Let’s discuss this word that causes so much dissention in the ranks of various Christian sects. Oh, how people hate this word. Some would prefer it if we ignore or gloss over this word altogether, primarily when it occurs in the verse from Luke 21:35-36: (KJV):
“36 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.”
This is probably one of the most overused and oft-twisted verses in the Bible, other than “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Some misinterpret this clearly obvious reference to the setting aside of God’s Remnant (the Saved, therefore WORTHY).
Jesus also mentioned that in the day of the coming of the Son of Man, there will be great signs and wonders, rumors of wars, earthquakes, pestilence, and so on. These are birth pains. The signs of the birth pains we are to watch for [“Watch ye therefore”] and remain in constant prayer [pray always] and have Faith in Jesus Christ, Repent/Overcome so that we may be counted Worthy to Escape ALL THESE THINGS [ not a part of these things, or going through most of them]. Escape ALL of these Things.
“Escape” is the translated word representing “to flee,” as in getting away from the presence of evil or in context, to get out of the way of coming judgment from God. “Rapturo” from the Vulgate is to be called up, lifted up and away. It means to get away before trouble (indignation) comes, to be set aside, to be called out of – “Come out of her, my people.” Called to flee, just like Noah and his family were called into the Ark, just as Lot and most of his family were called out of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The Lord told them to get out of the way, and He gave them specific instructions to follow in order to be set aside. To escape. If there is nowhere to escape, such as in a global condition of the Great Tribulation, then Believers are called to the Lord, gathered up and hidden away for a time, until certain prophecies are fulfilled and the Lord Jesus returns with 10,000 of His saints. It’s not “escape” in the sense of getting out of something that you are due. Remember the final judgment after the end of the millenium reign? Yep, that’s when we all have to pay up on our final amount due. It’s not up to YOU to decide who has a comeuppance and what that fate might be, it’s up to God.
Escape… Why do you hate that word so much? Let’s examine YOUR motives here. YOUR ideology. Is it because you don’t want Christians to escape? Because you want them to be punished for something they already have – faith?
Or should we just be real here…you don’t feel AMERICAN Christians should escape. After all, Americans (according to the rest of the world) are fat, lazy and spoiled. It’s not “fair,” or whatever your definition of “fair” is. If you really look at what America is, though, you realize that we’re fat and spoiled because we’re being fattened-up for some other reasons. That could be another whole blog on that subject alone. Think about it.
And while you’re thinking, remember, God’s thoughts are higher than your thoughts.
God sees past race and nationality. He sees past politics. He’s seeing the heart and soul of every human, whether they live in a “peaceful” country or one torn apart by the wars of _men_. If this isn’t “fair,” it’s because the hearts of _men_ see it that way.
One can cite all the scriptures they want, but the fact remains that there are many examples of the Lord setting aside His faithful throughout the Bible. Yes we will be tested in our lives and put through tribulations, but not THE Great Tribulation. At least the Overcomers amongst us will not see it.
Yes, we are to strive for spiritual completion through faith in Jesus Christ, overcoming the flesh and repentance, but we will NEVER be completely pure, even through Tribulation. Why? Because God knew that ordinary humans would never be perfect enough to fulfill the Law of Moses, never be without sin because we were literally born into it. Even if I was so desperate to make sure I didn’t even have one sinful thought hitting me out of nowhere, I would still be unworthy without Jesus Christ. He is the only one who ever lived the perfect life. We cannot ever be Jesus Christ, because if we could, God wouldn’t ever have needed to send His own Son to save us.
We need Jesus. He is the ONLY way. In his dying breath while on the cross, Jesus said “It is finished.” Everything we would need to be with God the Father happened on that day and the two days that followed, so long as we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and that He rose again, conquering our sin and overcoming death itself.
We cannot “purify” ourselves to Jesus’ level on our own. It is not possible as long as we are literally living in our flesh. We can in our spirit, but even the most saintly among us is still subject to the draw of the flesh so long as we are alive on this earth. We will suffer the slings and arrows as long as we are here, but we are to take comfort because our spirits are saved through the promise made by Jesus Christ.
By saying anything else, or thinking that you can get to God the Father or to stand before Jesus by trying to do the impossible and be completely pure, this is you thinking you have no need for Jesus. You’re thinking you have complete control over your flesh. But here’s where you’ve gotten off the path —
You’re falling for the oldest lie in the Book – “You can be like the Most High.”
I hope you understand that. Call me any names you want, your opinion of me doesn’t matter. But your soul being saved matters to me. I am not standing in the role of teacher or preacher, either. I’m simply a person passing on what I’ve learned, what the Holy Spirit has led me to. Believing there will be a Pre-Trib Rapture is not just someone hoping to escape being smited by the Father, or to avoid purification by fire, it is believing that God will deliver His faithful believers when the time comes.
Isaiah talks about this very thing, in the Old Testament. “Rest” is not only death, but entering into the place where all people who strived for righteousness go BEFORE the wrath of the Lamb, and before the Wrath of the Lord. The “Day of the Lord” is the day of Wrath. We are not appointed to wrath, not even from the Lamb, as long as we believe in Jesus Christ. Note the sentence in bold type:
Isaiah 57:1-2King James Version (KJV)
57 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.
2 He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.
And Isaiah also describes these days in Chapter 26. Again note the Bold type:
Again, escape. Pesky little word, that.
You might not like it, might not think it’s “fair,” but yet there it is. And it’s not the only time it’s mentioned. Yes, there are many Christians who suffer in this world, and this has been our burden to bear ever since the church began. God tests us all the time, we live through tribulations every day, so why would He need to put us through a final “test” in THE Tribulation when He already sent us His Only Begotten Son?
If you think you are without sin, cast the first stone. You can’t. Or if you do cast a stone, you do so in ignorance of the Will and the Word of God. I trust the Lord, not just because I want to be with Him so badly that I pray to be included in the Rapture, but because I believe Him when he says we have a hope – a blessed hope.
Satan is known as the Accuser. He loves to accuse people of being weak in faith. He is sometimes right about a person, since humanity is fallible. That’s why he loves to go the Conviction. Not the Conviction of the Holy Spirit, but to convince them that they are beyond salvation unless they are as perfect as Jesus Christ. He will even accuse you of praying wrong or using the wrong name of Jesus, telling you to use the foreign-language version instead.
He accuses, he sows seeds of doubt and he tells us the repackaged version of the greatest lie he ever told.
The bottom line is this: ALL fall short of the Glory of God, none can be righteous, no not one. Your only hope is true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, faith in the Lord God and His Holy Spirit.
I’m just a vessel repeating the words of the Bible, that’s all. There are lots of people who understand the Bible and the Gospels far better than I. That said, I know that the Lord never changes, that Jesus Christ did not lie to us and as long as we believe in Him – truly believe – then we shall have everlasting life.
“…22And this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no distinction, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.…” – Romans 3:23
[Note – Had to split up the post I wrote on Good Friday. Way too long. This is the second half of that original posting.]
Image: “Pesistence of Memory,” Salvador Dali