The Rapture

Written by Michael Bradley

Here isrepparttar 50 million dollar question - will there be a Rapture of Godís saints beforerepparttar 140648 Tribulation, or will all of Godís people living at that time have to go throughrepparttar 140649 Tribulation and possibly be martyred for their faith?

Iím going to go ahead and give yourepparttar 140650 main Scripture verses dealing withrepparttar 140651 possibility of a Rapture. There is divided opinion inrepparttar 140652 Body of Christ as to whether or not there is going to be a rapture.

Each one of you will have to come to your own conclusion on this subject per your own interpretation ofrepparttar 140653 Scripture verses listed below. Iíll give you my two cents onrepparttar 140654 subject. Iíll point out key words and key phrases inrepparttar 140655 following verses.

As you will see inrepparttar 140656 following verses, I feel there is very strong evidence from Scripture that there will be a Rapture, and that it will occur beforerepparttar 140657 Antichrist startsrepparttar 140658 persecution of Godís saints, and before God starts to pour out His wrath uponrepparttar 140659 earth duringrepparttar 140660 7 year Tribulation. In other words, it will be a pre-tribulation Rapture.

1. This first verse is very interesting. You already know that one ofrepparttar 140661 names ofrepparttar 140662 Antichrist isrepparttar 140663 "Lawless One" perrepparttar 140664 Scripture verse I gave you in my first article. This verse is definitely talking aboutrepparttar 140665 Antichrist. Here isrepparttar 140666 verse:

"And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in our time. Forrepparttar 140667 mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out ofrepparttar 140668 way. And thenrepparttar 140669 lawless one will be revealed, whomrepparttar 140670 Lord will consume withrepparttar 140671 breath of His mouth and destroy withrepparttar 140672 brightness of His coming." (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8)
You knowrepparttar 140673 lawless one is referring torepparttar 140674 Antichrist because thenrepparttar 140675 verse says Jesus will destroy him when He comes back forrepparttar 140676 second time. But look very closely atrepparttar 140677 phrase "only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out ofrepparttar 140678 way. And thenrepparttar 140679 Lawless One will be revealed." The "H" inrepparttar 140680 word "He" is a capital H. That means "He" is either referring to God, Jesus orrepparttar 140681 Holy Spirit.

Since God and Jesus are in heaven right now,repparttar 140682 "He" has to be referring torepparttar 140683 Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has always been referred to asrepparttar 140684 One who restrains evil from getting out of control on this earth. It says thatrepparttar 140685 Antichrist cannot be revealed until He is taken out ofrepparttar 140686 way. Since we know thatrepparttar 140687 Holy Spirit still has to be down here even if there is a Rapture, who is "He" referring to?

If there is a Rapture, there still will be a multitude of people that are going to get saved and then martyred. If they are saved, then they are sealed withrepparttar 140688 Holy Spirit, which meansrepparttar 140689 Holy Spirit is living onrepparttar 140690 inside of them like He is with us.I believerepparttar 140691 "He" may be referring torepparttar 140692 "Holy Spirit operating throughrepparttar 140693 Church." That means thatrepparttar 140694 Body of Christ -repparttar 140695 Church will be what is taken out beforerepparttar 140696 Antichrist can be revealed.

Think about this. The Antichrist is going to be very easy to spot once he starts to enter intorepparttar 140697 world scene. Allrepparttar 140698 Scripture verses I gave you onrepparttar 140699 Antichrist and 7 year Tribulation spell out exactly what is going to occur, and there will be more than enough astute Christians who are going to be able to pick up who he is when all of these events start to occur.With some ofrepparttar 140700 powerful TV ministries that we have in place such asrepparttar 140701 Pat Robertson 700 Club, I am sure thatrepparttar 140702 Body of Christ will be shouting fromrepparttar 140703 rooftops oncerepparttar 140704 Antichrist is spotted. The word will be spread and it will become very hard forrepparttar 140705 Antichrist to rise torepparttar 140706 kind of power thatrepparttar 140707 Bible is foretelling.

I believe thatrepparttar 140708 Church has to be taken out, asrepparttar 140709 above verse is stating, beforerepparttar 140710 Antichrist can be revealed torepparttar 140711 rest ofrepparttar 140712 world. Andrepparttar 140713 above verse states exactly that - thatrepparttar 140714 Antichrist will not be revealed until "He," who is restraining him, is taken out ofrepparttar 140715 way!!!

Oncerepparttar 140716 Body of Believers are Raptured off ofrepparttar 140717 earth, there will nothing that will be able to stoprepparttar 140718 Antichristís rise to power. The rest ofrepparttar 140719 world is going to be easily duped in believing in this man - especially with all ofrepparttar 140720 "false signs and wonders" that will be performed byrepparttar 140721 False Prophet on his behalf.

I believerepparttar 140722 above verse alone is very strong Scriptural evidence that there will be a Rapture of Godís saints beforerepparttar 140723 Antichrist rises to full power.

Are We Saved By Works?

Written by Stephen Kingery

The subject of works is one which seems to cause some confusion among Christians. There are those who say that we are saved by faith, not by works. The Scriptures seem to affirm this, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it isrepparttar gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." (Ephesians 2:8,9) Then there are those who proclaim that even though we are saved by faith, works have a part to play as well. Again,repparttar 140647 Scriptures seem to affirm this, "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." (James 2:17)

Dorepparttar 140648 Scriptures oppose themselves? How can this be that we are saved by faith only, yet have works play a part in it? Are both groups right? Do these Scriptures prove that it is all in how you look at it? Well, firstrepparttar 140649 Scriptures do not oppose themselves. And also, this subject is not hard to understand. Let's examine this subject of works, faith, and salvation and see how it all fits perfectly together.

Duringrepparttar 140650 time thatrepparttar 140651 apostles were on earth teaching and establishingrepparttar 140652 churches throughoutrepparttar 140653 world there begun to arise those who wanted to put additional qualifications on being saved. We know by studyingrepparttar 140654 Scriptures that there is a simple plan which we are to follow in order to acceptrepparttar 140655 free gift of salvation. That plan consist of (1) faith, (2) repentance, (3) confession, (4) baptism, and (5) faithful living. (See our monograph "What Must I Do To Be Saved?) This group began to teach that in order for one to be saved -- to be a Christian -- he/she must first obeyrepparttar 140656 "works ofrepparttar 140657 law." In other words, one must first become a Jew, then become a Christian. Evenrepparttar 140658 apostle Peter began to behave in a manner which indicated torepparttar 140659 Gentiles, that one must obeyrepparttar 140660 law of Moses first. In Galatians chapter 2 Paul writes ofrepparttar 140661 time when Peter would associate withrepparttar 140662 Gentiles as long as no other Jewish Christians were around. Then when his fellow Jewish Christians were present, he behaved in a different manner, perhaps givingrepparttar 140663 message that in order to be a "real" Christian, one would first obeyrepparttar 140664 Jewish laws. Paul then rebukes Peter for this behavior and states to him, "We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners ofrepparttar 140665 Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified byrepparttar 140666 works ofrepparttar 140667 law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not byrepparttar 140668 works ofrepparttar 140669 law; for byrepparttar 140670 works ofrepparttar 140671 law no flesh shall be justified." (Galatians 2:15,16)

In other words, man can only be justified (vindicated) by faith (and those things which faith produces) in Jesus Christ. The law of Moses can not vindicate us from our sins. The "law" can only make us aware ofrepparttar 140672 fact that we are sinners. Therefore, whenrepparttar 140673 Bible says that we are justified by faith, and not works, it means we are vindicated by faith (and those things which faith produces) and not by our striving to obeyrepparttar 140674 law.

This concept that we are justified by faith is found in several passages inrepparttar 140675 Bible. "Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of Works? No, but byrepparttar 140676 law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart fromrepparttar 140677 deeds ofrepparttar 140678 law." (Romans 3:27,28) See also Galatians 3:1-5, Romans 4:1-6, & Romans 5:1,2.

So what about those other Scriptures which indicate that works do have a part to play in man's salvation. In order to better understand how this relationship exists, let's look a James, chapter 2: "But someone will say, 'You have faith, and I have works.' Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Evenrepparttar 140679 demons believe; and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son onrepparttar 140680 altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? Andrepparttar 140681 Scripture was fulfilled which says, 'Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.' And he was calledrepparttar 140682 friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." (James 2:18-24) You are probably saying, "How can this be? Now I'm more confused than ever." Let's try to sort this out.

First,repparttar 140683 above passage is not discussingrepparttar 140684 issue of salvation, but ratherrepparttar 140685 relationship between works (the way we conduct ourselves) and faith. Works, regardless of how we want to phrase it, can not and will not result in our salvation. We simply do not haverepparttar 140686 ability or opportunity to work our way to heaven. We could spendrepparttar 140687 rest of our days doing "good works" and it would not save our souls. Salvation is apart from works!

So, what relationship does works have to salvation and faith? How can we be justified by works? Let's examinerepparttar 140688 few verses which precederepparttar 140689 above passage. "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to him, 'Depart in pease, be warmed and filled,' but you do not give himrepparttar 140690 things which are needed forrepparttar 140691 body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." (James 2:14-17) Works -- good deeds which help our fellow Christians, spreadingrepparttar 140692 gospel, etc. -- is what proves that our faith is alive and real. If we were to say, "I believe that Jesus isrepparttar 140693 Son of God," we would call that faith which can lead to salvation. Butrepparttar 140694 proof of that faith, is not that we say we believe, but that we do those things which furtherrepparttar 140695 kingdom. Works arerepparttar 140696 result of saving faith. We are justified by our works, in that our works prove our faith to be real, alive saving faith; not just intellectual assent that God and His Son exist.

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