 10a (which is full) for visitors!!!