Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Contrast of Teaching on the "Rapture:" Dr. Adrian Rogers and Dr. Russell Moore

One good thing about the failed "rapture" prediction that caught headlines this past weekend is that it did prompt many Christians to review what the Bible has to say concerning the return of Christ.

Recently, the "Love Worth Finding" radio broadcast [hereafter, "LWF"] has been playing recorded sermons from the late Southern Baptist statesman, Dr. Adrian Rogers, focused on the Book of Revelation. Last week, LWF aired a message from Dr. Rogers titled "The Coming of the King" from Revelation 19:11-16. In part of this sermon, Dr. Rogers argued that, "The church will not go through the Great Tribulation:" that Jesus will "rapture" the Church out of the world before the coming time of intense judgment on the earth previous to the end of the present world-age. As proof for this 'pre-tribulational rapture' Dr. Rogers cited 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 and Revelation 3:10.

Also last week, Dr. Russell Moore, Dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, published an article on his blog titled "A Pre-Tribulational Rapture?" in which he argues against the titular doctrine. Knowing the verses used to support the pre-trib position, Dr. Moore addresses both the 1 Thess and Rev 3 passages:

[I]n prophetic passages in the New Testament the church is said to be “not destined . . . for wrath” (1 Thess. 5:9). But the question is whether this passage speaks of “wrath” in terms of the tribulation or of ultimate wrath—condemnation and hell. It would seem to speak of the latter, since Paul contrasts this wrath with “salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us” (1 Thess. 5:9b–10a). God does promise that believers are exempt from wrath (Rom. 8:1), but he does not promise that they are exempt from tribulation; indeed he guarantees it for all who will live godly in Jesus (Rom. 8:17; Phil. 1:29; 1 Pet. 4:12–19).

In the Revelation, Jesus does promise the church at Philadelphia that he will keep it “from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world” (Rev. 3:10). It does not suggest, however, that he will do so by removing the church from the world.

Both Dr. Rogers and Dr. Moore offered more proof for their respective positions than what I have mentioned above. I would encourage readers interested in this topic to listen to Dr. Roger's sermon HERE and to read Dr. Moore's blogpost HERE; furthermore, I would strongly encourage readers to not be persuaded by which personality they find more attractive, but to carefully examine the Scriptures themselves.

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