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God's Not Mad at You
“How important is the rapture?”

“How important is the rapture?”

APRIL 9, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / “How important is the rapture?”

Steve Brown:
How important is the rapture? The answer to that and other questions on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
This is Key Life, dedicated to the message that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them anyway. That teaching raises a lot of questions. So here’s author and seminary professor Steve Brown, along with Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com with answers to the Bible that’ll make you free.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey man. How are you doing?

Steve Brown:
I’m doing good.

Pete Alwinson:
It’s Friday and we’re doing questions. Like we’ve done forever. It seems.

Steve Brown:
I know. It really has been 100 years, by the way, that’s the voice of Pete Alwinson. If you’re not familiar with Forge, you ought to be familiar with it. It’s growing like weeds, they’re everywhere. And these are men who have gotten serious about God and it’s changed their lives and the lives of their entire families and churches. You ought to check on it, go to ForgeTruth.com. And if you’re anywhere in central Florida, you might want to be a part of one of the Forge groups. It’s not what you think. It’s not an accountability group. I hate accountability groups. You know, Pete, if I’m going to sin, I’m not going to tell my accountability group. They’re the last ones, I’m going to tell.

Pete Alwinson:
Tell them before you sin, so you don’t.

Steve Brown:
But this is not that, it’s a place of real encouragement and growth, just as Pete’s book Like Father, Like Son is. And as Pete said for years, we’ve been sitting down in his studio on Fridays and devoting the Key Life program on Fridays to answering questions. And we’d love to get your questions. You can write to

Key Life Network

P.O. Box 5000

Maitland, Florida 32794

Or, if you’re in Canada, it’s

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can email us at Steve@keylife.org. Or if you have a question before you forget, pick up the phone and dial 1-800-KEY-LIFE and then record your question. And sometimes we use your actual voice on the program. And by the way, and you knew I was going to say this, all of those places are places should the spirit move, you could help us financially. You can do that also by texting on your phone 28950, and then following instructions. And by the way, if you haven’t checked it out our new Key Life app, you ought to check that too. At any rate, help us, if you can, financially, if you can’t, we understand. And if you do, I promise on my mother’s grave, that we’ll be as faithful with your gift as you were in giving it. Hey Pete, lead us in prayer. And we’ll get to some of these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Well, that’s the first time you’ve ever said that. Alright, let’s pray. Oh Father, thank you, that we can laugh. Thank you. As we come into your presence today, that we are your children, that you are the God who made us, the God who provides for us and the God who redeemed us. We honor you Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and we lift you up, how easy it is for us to lift ourselves up. And yet, Lord, we praise you. We worship you. We glorify you. And we find our joy in just being your children. And Lord, you know, the needs of those who are listening right now, you know, every one of us, nothing escapes your notice, you know our needs of love, of repentance, of forgiveness, of wisdom, of help, finances, Lord, you know our needs. And so, thank you for those that for whatever reason, you managed to bring to listen to Key Life and we pray that you would bless them, for your namesake. And now Lord, we ask as we do Q&A, that you would be honored and glorified. And we ask that the questions that we have could be answered in a way that honors you, as we think about our preachers, teachers, priests, and leaders for this weekend, giving them wisdom to lead us in worship. We ask for the same thing here now. As we pray in Jesus name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. Pete, this first question is an email. How important is our theological position on the end times and the rapture? It seems like Christians see it as more important and divisive than it needs to be.

Pete Alwinson:
Well, here’s how I want to say it this time. And we’ve talked about, we’ve had that question before. It’s more divisive than it needs to be. I think we both agree with, but I think it is important, because the essence of the issue of the rapture is that I think from I Thessalonians 4,

is that God takes us off the earth to meet the returning Lord Jesus as he comes.

And so, that’s how I see the rapture, but I see it as such a powerful statement, that Jesus is coming again and that we get to welcome him as the coming King, if we’re still alive, when he comes back to the planet. It’s not to escape difficulty and it’s not to escape even a suffering. It’s a means of honoring the coming King.

Steve Brown:
So, you’re saying something positive about the rapture.

Pete Alwinson:
I think it’s a very positive teaching. If you understand it properly, but a lot of people see it as escape from suffering.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. Do you remember The Late Great Planet Earth?

Pete Alwinson:
Oh man.

Steve Brown:
Who wrote that? Do you remember?

Pete Alwinson:
Hal Lindsey, remember that name?

Steve Brown:
Oh yeah. I interviewed him one time

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
on the television. It was a network television program I did. And, I said, does that mean that, if we’re raptured, have I told you that, if we’re ruptured out and we’re driving our car cars, the car’s not going to have a driver. And he said, that’s exactly what it means, and I turned to the camera, and I said, aim it at a pagan. And I don’t know if he, but I liked him a lot.

Pete Alwinson:
He was, I guess he’s, he’s still out there.

Steve Brown:
He’s still around. And, I used to give that book to a lot of people, because I saw more people led to Christ than you could believe by reading The Late Great Planet Earth. And from my perspective, I figured I could, if I could get him saved, I could straighten out their theology.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
So, yeah. Yeah. It’s a good focus, but Pete and, we don’t believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, where we are taken out, and that’s for a lot of reasons. And this program is not about controversy to prove our point. We’d be glad to share that with you, if you want to ask us, but, and Christians do disagree about that. And they’re legitimate brothers and sisters in Christ. If you break fellowship over that, you’re crazy.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Right. Right. Even things like baptism, we can agree to disagree. We can have a good calm discussion about the different views and the different views of the rapture.

Steve Brown:
That’s true. So, so important sort of, in so far as it focuses on the great hope of the church ,then it’s a really good thing. You have frequently said something to the effect that sometimes we need to quit trying so hard to get better, because as God’s children, the Holy Spirit will work and help us get better. In fact, I wrote a book about that. That’s what Three Free Sins was about. I agree, however in practical application, there is sometimes a lot of pain caused before a person gets better, in particular with anger. How do you help heal a relationship where someone is hurting those around them, while waiting for the Holy Spirit to do his sanctifying work and helping that person deal with the sin? Well, you got to understand that I never meant that you do nothing, that you become a quietest and sit around and say, God’s going to do it all. And I’m going to kill you and beat you and be angry at you, but he’ll fix it eventually, even if you die in the process. That’s not what that’s talking about, you know, I think if you have an anger problem, you ought to find out why, you ought to be talking to wise Christians or a counselor and find out the issues that are bringing it up. Often demeaning or past issues that have father problems attached to them, as you said. But you don’t just leave it alone. And if it’s anger, the first thing you do, is you go to the people you’ve hurt and ask for forgiveness and ask them to help you. And then you get better, but you do get better, but God uses a variety of circumstances to make us better. I really mean it. I think Christians worry so much about getting better, that we get worse. And if we recognize that we’re crucified with Christ, that’s not something we have to do. It is a done deal. Then you’re going to get better. And God will do that in a lot of ways. So, go out and have a milkshake kind of thing.

Pete Alwinson:
So, so let me, let me push back and say, how do we get worse if we’re so worried about getting better?

Steve Brown:
Oh, we become obsessive.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
I mean, we’re given, we have a nature of obsessiveness, and the more we, listen, if I say Pete, don’t you dare think about purple elephants for at least three minutes. For those three minutes, all you’re going to do is think about purple elephants. And, and not only that, it becomes very self ego centered. You know, the constant desire to, is not focused on Jesus. It’s focused on us. How can I quit this or quit that, or be nicer or be kinder or more loving. I got to work on this heart. And the more you do, the more you become focused on yourself, and that’s not the way to go about it.

Pete Alwinson:
I agree. I agree. And I, and I think this, this comment is so powerful, and you never have said, that you just sit back and, and never confront anybody who has problems. No, we, we deal with each other in the body of Christ all the time. And if somebody has an obvious anger problem, we’ve got to stop and deal with it. And I remember being in an elder, a subset of an elder meeting once when one of my elders kind of cut loose and I said, time out, we’re brothers in Christ. Why are you so angry? And he said, you know, my wife says, I get ticked off on this point and I’m sorry. And for the rest,

Steve Brown:
That’s a good thing.

Pete Alwinson:
It was a great thing, and for the rest of the conference, we had a great subset of an elder meeting. It was wonderful, but you got to talk about it.

Steve Brown:
You really do.

Pete Alwinson:
We, sometimes we are just unaware of our sins. A lot of times we are.

Steve Brown:
I agree. I, one time went to a deacons meeting and, and they, they had had all kinds of anger issues in that meeting. And I sat down and they were fighting about something. And I said, wait, just a minute. I said, I don’t understand these issues. So you gotta, you gotta explain them to me. So, I can choose up a side and get in this fight and, and all of a sudden, just that kind of semi-humorous thing broke it. And we ended up spending the evening, talking about why we were so angry. So God uses a lot of things.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right.

Steve Brown:
Whenever we, I was going to start a new question, but we don’t have time to do another question.

Pete Alwinson:
Oh, I know.

Steve Brown:
So why don’t you sing a hymn?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Right. As you know, that’ll never have it on him broadcast or this broadcast would be over.

Steve Brown:
That’s true. We could sing a duet and bring Key Life to it’s knees, quickly. Guys, we really do have to go. And we are appreciative of your being a part of that. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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