If This Isn't Heaven, I Don't Know What Is

Biblical Reasons Why We Should
And Practical Suggestions on How We Can

Create Heaven on Earth

The Rapture

I have good news and bad news.

First the Bad News.

Millions of Americans believe Satan is more powerful than God.

It's almost as though they believe that God made a mistake by creating human beings and placing them on planet earth with the assignment of creating heaven on earth. It turns out the whole idea of human beings on earth is a bad idea and a miserable failure. God should have just kept them in heaven. While some Christians are praying "Thy will be done on earth as in heaven," millions of other Christians pray that the antichrist will soon be revealed so they can be raptured into heaven, believing that God has predestined Satan's will to be done on earth.

During the 1970's millions of Christians were caught up in Rapture Fever. They concluded that Satan was in charge (Satan Is Alive and Well on Planet Earth), that God no longer had providential control over the world (The Late Great Planet Earth), and that the end of human history was at hand (The Terminal Generation). Their ticking prophecy clock, which predicted a "rapture" by the time the State of Israel was 40 years old (1948 + 40 - 7 = 1981), was wrong. Their false prophets would have been executed a few thousand years earlier (Deut. 18:20-22).

The good news is that millions of Americans are interested in what the Bible says about the future.

As this web page is being written, millions of Americans are buying millions of books in the "Left Behind" series, a fictional account of what authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins believe the Bible predicts for the future. Atheists laugh that anyone would take the Bible seriously.

Even Better News:

None of these readers are being arrested and jailed for possessing Christian literature. We have so much to be thankful for, not the least that we live in a nation that says "In God We Trust." That brings us (in a backhanded way) to

More Good News:

America's Founding Fathers did not believe in "the rapture." If they did, we might still be a British colony. Today's rapture-generation never thinks about forming a Christian nation. When the Framers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution hammered out the documents that changed the way the world thinks about government, the doctrine of "the rapture" had not yet been invented. It's likely that the Founders would not have believed in "the rapture" even if it had been invented, because the idea of a "rapture" would not have not appealed to future-oriented men of courage, discipline, and a strong sense of justice. These were not men who were looking for an escape from life's problems. They risked "our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor" to fight for "Liberty Under God." If they hadn't, we might be living under an atheistic communist dictatorship today.

Back to the Bad News:

In contrast to America's Founding Fathers, Christians today are part of a TV-educated "ME generation." We don't risk anything to secure "the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity." Countless Christians during the 1970's decided not to bring any posterity at all into this world for fear that they might miss the rapture and go through "the Great Tribulation." They lacked the confidence of America's Founding Fathers; they did not believe that they had the God-given right to abolish tyranny, and they believed that God had predestined the triumph of tyrants and the defeat of the Godly.

If you really care about what the Bible says about the future, this is the website for you.

It won't be easy reading, like Late Great Planet Earth or the "Left Behind" series, but it will force you to be like the Bereans, who turned to the Scriptures to confirm what they heard. In fact, this book is a series of "spiritual exercises" which will strengthen the flabby spiritual muscles of today's wimpy ME-generation Christians who want to drop out of the race, the fight, and the struggle of being a Christian; who want heaven handed to them on a silver platter.

There are many ideas that millions of Christians hold in our day that are utterly without precedent in the history of Christianity. I believe that Bereans who study the Scriptures will discover that these ideas are without precedent in the Bible as well.

Many Christians misunderstand the timing of prophetic events because they misunderstand their nature. And they misunderstand the nature of these events in part because they ignore Christ's clear teachings as to their timing. Find out more here.

The doctrine of the "pre-tribulational rapture" is probably one of the most destructive doctrines in all of human history. Nearly half a billion people have been murdered since the doctrine was invented in the early 1800's. Rapture-oriented Christians say nothing in the face of monstrous evil. "It's a sign of the times." The commands of their Master to "exercise dominion over the earth" (Genesis 1:26-28) and make all nations Christian (Matthew 28:18-20) are ignored.

Millions of Christians are waiting, not working.

Many of America's Founding Fathers and greatest statesmen would have condemned this attitude. Many of them attended Princeton University, whose Founder, Gilbert Tennent, taught dedicated hard work and denounced escapism:

When the late Rev. George Whitefield was last in this country, Mr. Tennent paid him a visit as he was passing through New Jersey. Mr. Whitefield and a number of other clergymen, among whom was Mr. Tennent, were invited to dinner by a gentleman in the neighbourhood where the late Mr. William Livingston, since governor of New Jersey resided, and who, with several other lay gentlemen, was among the guests. After dinner, in the course of an easy and pleasant conversation, Mr. Whitefield adverted to the difficulties attending the gospel ministry arising from the small success with which their labours were crowned. He greatly lamented that all their zeal-activity and fervour availed but little; said that he was weary with the burdens and fatigues of the day; declared his great consolation was that in a short time his work would be done, when he should depart and be with Christ; that the prospect of a speedy deliverance had supported his spirits, or that he should before now have sunk under his labour. He then appealed to the ministers around him, if it were not their great comfort that they should soon go to rest. They generally assented, excepting Mr. Tennent, who sat next to Mr. Whitefield in silence; and by his countenance [revealed] but little pleasure in the conversation. On which Mr. Whitefield, turning to him and tapping him on the knee, said, "Well! brother Tennent, you are the oldest man amongst us, do you not rejoice to think that your time is so near at hand, when you will be called home and freed from all the difficulties attending this chequered scene?" Mr. T. bluntly answered, "I have no wish about it." Mr. W pressed him again; and Mr. T. again answered, "No, sir, it is no pleasure to me at all, and if you knew your duty it would be none to you. I have nothing to do with death; my business is to live as long as I can --as well as I can -- and to serve my Lord and Master as faithfully as I can, until He shall think proper to call me home." Mr. W still urged for an explicit answer to his question, in case the time of death were left to his own choice. Mr. Tennent, replied, "I have no choice about it; I am God's servant, and have engaged to do his business as long as he pleases to continue me therein. But now, brother, let me ask you a question. What do you think I would say if I was to send my man Tom into the field to plough, and if at noon I should go to the field and find him lounging under a tree, and complaining, 'Master, the sun is very hot, and the ploughing hard and difficult; I am tired and weary of the work you have appointed me, and am overdone with the heat and burden of the day; do, master, let me return home and be discharged from this hard service ?' What would I say? Why, that he was an idle, lazy fellow; that it was his business to do the work that I had appointed him, until I, the proper judge, should think fit to call him home. Or suppose you had hired a man to serve you faithfully for a given time in a particular service, and he should, without any reason on your part, and before he had performed half his service, become weary of it, and upon every occasion be expressing a wish to be discharged or placed in other circumstances. Would you not call him a wicked and slothful servant, and unworthy of the privileges of your employ?" The mild, pleasant, and Christian-like manner in which this reproof was administered, rather increased the social harmony and edifying conversation of the company, who became satisfied that it was very possible to err, even in desiring with undue earnestness "to depart and be with Christ," which in itself is "far better", than to remain in this imperfect state; and that it is the duty of the Christian in this respect to say, "All the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change come."
Archibald Alexander, The Log College: Biographical Sketches of William Tennent and his Students (London, Banner of Truth Trust, 1968).

"OK," you say, "I'll work while I wait. But I don't want to go through The Great Tribulation."

Don't worry.

You won't.

How can I be sure?

If you will follow these links and search the Scriptures like the Bereans, you can be sure.

The Great Tribulation was a threat to those who ignored the message of "love your enemies" which Christ spelled out in His Sermon on the Mount and throughout His ministry. They wanted to rule over their enemies with force and violence, and they expected a messiah to come and turn the tables on their oppressors, and put the oppressed on the top of a police-state pyramid.

This is exactly what modern "dispensational premillennialists" are looking for. Their concept of "the Kingdom" is the same as the Jews who had the Kingdom taken from them. To those who wanted a messiah like the gentile kings, and who didn't want to reign by serving and suffering, Jesus said "Get thee behind Me, Satan!"

When Jesus said "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matthew 24:21), He added, "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled" (Matthew 24:34). The Terminal Generation lived during The Last Days of the Old Testament, and the Great Tribulation occurred when the Roman armies put Jerusalem Under Siege around AD 70. Jesus said

Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels. Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. (Mark 8:38f.)

Matthew's Gospel has this:

16:27   For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
28   Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

Jesus and the Apostles repeatedly assert that the tribulation, the judgment and the coming of Christ would happen within one generation -- within the generation of those who witnessed Christ and either believed in Him or murdered Him.

The Coming of Christ on the Clouds was like the coming in the clouds described by the Old Testament prophets. It was not like that described by Hal Lindsey and other false prophets. The Coming of the Antichrist is not a future event. It happened during the The Last Days of the Old Covenant.

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. (1 John 2:18)

It WAS the last time. We are no longer living in the last days of the Old Covenant. The Coming of the New Covenant marked the end of the Old Covenant. We need not fear The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  It is Finished!

The Timing and Nature of "End Time" Events

For centuries, Christians have been saying "The End is Near!" These people are now a laughing stock because they've been saying "Any Moment Now!" for decades. It's embarrassing.

How could they be so mistaken and so confident? It's easy to explain. Christ and His Apostles repeatedly said "The End is Near!" and "Any Moment Now!" Here is a list of over 100 verses which say "The End is Near!" They were confident. So our date-setters are confident as well, echoing the claims of the New Testament.

Did the end come? Did the Second Coming happen? Did the planet melt into nuclear oblivion and become re-formed into a New Heavens and New Earth?

If you say NO, then obviously Jesus and the Apostles were wrong. They were mistaken, and the Bible is untrustworthy. They said the world was coming to an end, and it didn't.

This causes the theologians and the date-setters to go into high gear. "Yes," they say, "Jesus said 'This generation shall not pass until all these things take place.' But He didn't mean 'this generation,' He meant a generation 2,000 years later, or He meant an entire race of people, or He meant . . . " and the verbal gymnastics go on and on.

Atheists have read this double-talk and have dismissed Christianity.

Is it possible that we misunderstood the nature of what Jesus said would soon take place? The timing of these events seems inescapably clear.

Growing numbers of Bible-believing Christians are coming to the conclusion that what Jesus and the Apostles were predicting was not the end of the physical planet earth, but the end of the Old Covenant, the end of the world of the temple sacrifices. These things took place when Jerusalem was destroyed by Roman Armies in the year 70 AD. These Christians believe that "all these things," as Jesus said, actually came upon "this generation."

"But Jesus said the stars would fall from the sky!" some will say. "That didn't happen!"

The Old Testament prophets also said the stars would fall from the sky. They said that every time a great empire or government was about to be destroyed by the judgment of God. These kingdoms were destroyed, just as the prophets foretold. It turns out "stars" means something other than the astronomical phenomenon we usually think about.

Start Being a Berean

Most Christians never read the Old Testament. They don't know how the prophets thought. When Jesus and the Apostles (who did know their Bibles, and did know how the prophets thought) quoted the Old Testament, most Christians don't even know it, because they're unfamiliar with Old Testament verses and patterns. Jesus was saying the same things the Old Testament prophets were saying:

The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
(Joel 3:16)

10 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:
30 And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
(Joel 2:10,30)

For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.
(Jeremiah 4:28)

And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.
(Isaiah 51:16)

Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.
(Isaiah 13:13)

Read the entire chapter where these verses are found. Even seminary professors who teach that the rapture could occur at any moment and the destruction of planet earth is just around the corner will admit that those Old Testament prophecies have been fulfilled. The fall of Edom, the fall of Babylon, the fall of Tyre and Sidon -- they all took place just as the Old Testament prophets said they would. Their "heavens" were shaken, just like the prophets said they would.

This book does not attempt to duplicate the work done along these lines. We'll provide links to other sources. But here's the key:

Jesus said X, Y, and Z were "at hand" and would "shortly come to pass" -- before those who heard Him speak would die. We have our ideas about what X, Y and Z are. Our ideas are wrong. It's clear that Jesus and the Apostles declared with certainty that X, Y, and Z would take place in their lifetimes. But our conception of X, Y, and Z did not take place in the first century after Christ. Since our conception of the nature of X, Y and Z must be correct, we think the Biblical statements concerning the timing of these events must be wrong.

Only self-centered TV addicts could think that the Bible is wrong and we are right.

The fact is that Jesus was right when He said "soon," and we are wrong when we think we know what kind of events He was saying would happen. When the Bible says "the elements" will soon be dissolved, it isn't talking about neutrons, protons and electrons. It happened already, just like and when Jesus and the Apostles said it would, but what happened is not like what the Televangelists describe will happen.

Many Christians will give up reading at this point. "Impossible," they declare.

If any of this strikes you as being even remotely possible, you might be interested in a view of prophecy called "preterism."

Or, you can click here for an overview of the rest of this book.

Table of Contents

continued click here for next chapter