This Stand in the Gap Today program originally aired on August 23, 2022. To listen to the program, please click HERE.
Sam Rohrer: Well, from the day that Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command and ate of the fruit… Do you remember that? Then that brought the curse of sin into the very DNA of all humanity and creation. From that point, God foretold a divine plan of redemption, of which we talk about so much on this program. First recorded in Genesis 3:15, God informed Satan that one day, He, God, would bring to pass the means by which redemption would come to mankind, how the serpent’s head would be crushed, and the heel of this Redeemer, we know now the Messiah, would be bruised.
These recorded words in Scripture of future events are known as prophecy. Since that day 6,000 years ago, mankind has looked ahead to that which would come. They looked back to that which was promised and fulfilled, and then they look around, just like we do today. We look around as to, how do we make sense of what we see, in order that we can best think and live and plan. Well, that was true of Adam and Enoch and Noah, and it was true of Abraham, who was promised a future, a family, and a nation through which this Redeemer would come and bless the whole world.
Based on that prophecy to Abraham, he began to look ahead to that which would come, as was told to us in Hebrews 11:11, where Scripture records, “For Abraham looked,” obviously forward, looked ahead, “to a city which hath its foundations, whose Maker and Builder is God.”
Old Testament saints looked ahead. We know that from the reading of the Old Testament. Old Testament prophets recorded that which had come and would come. The disciples of Jesus’ day, they also wanted to know what was next. When Jesus was about to depart, they wanted to know, as in Matthew 24 and elsewhere, the evidence or the observable signs of the times that would indicate the timing of Christ’s Second Coming. Then, Jesus Himself, responding to this desire, told them, and by implication there clearly, that we’re not to be ignorant of the times and what is to come. Why? So that we don’t walk in darkness, as others do, who have no hope. We’re different. We should be.
Jesus said expressly in Matthew 24:6 not to be perplexed when we see major perilous signs of the times occur, because He said these events simply must come to pass. Later the apostle Paul reassured the church at Thessalonica and elsewhere that knowing the comprehensive and the certainty of things to come, we are to comfort one another. That’s the foundational purpose for providing knowledge and comfort that I want to invite in today, for the first time, to Stand in the Gap Today, Pastor Carl Broggi.
Pastor Carl Broggi is the senior pastor of Community Bible Church of Beaufort, South Carolina. He’s pastored the church for several thousand people, I believe, there for nearly 30 years, and father of five. He also hosts his own radio program, entitled Search the Scriptures. Pastor Broggi is actually in the middle of a series of sermons on prophecy, the end times, Israel, and all that how we see around us is fitting into what the Bible says. I’ve been listening to those, and I was prompted of the Lord to invite him to come on this program to share some of this emphasis.
The title I’ve taken for today’s program is this, Comforting Words in Days of Confusion: Israel, Prophecy, and the Rapture. We’re going to touch on all of those, and briefly, just really touch on them today. Anyways, with that, Pastor Carl Broggi, thanks for being with me today. It’s a real pleasure.
Thank you, Sam. I’m honored to be invited on your program today.
Brother Carl, you’re currently in the midst… This is more of a personal question right now. You’re going about 15 weeks or so. Your sermons are about an hour-plus in length. They’re longer than normal, but boy, I’m telling you, I have enjoyed them. Ladies and gentlemen, you can find all of them at their website, communitybiblechurch.us. That being the case, here’s just, I guess, a personal question for you. What motivated you to actually engage in this lengthy emphasis on prophecy? What were you hoping to accomplish in your congregation by going through extensively comprehensive understanding of prophecy?
Well, it’s a fair and great question. Obviously, any pastor who’s committed to preaching the whole counsel of God, and that’s what Paul said, when he met the Ephesian elders. He said, “I didn’t shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God,” the whole counsel of Scripture. Anything and everything, he said, that was profitable in that chapter, in Acts 20. That would include, certainly, Bible prophecy.
Typically, I preach through entire books of the Bible, chapter by chapter, verse by verse, and those can be found at searchthescriptures.org, but with that said, if you’re going to preach through entire books, it’s impossible not to address the subject of prophecy. About a third of the Bible, some would say less, but there are some passages that are found in two places, but approximately a third of the Bible is prophetic in nature, and a little bit over half of the prophecies that God has given have yet to be fulfilled.
If you’re just going to teach through God’s Word, you’re going to hit these subjects. Every once in a while, I want to give kind of a concerted effort in helping, especially, new people, because we grow, by God’s grace, our church largely by conversion, and even people who come as believers, for the most part, they’ve not heard Bible prophecy addressed or spoken of, and so every once in a while, I’ll do a special series. I’m doing a… I think it’s going to go 15 weeks. It might go 20, but it’s on the scope of prophecy, from the catching up of the Church all the way into eternity future.
That’s fantastic. We’ll get into more of that in the next segment. We’ll talk about why prophecy’s not talked about more, but just from a 10,000 foot level here, just to make sure we’re on the same page with our listeners, define prophecy and what is meant when we say biblical prophecy? Define that, please, for us, so that we establish that basis as we go into the program.
Yeah, so prophecy is basically God writing history before it happens. He does that through Scripture. It’s one of the internal proofs by which we know the Bible is the only Book God wrote. There are no futuristic events that God spoke of in advance in the Quran, because He didn’t inspire that. There’s no prophecy in the Book of Mormon. There’s no prophecy in the Upanishads. What makes the Bible unique is it tells the future before it happens, and so when Moses, of course, gave the test of a true prophet in Deuteronomy 18, if I were claiming to be a prophet, and I said, “Well, let me tell you what’s going to happen a thousand years from now,” well, you couldn’t test it. How would I know whether it [inaudible 00:06:56] truth, because I won’t be around in a thousand years, so he said they had to tell a short-range prophecy, and that would lend credence to their future-range prophecies.
You see that pattern all the way through the Scripture, whether it’s a prophet who has a book that follows his name, like Isaiah or Jeremiah or maybe lesser known prophets, but they would tell both short- and long-range prophecies, and that affirmed that they were, indeed a prophet of God. God, among other things put prophecy in the Scripture to verify that this is His Book. If I said to you, “Three hundred years from now, your great-great-great-great grandson is going to cross Highway 280, get hit by a blue pickup truck, license plate number 227998,” and I made that prediction and it came true, you’d say, “That’s incredible.
It is incredible. Pastor Carl Broggi is my guest today. Our theme today is this, Comforting Words in Days of Confusion: Israel, Prophecy, and the Rapture. We’re looking at prophecy, an overview program today. When we come back, we’ll talk about prophecy and its purpose.
In the book of Revelation 1:1-3, I’m just going to read those three verses, because it ties right into what we’re talking about here today. My guest, Pastor Carl Broggi, senior pastor of Community Bible Church in Beaufort, South Carolina, talking about prophecy today, and giving an overview, really, on this program, so you can get an understanding of what it is, why it is, and how we should respond to what it is. In that regard, here are the first three verses of Revelation.
It says this, “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant, John, who bore witness to the Word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near,” or as the King James says, “at hand.”
Carl, in the last segment, you shared a little bit from why you’re embarking on the 15-20 week series on prophecy, and from the biblical perspective now, I’d like for you, if you could, lay out the foundation for the purpose for prophecy. You described it a little bit in the last segment, but in the verse that I just read, it says that there are blessings that come for those who read, those who hear, and those who keep prophecy, what is written. Expand upon that, perhaps, if you want, at least, but the purpose for God’s people to know prophecy, and along with that, the pulpits to preach prophecy.
Well, Revelation, obviously, is a pretty amazing book, because it’s the only book in the Bible, Sam, that has a challenge that basically says, “Read me. I’m special. If you read me, you’ll receive a special blessing.” There are certainly many admonitions found in Scripture as to why you should read the Book, the Holy Scripture, but this one is a very pointed one. God tells us to read prophecy, but I think for a number of reasons.
Number one, it motivates us to live a holy life. When Peter speaks of the Day of the Lord, that timeframe that begins after the Rapture and goes all the way through the millennial reign of the Messiah, and at the end of the Day of the Lord, He destroys the heavens and the earth, creates new ones, He says, “This is going to happen. What sort of people ought you to be? Living a godly life,” and so prophecy, one, motivates us. It spurs us to live a godly life, and it also gives us perspective, because the secularist believes history is circular. God’s Word teaches it’s linear. We’re on a progression. There’s a clear starting point, something that they deny through the evolutionary process, and there’s a clear ending point, and we’ll move into the next age.
It gives us perspective, and it gives us hope, so that we’re not confused over how discombobulated the world is. People need that. They need a sense of hope and a sense of perspective. That’s what the cults do. They put the carrot out there, but it’s a false hope. We who have the true hope need to preach it.
Okay, Carl. Did you say three? I wrote down two. Prophecy should motivate us to live a holy life; secondly, gives us a perspective, not circular but linear. Did you give a third one?
Well, no, but there’s many I could give. A third one is it should certainly motivate us towards the fulfillment of the Great Commission. There’s the Great Commandment to love God with your whole heart, mind, and soul, and the overflow of the Great Commandment is the Great Commission, as you go make converts or disciples of all peoples.
Sadly, today, the average Christian no longer shares his faith. He doesn’t really see his next-door neighbor, the fellow he works with at school or at work, as headed towards an eternity without the living God if he doesn’t know Christ as his Savior, so his lips are shut. Prophecy changes that. When you say, no, there’s a real future for both the believer and the unbeliever, and just as God literally fulfilled the prophecies for the First Coming, He’s going to literally fulfill these future prophecies right down to a place of eternal retribution called hell. That should motivate us to do what Christ commanded us to do. It helps, again, with perspective.
It sure does. It does in my mind, but that leads to the logical question. Our listeners, because we do a lot on the prophetical emphasis here, mostly tied into Israel, and we’ll talk about that, how you can’t separate prophecy from Israel the way the Bible puts it together, but we also know… I have George Barna on this program a lot. In his research, he would indicate and say that, lo and behold, less than 10% of the pulpits are preaching anything about prophecy, and yet, everything you described to me sounds like it’s every reason why it ought to be preached. Why do you believe there are so few pulpits and/or pastors that are preaching anything about prophecies in these days?
Well, I don’t know that there’s any one reason, but certainly there’s a lot of pastors who have been discouraged by these charlatans, these zealots, these date setters, these crazies, so to speak, and they’re afraid, if they speak on Bible prophecy, that they will be coupled in with them. Well, that’s not a reason not to obey God. God commands us to preach the whole counsel of Scripture.
Yes, we can be misunderstood, but I think when you address those issues directly and say, “Hey, look. This has always happened. There’s always been date setters, et cetera, and most of that which has been done has been done by unbelievers and cults.”
I think another reason is, sadly, a lot of pastors go to seminaries where the subject of end times, eschatology, is no longer addressed. One of my profs as Dallas Seminary, Dr. Howard Hendricks, used to always say, “You cannot impart that which you do not possess.” One of the distinctives, at least, [inaudible 00:14:16] Dallas Seminary was to train and equip men to preach, prophetically, God’s Word. Some guys, too, sadly are unwilling to do the hard work. You don’t even have to go to seminary. I would say that it’s probably an accurate number to say that 70% of the pastors in America have never been to seminary, but that doesn’t mean they can’t teach the whole counsel of Scripture, but it is hard work.
A lot of pastors are killing themselves doing the wrong things. The church has created a job description for them that’s not even biblical instead of the time they need to prepare God’s Word on a weekly basis. Oh, they do it Saturday night for a few minutes, but it’s a major part of their job description. Apart from prayer, personal evangelism, it’s the preparation of the Word of God, and that’s hard work, and some guys are unwilling to do it. They’ve turned the pastorate into a fluffy, cushy kind of job, and that’s sad when that happens, because the people suffer.
They sure do. Yet, the people we know, from our listeners across the country, I mean, many are looking for bold and clear preaching, but we find it is hard to find, some of that for reasons you just gave. Let’s go into this next question, as we talk about prophecy, dates. Yeah, we know the problem with those who have set dates in the past. Except the dates that God sets, we’re not in the business of setting dates.
Yet, when we look at the nation of Israel, and this disconnect here, prophecy and Israel, prophecy and the Jews. Can they be separated, number one? Number two, is there something, though, about timing that is triggered perhaps by Israel when Israel came together as a nation in 1948? If so, what? What began? Did that start a clock, more or less? Explain that, please.
Well, it’s a great question, because just as God used Israel to bring about the First Coming of Christ, God’s Word is clear that He’s going to use the nation of Israel to bring about the Second Coming of Christ. Sadly, because of Reformed theology, and there’s aspects of Reformed theology that every true, born again believer would totally embrace, the substitutionary atonement, et cetera, but there are aspects that, in their doctrine of end times, they believe that the Church is the New Israel, that the Church has replaced Israel. That’s just erroneous. It really comes out of Roman Catholicism and some of these guys, Calvin and Luther, who were coming out of that system of theology, and while they embraced a lot of true things, they carried some error with them.
Certainly, the Church has not replaced Israel. God says, both through Moses and Jesus, that He’s going to spread the Jews to the four corners of the earth, but in the latter times, and that is a term that is used to refer to that very last timeframe before the Messiah returns, He’ll gather the Jewish people into the land. He did that. In 1890, when we had some demographics, there was approximately 20,000 Jewish people living in Israel. When they became a nation, on May 14, 1948, there were 600,000 Jews. Today, there’s about seven million Jews. There’s only about 12.5 to 15 million, depending on whose numbers you use, Jews on the whole planet, and yet, this small group of people who live in a small portion of the world, about the size of Delaware, are going to be used of God to bring the Messiah back. Then Jesus said, He cannot come back until the Jewish people say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Israel becoming an established nation was an important event. Dr. Walvoord, I was having lunch with him one day. He’s been in heaven now for many years. He said, “When Israel became a nation,” he said, “It was like I went to sleep at night, but I couldn’t close my eyes.” I’ll never forget him saying that. It was such an amazing miracle that this people, who had been spread across the world, God has brought back, and He continues to bring them back. They are the index to the Return of Christ.
Okay. Ladies and gentlemen, Brother Carl, that brings us right up here to the break. In the next segment, right after this break here, we’re going to move, based on what we just talked about… Talked about the definition of prophecy. We talked about the blessings that come from reading it, hearing it, obeying it, connection to Israel, God’s plan of redemption, God’s not done with Israel, clock started in 1948, and the regathering, in particular. When we come back, we’re going to talk about and lay out some chronology. I’m going to ask Dr. Carl Broggi, our guest, to lay out a chronology of prophecy from the beginning to the time of Christ, from the time of Christ to where we are now, and then, also, what will come ahead of us. I think all of this will be wonderfully exciting.
Well, if you’re just joining us at our midpoint in the program, thanks for being with us today. Our special guest is Dr. Carl Broggi, senior pastor of Community Bible Church in Beaufort, South Carolina. First time he’s been with us, and I know that if you’ve been listening so far, you have enjoyed his clarity in presentation. Our focus today is really on that matter of prophecy. We talk a lot about it on this program, but I have just been really moved of God that we need to do more, because there has never been a time when we have seen and can witness what the Scripture talks about coming to such fast fruition as we are today. Now, that’s just not for information’s sake. That is a motivational sake.
It should cause us to do something. Well, understanding it is partly why we’re trying to go through this program today. Again, this is an oversight program. We’ll take and build out, Lord’s willing, further pieces of these things that we identify. Pastor Broggi’s site is communitybiblechurch.us, and I believe, Brother Carl, searchthescriptures.com? Is that what it is? What is that?
Okay, searchthescriptures.org. You’ll find other information relative to all of this on there. Now, that being the case, let me jump back into this, because biblical prophecy, literally, Pastor Broggi gave a definition of it, but a literal definition is it’s a discourse or a narrative emanating from divine inspiration and declaring, and this is key, the purposes of God. Prophecy talks about the purposes of God.
As recorded in the New Testament, prophecy is the prediction of events relating to Christ’s Kingdom and its speedy triumph, of which Jesus would not have us to be ignorant, but alert, knowledgeable, and faith strengthening, and the reasons that you heard Brother Carl share just a little bit ago motivate us to live a holy life, give us a perspective, not a world perspective, but a biblical worldview perspective. It should motivate us to fulfill the Great Commission. Those are all important things. So, what’s the chronology of fulfilled prophecy and yet-to-be-fulfilled prophecy, about which we are not to be ignorant, as the apostle Paul specifically used those words in his address to the Thessalonian Church.
Carl, before you give an overview of fulfilled prophecy, and I want you to do that from Genesis 3:15 to Christ’s First Coming, answer this question first, before you go into that. That is this. You made a reference earlier to a faulty circular view of prophecy, as compared to a proper linear view of prophecy. I’m going to use that word chronology. Chronological, I think, would be linear. What is that? Why is that important that we understand the chronological layout of prophecy?
Well, the unbeliever and the liberal theologian wants us to believe that this world has been going on for millions, potentially billions, of years with no clear beginning and no clear end, and things just cyclically move through time through an evolutionary process; whereas, God’s Word is very clear. There’s a definitive beginning, and there’s a definitive end with each aspect of God’s plan.
The liberal denies that, and so he has no reference points as to where we are in history. This is why theistic evolution, that some have proposed as alternatives that Christians can embrace gladly… You had Tim Keller in his book 20 years ago, Reasons for God, and he said, “Well, theistic evolution is a viable option for the Christian.” No, it’s not, because it denies the historicity of God’s Word and its authority. Again, God gives us the big perspective, and we don’t want to miss that.
That is great. Okay, let’s move into this now. This is an impossibility, but I think you can do it. From Genesis 3:15, I cited that, God gave an emphasis that said the serpent’s head was going to be bruised, and the Redeemer’s heel would be bruised, crushed and bruised. Put that around there. Nonetheless, from that time until Christ came, can you give an overview of the chronology of the key events of God’s plan and redemption in that period of time?
Yes, so He makes the promise of a Savior. God created man with a free will. Man chose to disobey God. We’re not victims. We’re participants with Adam. We sinned in it with Adam, and so sin entered into the world and, with it, death.
God makes the promise in the protoevangelium, the First Gospel, Genesis 3:15, He’ll send a Savior. He begins to unfold that, and He narrows the focus through Abraham, narrows it further through the tribe of Judah, the people of Israel, through whom the Messiah will come. In fact, He pinpoints it in one of the great prophecies of Scripture, a mathematical prophecy, the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel, and he speaks of a decree that will go out to rebuild the city of Jerusalem, and then he gives the number of years, 483 years, by which we can expect the Messiah to come.
Messiah came. The Jews rejected Jesus, for the most part. He came to His own, and His own received Him not. Right now, we are in the Church Age. We’re between the 69th and the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy, and God is building His Church. The next great event will be the catching up of the Church, the word Rapture [foreign language 00:25:03] means to be caught up, and it comes from Latin.
Some people say, “Well, the Rapture’s not in the Bible.” Well, the word Bible is not in the Bible, and the word trinity is not in the Bible, but the catching up of the Church is. When that happens, a period of time will unfold upon the earth, known as the Great Tribulation Period. It’s the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy. The Jews are going to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord. He’ll use 144,000 evangelists/missionaries. He’ll use two witnesses. He’ll use even an angel of God to preach the Gospel, and this Gospel of the kingdom shall go to the whole world. The Great Commission will be fulfilled during the time of the Great Tribulation Period, and then the end, the Return of Jesus to the earth will come.
First, He comes for the Church. When we’re in heaven, we’re judged as believers and rewarded accordingly to our faithfulness and dependence on God, and on the earth the Great Tribulation Period unfolds. At the end of the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy, Jesus literally comes, sets His feet on the Mount of Olives. Again, people spiritualize the Bible, but there’ll be literally a river that will flow from the Temple Mount all the way to the Dead Sea. You’ve been there before. You’ll be able to fish in the Dead Sea. It’s going to be a miracle.
All these prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled, in relation to Israel, et cetera, will literally be fulfilled. Jesus will then rule and reign on the earth for a thousand years. The devil will be locked up, have no ability to tempt people. Yet, Tribulation saints, who survived the Great Tribulation, will be able to reproduce and have children. The time will be protracted for a thousand years. At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be loosed, which will really show the fallenness of man in some respects. He’ll tempt some people to go against God’s Messiah, Who has been ruling on the earth. He’ll be put down. A new heaven and a new earth… This planet, this universe is going to be gone. God’s going to start brand new, and the place where our loved ones are, the New Jerusalem, that place will literally, physically, actually come down and sit on a brand new earth. It’ll become the capital city, so to speak, of what we typically refer to as heaven. That’s the broad sweep.
That is a fantastic broad sweep. Let me come and ask you this. Let’s go back now to the time in which we live now. When Christ ascended, after the resurrection, when He ascended, He says, “As you see me go, so I will come.” In that period of time, until He comes back again, just like your thoughts on this, there are jobs, obligations, duties, that all the participants are to be doing right now. For instance, the Church, Israel, the Godhead, I mean, everybody has a job to do in this period of time called the Church Age. Could you just summarize what those duties and obligations are? What’s God the Father doing right now? What’s Jesus doing right now, as an example?
Well, certainly, Christ is interceding on our behalf, and we speak of His intercessory ministry. The Spirit of God indwells every believer. He’s God’s down payment, God’s Earnest. He’ll live in us forever, the Bible teaches. He’ll be with you forever, Jesus said, and He’s a promise that what God began, He’ll complete, and we are dependent upon Him to fulfill the plans and purposes that He has for us. We’re saved by grace, through faith, not of works, but we’re saved unto or to do good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
God has a wonderful plan for each of our lives, and our responsibility is to walk with the Lord, to allow the Spirit of God to fill us, where we’re not grieving Him through known sin. We’re not quenching Him in an unwillingness to do what He calls us to do. We’re walking in dependence upon Him. We’re sowing to the Spirit, so four commands: Don’t grieve; don’t quench; walk by the Spirit; sow to the Spirit.
As we do that, within a local church, God fulfills the purpose that He has for us. There are no independent Christians in the New Testament. Every born again, Bible believing Christian is to be a part of a New Testament local church, because we need each other. No one person has all the spiritual gifts, and all of those gifts working together functions in a way that the body can grow up in health, and we can reach the maturity that God wants us to reach, and to fulfill the plan and purpose that He has for our lives.
God is right now building His Church. Those of us who are members of the universal body of Christ need to be a member, so to speak, of a local expression of that, of a New Testament church, where that church, in turn, is involved in winning people to the Savior, helping them to grow and develop, and then, in turn, to find their spiritual gifts and abilities, so that they can serve the body of Christ in the world at large as witnesses to Jesus, for the glory of God.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you are a believer, you are a part of the bride of Christ, the Church, in this Church Age, this 1900 years. Israel was dispersed. They’ve now been gathered together. The clock is beginning to tick. Things are changing in this transition period, and that brings us, too, to the end of the Church Age, then the Rapture, then the Tribulation. When we come back, we’re going to talk about that, aspects of that, that should give us real comfort.
Well, as we move into our final segment now, we often call it our Solutions Segment, we kind of wrap up and apply that which we’ve learned in the program. Again, I titled this program, Comforting Words in Days of Confusion. Clearly, we’re living in days of confusion. I think we all know that. Comforting words don’t come from just nice words. Comforting words come from truth, and that is the focus on prophecy today. It’s truth, biblical truth, that Scripture gives us for the purpose of, well, not being confused and not walking in darkness like those around us.
Since reading, hearing, and keeping the Word of God, the prophecy of this book, Revelation, we just read that earlier, is a command, which, in all those cases, brings blessing, we should want to do it, right? Who does not want to be blessed by God, right? We all ought to want to be blessed by God.
Well, since such verses as First Thessalonians, which says about knowing of, for instance, the Rapture of the Church, and the unfolding events that come about, following that, and that’s what our special guest, Dr. Carl Broggi, enunciated in the last segment, the unfolding events that are coming ahead of us, following the Rapture and the Tribulation, a very troublesome time. Well, all right, Paul says, “Be aware of these things.” The point he’s making there is that knowing these things, about the Rapture in particular, believers… He’s talking to the folks there in Thessalonica, “Wherefore comfort one another with these words in these days.” Well, that’s for us, too.
Then, it should be knowledge that, as individuals, we should be motivated to not only know these prophetical events and all that God lays out, not only just for our own benefit, but that of our families and our friends, our church family, and frankly the unsaved, as well. Comfort one another.
All right, Carl, so here’s how we want to conclude this. Can you summarize now the prophetical events? Again, you’ve already identified them, so you don’t have to go into detail too much, but yet to unfold, regarding the Second Coming of Christ, the Rapture, and then lay that out again, so we have what is before us. Just go there first. Then I’ll come back and ask you another question.
The next great event on God’s prophetic calendar is the Rapture of the Church. When we think of the Return of Christ, it really unfolds in two parts. There’s the catching up of the Church. That’s what Paul speaks of. We don’t want you to be ignorant or uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, or those who have died, so that you don’t have to grieve like the rest, who have no hope.
The Church at Thessalonica didn’t question that they would be bodily raised. They knew that. Moses taught it. Daniel affirmed it. Job alluded to it. Yet, what they didn’t understand was the order of events, as to how they would unfold, and as to whether some of their loved ones, if they had died before the return of Jesus, that they would experience and enjoy the coming kingdom.
What I find interesting, by the way, going back to our first segment, is Paul was only in Thessalonica for three weeks. Bible prophecy was important enough to them that he addressed it, and he goes back to some of the things he had already said. If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and that’s the confession of every true believer, even so, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep, because to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. To live is Christ. To die is not a loss; it’s a gain.
The moment I die, the person inside this physical body goes home to be with Jesus, so He’ll bring back with Him departed saints, those who have fallen asleep in Jesus, and to help them to see that their loved ones will be a part of God’s future plan, that they won’t miss some of these future events, “This we say to you by the Word of the Lord,” this is what Jesus said, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am…” in heaven, that’s where we’ll be. This we say to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall not precede those who have died or fallen asleep, because Christ will come from heaven with a shout, the voice of the archangel, the trumpet of God. The dead in Christ will come out of the grave first, and then those of us who are alive will meet them in the air. There’ll be a great reunion, so they’ll be a part of these coming events.
That’s called the Rapture. We’ll all be caught up, [foreign language 00:35:05] in Greek. When we are caught up in heaven, there’ll be the judgment of the just. We will be judged in heaven, not to see if we get there. One moment after we die, we’re either in heaven or hell, but there is a judgment for the saved to determine how God will reward us for the work that He did through us. We’ll enjoy the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
Then, the next event, after that seven-year period on the earth, known as the Great Tribulation, Jesus will literally come back to the earth. We pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” That speaks to the future kingdom. The concept of the kingdom is an Old Testament concept. The length, that it’s 1,000 years, is revealed in the New Testament. Jesus will rule and reign 1,000 years upon the earth. Satan is bound during that time. At the end of the 1,000 years, he’s loosed. There is the judgment of all the lost people of all time at the Great White Throne Judgment.
The current heaven and earth are gone at that point. When that judgment unfolds, God creates a new heaven and a new earth, and we walk into eternity future. That’s the broad scheme of things.
That is great comfort for all who believe. Now, we only have just a couple minutes left. You’re just going to be able just to answer. You can’t go into detail, but there are many who are saying today, “Well, you know, the Church is going to go through that Tribulation Period,” that we’re talking about. I’ve had many discussions with many good-meaning people, who just say, “No, no. That’s got to be that way.” Why, in simple terms, does the Bible teach that the Bride of Christ, the Church Age, those saved between the time of Christ to the time of the Rapture, why they are not scheduled and why we will not go through the Tribulation Period?
Well, if you interpret prophecy in the same way that God fulfilled prophecy in the past, then you apply what we call the plain hermeneutic, just the plain reading of Scripture. When you just simply read it for what it says, you can come to no other conclusion but a pre-Tribulation Rapture. For instance, when the thousand years are complete, John writes, Satan will be released from the prison. He’ll come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, and he’ll try to get them to go against God’s Christ, Who has been ruling on the earth, Jesus, for 1,000 years. How is that possible if there’s a post-Tribulational Rapture? Because if we are here through the Tribulation, we’re caught up, given resurrection bodies, come back and make a U-turn and rule on the earth for a thousand years, our bodies will be like Christ. We will not be able to sin, and there will be no one for Satan to deceive.
But if the Church is caught up, the saints saved during the Tribulation, Jesus comes back, and those who survived the end of the Tribulation are able to have children, some of their children, because God has no grandchildren, will not receive Christ, and those will be the ones Satan tempts. You end up having to just spiritualize Scripture, write it off as not being true and accurate, to come to a post-Tribulational point of view.
All right and, boy, we could go deeper. Ladies and gentlemen, the Lord willing, and if Pastor Carl Broggi is willing to do so, I’d like to have him back, and we want to go into some further detail and build out some of these fundamental questions, because does it make a difference what you believe about these things? The answer is absolutely yes.
I’m just going to put in here my own thoughts. Some say, “Well, you know what? If you believe in the pre-Tribulation Rapture, that just makes you sit on your hands and not do anything.” I don’t, say just the opposite. If I really believe in the Rapture before the Tribulation, and that those who don’t trust Christ now are going to go through the worst time possible on earth, my motivation is increased to be living holy and doing the things that Pastor Broggi said knowing prophecy should do, so practical, so good.
Thank you, Pastor Carl Broggi, for being with us today, fantastic. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being with us. Lord willing, we’ll be back here tomorrow, and I think we’ll have an important program. Leo Hohmann will be my guest, significant information that we’re going to share, basically, about the global government and things that are happening, underpinning things you need to know. We’ll talk about that tomorrow.