A friend writes...
"I would like to know what to believe concerning a pre-tribulation rapture and post-tribulation rapture. There are too many arguments, for and against. It leaves me in utter confusion."
This is what happens when we take our focus off of Christ. 🙂
We need to be most concerned about being ready for Christ when he does come for his bride.
Consider the parable of the ten bridesmaids in Matthew 25:1-13.
Being concerned about WHEN Christ will return, is something our adversary wants us to focus on, because it takes our attention OFF what we have been called to be and do (cf. Matthew 25:31-46).
Instead of living an abundant life in Christ, by meeting the needs of others [ministry], we are more concerned about ourselves and whether or not we will have to be tested and tried in the time of tribulation.
If we trust Christ, we know that no matter what lies ahead, he has promised us the strength and ability to stand firm.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."...and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."
John 16:33 (KJV)
Matthew 28:20 (RSV)
In the Tanakh [Old Testament] we see time and again that God's chosen had to face many challenges. They were tested and purified.
And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
Zechariah 13:9 (KJV)
Isaiah 48:10 (KJV)
Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
Malachi 3:1-3 (KJV)
And in the Greek Text [New Testament], Peter reminds us that we, too, shall be tested and tried.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:3-9 (KJV)
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1 Peter 4:12-13 (KJV)
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
1 Peter 5:10 (KJV)
So rather than worrying about those who would take your focus off of what Christ has commanded us, we do well to consider what Christ said we should do...
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Matthew 6:33-34 (KJV)