Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Future of the Church in Two Words

You may well say this is an over simplification, and you would be right. But as far as sequence of events, I believe it will hold up to rigorous examination. So what are these two words?

They are: Apostasy, and Rapture. Simple as that.

But what about that jewel of prophecy, Matthew 24? I can't think of any scripture that sums up the end days better than Matthew 24.

But when we look at the question Jesus answered in this passage, it is about the restoration of the fallen kingdom of David. It is Jewish disciples asking Jesus about the future of Israel. Perfectly appropriate that they should ask and Jesus should answer.

It would have been an ideal place for Jesus to say, "Oh, the kingdom is over. It will not be restored. From now on I will only work through the church." This is the theology of many major denominations.

Soon Jesus died and was resurrected. After he ascended to heaven, Paul became the apostle that taught of the church and New Covenant. But this Hebrew of Hebrews, though he was a mighty builder of the church, also taught that the church would someday leave the earth and the Jewish kingdom would be restored.

Where did he say this? Romans chapter 11 is a good example of this doctrine. Paul did not teach that the church would ever end, only that her work on earth would end. God has two peoples through whom he works--Israel and the Church. Just not at the same time.

I imagine a president of a large company. He has an employee named Mr. Israel. For a time Mr. Israel does a good job. In fact he makes his company and his employer world famous.

But the quality of Mr. Israel's work goes down hill. He actually becomes a disgrace to the company. The time comes when the President, after many warnings, has to fire Mr. Israel.

He runs ads for a new employee. Mr. Church reads the ad and eagerly responds. He does the tasks assigned to him, but after a time his employer says that his work at the old office is finished.

"I am going to create a new business in my home town. I am moving Mr. Church to where I live and where I can keep an eye on him. I know he will do well."

Then the President says, "I believe Mr. Israel has learned his lesson. I am going to rehire him."

He sends a messanger to Mr. Israel. "Cheer up. The Boss has not forgotten you. He wants you to come back and work for him. He will even escort you into the business, personally."

This is my crude way to express God's plan for his two "employees". The Church is about to be moved to where God lives, and Israel is about to be restored. The signal events are the Apostasy, then the Rapture. The Apostasy has already begun.

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