By Pastor Dick Carmack
May 16, 2015
Sitting in the pews of America's churches are an untold number of Christians who are merely going through the motions. Many attend only because of the fellowship of other believers but are vaguely unsatisfied with the homilies delivered every Sunday morning by pastors who are seemingly content to see as many seats as possible occupied and who spend sleepless nights worrying about how to "get the numbers up." Most of these people are of the Chosen Generation, are about to enter into Great Tribulation and don't have a clue because the preacher doesn't have a clue. Most pastors nowadays avoid prophecy like a foolish man avoids God.
Gone is the zeal to preach the uncompromised, pure and whole Word of God, contending zealously for souls. Having been replaced by concern over the weekly offering, to how to raise enough money to pave the north-end of the parking lot. We know of churches with 25 members that help support 14 missionaries and have heard of churches with 500 members that support three or four. Soul winning seems to be confined to whoever shows up.
We don't hear much about sin these days. We have "believers" coming to church in shorts and tank-tops and painted ladies leading the singing and preaching in between songs, and rarely a word about honoring the King of Kings with decent clothing and respect for God's Word. Someone pointed out if you were invited to the White House to meet the resident politician you'd wear your best suit but when you go to church it's OK to wear your undies on the outside. Sometimes I'm told, even the pastor wears shorts and sermonizes from notes about his latest vacation to the ski-slopes and about how hard it was to get a cappuccino after midnight.
Have you heard about sodomy? It's now called everything but what it is and the sodomites go ballistic when it's called by its right name. "Can't offend anyone you know." "Must be progressive you know." Less that 2% of the population (sodomites), now control the Captive Media, the White House and the spineless people called Congressmen and Senators, advertising their sin in public and crucifying any who dare to complain or fail to bow down before them.
"Don't you dare call me a sodomite! I was born that way and I can't change!" Last week, Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense, after polluting the Armed Services with his Globalist poison is now leading the Boy Scouts of America into the pit by wanting to have sodomite Scout leaders. He said in effect, "Christian values are unsustainable and we must change with the times."
"There is no fear of God before their eyes." (Ro 3:18)
"And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet." (Ro 1:27) [AIDS and other venereal diseases]
In other words on Judgment Day the sodomites will brazenly defy the God of Creation and will find their just reward for un-repented sin. All sin will be judged on that day and excuses will hold no weight, only the shed blood of Jesus Christ can remit human sin.
Concerning our more immediate futures, a lady in a medium sized church in Arizona remarked to her pastor after hearing a guest speaker explain why he thought the pre-trib rapture theory was flawed (a rare occurrence of tolerance for what the majority considers heresy) remarked, "I've always believed we're going to go through great tribulation Pastor, but I didn't want to hurt your feelings."
If you single out church members across the country and ask them if they believe in the pre-trib theory, about half in the fundamental churches will quietly admit to their doubts of its validity. What's wrong? Why is the church so doubtful of what's being taught?
In spite of the so-called educational system, a lot of people can still read and write and what they discern is that we are in deep, deep trouble. There is general understanding among the born-again faithful the Scriptures are being softened in an effort to get the attendance up. When we see Christians around the world being murdered just because they're Christians we understand that for those folks at the least, Great Tribulation has already arrived. They somehow missed the rapture and if you question them about it, they look at you like you just arrived from another planet.
If you turn on the evening TV "news" and relate that to what you just heard in church you must be scratching your head. In the past few weeks we have been told (even by the controlled captive media) that Christians are being butchered all over the Middle-East all the while our government and media talking heads assure us "Islam is a religion of peace." Nary a mention in church though of about how those decapitated were confused as to why they weren't raptured.
It's rare to nowadays attend a service where the pastor raises his arms, shouts and gets on fire for the Lord. It's rare to hear a sermon that departs from the doctrines taught in Bible College, yet the congregation is ravenously hungry for the truth. A freight train filled with death is roaring down the tracks and pre-trib America is stalled in the headlights. There's going to be a terrible wreck. And most of the church not only can't see it coming, they don't even know we're broken down.
There's a feeling in the gut however that a black cloud is descending over the land and those who are not afraid to challenge the prevailing view are quietly preparing for very hard times ahead. Say it flat out. Many of us are preparing for great tribulation and stocking up on food (not for ourselves anymore than to help feed those who will be destitute and begging at our doors) and ammo (to discourage those who want to be our dictators). We are also laying in a supply of illustrated tracts (because many nowadays can't read but can still look at pictures) and pocket New Testaments for the few that can still discern the written Word..
Some however have given up on the devil inspired theory called pre-trib and instead have opted to just read our Bibles and believe it. When it says in 2nd Th 2:1-4, that before the day comes when Jesus returns to gather us to Himself (Vs 1), the Antichrist will be revealed and millions upon millions will die, we just believe it.
Take a private and informal survey in your own Bible-believing church. Ask them if pre-trib has any relevance to them. If they think at all you'll be amazed at what you learn. Most real Christians are too much gentlemen and ladies to make a fuss about a popular, though flawed doctrine. In the privacy of their hearts however they realize all the good feelings generated by an early departure are just that, and they are quietly making preparations for hard times.
Only the pastors that teach the "seven years of great tribulation" can tell us exactly why they teach it because that phrase, like the word "rapture" can't be found in the Bible. Maybe we can mark it down to wishful thinking, laziness, or perhaps the use of sermons originally written by others and picked up and adopted by preachers too busy with other things to do original research like reading the Bible. "If a respected preacher/teacher/author lectures on a seven year great tribulation it must be so, after all they are the experts and who am I to question it?"
Let's see what the first book of the New Testament says in the tenth chapter.
"16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;" (Mt 10:16, 17, all Bible emphasis added)
Being a disciple in those days was risky business and the same is true today in most of the world and quickly becoming so in America. When we get to Mark 13 and Luke 17 and 21 we get the same story. But if we continue on in Matthew, Chapter 24 gives us at least two distinct periods designated (beginning of sorrows and great tribulation) during the time to come. After first warning us in verse four to take care not to be deceived, we are taught there will be wars, rumours of wars, nations rising against nations, famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places (vv. 6 and 7) and that particular portion of time is named: "The beginning of sorrows."
Jesus then tells His audience, after that they will betray and hate one another, be afflicted and killed all for His Name's Sake (vs. 9). Remember, the disciples at this point are followers of Jesus. They are still Jews and still hold to the tenets of the Bible of the time (the OT) but first and foremost they are believers in Jesus! They are not yet called Christian (that happens at Antioch), they don't have the name but they certainly have the game. They are warned deception will abound but "Hang in there and keep spreading the Word, it's going to get rough! And by the way, be prepared to flee." (vv. 9-20)
The next time period is now identified, "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." (Mt 24:21)
But take heart, though you will be hated, hunted and butchered as the world and antichrist their leader seeks your destruction, God has it all under control,
"And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Mt 24:22)
The next four verses (23-26) warn of us a deception that will be so believable that if it were possible even the elect would be deceived. One popular book "Exo-Vaticana" postulates there may well be a faked Second Coming that will be the deception that will top all deceptions. There may even be a hologram seen in the sky, picked up and broadcast over all the world but Mt. 24:26 reminds us that when Christ actually returns it will be seen by every human eye, ALL at the same time.
"For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (Mt 24:27)
That means it won't be by hologram, it won't be by TV, it will be SUPERNATURAL. Please note the next three verses, reprinted here and underlined for emphasis:
"29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Mt 24:29-31)
The elect of God includes all believers, dead or alive. The graves will be opened, the dead raised and those who remain alive snatched into the clouds to be with the Lord forever. That's the message of 1 Th 4:15-17, the resurrection of the dead and the taking of the saints are all at the same time. In popular terms, the resurrection and the rapture are the same event. It all happens on the Day of The Lord. Look it up, unless you've been so brainwashed you can no longer find your concordance.
For encouragement, David Jeremiah tells a story of current events that he says he checked out and found to be true (broadcast sermon 5-10-15). He reports hearing it from a conference speaker who told of the 21 Christians recently beheaded by ISIS. The ISIS butchers went down the line and asked each of the first 20 if they were Christians and when they replied "Yes," they were promptly beheaded. The 21st man who was NOT a Christian was so impressed with their courage that when it came his turn to answer he too became a Christian at that moment and his blood was also spilled for the cause of Christ. That's the testimony possible when we READ and believe our Bibles, face the truth and refuse to accept fables about an "early departure."
© 2015 Pastor Dick Carmack – All Rights Reserved
Carmack is a retired pastor living in rural New Mexico. The Carmacks
have over 60 descendents with many in active Christian work. He
has written three books and was a columnist for the Biblical Evangelist
for four years.
E-Mail: [email protected]