An angry pretribber wrote me the following comment with their unsubscription from my newsletter:
Thanks for the uplifting information that we will be here through the Tribulation and all that great things to look forward to.Â It says God does not want his people to see his wrath, andÂ He loves us. Why did it say the mystery of us not all “sleeping” Not all of us will die because we are His children and He doesn’t wish for us to go through His wrath. I don’t have the chapter or verses, but they are in the Bible.Â Â Keep reading or start before that verse before your depressing news.
You are like the rest of them. They say all the bad statements and don’t bother looking at the fact that God doesnt want us to experience His Wrath. Also the mystery of us all not sleeping, that some of us will be taken up to Heaven. The people who are ready and watching.
Angry emails and comments like this have increased lately. They used to be a few per month, but now have come every week. I think it is because most American’s paycheck deductions increased with the new year and we’re still in a languishing economy. (Plus Obama’s recent inauguration certainly poured salt in the wounds of my conservative Christian audience.)
Yet when I read these comments, I don’t get angry or feel like lashing out back at them. I realize that people who lash out like this have had their emotional buttons personally pushed by what I wrote, as if it was said to them and not to the general public. They are bothered by someone stating a different view that contradicts their own and suggests to them that they are wrong. Their foundation which their faith is based on is called into question. It makes it personal for them.
Knowing this, I feel sorry for them that they have had their faith shaken. My response to this person would be to help them to see that if these ideas bother them, then the best response is not to attack me, but to look inward and ask what nerve is so exposed that I could inadvertently strike it and cause such a strong reaction?
Here, then, from that loving perspective is what I wrote back to this person:
Was the Exodus depressing, too? Seeing God put ten miraculous plagues of his wrath (Ex 15:17) on Egypt (while Israel was still there), the Red Sea part, shoes not wear out, quail descend on command for food, also water from the rock, and bread from heaven, a pillar of fire and column of smoke guiding them daily?
Indeed, for some, they reacted with depression in these things and wanted to go back to Egypt. Others saw these miracles and glory of God and were exhilarated and felt blessed.
So the question for you is, why are you choosing to be angered or depressed by the same plan for our escape now that God did then which we read about now in our Bibles and find exhilarating, thrilling and inspiring? What’s in you that lacks confidence and faith that like God got Israel out of Egypt through miraculous protection and provision, that he won’t do the same for us in our time of tribulation?
Note, this is not a judgment on you like you put on me as I don’t take your comments personally. These are just honest questions to see if I can help you get out of the depressing perspective of and rejection of God’s end time plan to save his people on the earth from the Great Tribulation. This plan is revealed in Revelation (Rev 12) and Jesus’ own words about fleeing when you see the Abomination (Mt 24:15,21 = Great Tribulation coming) and looking “up” at the end when you finally see him coming for your redemption is nigh (Lk 21:28). (You don’t look up to see someone coming from the sky to earth unless you are on the earth yourself!)
So contrary to what you seem to think, the Great Tribulation is not sure death. There is a terrestrial escape plan through it (Satan’s wrath), just not a celestial one. Thus, everything Paul said about us not all sleeping refers to this rapture at the end of the Tribulation. He’s contrasting the raptured who did not die/sleep that are changed instantly on their feet with those who did die and are raised from their graves.Â He’s not saying the rapture saves you from death in the Great Tribulation as you suppose.