Friday, April 1, 2011
Taking it Out of Context?
So many times I've heard frustrations verbalized about how certain scriptures are taken out of context. The most commonly used is "Ask and it shall be given to you" from Matt 7:7 or Luke 11:9. Taking scripture out of context is understandably and rightfully frustrating to us and God. I am here to show another scripture that tends to be taken out of context and is widely quoted...and controversial.
"For you yourselves know that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night." 1Thess 5:2
Here's the thing, no one reads the verses before or after it. This verse is the basis for many people not believing that we will know about the end times and the timeline of events. Let's read the verses before and after verse two.
"But concerning the times and seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you...For when they say 'Peace and safety!' then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should take you as a thief."
(verses 1, 3-4)
First, right in verse one Paul says that he really doesn't have to tell them this, "but concerning the times and seasons, there is no need that I should write to you". He does write tell them though, not so they will know, but so that everyone who reads it will see and know and understand.
Second, who is the "they" Paul keeps mentioning? Obviously not the Thessalonians and those who know God. The "they" is everyone who is ignorant towards God and refuses to come to Him. Paul separates the sheep from the goats and says "but you brethren are not in darkness (for clarification God is light, Satan is darkness ), so that this Day should overtake you as a thief". Basically, Jesus isn't going to come to you as a thief in the night; it won't be a surprise because you are in the light, in God.
There are so many passages in the Bible that talk about the last days before Jesus comes back, not just the book of Revelations. Micah and Habakkuk, Daniel, parts of Matthew where Jesus Himself talks about it. I know there is much debate about pre, middle, or post tribulation rapture so I would like to point out two (of several) passages that give insight.
"Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed - in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with a trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord." 1 Thessalonians 4:1-17
The books and passages of the Bible that talk about the second coming are there so that we can read and know what is going to happen, taking the knowledge to everyone who will hear. Do we know the exact date? Of course not, only Jesus knows that. But we do know events that lead up to it. If you believe we will be raptured before tribulation, don't assume that you don't need to know about tribulation and what is going to happen. Don't assume anything. I may be wrong in my belief about the end times I may be right, either way be prepared for the worst. Find out what scripture has to say and gain knowledge.