Excuse me, do you know what time the preacher will get up and start his message?
What time? No, I don’t know exactly what time.
So he could get up at any moment then?
No, that’s not what I said. I said I don’t know exactly what time he will start.
But if you don’t know what time it happens, then he could get up at any moment and start preaching, right?
No, I only said I don’t know exactly what time he will start preaching. I didn’t say he could get up there at any time. Besides, the service hasn’t even started yet. Did you get a bulletin when you came in?
Yes I got a bulletin. But is there anybody who knows what time the preacher will start his message?
I don’t think anybody knows exactly what time the preacher will start preaching. I mean, I don’t even think the preacher knows what time he will start preaching.
So he might get up there before we even finish this conversation?
No, he couldn’t get up there now. The service hasn’t started yet. Have you looked in your bulletin?
No, I haven’t looked in the bulletin, but it seems that if you don’t know what time he will start preaching, and in fact no one knows what time he will start preaching, then the time could come at any moment.
You really should look in your bulletin. Inside you will find an order of service. It lists the order of events one by one. There are several things that will occur before the preacher can start his message.
So the preacher will have two messages then. One message could begin at any moment, and then there will be another message to correspond with the one in the bulletin.
You’re not making any sense. There will only be one message this morning. The bulletin gives the order of service, even though nobody knows exactly what time the preacher will get up and start preaching. The first thing that will happen is the announcements. Then the congregation will sing these songs listed here. Then after a few other things the preacher will get up and start preaching. Just because we don’t know the exact moment he will start preaching does not mean that it could happen at any moment.
But look at all these people. They are looking forward to the preacher’s message. In fact, that’s the reason why I came here this morning. One lady told me that she is looking forward to the blessed hope of his message. Now if she is looking forward to the blessed hope of his message, how can you say all this other stuff will happen first? They are all expecting to hear the preacher preach. If they are expecting it to happen, it seems like it could happen at any moment.
Just because these people are looking forward to the preacher’s message does not mean that they are convinced it might occur at any moment. These people have all read the order of service contained in the bulletin. They all know that these other events come first. They are looking forward to the message, but they will patiently endure until the time comes. You should really study the order of service so that you will be prepared for the message.
But since nobody knows what time it will start, what’s the point? It could happen at any moment. It seems like there must be two messages. There is one message that all these people are looking forward to, and then there is another message after all these other events. I see the bulletin describes it as the glorious message happening after these events. So that must be different from the blessed hope of his message.
This is pointless. You will understand shortly. I suggest you study the order of service contained in your bulletin so you will know when it is about to happen. You really need to take you seat now. The announcements are starting.
But…. the announcements can’t be starting, can they? The blessed hope of his message hasn’t happened yet. How can the service be starting when the any-moment message hasn’t happened? All these people couldn’t be deceived, could they? They were looking forward to the message and it hasn’t happened yet. This can’t be the real service, can it? How can the service be starting if the message hasn’t happened?
This is the logic of the Pretribulational Rapture. The Olivet Discourse gives us the order of events for the coming of Christ. The glorious coming occurs after several events including the abomination of desolation, the great tribulation, the darkening of the sun, moon, and stars, and the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, see Matthew 24 and Mark 13. Just because no one knows the exact day or hour that this will occur does not mean that there is another coming of Christ that will occur before all these things. Just because the apostles looked forward to the coming of Christ in their epistles does not mean that they thought Christ could come at any moment. We need to study the Word of God which gives the clear order of events for the coming of Christ. We must patiently endure through the events that must occur looking forward to the glorious coming of Christ, which is also the blessed hope for the church.
When someone tells you that the Bible says that Christ could come back at any moment, please speak the truth in love. Tell them they are misquoting the Bible. The Bible states that no one knows the day or the hour, but it does not say that Christ could come at any moment. The above story clearly demonstrates the difference. When the great tribulation begins, will they be in denial? If we study the order of events, we will be prepared to witness for Christ when the great tribulation begins, because we know what occurs shortly after.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman