There has been war throughout human history. Where does war come from? How will they end? Is there hope for world Peace? These are questions in the hearts and minds of people throughout the world. The United Nations was even founded in an effort to maintain and seek world peace. After the Second World War its purpose was stated in its charter: ‘We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind,…’ (http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/preamble/index.html)
In Revelation 4 we read of twenty-four elders, clothed in white robes and possessing crowns. These mysterious elders have caused much confusion concerning their identity. Dispensationalists see John being told “Come up here!” (Rev. 4:1) by a voice like a trumpet as a symbol for the church being called up to heaven at the rapture. These elders are in white robes, which they link with the saints’ white robes (see Rev. 3:5; 6:10-11; 7:9, 14). The elders, John says, bowed down before God and cast their crowns before Him (Rev. 4:10). Many take this action to symbolize how Christians, after receiving crowns as the reward for their good deeds, will give them back to God since their good works were His anyways. This interpretation of this particular symbol has even infiltrated various worship songs. For example, in “We Fall Down” by Chris Tomlin, “We fall down, we lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus.” Again, “Holy, Holy, Holy!” by Reginald Heber says, “Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee, casting down their golden grounds around the glassy sea.”
However, I do not think this sentiment should affect believers. It is not we Christians who will be throwing our crowns before God. I hope to show from this text itself, as well as from other biblical themes, that the twenty-four elders cannot possibly be a symbol for the raptured church. Continue reading Why the 24 Elders Are Not the Raptured Church
For some, Revelation 3:10 is something of a silver bullet when it comes to proving that the rapture (the taking up of the Church to heaven) will occur before the 7 years of tribulation prophesied to come upon the earth. It reads,
“Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.” Continue reading Why Revelation 3:10 Does Not Support the Pre-Trib Rapture
I remember a couple of times throughout my secular public education where our study of literature would bring up the concept of a utopia. For one assignment in particular, I remember each student was told to write out what their own personal utopian society would be like if we could create one. As pre-teens there was mention of free pizza, no school, or a basketball court on every corner among other things. Then, with all of the students’ differing ideals before her, the teacher usurped the right to draw the conclusion that a paradise is impossible. Since what is enjoyable to one student would bore another to tears, she reasoned it to be simply a dream not to come true.
Back then I would have agreed; but now that I am saved I think differently. Believers are guaranteed “an inheritance incorruptible…reserved in heaven,” (1 Pet. 1:4). Paul prayed that the Ephesians would “know…the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” (Eph. 1:18). He prays for the Colossians that they would rejoice that God has qualified them “to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light,” (Col 1:12). Notice how the same inheritance is that of all the saints! They all are in the same utopia performing the same ideal activities. Through His perfect wisdom, God ordained to happen what my teacher had concluded impossible! Continue reading Video Games and Ice Cream in Heaven?