When I first looked at it, Christians who believed in Historic Pre-millenialism (post-trib rapture) were either a minority, or a majority hiding in the closet. It was almost as if, we did not know that for the first 1800 years of church history, a pre-tribuation return of Christ was virtually unheard of. A generation of Christians raised on fictional books and movies, and preached to by pastors who had learned in seminaries that pushed the Scofield Reference Bible, had managed to drive those who believed in the Bible only as authoritative, into hiding.
My first few years in the chat here, if I ever managed to mention that I believed that the church would one day suffer in the great tribulation, I would be pounced upon by half a dozen attackers, who would fire questions at me faster than I could possibly respond. Mind you, most could not defend a pre-trib rapture, but they could try to make a post tribber, defend their positon, with a “what about this” and “what about that” series of questions, that they did not really want to hear the answers to.
How do I know this? Because they never or nearly never responded to the answers, no interest in discussing what they just heard, instead, they just moved on to their next baseless attack on my position.
Now (be patient, I am working toward something) after these “defense of” eschatology threads began, a clear trend began to develop. People began posting why they believed why they believed what they believed. It was not that long, before what had appeared to be a minority position (post trip rapture) became the thread that had the most contribution. To me, looking at these forums, it became obvious why – there was not biblical material to work with, more to write about, that other positions could muster together.
This seemed to have the effect, of encouraging others to come out of their closets, and may who had been on the fence, were coming to understand the scriptural case, for the post-trib rapture. Indeed, the reason I seldom post here myself, is two fold. One, the case for post-tribism is so strong and obvious, that it just becomes redundant, and it is tiring to go around in circles, with those who are more interested in clinging to what amounts to an indefensible view, than they are interested in learning and accepting scripture. The second reason is, that there are plenty here on the forums, who have a passion for defending the position that has the greatest amount of scriptural support.
While it may appear that I have just made so accusations of incompetence and sincerity of those who do not believe as I do, that is not at all the case. I admire and encourage, those who passionately believe and fight to preserve what they think, is the truth. Of course, zeal is no guarantee of truth, Saul of Tarsus was quite passionate.
Rather than posting this to provoke those who are not post-tribbers (remember this thread is about defending the post trib position, not about defending the pre-trib position as there is a thread already for that purpose). I should, however, take this opportunity, to thank all of those who have taken the time to make the case for pre-trib beleif for making the case for post-trib belief even stronger. It may have been un-intentional, but the effect is real and I really, actually, truly, appreiated it.
I want to just encourage those who are here to speak to the purpose of this thread. Thank you, for doing that needed work, you are helping to make the church strong.
Now (I said I would get to this eventually) I would like to insert a quote, that describes a need, that you people are fulfilling. It is a long read, and many will not finish it, even if they made it this far. I may have been posted here previously, in whole or in part, but if so, here it is again:
Letter from Corrie Ten Boom – 1974
“The world is deathly ill. It is dying. The Great Physician has already signed the death certificate. Yet there is still a great work for Christians to do. They are to be streams of living water, channels of mercy to those who are still in the world. It is possible for them to do this because they are overcomers. Christians are ambassadors for Christ. They are representatives from Heaven to this dying world. And because of our presence here, things will change.
My sister, Betsy, and I were in the Nazi concentration camp at Ravensbruck because we committed the crime of loving Jews. Seven hundred of us from Holland, France, Russia, Poland and Belgium were herded into a room built for two hundred. As far as I knew, Betsy and I were the only two representatives of Heaven in that room.
We may have been the Lord’s only representatives in that place of hatred, yet because of our presence there, things changed. Jesus said, “In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” We too, are to be overcomers – bringing the light of Jesus into a world filled with darkness and hate.
Sometimes I get frightened as I read the Bible, and as I look in this world and see all of the tribulation and persecution promised by the Bible coming true. Now I can tell you, though, if you too are afraid, that I have just read the last pages. I can now come to shouting “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” for I have found where it is written that Jesus said,
“He that overcometh shall inherit all
and I will be His God,
and he shall be My son.”
This is the future and hope of this world. Not that the world will survive – but that we shall be overcomers in the midst of a dying world.
Betsy and I, in the concentration camp,
prayed that God would heal Betsy who was so weak and sick.
“Yes, the Lord will heal me,”, Betsy said with confidence.
She died the next day and I could not understand it. They laid her thin body on the concrete floor along with all the other corpses of the women who died that day.
It was hard for me to understand, to believe that God had a purpose for all that. Yet because of Betsy’s death, today I am traveling all over the world telling people about Jesus.
There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation, that the Christians will be able to escape all this. These are the false teachers that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days. Most of them have little knowledge of what is already going on across the world. I have been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution.
In China, the Christians were told, “Don’t worry, before the tribulation comes you will be translated – raptured.” Then came a terrible persecution. Millions of Christians were tortured to death. Later I heard a Bishop from China say, sadly,
“We have failed. We should have made the
people strong for persecution, rather than telling them Jesus would come first.
Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution,
how to stand when the tribulation comes,
– to stand and not faint.”
I feel I have a divine mandate to go
and tell the people of this world that it is possible to be strong in the Lord
Jesus Christ. We are in training for the tribulation, but more than sixty percent
of the Body of Christ across the world has already entered into the
tribulation. There is no way to escape it.
We are next.
Since I have already gone through prison for Jesus’ sake, and since I met the Bishop in China, now every time I read a good Bible text I think, “Hey, I can use that in the time of tribulation.” Then I write it down and learn it by heart.
When I was in the concentration camp, a camp where only twenty percent of the women came out alive, we tried to cheer each other up by saying, “Nothing could be any worse than today.” But we would find the next day was even worse. During this time a Bible verse that I had committed to memory gave me great hope and joy.
“If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye;
for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you;
on their part evil is spoken of,
but on your part He is glorified.”
(I Peter 3:14)
I found myself saying,
Because I am suffering, Jesus is glorified!”
In America, the churches sing, “Let the congregation escape tribulation”, but in China and Africa the tribulation has already arrived. This last year alone more than two hundred thousand Christians were martyred in Africa. Now things like that never get into the newspapers because they cause bad political relations. But I know. I have been there. We need to think about that when we sit down in our nice houses with our nice clothes to eat our steak dinners. Many, many members of the Body of Christ are being tortured to death at this very moment, yet we continue right on as though we are all going to escape the tribulation.
Several years ago I was in Africa in a nation where a new government had come into power. The first night I was there some of the Christians were commanded to come to the police station to register. When they arrived they were arrested and that same night they were executed. The next day the same thing happened with other Christians. The third day it was the same. All the Christians in the district were being systematically murdered.
The fourth day I was to speak in a little church. The people came, but they were filled with fear and tension. All during the service they were looking at each other, their eyes asking, “Will this one I am sitting beside be the next one killed? Will I be the next one?”
The room was hot and stuffy with insects that came through the screenless windows and swirled around the naked bulbs over the bare wooden benches. I told them a story out of my childhood.
“When I was a little girl, ”
I said, “I went to my father and said,
“Daddy, I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.”
“Tell me,” said Father,
“When you take a train trip to Amsterdam,
when do I give you the money for the ticket?
Three weeks before?”
“No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.”
“That is right,” my father
said, “and so it is with God’s strength.
Our Father in Heaven knows when you will need the strength to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.
He will supply all you need – just in time…”
My African friends were nodding and
Suddenly a spirit of joy descended upon that church and the people began singing,
” In the sweet, by and by,
we shall meet on that beautiful shore.”
Later that week, half the congregation
of that church was executed.
I heard later that the other half was killed some months ago.
But I must tell you something. I was so happy that the Lord used me to encourage these people, for unlike many of their leaders, I had the word of God. I had been to the Bible and discovered that Jesus said He had not only overcome the world, but to all those who remained faithful to the end, He would give a crown of life.
How can we get ready for the persecution?
First we need to feed on the Word of God, digest it, make it a part of our being. This will mean disciplined Bible study each day as we not only memorize long passages of scripture, but put the principles to work in our lives.
Next we need to develop a personal
relationship with Jesus Christ. Not just the Jesus of yesterday, the Jesus
but the life-changing Jesus of today who is still alive
and sitting at the right hand of God.
We must be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is no optional command of the Bible, it is absolutely necessary. Those earthly disciples could never have stood up under the persecution of the Jews and Romans had they not waited for Pentecost. Each of us needs our own personal Pentecost, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We will never be able to stand in the tribulation without it.
In the coming persecution we must be
ready to help each other and encourage each other.
But we must not wait until the tribulation comes before starting.
The fruit of the Spirit should be the dominant force of every Christian’s life.
Many are fearful of the coming
tribulation, they want to run. I, too, am a little bit afraid when I think that
after all my eighty years, including the horrible Nazi concentration camp, that
I might have to go through the tribulation also.
But then I read the Bible and I am glad.
When I am weak, then I shall be strong, the Bible says. Betsy and I were prisoners for the Lord, we were so weak, but we got power because the Holy Spirit was on us. That mighty inner strengthening of the Holy Spirit helped us through. No, you will not be strong in yourself when the tribulation comes. Rather, you will be strong in the power of Him who will not forsake you. For seventy-six years I have known the Lord Jesus and not once has He ever left me, or let me down.
“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him”, (Job 13:15)
for I know that to all who overcome,
He shall give the crown of life.
– Corrie Ten Boom – 1974 :