Question and Answer-October 2015

by admin

What the Bible Says

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QWill it be necessary for Christians to suffer to become worthy to be taken in the Rapture?

AIt is certainly possible that Christians may suffer for their faith prior to the Rapture, but this does not mean that Christians have to be proven before they can go in the Rapture.

The Rapture is the gathering together of God’s people unto Himself to take them to the judgement of their works, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, where every wrinkle and spot is to be ironed and cleaned out of the wedding garment before the redeemed go into the Marriage Supper.

We are cleansed by the shed blood of Christ not by any suffering that we do or any difficult times through which we may pass. So, dismiss the man-made theory that the Church has to suffer before it can be raptured is based on the statement, “Walk worthy of the calling you received” (Ephesians 4:1).

It’s true, Christians do suffer, and I’m not saying Christians will not suffer, but nowhere in the Scripture does it say that the Church has to suffer a lot of persecution before it can be raptured. We are raptured when Jesus Christ come back from heaven to receive His Church unto Himself, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18.The Bible says that only God the Father knows that hour, Matthew24:36.It has been predetermined in the mind of God when the Rapture will take place! Certainly believers are to live sincerely and genuinely in this world where we may suffer the wrath of men and Satan, but not the wrath of God.

QIn the Bible I’ve read that God said He would harden Pharaoh’s heart so that he would not believe in God. This does not seem to be consistent with the New Testament picture of God which says that God desires all men to be saved. What is the explanation?

AThis statement of the Bible has created a great deal of confusion for many readers of the Scriptures. It is true that if God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and as a result of this Pharaoh rebelled against God, this would make God responsible for Pharaoh’s sin. Also, it would be unfair of God to hold Pharaoh responsible for this rebellion, and to punish him for it.

The Bible Says in Exodus 4:21, “And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.”

A hasty reading of this passage seems to indicate there is some ground to make God responsible for Pharaoh’s actions. However, a careful study of this passage and Exodus 5:1-2, indicates that Pharaoh was not a man whose inclinations were to obey God. His refusal to comply and his rejection of the authority of God are indicated in these verses. Note, this was before God hardened his heart.

What we have in summary, is God proposing to take the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, calling Moses to be the spokesman. Moses went and spoke to Pharaoh, who in his proud rebellion against God, rejected the whole proposition.

The question might arise, How did God harden Pharaoh’s heart? The answer is very simple. Ample evidence of God’s existence and power were proved by a series of divine demonstrations, the rejection of which resulted in judgement. The consistent refusal of Pharaoh to recognize the power and the authority of God resulted in a progressive hardening of the heart. God’s part in the hardening simply consisted of presenting Pharaoh with situations which demanded a choice on his part – the exercise of his own personal will. Pharaoh’s response guided by the exercise of his own will resulted in the hardening of the heart.

This picture is God’s method. If men choose error, He gives them up to error.

The Bible Says, “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

“That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.“ 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.

Likewise, if men deliberately choose to sin, God allows them to go as far as they want. Three times it is recorded in Romans 1:24-28 that God gave up on some of mankind because they rejected Him. The ultimate end, according to verse 32, is that God judges these as being worthy of death.

The fault then is not with God, and the fault is certainly not with His judgements. The fault is with Pharaoh and with the attitude which he took toward the truth which God presented to him at that time. Pharaoh’s rejection was like that of a person pounding his hand against a wall until his hand becomes callused, or hardened. Which hardened his hand, the wall or the constant pounding? Thus, it can be said that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Exodus 4:21; 7:3; 9:12; 10:1; 10:20; 11:10; 14:4; 14:8) and that Pharaoh hardened his own heart (Exodus 7:13; 7:22; 8:14; 8:19; 8:32; 9:7; 9:34; 9:35; 14:5).

QWhat happen first…Rapture or Israel bombing Iran powered plants?

AThe Bible does not specifically say Israel will bomb Iran. It does indicate that God will deal with Iran (Persia) in Ezekiel 38-39. However, that chapter makes no reference to the Rapture. It could happen before. or after. Either is possible. The Bible tells us to “Keep watching … be ready,” (Matthew 24:42,44).

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