Although the Bible does not record one verse stating that Jesus could come 'at any moment' many teachers and preachers continue to state this as fact and therefore unknowingly deceive themselves and those that are effected by their ministry. Their basis for their position is the testimony of the experts and not sound exposition of the prophetic Scriptures. Even though these experts call the Pre-tribulation Rapture Theory [PTRT] a 'theory' and not a doctrine of Scripture they too hold to this saint deadening 'doctrine' as their mainstay of prophetic thought.
One of these experts is Dwight Pentecost in his prophetic work called 'Things to Come'. The heading he gives in this book, which is often called 'the bible' of fundamental prophetic study, for the PTR THEORY is just that…a THEORY, pp.193, knowing that the Scripture does not explicitly, that is from proof texts, teach it, yet it [PTRT] is at the very heart of the system of prophecy that he holds. His Dallas Theological Seminary associate, John Walvoord, has stated in his book 'The Rapture Question': "The fact is that neither posttribulationism nor pretribulationism is an explicit teaching of the Scriptures. The Bible does not in so many words, state either" but, he too still holds to this belief and has been a major proponent of the PTRT as fact!
This cloud of deception not only darkens the prophetic horizon by concealing the truth, but denies the truth of prophecy concerning the necessary 'intervening events' as discussed in Part I, our first article. This denial keeps prophecy from being preached or taught in the fundamental Bible-believing churches, at least the ones that we have surveyed over the past twenty years.
Why is this the case? Because there are NO Bible texts to support the THEORY of a PTRT! And I repeat, there is not one Bible text that states that Jesus could come 'at any moment'! It is a hard thing to unfold the key doctrine of this THEORY, the supposed imminency of Christ, and preach on it, unless you have Bible texts to support and prove it.
Therefore, the truth of the Lord's Second Coming is not being proclaimed which unfortunately causes the following effects: First of all there is no Holy Spirit revival of the saints. There is a designed 'Deadening of the Saints'. Revival is the result of the saint's personal holiness without which no man can see the Lord. Personal holiness, according to the following Scriptures, is the result of the saints having the hope of the Lord's return at the forefront of their minds. I John 3:3 states 'He that hath this hope in him purifies himself even as He is pure.' The previous verse gives us the definition of 'this hope' which is the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ, the very blessed hope spoken of in Titus 2:13: 'Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.'
II Peter 3:10,11 also supports this Bible truth when it states: 'But the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with a fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved and the elements shall melt with a fervent heat?' Peter here is exhorting the saints to live holy lives in view of the coming of the Lord and His end of the age wrath called the Day of the Lord!
Paul too takes up this same subject when in context he gives over twenty exhortations for Godly living in I Thessalonians 5:6-23 in view of the Coming of the Lord, and the Day of the Lord at the end of the age. He concludes this section of Scripture by saying: 'And the very God of peace sanctify [lit. make you holy] you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul also in I Thessalonians 3:13 affirms this truth by stating: 'To the end that He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.'
And so, the Apostle John, the Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul all confirm that we should live holy lives in view of the coming of our Lord…but, if His coming is not preached, if it is not exposed as it unfolds in the Word of God, then we who are born again will not be exhorted to live holy lives through the Scriptures that are designed by God to bring this about, and therefore, revival of the saints will be hindered until His coming, the Day of the Lord, and the end of the age is rightly divided from the Word of God!
Secondly, it Disarms the Saint and causes a relaxed attitude in the face of the coming tribulation/persecution which even now is growing worldwide at an alarming pace. The PTRT teaches that we, the saints, will be taken from the earth before world conditions and Christian persecution comes upon us, but that is not true! The words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 24 should be enough to convince anyone that we will go through the 'great tribulation'. Daniel too, in chapter seven, describes the Antichrist's 'war with the saints' as does the Apostle John in Revelation 12, and so it should not be a surprise to any of us that this affliction and tribulation will come upon the saints!
The Bible uses the Greek word 'Thlipsis' which is translated affliction or tribulation forty-five times in the New Testament. Thirty-eight of those are describing the pressures and persecution imposed upon the saint of God! The Lord Jesus Christ used this word in Matthew 24:21 to describe that period of time just before His coming called the 'great tribulation.' Yes, tribulation has always been, and always will be, the lot of the saint of God! However, we will be delivered from 'the wrath to come' (I Thessalonians 1:10) which is authored by God to punish the Gentile and purify the Jew, but not the tribulation that precedes it which is allowed by God but authored by Satan and his Antichrist.(Revelation 12:12)
This truth is found throughout the New Testament, was believed and thoroughly recorded by the Church Fathers [100A.D.-400A.D.], and has been found to be true during the past two-thousand years of Church history. And so it will be as we continue on to the end of the age, God's people will be increasingly persecuted the closer we come to that glorious day of deliverance when Jesus comes again! Here are just a few quotes from the writings of the Church Fathers indicating their belief that the Church would experience the tribulation/persecution of the Antichrist: 'The man of apostasy…shall venture to do unlawful deeds on the earth against the Christian'--Justin Martyr; 'And they (Antichrist's ten kings)…shall give their kingdom to the beast, and put the Church to flight.'-Irenaeus; 'That the beast Antichrist with his false prophet may wage war on the Church of God'-Tertullian
Revelation 20:4 records: 'And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands, and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.' Here the method of martyrdom is recorded as beheading!
It is significant that the method which the Muslims use to execute their enemies is the same. This has been recorded in world news frequently in recent days and could well be the foreshadowing of the intense persecution that is to come by and through this Satanic religious group, which just so happens to be the fastest growing religion worldwide! And so, as we look to the future days with the coming of the Lord and the end of the age drawing near we must wake up to the reality of the coming persecution and tribulation, and 'Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind' [of Christ](I Peter 4:1) , 'putting on the whole armor of God… that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all to stand!' (Ephesians 6:13)