Biblical Audio Commentary – When You Have Doubts, Who Will You Believe?

Biblical Audio Commentary – When You Have Doubts, Who Will You Believe?




We all have doubts at one time or another – right?  We who believe fervently in the pre-Tribulation Rapture of the church – just because God hasn’t pulled the trigger yet and made it happen – don’t we sometimes despair a little in our weariness and wonder if we’re riding a dead horse?  It’s not an overwhelming doubt; just a trickle that threatens our anticipation.  But then, we pull ourselves together and realize that we’re either idiots for jumping into this mirey pit or that Satan is trying his best to discourage us.

To that end in this Commentary, I want to ask and answer the question: When You Have Doubts About the pre-Trib Rapture, Who Will You Believe?  I got thinking about this, and in so doing, realized that those who dismiss this sound Biblical doctrine are all highly suspect in their own beliefs.

In other words, for us to listen to these folks who mock or scoff in one form or another because they think the pre-Trib Rapture isn’t valid, then that means we’re listening to people who have serious gaps in their Biblical understanding.  Why would we do that?

This is really hit home with me in the immediate wake of a dispiriting, argumentative discussion that I just had.  Without getting into the details at this point, the other person and I have such profound eschatological differences that I can’t even wrap my head around them.  He is absolutely sincere, yet what he has come to believe is radically different than what I do regarding the end times, the book of Revelation, and related issues.  I’m not sure how he felt other than disgusted as we parted, but I was exhausted.  He did point out to me some areas in how I come across to him and possibly to others that I think may be quite valid, and for that I asked his forgiveness.  Following that I came before the Lord in a repentant, humble manner asking for His help in my demeanor.

What I won’t do is apologize for fervently believing in the pre-Tribulation Rapture, but if I have a log in my eye when analyzing and/or criticizing the positions of others, then I need to fix that with the Lord’s assistance.

The sad part about this little misadventure is that as Christians and believers, we’re supposed to be evangelizing and discipling, yet what are we doing?  Shamefully, we’re arguing – in this case about eschatological beliefs.  They are very important, but we’re far from what Jesus commanded His church by contesting with each other in this manner.  I don’t know the solution to this dilemma with us so far apart, so all I can do is to lay it at the Lord’s feet for His resolution.

This little self-analysis – or navel-gazing, if you will – was a late addition to this Commentary, so I hope it pertains – maybe it does more than ever given the topic at hand, and how some of us differ dramatically in what we believe Jesus will soon do versus what others think.  The whole affair has just left me weary.

Given all this and focusing in on the title of this Commentary, I came up with four general groups of Christians with their own problematic beliefs who we should definitely ignore what they say about the Rapture because they have absolutely missed the boat elsewhere.  Hopefully this will encourage you to trust that when we read Scripture – and interpret it with Holy Spirit discernment – to say that we’ll be Raptured pre-Trib, we are definitely in line with what God intends.

Here are our four problematic groups to disregard:

Israel Haters

Those who profess Christ as Savior and yet fall into this category have risen to the top of my lists lately as ones who will have some serious answering to Jesus when they see Him.  A believer simply cannot read the Bible – whether Old or New Testament – and come away thinking that God has abandoned Israel.  His promises to the Jews must remain valid, just as they are to believers in Christ.  Woe to us if God deserts Israel because of their stiff-necks and roller-coaster journey believing in and obeying the Lord – or not.  As if we’re any better than them and don’t sin like they did, regardless of the fact of the Holy Spirit indwelling us!

It’s astounding, but sadly a reality, that such a large proportion of the church thinks Israel is an occupier or genocidal power unjustly defending herself against terrorism in its worst form.  To believe that Hamas are freedom-fighters or that the so-called Palestinians are innocent bystanders is to be thoroughly blinded and deceived.

Let’s consider this rationally.  Most of those who fall into this grouping don’t believe in the pre-Trib Rapture.  They totally misread – or don’t read at all – the Bible, and what it actually says about Israel and God’s love for her.  How often does Scripture say that He will redeem Israel, and that after much difficulty, she’ll have a glorious future?  If you can’t answer this question, I can’t help you.  If you can, then you know the truth of this.  (The answer BTW is that God makes this same promise many, many times throughout His Word.)

Israel haters are far afield in their understanding of God’s truth concerning Israel.  Why would we believe them concerning their denial of the Rapture?


Trib Severity Deniers

Actually, these folks may deny the severity of the Tribulation or are blinded to what the text describes.  Either way, they have a problem.  When we read Revelation and interpret it literally as a future event – as we must – except where it’s clear that symbolism is being used, then we can clearly see the plagues that will come through the Seal, Trumpet, and Bowl Judgments are dreadful in scope.  Those who think they can prep their way through it or isolate from its horrors in sustainable communities are – to put it mildly – absolutely deceived.  When Jesus says that He has to limit the period of the Tribulation or all mankind would die, that gives us an idea how bad it will be.

With that in mind, it’s not likely that their interpretation regarding the timing of the Rapture is correct.  If they miss the severity of what Jesus Himself said the Tribulation would be like, and think they’re going to go through it and survive, how can we trust their dismissal of the pre-Trib Rapture?


Better and Better Believers

Those falling into this category would largely be the NAR crowd.  There’s a general belief among the “prophets” and “apostles” in the New Apostolic Reformation movement that they will lead the way to a Christianized world in order to usher in the return of Jesus.  Many believe in the Seven Mountain Mandate, which says the church will retake the Seven Mountains of culture, which include:

1) Education
2) Religion
3) Family
4) Business
5) Government/Military
6) Arts/Entertainment
7) Media

One could ask the relevant question: How’s that doctrine working out?  I guess for those who adhere to it, their perspective must be something along the lines of: “Just wait; it’s all coming together.  You’ll see.”  Maybe they’re waiting for the UFO invasion that will turn things around.  If not that, I’m not really sure how the Christian superstars will come to dominate those Mountain peaks.

Since there’s little likelihood of this fantasy succeeding, especially since there’s nothing Biblical about it, once more we come to the issue at hand.  Why believe these guys that there won’t be a pre-Trib Rapture since they sure aren’t getting Scripture correct in what they proclaim?


Decades More Crowd

Among the many who are in this camp, I’ve come across quite a number who are solid Bible believers.  It’s just in some way they have missed the import of the book of Revelation, along with the prophetic warnings of Jesus, Paul, and John.  That’s a lot to miss and still be someone who I might admire for all their other reliable Bible beliefs.  Still, the very fact that they think there are years, decades, or generations to come before Jesus returns is highly problematic.  These folks completely miss the idea that the signs of the final days are upon us and there’s little time left.  In a sense, they’re like the Pharisees whom Jesus criticized for seeing the red sky at night or morning and knowing the weather from that, but couldn’t tell the signs of His appearing, especially as He stood in the flesh right before them.

These teachers and others falling into this group speak and plan as though there’s significant time remaining until Jesus returns.  They never appear to have any prophetic sense, despite some having an association or friendship with those who do.  It’s puzzling, but they just ignore the obvious that we’re so close to the end.

Once more we simply can’t trust that those like this who are planning for and looking far down the tracks and not seeing the train that’s upon them can give us reliable information about the Rapture.  They’re not oriented in that way, and as such, aren’t people we can trust in this important area of Bible prophecy.



The bottom line in this is that the only truly reliable source is what Scripture says about the pre-Tribulation Rapture.  And it is very clear.  There are some small number of Bible teachers who adhere to the literal Word of God in this regard, and if we’re going to listen to anybody, those are the people.

Better yet is being self-sufficient in understanding the Bible because we read it regularly and thoroughly with Holy Spirit discernment.  By knowing the real thing, we can spot the counterfeit.

Everything Biblically and in the world as seen through the lens of Bible prophecy tells us that the Tribulation is very close.  That being the case, the Rapture is even closer.  What is the Rapture?  Ultimately, it is God’s mercy upon those of us who are faithful to Him.  Hold to that.

This verse in 1 Timothy 6:14-16 reminds us of how we should live while we wait:

to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,

That proper time is coming at which our Lord Jesus Christ will appear in the clouds to snatch us up and take us home.

11 Responses to “Biblical Audio Commentary – When You Have Doubts, Who Will You Believe?”

  1. Reply Charles Bassett

    A valid and timely commentary, Gary. I agree with all four points.

    For any “Israel haters” in the Church, I would ask them to consider the judgment of the sheep and goats (Mt. 25:31-46). While it’s true that no one in the Church will be evaluated at that event (which occurs at the end of the Tribulation), the point is that Jesus watches very closely how we, as individuals, treat the Jews. They are his cousins, after all! And Jesus will not take kindly to anyone who mistreats them.

    For those who deny the severity of the Tribulation, I would offer this comparison: if COVID’s impact on this planet could be estimated as a firecracker, then the Tribulation should be estimated as a 100-megaton bomb. Think of it: unprecedented earthquakes, enormous tidal waves, flaming meteorites, unchecked warfare, urban violence on steroids, worldwide drought, solar radiation, race riots, food riots, astronomical inflation, execution squads for those who won’t take the “mark,” an unstoppable swarm of demonic locusts…and Satan’s son ruling over all of it! No wonder Jesus said that almost no one will be left on planet earth by the end (Mt. 24:22).

    As for those who think that Christians are somehow going to capture the NAR’s so-called “Seven Mountains” and make our world “better and better” before Christ returns–especially when that theory flies in the face of human nature, history, and the Scriptures–I would simply ask (in harmony with Gary): How’s that working out?

    And last, for those who think we still have decades before Christ returns, I would gently ask: What part of Jesus’ promise to return within one generation of Israel’s reappearance do you not understand? (Mt. 24:34) Remember, Jesus did not connect that “generation” to a specified number of years. He therefore must have been thinking of the standard definition, which is to say that people who were born around 1948 (when the “fig tree” sprouted once again) will still be alive when Jesus comes back. Given that such people are now about 75 — and allowing for a seven-year Tribulation — the “generation” of which Jesus spoke would be about 82 when Jesus returns in glory, if the Rapture were to happen today…and that’s right about where actuaries place most individual’s life expectancies (in developed countries).

  2. Reply Pamela P

    Thanks again Gary, for an insightful and necessary message. I learned many years ago never to argue with another believer over the Word of God. It grieves the Holy Spirit deeply and He caused me to feel His grief. I’ve never forgotten it.
    Recently I was led to apply Paul’s instructions in Romans chapter 14 (on how to handle differences believers have over food, drink, and observance of special days) to differences of belief over the rapture timing. I am firmly settled and supremely happy in my belief in a pre-trib rapture and for me it’s not something worth arguing about. I just feel sorry for the rest of my brothers and sister who don’t, and suspect that those who are true followers of Jesus will be amazingly surprised one day soon.
    The ones I am concerned about are the believers who are following Jesus at a distance, or who are backslidden. I do wonder whether they might miss it. There seem to be enough scriptures to indicate this possibility. My daughters are two of these. In the end we jut have to trust God with those who are no longer open to hearing sound doctrine. And keep looking at Jesus.

    • Reply Gary Ritter

      In my Bible reading this last half of the year I’ve been chronicling the Scriptures that warn both ancient Israel and the church not to deliberately and persistently sin. There are severe consequences. As I’ve stated before, the idea that everyone saved will be Raptured is a warm fuzzy belief, but it belies the warnings of God against deliberate disobedience after such a great salvation. If time permits still when I finish other projects (i.e. we’re still here), I may try to turn my extensive notes into a book.

      In the instance of the rather far too loud and vigorous contesting of eschatology that occurred, I was absolutely convicted that I needed to apologize to those that I know were in the vicinity. I did not exhibit the qualities of Christlikeness in that “discussion” that I know the Lord desires of us and I wasn’t a good example to them. I did go to each individually so they know my contriteness and heart in the matter. It was a worthwhile effort and I know it had to please God that I did attempt to reflect Christ more accurately through my apology.

  3. Reply Pamela P

    Like you, recently over the past 3-4 years at least, the Holy Spirit, that wonderful, gentle, but stern teacher of His Word, has been driving home to me again and again, the absolute requirement to not only believe in Jesus, but to also obey Him – with no wiggle room permitted.
    I do hope you can find the time to write that book! I will be first in line for it. This is an area that has for far too long been skirted around, watered down, or completely avoided by most of the Church.

  4. Reply Robin McCann

    I have no idea how to twist and water down God’s word, so I have no choice but to take everything it says literally. Therefore, I have to believe what John describes about the locusts in Rev. 9. He says they have the body of a horse. I think we all can agree that horses are not insect-sized creatures. What I am about to say is enough to scare me into the arms of Jesus if I didn’t already know Him. Horses can range in size fro an 80 lb. mini to a 2,000 lb. draft.

    Now, you can swat or squash a bug, but you ain’t doin’ nothin’ about a 2,000 lb. insect flying at you. How’ that for a literal interpretation? Talk about men’s hearts failing them. That, to me, is something straight out of a horror movie, and am so glad I won’t be here to see them. Thank you, Jesus!

    I have an excellent image of these scorpions that look quite accurate enough for me and quite frightening, but this comment section doesn’t accept images.

  5. Reply Jim Eastman

    When you consider that there are 45,000 Self Professing Christian Denominations in the world it is not surprising that we get differing interpretations. Many do not follow the Bible. We must stay in The Word. Jn 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    • Reply Gary Ritter

      Even people studying the Bible get caught up in their shorts by obsessing over a word or by making everything that is literal a symbolic interpretation. That was the major issue at hand with my heated discussion the other day. You can’t begin to imagine how twisted things become when literal goes out the window.

  6. Reply Robin L Leigh

    Gary, I agree with your 4 categories. I have too many sisters in Christ who fall into “the Rapture is years away” group. They believe in a pre-trib Rapture, but not anytime soon. The other 3 groups are not really in my acquaintance since their theology is so messed up we don’t have much in common and don’t congregate together. The hostility towards Israel is a particularly dangerous view IMHO…purely Satanic.

    Mike Adams, Stew Peters and their ilk are appalling to me. They attach their personal wealth to perpetuating the lies there will be no Rapture, and promoting anti-Israel vitriol. When they meet the Lord, (at the Bema Seat or White Throne is known only to Him) they are taking huge risks. Not only for themselves but by influencing others AWAY from biblical truth. This is strictly prohibited by God Almighty and carries great consequences. I marvel, not in a good way, how many professing Christians don’t read, or know, God’s word in their Bibles and therefore are easily misled.

    I’ve stopped arguing about most things theological, unless it is 1-scripturally obvious and 2-the receiver is sanctified enough to listen. Otherwise, I get dragged into sinful arguments and I too feel weary and discouraged by the outcomes.

    The Lord once revealed to me (about 2 years ago) in a very personal and powerful way that He is more patient, and forgiving, than I can begin to comprehend. I trust in His ability to know our hearts, and that He has made room for all kinds of His confused children who believe in Him but get much of their theology wrong. The Bible and Jesus says repeatedly we must be born again. When that happens, according to the Lord Himself, we are counted saved and righteous, This is why we will see Lot, who fathered Moab and Amon through incestuous sex with his daughters, AFTER he was saved. This is why we will see David in Heaven. He, who had an adulterous, ruinous, affair with Bathsheba and the subseqent chain of events that came from his sin eventually brought complete destruction upon Israel. The list is endless of the sinners we will see in Heaven…including you and me, praise the Lord!

    What I don’t understand is why people LOVE the idea of a mid trib, post trib and no trib rapture. God explicitly gave the pre trib knowledge to us as our HOPE while we live through these last, perilous days. As you said, it is a GIFT! But many scorn it, like they do with so many of God’s gifts to us. And paradoxically, His gift to US is the beginning of God’s greatest judgments upon earth-dwellers.

    When the argumentative and belligerent person wants to argue theology, and particularly eschatology, with me today, usually I smile and agree to disagree. There’s this bible verse about throwing pearls before swine…;).

    • Reply Gary Ritter

      In the “heated discussion” that centered around eschatology, I failed to identify and point out at that time, but did identify it later for myself, that this person’s whole eschatological doctrine is based on symbolism. He’s not seeing and understanding the literal natural of God’s Word. rather, he wants to make all these word associations (which may be correct in some instances), but also just make everything symbolic. It’s appalling because of how that skews his prophetic outlook.

      You’re right in that it ends up being the same situation for discussions with pagans: you can’t argue someone into God’s kingdom, nor can you argue against a person’s deeply held theological biases. Once we’ve encountered them, we have to put conviction and right thinking into the hands of God and let the Holy Spirit do His work from our prayers.

      • Reply RobinL

        Amen Gary! When reading your comment, the verse in Hosea 4:5 came into my mind
        “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” That’s pretty strong language! just imagine God standing in front of us and saying that to our faces!

        A friend of mine and I were talking the other night and she said that she takes God’s word, when He says YOU, to mean her specifically. It really changes the power of the message. (And yes, she knows that not every message is for her specifically but you get my point.)

        God has graciously given the disclosure of HImself and His plans to us in His word. When we distort and/or ignore what He has plainly said, we do so at our own peril. Who else is there toblame?

        Nothing new under the sun, man is stubborn and rejects God in 10,000 different ways.

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