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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Summer Edition 1998

The Element Of Surprise

Dispensationalists tell us the the element of surprise in the materialization of Christ's second coming will be the timing of the secret rapture of the church. The theory has it that the rapture could happen at "any moment"--any conceivable random moment, that is--, because it is "pre" everything else, in terms of its positioning in the scheme of over all events. And thus being stuck out front, with no signs preceding it, nobody can know when that time will be. So, when it happens it will be a great surprise to everybody who has not been enmeshed in this specialized mentality.

The Bible teaches, by contrast, that the true element of surprises in the materialization of the Day of The Lord will be the sudden and unexpected judgment of the earth by fire.

"The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the church will be secretly raptured out" (II Peter 3:10; New Dispensational Version).

I did read this verse right, didn't I? Let's go back and check again, just to be sure.

"The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (II Peter 3:10; King James Authorized Version).

The true biblical element of surprise is not the removal of the church in some any moment secret pretribulation rapture.

The Bible does not teach the existence of any future seven year great tribulation time frame timetable of events with which to start. It is upon this theory, however, that the whole further secret pretribulation rapture theory has been predicated.

So, let's get this straight. We have one theory (the secret pretribulation rapture theory) built inside another theory (the existence of the future seven year time frame timetable of events which which to start theory). That equals two theories. This is getting rather confusing. Let's get back to the simplicity of the Bible.

Peter doesn't say anything about a seven year timetable of events in II Peter chapter three. That is a fact. He is not describing a pretribulation rapture of the church in chapter three, verse ten, either. He is talking about the true element of surprise that will open up the coming Day of the Lord, and that is the destruction of the earth by fire.

How much plainer could it be?

Think about it.

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