Question # 41 Were the Thessalonians aware of the event which we now refer to as the Rapture?

Answer…….. The Christians of Thessalonica were probably not at all familiar with the prospect for the Rapture. They weren’t even sure that Jesus hadn’t already returned to the earth in their lifetime, and completely forgotten to include them among the great gathering of the saints. In fact, the members of the church at Thessalonica were quite ignorant with regards to the whole topic of the second coming of Jesus, the gathering of the saints, and the proper sequence of these developments. In fact, Paul says in chapter 4:13 of I Thessalonians; “I would not have you to continue to be ignorant of all of these things”. He had already established a familiarity among them of the “Day of the Lord”, but they were incognizant of many of the details concerning the second coming of Jesus.

Question # 42 Where do you find any reference in the Bible indicating a “two-phased” second coming of Jesus?

Answer……. I cannot single out any scripture that plainly states that Jesus second coming shall be in two stages. But, it should be very apparent from the numerous descriptions concerning his second advent, that they all can’t be identical. Many verses allude to the gathering of the saints into the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. Then, in a much different description in Zechariah 14:4; we find that Jesus feet actually touch down upon the surface of the earth when he returns. This scripture is synonymous with the scripture depicting his return as a conquering King in Revelation 19:11-14. There we see the Bride of Christ, clothed in white linen coming back with him. So, the question is begged; How did we get there? The answer is that we met him in the air previously. Jude 1:14 pictures the saints coming with the Lord in this very same manner. Zechariah 14:5 also concludes with Jude, that the Lord will bring his saints with him when he comes to fight on the Day of the Lord!

Question # 43 Is the resurrection of I Thessalonians 4:16 identical with the resurrection depicted in Revelation 20:4-5?

Answer……. Yes, the resurrections portrayed in each of these scripture references are indeed one and the same. There are only two resurrections of course. One for all the departed saints; and one also for all who have rejected God’s plan of redemption. There is no need of any further resurrecting! All who have not availed themselves of God’s saving Grace shall endure the “second death”. ( Revelation 20:14 )

Question # 44 I don’t understand why God would choose Israel. They are a boasting, proud, unforgiving, and arrogant people. Why would he choose them?

Answer…… Well, perhaps you might very well be accurate in your descriptions of a significant portion of the Jewish people. I don’t know. I don’t know very many Jewish people at all. But I know this; God chose the man Abraham. Israel did not exist as a people when God covenanted with Abraham to utilize his posterity to manifest the blessing of a “Savior” into the world to redeem all of mankind; irregardless of nationalities, ethnicity, or race.

The Jewish peoples do represent the lineage that produced God manifest in human form. Alas, God himself at many points in history has exhausted his patience with the “chosen people”. Deuteronomy 9:13 indicates that God marveled at the stubbornness, stiffnecked nature of the descendents of Abraham. Verse 14 continues to convey that Moses had to plead with God not to destroy Israel. Psalms 50:7 verifies that God has borne witness against the sins of Israel; and therefore banished them from the Promised Land. Ezekiel 5:8 instructs us that God has judged Israel in the sight of the nations, by scattering them in the wind. ( Diaspora ) But, Jeremiah 30:11 and Jeremiah 46:28 expresses that God promised not to make a “full end” of the nation of Israel. The real emphasis of this subject is really that the Jewish people are unlike many of the rest of the peoples of the world. They are oblivious to the genuineness of Jesus Christ being the Messiah, and the lone means of salvation for anybody. One might ask themselves this question when pondering the Jew. Would any other nation of people performed any better in serving God? Probably not! The miraculous and wondrous miracle is that God would choose anybody at all to redeem mankind. That is the essence of God’s love!

Question # 45 It seems to me that God has unjustly prospered the Jewish people. As a Christian person, I constantly experience trials and tribulation, so it seems altogether unreasonable for God to bless Israel, while I suffer. Why would God permit this kind of discrimination?

Answer……. This is a very good question. I appreciate your candidness. However, I cannot disagree more with your analysis that God has prospered the Jewish people beyond that of any other particular group. Ezekiel 5:2 indicates that God has drawn out a sword after the Israelite nation because of their steadfast rebelliousness. He further elaborates that 2/3 of that chosen nation would meet the tragic fate of either the knife, or the fire. The remaining portion of the Jews were scattered to the winds, and left to be utterly consumed by the ire of demonic hatred by enemies around the world. Ezekiel 5:14-15 reveal that God has left the Jews to become a reproach, a taunt, and a reviled people while they remain adrift in the cultures of the world. Deuteronomy 28 reflects that Israel has been exposed to more curses than any other nation, primarily because they neglected to keep God’s commandments. Also, let me point out that the Devil is the Prince of this present age, and he often entices people/nations into compromise. Remember when Satan offered Jesus the glory of all the Kingdoms of this world, if Jesus would only worship him? Satan could actually make such an offer. He often entices people into riches, glory, fame, and a life of success, in his pursuit of diverting people/nations from worshipping the one true God. Success and prosperity does not necessarily mean that God is the one doing the blessing. Jesus stated: “in this world, you will have tribulation, because the world first hated him”. God is in the business of blessing each of us on an ETERNAL basis, not some worldly concept of blessing, which can only be temporary. I submit to you that the Jewish people have suffered more persecution and antagonism than any other people in history. ( holocaust, crusades, pograms, etc. ) Both the nation of Israel, and the called out Gentile redeemed, known as Christians were called to be separate from the world ( II Cor. 6:17 and Deut. 7:6 ). It is this separate identity from the world that too often nets the ire of the world. Unfortunately, ancient Israel compromised with the world. Let us as Christians not do the same, nor submit ourselves to blaming anyone but Satan for the evil that exists anywhere in the world.

Question # 46 Why shouldn’t God be held accountable as a procrastinator, in his judgement and execution of a sentence, in dealing with Lucifer?

Answer……. This subject has perplexed many people down through the centuries. I would submit to you that God is perfectly righteous and just, in the way that he is dealing with all of his creation. Lucifer, of course was the original sinner. He was with God in the Garden of Eden, when God created everything, and every being that exists. Lucifer was the covering Cherub of God’s throne. ( Ezekiel 28:13-14 ) God set him in this high position. However, Lucifer became jealous of the Son of Man, or the “Word,” whom was destined to be manifest in a lowly human form, and embodied as the man Jesus Christ. God had providentially designed and planned from before the foundation of the creation to implement a plan of redemption, should his creatures fall from their state of perfection. This lowly estate of “God as a man” compelled Lucifer to risk the opportunity to actually supplant God on the throne. In essence, Lucifer has schemed to draft mankind into joining his cosmic coup-de-tat. In reality, we human beings are all full-fledged members of the rebellion initiated by Lucifer, via the fall of Adam back in the Garden. Unless we as individual, each accept the restorative redemption provided via the second Adam, we remain entrenched in that rebellion. Lucifer has already been judged, and sentenced. His fate is fixed! But yours is not…God is still conducting a hearing, and listening to your witness. He awaits your final testimony, and your final decision. Why would you, as a natural- born rebel desire God to destroy Lucifer, while you, or anyone else that has never accepted Mercy, would be destroyed right along with him? God is patient, longsuffering, not willing that any should perish ( II Peter 3:9 ) but that all may obtain mercy. Lucifer sinned in the extra-dimensional zone known as eternity, ( timelessness ). Mankind sinned within the dimension of time-space, and therefore has a “span of time” to repent. Lucifer, a being of the eternal-dimension , and being a witness to the creative process, fell having a full knowledge of all things. So, his one sin of pride, justly sealed his status-fate for eternity. So then, God is really not procrastinating at all. He is giving you a fair trial, and a span of time to choose whomsoever you desire to follow. Futhermore, he holds in his extended hand a complete pardon, readily available, to any one that wants it! Lucifer is slated to be cast into the Lake of Fire ( Revelation 20:10 ) But II Peter 3:7 indicates that all the old corrupted creation, and all ungodly men, that have rejected God’s mercy, shall join Lucifer there. The real question of matter is: Why would anyone choose to join him? Why shouldn’t God be held accountable now? Are you ready to be held accountable right now?

Question # 47 Why does God make Christians suffer?

Answer……. God does not “make” Christians suffer! God does not make anyone suffer. Suffering is a consequence of living in a sinful world. God created a perfect world without sin, and the sufferable consequences that we face, striving to exist in a fallen world. Satan introduced sin into this world, and therefore, all of the consequences of sin that permeate our world. The “God of this present Age”, Satan; however does cause Christians to suffer. Jesus suffered while he was in this world also! Alas, he suffered death upon a cross, so that mankind could have a hope of escaping the confine of sin, and its terrible consequences. Sin, suffering, and even death, shall be destroyed by God. ( Revelation 21:4 )

Question # 48 Why was it that God singled out Abraham to become the for-bearer of the nation of Israel? Wasn’t this an example of favoritism?

Answer……. The matter of more concern is that God chose somebody! The Bible does not convey that Abraham was the only consideration for God’s covenant. The real significant factor regarding Abraham is that, when God called him to follow him; Abraham by faith, obeyed and followed God! Perhaps God called someone else, I don’t know; but if he did, the fact of the matter is, that they simply refused to follow God. There is one thing for certain though, God is calling all of us, just like he called Abraham. Galations 3:6-7 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness; Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. Hebrews 11:8,17 are further examples of the faith, and obedience expressed by Abraham, in God. Perhaps God did express favor toward Abraham….but it was because Abraham expressed his faith in God! James 2:23 indicates that all men can have God’s friendship, and favor also. Wouldn’t you prefer a God that favor’s you, and is in reality offering a covenant to you also?

Question # 49 Why did God need to call Abraham, or any other man, and thereafter to establish a nation from among his descendents?

Answer……… The reasons for the call of Abraham, and the establishment of the nation of Israel, from the lineage of Jacob are many. Foremost, in my opinion would be the following reasons: 1.) To proclaim to the entire world of the fact of God’s existence. God introduced himself to Moses as “I AM”. For anyone to ever come to the point of acknowledging the saving Grace of God, one must first become truly aware of the existence of God.

2.) To proclaim to the entire world, that Jehovah, the God who introduced himself unto Israel, is the one and only God.

3.) To demonstrate to the entire world that all blessings come from the one true God, and that judgement begins with the very same God.

4.) To establish and preserve his word among mankind.

5.) To establish a nation-priest among the tribes of mankind, whereby a channel of blessing could be established for all mankind.

6.) To establish the physical vehicle wherewith the promised redeemer might be born among mankind.

Question # 50 Wasn’t the Abrahamic Covenant broken by the nation of Israel?

Answer…….. Yes, Israel most definitely failed to fulfill all of its obligations in the covenant agreement. God gave Israel the law, and the commandments of God, to help perpetuate and sustain her in the Promised Land. (Deut. 6:17 7:11 11:1,32 12:1 28:15,45 30:16 ) Unfortunately, Israel failed to keep the statutes of Jehovah, therefore God exiled Israel from the pleasant land, not just once, but twice! The first for the failure to observe his commandments, the second time for their blindness to the reality that the redeemer had indeed visited them!

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