Defining the Gospel
Folks, God’s “rightly divided” Word proves [2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:21] that the “hour of temptation” [peirasmos] in Revelation 3:10 is a reference to the first half of the future seven year Tribulation period, and that “the hour of His judgment” refers to the last half of the Tribulation period. This truth is verified by the fact that there is an actual literal two hour period of intense darkness which precedes the dawning of the day, and that the very “heavens” [Psalm 19:1-3] testify to this truth. This two hour period of extreme literal darkness which precedes the dawning of the day is obviously a type of the two hour Tribulation period of extreme spiritual darkness which will precede the dawning of the “day of God. These proven truths make it obvious that the only position that any true believer can take on the “rapture” question that is in harmony with God’s Word is that of the Pre-tribulation rapture. Period! Any other position makes the statement of the Lord Jesus Christ in Revelation 3:10 out to be a lie and therefore the Lord Himself out to be a liar! Are you listening? Do you want that on your conscience?
But I have been repeatedly told over the years by those who don’t want to believe these truths that “one’s position on the rapture has nothing to do with the gospel.” In the light of what I have just pointed out to our readers, is this claim [or excuse] really so? Let’s find out…..
The English word “gospel” is translated from three different Greek words in the New Testament. These words are…..
 “euangelizo” which literally means, “to preach the good news; especially of salvation in Christ, but also including its implications for mankind and their relationship to God; to bring glad tidings; to declare glad tidings; to show glad tidings.” See Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, pages 256-257, Strong’s No. 2097.
 “euangelion” which literally means “good news; good tidings; glad tidings; the glad tidings of the kingdom of God soon to be set up; the glad tidings of salvation through Christ; the proclamation of the grace of God manifested and pledged in Christ.” See Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, page 257, Strong’s No. 2098.
 “proeuangelizomai” which literally means “to announce the gospel in advance; to preach beforehand the good tidings; before the event by which the promise is made
good.” See Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, page 539, Strong’s No. 4283.
It is obvious that the sole and only true meaning of the word “gospel” as defined by each of these three Greek words is simply “good news” or “glad tidings.” But good news of what? The answer to this question is found in the context in which these words occur where they are obviously connected with different aspects of “good news” for humanity and for God’s people.
For instance, there is the “good news” of the birth of Christ, the “good news” that both John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed announcing the coming of the kingdom of God, the “good news” of salvation through faith in Christ, the “good news” of Christ making an atonement for sin at Calvary, the “good news” of the resurrection of
Christ, the “good news” of God’s grace providing an opportunity for salvation, the “good news” of the Lord’s future Millennial Kingdom of true righteousness and peace, and the “good news” of “the blessed hope” of the rapture for God’s people preceding the Tribulation period. Folks, every one of these things [and more] are part and parcel of “the gospel [good news] of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Praise the Lord!
Yes, I am well aware that men pick out a Scripture here or a Scripture there and attempt to dogmatically define “the gospel” as this or that or something else, totally ignoring the fact that the Greek words translated as “gospel” simply mean “good news.” In the light of God’s Word, can “the gospel” really be limited to only one solitary event in all of God’s Word? Or, are there many events in God’s Word which true believers rejoice in as “good news” from the Word of the Lord? Well…??
Folks, the entire Word of God is “the gospel” [good news] which the Lord has graciously bestowed upon mankind in order to bring those who will repent and believe to a saving knowledge of His Son. Proof? Gladly! Compare Matthew 4:4, John 5:24, Ephesians 1:13, Acts 20:26-27, Roman 10:17, and many more similar Scriptures. The Word of the Lord is “the gospel” which saves, keeps, and will deliver a true believer into the presence of the Lord and into His promised glorious Kingdom. Praise the Lord!
What are YOU “looking for”?
Folks, in view of the times in which we are living today and the swiftly approaching terror that is staring the whole world in the face right now, what news could possibly lift the spirits of true believers any more than “the gospel” [good news] of the Pre-tribulation rapture? Well…??
The Pre-tribulation rapture promised by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in Revelation 3:10 is indeed considered to be “good news” [gospel] by the Lord Himself, for even His Word explicitly instructs God’s people [true believers] to live daily “looking for” it.
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;
Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”
Compare Luke 21:36 with Luke 20:35-36, then carefully study Colossians 1:12-14. This latter passage explicitly states that the Lord has already “…delivered us [true believers] from the power of darkness…”
Now study 1 Corinthians 15:49-52, noticing carefully the words “we” and “all.” Look at Galatians 1:4 and notice that it is “us” [true believers] who are to be delivered “…from this present evil world [age; dispensation], according to the will of God our Father:” Look at 1 Thessalonians 1:10, where we true believers are explicitly told that the resurrected Lord Jesus has already “…delivered us from the wrath to come.” Glory! And then 1 Thessalonians 5:9 which explicitly states, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 noticing especially the five times the word “we” occurs, and the explicit statement, “caught up together with them” [the dead in Christ], clearly pointing out that all New Testament believers will be raptured at the same time. Then notice that the last verse explicitly admonishes God’s people, “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
Folks, are none of these verses of Scripture “good news” [gospel] to you? Do none of them stir up “the blessed hope” in your heart and spirit? Are none of these Scriptures of any “comfort” to you? No? Then evidently you need to quit “hiding” behind your worthless “religious profession” and seek the Lord for the salvation of your soul.
Today many who call themselves “Christians” look down upon and criticize those who hold fast to belief in the Pre-tribulation rapture. But that is precisely what the Lord Jesus Christ Himself clearly promised in Revelation 3:10. And you know it is!
“Because thou hast kept the Word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation [peirasmos], which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”
Folks, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself explicitly promised to keep His people “from the hour of temptation.” Therefore the Pre-tribulation rapture of God’s people is indeed the only position on the rapture which does not make the Lord Jesus Christ Himself out to be a liar. The Lord promised only the Pre-tribulation rapture in Revelation 3:10. This passage makes no allowance for God’s people [true believers] to take any other position on the rapture.
God’s people are then most certainly on Scriptural ground when we believe in, hold fast to, and teach, the Pre-tribulation rapture of all true believers. In fact, a careful study of Christian history will reveal that throughout this entire “dispensation of grace” there has always been “a remnant” of God’s people who held to and considered the Pre-tribulation rapture to be part and parcel of the Christian faith. Folks, taking Revelation 3:10 at face value for what the Scripture actually and literally says is nothing less than adhering to and contending for “…..the faith which was once delivered unto the saints,” Jude 3. Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Glory to God! What a living hope Gods people have in Christ Jesus our Lord. Glory!
Folks, the Lord Jesus Christ is not a liar. He made a promise to His church and to all true New Testament believers, and He will keep His promise. Read Hebrews 10:23 and believe it.
In setting this study before our readers, it should now be obvious that the only position on the rapture that is in perfect harmony with the Lord’s statement in Revelation 3:10 is the Pre-tribulation rapture position. Praise the Lord!
Folks, every one of us who are true believers are going to be standing face to face with the Lord at the “bema” seat of judgment very soon. I don’t want to have to look my Lord in the face and confess in shame and sorrow that I made Him out to be a liar because I refused to believe what He Himself plainly stated about the Pre-tribulation rapture of His people in Revelation 3:10. Do you?
I would further add that we New Testament believers today are living in the very “time frame” when the Lord’s promise in Revelation 3:10 is about to be fulfilled. No! I do not know the day or the hour when our Lord is coming to resurrect and rapture His people to glory, but I do know that the time is very close. Folks, don’t let anyone steal your “blessed hope” from you. Dates may come and go, but just keep on watching and praying and witnessing and warning and seeking to win the lost to Christ. Never! Never! Never! give up your “blessed hope” for any man’s silly theory. Our Lord is coming!
“Even so, come, Lord Jesus,” Revelation 22:20.
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All comments, questions, and correspondence should be addressed to:
Pastor F. M. Riley
Last Call Gospel Ministry
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