Tag Archives: discipleship

Apocalyptic Misquotes . . . Part IX

 “The Tribulation is Seven Years of Bad Luck – and we’ll be raptured before it Starts!”

Misquote: We’ll escape the 7-year-long Tribulation!There are two inherent problems with this statement.

1. The ‘great tribulation’ will last for no more than 3.5 years (the last half of a remaining 7-year period yet to be fulfilled). This great tribulation will be the wrath of the Antichrist.

2. True followers of our Christ will have to endure it until we’re ‘rescued’ and God’s wrath begins. What follows will guide you in a short study of this and is a reiteration of an earlier blog titled, “Wrath of Con”.

Ask the average Christian in America about the ‘Great Tribulation’ and, if anything, they’ll probably tell you it’s “seven years of really bad stuff from the Antichrist and God after Christians have been raptured!

But, study what the prophets, the apostles, and our Christ said about this ‘time like never seen before or will ever be seen again’ (e.g. Joel 2:2, Matthew 24:21, etc.) and you’ll find a truer and much more sobering version of this terrible time to come. Here are some key facts about the coming Great Tribulation:

  • It will be no longer than 3.5 years and will occupy the last half of the last seven years of the overall timeframe Daniel spoke of for Israel to come to repentance and reconciliation with God (Daniel 9:24-27).
  • This will be the time of the Antichrist’s wrath against God’s people – Israel and those who hold to the testimony of our Christ (Daniel 7:19-25, Matthew 24:15-21, Revelation Chapters 11, 12:9-17, and 13, etc.). The Antichrist and his cohort will con God’s people if possible through lies and deceit (e.g. Revelation 13:12-14). How will this happen? Because of shallow or non-existent faith made possible through ignorance fueled by a lack of exposure to the Scripture, discipleship, etc. necessary for building faith.
  • The time of the Antichrist’s con and wrath will be cut short by the Christ’s appearing. His presence will earmark two important events identified as ‘harvests’ in Scripture: the gathering of Jesus’ followers (e.g. Matthew 24:29-31 and Revelation 14:12-16) and the beginning of God’s wrath against what and who remain on the earth afterward (e.g. Revelation 6:12-17 and 14:17-20).

So, the wrath of the one who will con will come in the form of the Great Tribulation. After nearly 3.5 years, the faithful will find relief as they’re taken to heaven for the ‘marriage supper’. God’s incredible wrath against the earth and her inhabitants will end the Antichrist’s wrath and great con.

Would you be able to resist being conned by those who say you don’t have to worry about any of this or by the Antichrist and his cohort in the last days? If not, waste no time in learning truth that leads to salvation!

For a very comprehensive and detailed study of this very important topic, feel free to read my 2011 guide titled, “Finding the End of the World” available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from www.ronbraley.com in paper and e-book formats. In the guide, you’ll find roughly 500 pages of building blocks to help you do your own complete and unbiased study based on Scripture and history!

Next week, we’ll look at more great examples of personal interpretation and bad hermeneutics as we continue to explore common misquotes and abuses of Scripture. The next misquoted or misunderstood topic: “God is Love!

An Ounce of ‘cheek-turning’ Prevention is Worth a Pound of Relationship Cure!

We understand the value of repenting and asking for forgiveness, often demanding it of someone who has offended us – sometimes retaliating by severing otherwise good or productive relationships if we don’t get the apology or response we think we deserve.

I experienced this recently when someone terminated our friendship and discipleship relationship because of a perceived wrongdoing. Such destruction over perceptions! I’m sad that my friend was hurt. And, I’m grieved by the loss of the relationship.

What can be done in cases like this once the damage has been done (besides asking for forgiveness as necessary)? Giving forgiveness (even privately) and moving forward despite any negative emotions.

Jesus taught us that we should ‘turn the other cheek‘. This goes along with biblical instruction to be ‘slow to anger‘ and is the one thing we can do to give reconciliation with other humans a chance.

“Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also . . .” (Luke 6:29)

He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly. (Proverbs 14:29)

This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger (James 1:19)

BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger (Ephesians 4:26)

For anyone who feels they’ve been wronged and the situation is unresolved: please consider turning the other cheek to give reconciliation with friends, family, coworkers, and others a chance.

Blessings.  Ron

Who Needs the Church?

There’s the Church, which is the entire assembly of Jesus’ followers, and there are churches (lower case), which can represent local collections of Christian believers or followers (there is a difference!).

The Church as a whole is responsible for being obedient to our covenant with the Christ. We are to do these things in particular:

  • Evangelize: How will people hear the good news of salvation if we don’t tell them?? (Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 1:16 and 10:14-15; 2Corinthians 5:18-20)
  • Be Charitable: The collecting of funds and other resources in the first-century Church was for the care of others including those who traveled to spread the Gospel message.
    • Care for brothers & sisters in Christ (Matthew 25:41-43; James 2:13-17; Acts 4:32-35; Acts 6:1-5)
    • Care for traveling evangelists (3John 1:7-8; Philippians 4:14-19)
    • Worship: Although we worship God and our Christ through our speech and actions, we can also do this in song and dance. (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16)
    • Governance: No one should be more important than another or ‘lord it over’ others, but fill roles as the Holy Spirit enables them.
      • Elders – overseers within the churches (Acts 14:23; 1Timothy 5:17)
      • Deacons – servants in the churches (1Timothy 3:8-13)
      • Bishops – overseers among the churches (1Timothy 3:1-7)
      • Discipleship: This is a very necessary step after evangelizing the Gospel message! We must share spiritual gifts, teach, mentor, and disciple to help others increase in their faith and stand firm against all kinds of wickedness and false teaching (Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 6:17 and 10:17; Colossians 1:28 and 3:16; 2Timothy 3:16; Titus 1:9 and 2:3; Hebrews 5:12-14)

In summary, the Church at large is composed of true followers of Jesus who are obedient out of their faith by honoring God and treating their fellow humankind appropriately. This includes caring for them.  Additionally, Jesus commanded us to spread the good news of salvation and make disciples. Everything we do as the corporate Church should work together for these purposes.

So . . . do you belong to the Church, a church, or both?