Movie Review The Remaining

remaining_xlg The Remaining is a refreshingly realistic portrayal of the rapture and tribulation events described in biblical prophecy. It seems to follow the Pre-Wrath perspective on the rapture timing. Overall, it is one of the better Christian films I have seen. The film begins with a wedding (as in the days of Noah)  and focuses on a group of contemporary twenty somethings:

 “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark,”(Mt 24:38)

[SPOILER ALERT]

The acting is quite good for a Christian film and the personalities and attitudes of the characters resemble those of today’s young adults. The swanky wedding party quickly goes south as many folks drop dead and the building is bombarded with basketball size hail. I suspect many Christians might take exception with this interpretation because the dead folks are actually the Christian believers. Rather than piles of clothes on the floor like in the Left Behind film, the believers bodies remain while their souls are taken up. Of course, this readily dismisses the proverbial question, “How will they explain the missing Christians?” It  makes a lot of practical sense but I wonder if it is biblical. The principle rapture passage is from 1 Thessalonians:

 “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.(1 Th 4:16–17)

Paul does not specify that those who are left are bodily “caught up” up but the preceding verse speaks to the awakening of the dead whose souls are already in heaven so it must be their bodies in focus. The best description of this event is in 1 Corinthians 15:

“Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.”(1 Co 15:51–52)

Because Paul compares this to Jesus’ bodily resurrection (1 Co 15:20-23), it is problematic to spiritualize the raising of the dead and consequently the rapture of living believers. Thus, the apparent death of believers provides a satisfying rationale for the rapture but it doesn’t accurately match Paul’s descriptions.

Overall the film gets a lot of things right and corrects many of the common errors in worldly thinking. Some of the film’s characters believe “the good people were taken and the bad people were left.” This is corrected by Pastor Shay (played by John Pyper-Ferguson) who clarifies “the believers were taken and the unbelievers were left.” The message of scripture is that there are no “good people” (Rom 3:10) and the saved are forgiven because they believe Jesus died for their sins and was raised from the dead (1 Cor 15:3) This important point is emphasized as demons strategically destroy Bibles and kill the characters who come to saving faith. However, this also brings my main criticism into focus.

The biggest problem with The Remaining is that the Gospel is never clearly articulated. The bride in the opening wedding scene, Skylar (played by Alexa PenaVegais a nominal Christian whose parents dropped dead at the wedding. She is the first in the film to realize that the rapture has taken place and she finds a Bible to prove it to her friends. She prays to God and repents of her luke warm faith. Soon after, she is attacked by a demon and slienced. As mentioned above, the apostate pastor also realizes he never really believed and repents. He is also quickly taken out by demonic assault.

What’s missing is what they came to believe. The name Jesus is hardly mentioned much less the fact that he died for our sins and rose from the dead. I suspect the producers wanted the film to provoke unbelievers to ask, “What is it they believed?” rather than hit them over the head with it.  Even so, it seems to me that at least one of the characters could have said “I believe Jesus died for my sins!” It is still a great film to start the conversation and I recommend it.

About Cris Putnam
Logos Apologia is the ministry of Cris D. Putnam. The mission of Logos Apologia is to show that logic, science, history and faith are complementary, not contradictory and to bring that life-changing truth to everybody who wants to know.

Comments

  1. Chuckles says:

    Pre-wrath confusion, on film.

    The biggest problem with The Remaining is that the Gospel is never clearly articulated.

    And who produced the film?

    Sony, huh? There’s your reason why, right there.

    • Rich Peluso says:

      Chuckles,

      You’re way off base. The Gospel is not clearly articulated because the movie is not a sermon. We never envisioned laying out the Roman Road, 4 Spiritual Laws, and step-by-step action plan for salvation through Jesus Christ. We wanted to have a great, well-made, entertaining movie that was harmonious with scripture, and would engage an audience. Our hope (and it’s playing out exactly as we thought it would) is that after seeing it people would look into the Bible, ask questions, and explore what salvation really means- and the choice all of us must ultimately make.

      Rich Peluso
      SVP AFFIRM Films/Sony Pictures

      • Chuckles says:

        Rich Peluso said:

        The Gospel is not clearly articulated because the movie is not a sermon.

        That’s the usual disclaimer attached to “Christian” films that will pass Hollywood muster, but it’s an evasion. Also, your point about “laying out the Roman Road, 4 Spiritual Laws, and step-by-step action plan for salvation through Jesus Christ” is a well-worn straw man. The Gospel can be “clearly articulated” without resorting to textbook terminology. Nobody is expecting a wooden “sermon” or a bullet-point tract, but a film that claims to have a “Christian Message”, yet is completely ambiguous about that message is mere noise and confusion.

        We wanted to have a great, well-made, entertaining movie that was harmonious with scripture, and would engage an audience.

        If you’d put the “harmonious with scripture” part first on your list of priorities, the film might have turned out better. (But then, Sony would probably have found it “too controversial” or “religious” or something, and refused distribution.) You may have meant well, but it’s apparent that the “harmonious with scripture” aspect got smothered somewhere. Chris’ description already reveals that the film falls far short of that goal, and not just by adopting a pre-wrath eschatology (thought that’s problematic enough). Enticing fiction it might be, but is the entertainment world currently bereft of that?

        Our hope (and it’s playing out exactly as we thought it would) is that after seeing it people would look into the Bible, ask questions, and explore what salvation really means- and the choice all of us must ultimately make.

        This may be difficult for a film maker to accept, but it’s already quite possible for anyone to crack a Bible and see what’s in there without being prompted by a film (or TV show). The Bible is quite able to “engage an audience” on its own. As for “engaging” people, anyone would just as likely be curious about the Bible after seeing “Noah”, “The Exorcist”, “The Ten Commandments”, or any other movie that exploits “biblical” themes. They’d also be infused with quite a bit of error and confusion, just as they will be with your film. They would need a lot of Bible study to straighten themselves out, alright, but that’s like dumping dirt and mud all over somebody to get them to comb their hair.

        Otoh, anyone curious about Christianity could just as well be distracted from the Bible by seeing this film, thinking, “That’s Christianity? It makes no sense.” Did you ever consider that?

        Now, I’ve no doubt that God can “use” the confusion brought on by this film for His glory, somehow. God uses all kinds of things–even bad things–to accomplish His will. But that doesn’t mean that no damage is done.

        I am not unacquainted with the “Christian” media, and the detrimental effects it can have. In my younger, less informed Christian days I was once on staff as a member of the production crew at TBN. At the time, I was convinced I was “serving the Lord” by working there. After leaving and getting out of that heresy plantation, I began to see how unbiblical and destructive some of their favorite doctrines are (Word of Faith, etc.). I decided I would never do any more work for them again, and when asked about that by crew people I knew who still worked there, I would tell them in no uncertain terms why I refused any more TBN work. The response I would usually get would always go something like “Yeah, they’re weird, but God uses ’em.” Uses them? Uses them?!? Hey, God uses the devil for God’s own purposes, but that doesn’t mean we team up with the devil, does it? Neither should we stir up noise just to “make people think”.

        No, Mr. Peluso, I’m not out of line. I’m sure you worked very hard on your film (I worked very hard at TBN), but–in spite of (hopefully) good intentions–you’ve produced a noise maker which likely will confuse much more than edify. If you’re going to ask a biblical question such as “What must I do to be saved?”, then answer it with a biblical answer.

        Now, If all you wanted to do was make an entertaining movie that’s “safe” for Christians to watch, fine, but don’t claim there’s some kind of “Christian message” in it if such a message is not there. Fact is, if people would spend less time watching movies and look around at what’s going on in the real world, they’d be much less confused about the “Christian message” and more prone to ask the right questions when they do read the Bible.

        If only there wasn’t so much noise to distract them.

        • Rich Peluso says:

          Chuckles,

          I didn’t say you were out of line. Would never say that- I said you we’re off base. Accusing Sony of some kind of filtering or censorship? Maybe you’re not familiar with our other Sony movies like Facing the Giants, Fireproof, Courageous, Faith Like Potatoes, The Grace Card, Heaven is for Real, etc.

          All I am saying, Chuckles, is there is room for art in the medium of film, even faith-based film, and not everything that honors and points towards God has to hit you on the nose.

          Said in (unfiltered and uncensored) Christian love 🙂

          Rich

          • Chuckles says:

            Rich Peluso said:

            I didn’t say you were out of line.

            Yeah, I suppose I did at least imply a mis-quote of you, even though I wasn’t quoting you. Sorry to be so sloppy.

            Of course, “way off base” is so much different than “out of line”.

            Nevertheless, I wasn’t “way off base”, either. Nor am I against “art in the medium of film, even faith-based film”. Not in theory, at least.

            I do take issue with the making of noise (or worse) in the name of “faith-based film”.

            What “faith” are we talking about here, anyway? I trudged through some synopses of those films you mentioned. Assuming those synopses are complete and accurate (they were on Wikipedia) I see the same recurring problem with your “faith based” films that pervades much of “evangelicalism” these days. Despite all the claims of there being a “Christian message” in these films, the gospel is nowhere to be found. There’s lots of emotional, heart string-tugging “soul searching” and what-not, lots of “life improvement” and “family values” and “personal reconciliation” and “forgiveness” and such–all of the “family entertainment” buttons that media companies love to push every now and then so that they can claim to “care about people” and feel good about themselves. Hey, even “God” gets a mention! How’s that for “spiritual”? “Take that, Christian theater-goers!”

            But the gospel of Jesus Christ? Nowhere.

            Please remember, the biblical gospel is not “you need to pay attention to your family more”, or “God can help you if you just pray” or “God will make your life better if you give it to Him” etc. It certainly isn’t “ask Jesus into your life” either. The gospel is about the sacrifice of Christ on the cross; His blood shed–not to give us a better earthly life (though that can happen)–but to give us eternal life, and all we must do to partake of that promise is apply that sacrifice to our individual selves by simply believing it, resting in it. That is the gospel that saves eternally.

            Now, there is an important corollary: Anyone who goes to their death without believing that gospel goes straight to hell. No “second chance”, no appeals court, no “eventual salvation”. Only some are saved because only some believe. (Sorry, Rob Bell).

            Oh, one other thing: There is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved; not Moses, not Mohammad, not Krishna, not Buddha, no other name but Jesus, the eternal Son of God.

            That’s the Christian message that is biblical. That’s the Christian message that saves, that is “the Power of God”, that does some real eternal good. Is that message expressed in any of your films? It’s completely absent from any plot synopses that I’ve read.

            Given all that, do you think any film containing that biblical message–expressing it clearly (though not woodenly, now)–would be considered by Sony Entertainment? You don’t have the slightest fear that they would balk? “Hey now, we can’t be talking about hell here! And we can’t have this exclusivity! It’s not loving! It’s hateful! We can’t diss any other religions here, especially Islam! You want to get us killed?

            Accusing Sony of some kind of filtering or censorship?

            Oh, of course, Sony would never try and “censor” you, not no way, not no how!

            You’d certainly know it if they were manipulating you, right? ‘Cause they’re so open and “up front” about such things. Manipulation is so below them, after all. And truth–especially the Truth–is waaayyy up there on their company totem, surely. Everybody knows that. It’s common knowledge “uptown”.

            Look, Sony–and any other Hollywood production company you may care to name–doesn’t give a rat’s posterior if your films drip and drool “family values” and “religious themes”–even “Christian” themes–as long as you don’t get serious with the eternal, biblical gospel. They need “family friendly” fare to exploit that genre, or they’ll get yelled at by the higher-ups. They’ll put just about anything into the public sphere–even if it doesn’t contain any gore, guts or porn–so long as it pays for itself and makes a profit.

            Just don’t offend any of the NON-Christians, ‘K?. (Especially Jihadis, bless their hearts.)

            So, it appears the films you have made–though well-intended–suffer the same problem as much (if not most) of current-day “evangelicalism”: Fear of the gospel. Their “Christian message” is anything but biblically Christian. In fact, at least one of them (“Heaven is for Real”) is blatantly UN-biblical–worse than mere noise.

            At best, all I see in these films is “live-your-best-life-now” Joel Osteen-ism. That’s the last thing anybody needs.

            not everything that honors and points towards God has to hit you on the nose.

            You keep tossing these straw men into the discussion. No one is asking a film to “hit [anybody] on the nose”. But weren’t you trying to at least “nudge” people–gently, now, just a little–towards the Truth? That’s what you imply in your posts here.

            How can you do that when the Truth isn’t even presented in your films?

            And while we’re on the subject, what “God” are you honoring? How is anyone to know just who it is that you’re talking about? From your films, I’m not sure myself.

            But see, that’s what happens when you’ve got to pass muster with companies like Sony. To deny that is… well, denial.

            But, hey! You got your film into theaters and homes everywhere! That’s what matters most, huh?

          • StoneDragon says:

            Rich, I’ve seen Facing the Giants, and I’ve seen Fly Wheel (I don’t know if you were involved in that one, but its generally held to be somehow related to FtG). The entire movie length is one long, continuous punch on the nose. “Be obedient or be smacked”. The unrelenting, exhausting message of both movies is that as soon as you behave your bad self, God will pass out the goodies in reward.

            I couldn’t be bothered with Fireproof because I couldn’t stand the preview clips with the wife’s shriek-y, kvetching nagging yapping in it, and I couldn’t be bothered to watch the total tripe that is Heaven is for Real. No eye has seen, no ear heard, or mind of man conceived of anything to do with Heaven (I paraphrase)- end of story. Movie’s topic is therefore rendered… b.s.

            I’m also speaking unfiltered- well, actually, I’ve got one mega-muffler on my thoughts in this comment- because to this day, watching Christian brothers and sisters sop up the goo oozing from these two movies I have seen, as if its luscious Biblical nectar, triggers indignation I can barely contain.

            I’ve long since given a wide pass to anything trying to get into mainstream as ‘Christian’. Its all simply trying to remove $ from a built-in audience with low-discernment skills. Generally, the tat that’s cranked out with a christianese flavor is plainly slapped together by people who have only the vaguest notion of Biblical truth, but a stunning grasp of the buzz words and basic crowd manipulation.

            Cheers!

        • Rich Peluso says:

          Chuckles,

          You have exposed yourself. Firstly, using Wikipedia for your research on our films? Wow. Secondly, you seem to be a slightly bitter, judgmental and legalistic bully.

          PLEASE go watch our Sony Pictures movies Facing the Giants, Fireproof, Courageous and The Grace Card (you can probably get them free from the library so you don’t have to support evil Sony with your dollars).

          I’ll await your apology 🙂

          God Bless- and said without snark, but with a smile.

          Rich

          • Chuckles says:

            Rich Peluso said:

            You have exposed yourself. Firstly, using Wikipedia for your research on our films? Wow.

            Are those synopses inaccurate? Or are they just too objective, leaving out any pro-film bias? They jibe perfectly with your own comments about your latest film, and the “don’t hit them over the head with the gospel” approach you champion here. Regarding this last film, you yourself said, ” The Gospel is not clearly articulated because the movie is not a sermon.” Do your other films not follow the same formula? That they do is corroborated by the Wiki articles.

            you seem to be a slightly bitter, judgmental and legalistic bully.

            Do you not see the “judgmental” aspect of that comment? Oh, I forgot, it was “said without snark, but with a smile.” Well, then that’s different. The smiley face proves it.

            PLEASE go watch our Sony Pictures movies Facing the Giants, Fireproof, Courageous and The Grace Card

            Well, what do you know?

            As I was sorting through a pile of DVDs earlier this afternoon, what do I find, but a copy of “Facing the Giants”! I didn’t know we had this DVD. I still don’t know how we got it. Maybe somebody gave it to my Dad before he died, I’m not sure.

            Anyway, tell you what, Rich; I’ll watch the film this evening, then elaborate on and/or retract anything I’ve already said about it, as needed.

            There’s just one thing I’d like to ask you:

            Were the other films you’ve done written with the same basic stipulations that FtG was? I know there will be plot differences, what I’m getting at is, did you follow the same gospel-not-articulated-clearly-so-as-not-to-hit-anyone-over-the-head pattern? If so, FtG will tell me everything pertinent I need to know about those films.

            As they used to say going into commercials, “More to come…”

          • Chuckles says:

            I don’t mean to hijack this thread with the subject of a different film , but the analysis presented below was “requested” (after a fashion) by a person associated with the film reviewed at the head of this thread. So if you would indulge me, Cris, I’d appreciate it.

            I have viewed the film “Facing the Giants” (FtG), an earlier production with which Rich Peluso is associated. All 112 minutes of it, including credits. I even reviewed several key scenes several times and took notes. So, how do my previous remarks–which were based on Rich Peluso’s own statements revealing his story philosophy, together with a Wikipedia synopsis of FtG– actually line up with the film’s contents; its “Christian” message?

            First, let me state that I will need to offer a slight revision to my previous remarks. But that is more in line with being thorough. It doesn’t involve substantive changes. Sorry, Rich.
            The fact is–regarding FtG at least–I was very much “on base” with my general critique. If anything, it’s worse than I thought. My central complaint about the film has been illustrated and confirmed to me.

            Let’s keep one thing in mind: My complaint is not about acting quality, dialogue or any other production values. From the beginning of this thread, I have registered one and only one complaint about these films and films like them. That complaint is that they are promoted as Christian films, billed as having a “Christian message”, but such claims are essentially false. Whatever the message they convey, the “Christian message” that defines Christianity–the gospel of Jesus Christ–is completely missing. Because of that, a completely false view of Christianity itself is presented, and the meaning of the gospel is not only omitted, but obscured.

            That is not to say that there isn’t a “Christian”–or more accurately–an “evangelicalistic” flavor to these films, FtG in particular. FtG has lots of praying, Bible quoting, tears, “forgiveness”, morality, reconciliation, “faith” etc. written into the story, and it’s done plausibly, I suppose. There is a predominant “we-gotta-glorify-God” meme running all through the film. In fact there’s more of it than I expected. Of course, that’s all well and good, as far as it goes, although it does fly in the face of Rich’s stated policy of “not hittiing anybody over the head” with anything. On the other hand, if anything hits anybody over the head in this film, it sure isn’t the gospel. By that I mean there is a certain critical omission from the film’s “message” (TBD later) which results in a critical misconception. It almost escaped me, but then it dawned on me: “This is all beside the point! The whole picture of Christianity presented in this film is totally beside the point!

            What do I mean? Well, for example, during one scene beginning at about 42:38, the main character–a high school football coach–lectures his players about the purpose of their football playing and why they’ve been losing so consistently. I’m paraphrasing here, but he tells them it’s because they have been playing for themselves, as if “it’s all about us…” He tells them they need to play for “God’s glory”, not for their own. (Which “god” is never stated, but it’s implied vaguely by the Bible the coach has in his hand. Of course that doesn’t define the “god” in question conclusively. One can’t help wondering if any of the kids are Mormons, JWs, or what.) This all sounds fairly “biblical”, given certain assumptions about the film’s intent, which an audience of Christians will probably make. Btw, I’m assuming–as I’m supposed to– that that’s a Bible the coach has. He refers to it only as “this book”. It could be the Book of Mormon or a copy of the Koran. It could be a leather-bound copy of Manly P. Hall’s The Secret Teachings of All Ages for all I really know.

            Anyway, at 42:45, the coach extends the lesson to their lives: “Life’s not about us…” which sure sounds biblical, until we remember that Rick Warren said essentially the same thing in his book “The Purpose Driven Life”–and then went on to write that whole book as if it really is all about us. (Yes, I have a copy.) Unfortunately, FtG follows a similar pattern as in TPDL. There is much preaching about “glorifying God with your life” and “playing the game for God’s glory” and such. It all sounds pretty good except for one serious error: Every example in the film of “giving God glory” involves the earthly sphere, and that only. It’s all about this life, living this life “for God’s glory”, giving 100% in this life, overcoming in this life. Every bit of “Christian” advice in this film is earthbound. And “faith”? Faith is reduced to believing God to do what you need Him to in this life, about earthly things. Yes, things like “forgiveness” and “relationships” are addressed, but always in the context of this life. Sin is addressed only by implication, and then only as something that “prevents God from working” in this life. There is no mention of sin in terms of its effects on anyone’s eternal destiny, and certainly no mention of the issue of eternal life; it’s all about the here and now. Is it becoming clear why I associated this film with “Joel-Osteen-ism”?

            Actually, that’s what I must revise because it’s not thorough. The “message” I get from this film is not just Osteen-ism, but Norman Vincent Peale-Robert Schuller-Rick Warren-ism. It’s that pervasive and that bad.

            That’s not to say that Jesus isn’t mentioned, He is. Once, or… twice, I think. I’ll concede that the film is a bit more evangelically “religious” than I’d expected, but therein lies part of the subtlety. It’s aimed squarely at the “spiritual” sensibilities of an increasing number of modern-day evangelicals who have little discernment due to their superficial knowledge of the real gospel. Which brings me to something even more serious.

            It’s one thing to leave the essential gospel out of a story. But if you do that when you’re trying to present a story with a Christian message, something else will creep in to fill the vacuum left where the real Christian message (the gospel) should have been. That “something else” will be–by default– a false message of some kind. That happened in FtG. In the above scene, the coach tells his team that God cares about football because He cares about them and what they do. Therefore God cares about whether they glorify Him in their football play. That’s ok, as far as it goes, but then at 42:56, the coach drops this bomb:

            “Jesus said the most important thing you can do with your life is to love God with everything you are and to love others as yourself.”

            Uh… WHAT?!? )–0.o–( That may be important in a certain sense, but, the most important thing? No! In Matthew 22 Jesus did tell one of the Pharisees what the greatest two commandments in the LAW are (love God above all else and your neighbor as yourself), but never did Jesus tell us that the most important thing we can do with our lives is keep the Law. The most important thing you can do with your life is believe in Jesus–and that for eternal salvation above all else. “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent!” (John 6:29) Interestingly, Jesus said that immediately after rebuking those who had been following Him merely to get their earthly needs met. They were not concerned with eternal things. Nor do the characters in FtG seem to be, as far as they are presented in the film.

            Another major bomb dropped by the coach appears at 45:30. Speaking of “God”, the coach says, “He sent His son Jesus to die for us so we could live for Him.” This is a great example of the gospel being shaved–just a little– to avoid the real issue. Jesus died for us alright, but not merely so we could live for Him. He died in our place–taking on Himself the wrath of God which was due us–so that we could live forever, WITH Him. It’s about eternal life, not “glorifying God” with all the neat things we can do in this life if we just “give God the glory” for helping us with our marvelous earthly accomplishments . (Oh, we must have a “good attitude”, too, says FtG. I almost forgot the “attitude” thing.)

            That’s a recurring problem with FtG: Lots of Bible verses are rattled off, but the message in each is applied solely to this life, as if that were God’s only focus. Any perspective given by the fact that “the form of this world is passing away” (1 Cor. 7:31) is totally absent from the film.

            Now, someone might say “Well, golly, the gospel doesn’t have to be in everything we do, does it? This film encourages people to honor God with their lives. What’s wrong with that?”

            What’s wrong with that is that this film claims to have a Christian message. Take a look at the literature on this film. It was produced by a church–a Christian church fellowship. The literature says this film was produced with member’s money (“God’s money”, I’m sure they would say) as an “outreach” to the “community”. What is the Church–the body of Christ–supposed to “reach out” with? (Hint: It’s spelled with six letters. The first is “g”.)

            I’m not saying that “living for God” is unimportant; that God isn’t concerned about that. Certainly He is. But no one can get to that issue in the biblical way–God’s way–without first coming to terms with their lost condition; their spiritually dead, sinful state which separates them from God and condemns them to eternal hell. That issue is dealt with by the gospel, the very gospel totally missing from FtG.

            In the Wikipedia article about FtG, it was mentioned that the film was given a PG rating, and the film’s producers surmised that such was done partly because the film “raised one religion above another”. I don’t see where any such “raising” happened. The “positive thinking” meme (another popular concept in evangelicalism these days) which pervades the movie would fly with most religions, I think. Plug in your preferred “god”, substitute your preferred prophet for “Jesus” (you won’t need to do that very many times), and there you go. Despite its fairly thick “Christian” veneer, the film’s philosophy dovetails nicely with most, if not all, of man’s religions. Actually, as it is the film has nothing to conflict with Mormon, JW or Christian Science theology. I’m sure Glenn Beck would be fine with it. Tony Robbins, too. He’s all about “giants within”. The Peale-Schuller-Warren element is straight out of New Thought, New Age “spirituality”, the same root as Christian Science. The “positive (possibility) thinking” comes through most blatantly in the scenes showing football practice, and of course, the final “big game” at the climactic end. It is displayed prominently right across the front of the case cover. “NEVER GIVE UP. NEVER BACK DOWN. NEVER LOSE FAITH.”

            “Ah, but Chuckles, there it is!”

            There what is?

            “The God part! The spiritual part! The Jesus part!”

            Huh?

            “Faith! Faith! F-A-I-T-H, FAITH! That’s Christian!, See? We did do it right!”

            But, what “faith” are you presenting? “Faith” in what? In whom? Many false teachers talk about “faith”. There’s a whole genre of “Christian” heretics who employ “faith” as a tool to manipulate the “Christian” masses. The word is tossed around and smeared over lie after lie to seduce anyone searching for the Truth. It’s become a veritable mantra for these deceivers.

            The bottom line is this: The message that comes through FtG has two problems: The first is the notion that “God wants to be your celestial ‘life coach’. He’s all about this life, so give yours to Him so you can live your best life NOW! Explore those possibilities! God wants to make your life all hunky-dory, or at least hunky-dory-er than it is already! Stop being such an unbelieving baby! Believe God to set you up in this life! You’re a coward if you don’t, see?”

            The second problem is, the film characterizes Christianity as being all about what we do for God, when the real message of Christianity–and the focus of the Christian life–is centered on what God did for us. It’s about God’s unmerited favor, not our “devotion”.

            Now, I can’t be certain that the film’s producers wanted the film’s message to be earthbound, necessarily. I hope the folks of Sherwood Baptist Church didn’t intend it that way. But you see, it comes across that way. That is the message that comes through FtG.

            That’s what happens when you leave out the complete, essential, biblical gospel, for whatever reason.

            And–not coincidentally–that is the increasing problem with so much of 21st century evangelicalism; the “visible church” if you will. Just look around you, at places like Saddleback Church (Rick Warren), Willow Creek (Bill Hybels), or many of the “mega-churches” that are “emerging” on the scene, that emphasize their earthly agendas, that appeal to the natural human preoccupation with how good things are in this life. No wonder FtG was so well received!

            And of course, Sony BMG Music Entertainment would never have any problem with a reception like that.

            No, Rich, no apology is due you from me. My first impressions of FtG were correct, if incomplete. My original statement stands.

          • Chuckles says:

            Just came across this article in CCM Magazine from last August. (Y’all can cut and paste the link so this post doesn’t end up in moderation-limbo)…

            http://www.ccmmagazine.com/article/courageous-and-fireproof-creators-wrap-fifth-film/

            Seems the makers of “The Remaining” and “Facing the Giants” (Alex and Stephen Kendrick) are showing their true theological colors with their latest film effort. It’s supposedly about “prayer”, and the cast is festooned with contemplative prayer advocates like Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer.

            It so totally figures.

  2. JT says:

    Please explain this to me:
    “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.”(1 Co 15:51–52 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] )

    Paul states at the LAST trumpet. Does this not point to a post tribulation rapture? I don’t intend to start an entire debate here, just looking for a simple explanation as this is something many people struggle with.

    Also the power given to the beast over Christians doesn’t happen immediately either, I thought that was the second half of the tribulation….from the trailer, and your explanation of the film it sounds like demons are given the power to kill new believers. Thanks in advance for your responses.

    • Chuckles says:

      JT asked:

      Paul states at the LAST trumpet. Does this not point to a post tribulation rapture?

      In a word; no. Some try to connect the “last trumpet” of 1st Cor. 15 with the 7th trumpet judgement of Revelation 11:15, but they are two entirely different types of “trumpets”, the one in Corinthians being a trumpet call of God, the 7th trumpet being one of judgment sounded by an angel.

      That issue is very old, and has been answered very thoroughly–not to mention repeatedly over the years–by pre-trib scholars.

      A good article about it by a major scholar (Dr. Thomas Ice) can be found at

      pre-trib.org/articles/view/last-trumpet

      I didn’t post that as a hot link because doing so would lock this post in moderation for weeks. I’m sure you can cut-and-paste it to your addy bar.

      You might also checkout the pre-trib.org site as a whole. It carries a wealth of info on many prophetic issues by several scholars and researchers. (They also address the “pre-wrath” position as well.)

  3. Vic says:

    If there was anything that causes anxiety for people via Scripture, it’s the timing of the Rapture, IF there’s a ”Rapture” that’s going to occur in the first place…nobody on Earth knows for sure…nobody.
    The utter lack of crystal clarity of the Rapture in general in Scripture is torturous, so just expect to DIE either way
    and hope you’re saved, and if the rapture occurs in our lifetime consider it a surprise fringe benefit for yourself
    you didn’t expect while you were out walking your Dog or having sex with your wife…let’s get real, if the rapture occurs Christians will likely be in the middle doing all kinds of activities, and the image of a Husband who’s not raptured all of a sudden humping the Mattress when the Wife disappears under him is about the funniest thing one can imagine…sorry.

    I say don’t worry about it either way, as who’s to say we are living in the very very very last days anyway?
    History could go on for Centuries longer before the Lord arrives…or not…nobody on Earth knows…nobody.
    Be ready regardless, because IDK much, but I do know with hardcore certainty this ‘rapture’ debate will never be resolved and unanimously agreed opon by by all Christians…ever… until it happens, IF it happens.

  4. Chuckles says:

    Vic said:

    If there was anything that causes anxiety for people via Scripture, it’s the timing of the Rapture

    Actually, it’s the question of whether the person will be taken up in the rapture that causes most people anxiety. But that anxiety has the same remedy as the question of going to hell or heaven. Believe the gospel, and both problems are solved for you.

    IF there’s a ”Rapture” that’s going to occur in the first place…nobody on Earth knows for sure…nobody.

    You shouldn’t project your doubt onto others. There are quite a few people who know for sure, and quite a few of them are Bible scholars. The Lord had Paul write about the rapture to inform us. To claim that “no one can know for sure” is to deny the veracity of God’s Word.

    so just expect to DIE either way and hope you’re saved

    Your problem is becoming more apparent. You seem to be in as much doubt about your salvation as about the rapture. As for me, I know I’m saved because my hope is in Christ’s sacrifice for me, and nothing else. By the same token, I know I’ll go up in the rapture (if it happens in my natural lifetime) because of that same sacrifice. Otherwise, it’s resurrection for me.

    let’s get real, if the rapture occurs Christians will likely be in the middle doing all kinds of activities, and the image of a Husband who’s not raptured all of a sudden humping the Mattress when the Wife disappears under him is about the funniest thing one can imagine…

    I’m sure it would have quite an effect on the husband. Just might get him to reconsider everything his Christian wife told him about the Lord.

    But more to the point, your problem with the situation you’ve described is just that: your problem. It’s like the problem Abraham’s wife had when God foretold of her giving birth within a year. Your problem is the same: unbelief, but in no way does it prevent God from doing what he has promised to do. We all have a tendency to imagine scenarios–things which we must accept as possible if some scriptural concept is accepted–which seem bizarre compared to our day-to-day “normal” existence. That doesn’t make the biblical concept untrue. So it is with the rapture, which is–I admit–a very bizarre event. It’s the lead-off event to a very bizarre time; the 70th Seven of Daniel, known popularly as the tribulation period.

    Otoh, the very existence of the universe itself is bizarre. When you stop and think about it, why should anything exist at all?

    I believe such things because the Bible tells of them, and so far the Bible has a perfect track record. Why should we let our limited experience in this world dictate what we suppose God will do, especially when He has told us about it beforehand?

    If you’re really interested in sorting out prophetic issues, Vic, try visiting that site I mentioned in my reply to JT. Scholarly answers to many of your questions can be found there.

  5. Vic says:

    Ya know, this new fangled, ‘double arrival’ of Christ beginning with the ”Rapture” is apparently totally foreign to Scripture, however, even Hank, whom I do not always agree with all the time, has it dead on here with this rapture theory, a theory that only arrived on the scene in a major way the 19th Century…Hank gives a silver lining’ here, but this whole ”Left Behind” theory immediately followed by a 7 tear ”tribulation”, etc. is not believed by as many Christians as one may think…be ready anyway, whether there’s a ”rapture or not, for I am NOT 100% comfortable spreading that rapture theory around as if 100% it WILL happen with absolute, hardcore, no nonsense certainty, it sells books,it sells movies, it’s a moneymaker,, but that doesn’t mean it’s true, and God help us with that Nicholas Cage remake of ”Left Behind” that looks terrible, and may make the awful Kirk Cameron version look like a masterpiece by comparison.
    I’m not spreading ”doubt”, I’m just extremely careful of a possible rapture theory, ‘we’re gonna disappear’ possible, quite possible deception….nobody knows, I still stand by that, be ready anyway.

    • Chuckles says:

      Vic, I didn’t say you were “spreading” doubt, but that you are projecting your own doubt onto others in your own perception. That is, you’re assuming that, since you don’t know a certain thing, nobody else can know it either. That’s not even close to logical.

      As I said, there are many people who do know about the pre-trib rapture, and can back up their opinion with solid, detailed biblical scholarship. I directed you to a whole nest of them.

      As for Hank Hanegraaff, he’s done a lot of great work in the field of cult apologetics. I remember the late ’80s when he was–quite courageously–taking on Benny Hinn, Ken Copland, and many other WF heretics who congregate on TBN. I have his two best books from that period. He’s a good guy.

      Unfortunately, he’s very weak on the subject of eschatology, totally out of his element. The same was true of his mentor, the late Dr. Walter Martin. The difference is, Martin–though he was post-trib–readily admitted that eschatology was not his field of study, and he occasionally deferred to pre-trib teachers when he recognized they were better informed on a given point. Hank doesn’t.

      Sadly, when discussing eschatology–the rapture in particular–Hank has a tendency to do what he rightfully criticizes others of doing; assuming what he’s trying to prove, sometimes in the face of obvious scriptural evidence which contradicts what he’s saying. A glaring example of that is at about 1:55 in that video, when he states–quite dogmatically–that 1st Cor. 15:51-53 “has nothing to do with the rapture”. That is sheer unsupported dogmatism. He also has a tendency to allegorize any passages that describe the rapture itself, especially those which support a pre-trib rapture. It’s no wonder he “doesn’t see the pre-trib rapture in Scripture”. He doesn’t have the necessary grasp of the related passages. He’s blinded by his own assumptions. (Well, nobody’s perfect, are they?)

      One of the straw men often hurled at pre-tribbers is the claim, “There’s no pre-trib rapture in the Bible.” What most fail to mention is the fact that there is no post-trib rapture in the Bible, either. That there is a rapture in the Bible is straightforward enough to anyone without Hank Hanegraaff’s blinders. The placement of the rapture in the sequence of end time events is a much more complex issue. The issue is by nature inferential. The question becomes: Which inference (pre, mid, post, or what?) best fits into Scripture with the fewest scriptural difficulties, the least amount of assuming, allegorizing, and “adjusting” of the text in view? There are many pre-trib scholars who have made a compelling case for “pre”.

      Bottom lining it, the question “Where is the pre-trib rapture in the Bible?” has a complex answer that involves much study. Sadly, many people seem unwilling to do the homework needed to get the biblical answer. It’s much easier to pose the question and assume the answer is, “Nowhere!” Many others go into the study with their minds made up, looking for “answers” to “disprove” pre-tribulationism. Not a good approach.

      In that video, Hank did get one thing right: Matthew 24:38-42 is not a reference to the rapture. Many pre-trib scholars, such as the late Dr. John Walvoord, have agreed. Hank seems to think he’s got the final nail for the pre-trib coffin with that reference, but he actually shoots himself in the foot. The idea that Matthew 24:38-42 is the rapture has been taught by post-tribbers such as Robert Gundry. It’s sometimes accepted by less-informed pre-tribbers as well. Walvoord himself pointed out the inadequate treatment of the passage by both sides in his book “The Rapture Question” (pg. 184) right before he explained it thoroughly. I highly recommend that book, btw.

      Vic, I’ve taken this time with you in the hope that the info I’ve provided will be helpful. I hope you look through the site, pre-trib.org. When you get there, click the “articles” button and you’ll find a long list of articles that address your concerns, particularly about Darby, Dispensationalism, and this supposedly “new fangled’ pre-trib rapture doctrine. Many of the articles are written by people who have made the study of biblical eschatology their life’s work.

      God bless.

  6. Vic says:

    I’ll take closer look at that site, I’m surprised virtually no one is challenging alot of the kookier followers of the faith on YT that believe mile wide spacecraft are going to arriving on enormous spaceships soon, I mean these so called Christians like, Kirt Richard, Jonathan Kleck, ”Red Pill Revolution’, L.A. Marzulli, etc.’ are nuts! Not only that, they’re saying it’s imminent…any ”deep” study on that one that reveals there will be spaceships with ‘aliens’ many Christians are leapfrogging to conclude that this is the so-called great deception? Are you beginning to see my point here?
    Charlatans in the faith are legion, and you sir, Mr. “Chuckles”, if you are half as erudite as I think you are, go to these YT Channels, especially the ones with the most views overall, and point them in the right direction…I’m sure this site gets ”hits”, but you need to be where the people are going and not stay ‘hidden in the shadows’ here, if you will.
    No excuses, sorry, you have a duty, especially if you are a little older and more erudite than the rest of us, because these Christian Conspiracy theorists are virtually out of control on the internet, and it’s giving Christianity a worse reputation than it already has in the world….I only touched on the rapture theory, a subject lame in comparison to what these other people are talking about, you need to prove or disprove the Sethite view on Genesis 6, because the Sethite view is not as weak as some people claim it is.
    I lean a bit toward the Angel view of Gen. 6. but i was informed and read that God is grieved at ”Man” in Genesis 6, and that he mentions ”Man” as being being the guilty party in Gen. 6 at least 5 TIMES in Gen. 6!….But wait! He’s not grieved at what the Angels allegedly did with creating hybrids in Gen; 6?? What?? Crickets on the condemnation of Angels’ Sins in Gen 6…. he’s only grieved at ”Man”, which seemingly contradicts itself here on on WHO EXACTLY the guilty party is in Gen. 6., So what they do is leapfrog all the way 2nd. Peter and couple of sentences in Jude to prove that Angels can have sexy time with humans.
    Very strange, but you know this stuff already, you tell us, as even Michael Heiser has problems with Gen. 6. to this day….They may have been Angels, maybe not…BTW not all women were ”beautiful” back then as mentioned in Gen 6., maybe 5 or 6 percent of all young Women were super hot back then, same ratio as today same to assume.
    So yes, I get info from many people, but the kooks, though entertaining, are theologically extrapolating some crazy stuff… will you stay silent? Or wiil you go to where they are gathering en masse and confront with love?

  7. Chuckles says:

    StoneDragon says:
    09/22/2014 at 12:10 pm

    Rich, I’ve seen Facing the Giants The entire movie length is one long, continuous punch on the nose. “Be obedient or be smacked”.

    Interesting take, StoneDragon, heh.

    I intend to answer Rich’s challenge myself after he answers my question re: a common treatment of their plots. I’ll wait another day or two, and of no answer is forthcoming by then, I’ll post my “thoughts” on FtG alone. (I mean, he did seem interested.) My take dovetails with some of the points you’ve made. I won’t be as blunt, but I’ll compensate for that by being long-winded. 🙂

    • Chuckles says:

      Vic said:

      I’m surprised virtually no one is challenging alot of the kookier followers of the faith on YT that believe mile wide spacecraft are going to arriving on enormous spaceships soon

      Actually, there are quite a few well-known Christian discernment ministries that are challenging the “kookier” ideas you mention, at least as far as these ideas come from Christians. As to these ideas coming from non-Christians, well, that fountain is inexhaustible, it seems. Anyone could post rebuttals on YT 24/7 and not make a dent.

      As to my being “erudite”, you flatter me. I have no personal “duty” to be riding herd on those videos, that is for my Lord to direct me, and He hasn’t, probably because such would be an un-ending distraction. I have taken time with you because you evidently are sincere in your desire to sort out prophecy issues.

      I haven’t heard of the names you mentioned except for L.A. Marzulli. To be fair to him, I think he gets treated unfairly in some reviews, though not all Many of the same reviews have some good points too. He does not–afaik–believe that actual “space aliens” are going to show up here. He does try to make the case that a faked space alien presence will be part of the end-time delusion exploited by the antichrist during the Tribulation. How far that faked presence will go is debatable, but L.A. seems sure that it will involve a demonic fake. I agree that such a facet of the final delusion is possible. The seven-year Tribulation period will be a radically bizarre time as I have said; unlike any time the world has yet experienced. A widespread demonic ruse would fit right in. (Cris dealt with a specific aspect of that in the book “Exo Vaticana”.) In fact, the book of revelation describes widespread demonic activity occurring on earth during that time. L.A. believes we are “ramping up” to that, as do many others–though not necessarily in the way L.A. does. He does seem to make unfounded assumptions here and there, especially in regard to the Nephilim issue (which I won’t get into), and–from comments he has made at times–I think his overall grasp of the end-time picture presented in the Bible itself is a bit… um, light. At times he almost seems to imply that the 70th Seven of Daniel has already begun. It has not, as any of the scholars on that site I pointed you to would agree.

      Again I encourage you to checkout that site, Vic. You’ll see right away that the level of discussion is much higher than the craziness of some YT videos. Gotta go.

  8. jaz says:

    Chuckles; Your dispensationalism is your mire….

  9. Vic says:

    When virtually all Christian Media is dispensational, I do not blame him…I still have a hard time believing John at Patmos was addressing a 21st Century crowd, when it clearly states early in Revelation he was addressing the 7 Churches at the time for events to happen ”soon”…now, if the interpetation of ”soon” can be somehow be extrapolated by definition to include few Thousand years into the distant future, then..well…IDK.
    The Sermon On the Mount, easy peasy to understand, brilliant, The Proverbs, easy peasy, brilliant…but WHY the ‘cloudy’ unclear stuff on Prophecy with dozens of different interpretations?
    ”Wars and rumors of wars” for example, well that could mean just about ANY era from almost any time in History in just about any Country, see what I mean? With no specifics on the ‘Wars and rumors of Wars’ thing, that particular unspecific statement, because it is unspecific, leaves the door Wiiiiiide open for interpretation, debate, and endless speculation that ‘the end is nigh’ going back hundreds of years to present day.
    Life truly is confusing enough, challenging enough, earning a living, and trying very hard to do the ‘right’ thing, to toe the line all the time and ”obey” this, and obey that, or your’re gonna burn for Trillions and Trillions of years in the bad place, for a lifetime that was lived less than a Hundred years…scary stuff, even if you’re believer, scary stuff.

    • jaz says:

      Hi Vic; as I understand it, with the Lord 1000 years is as a day 2Pet3:8 and the Last days begun with the preaching of the Gospel Heb1:2..
      I, also am of the understanding that the prophecies of ‘Revelation’ do not belong ‘only’ to the last seven years of human history..
      There are many passages that clearly show this truth.. ‘The great whore drunk with the blood of the saints’ Rev17:6 is but one example.. Her intoxication include the blood of Prophets as well as saints Rev18:24
      However; She is present upon the earth in the end-times and awaits Burning.. This whore has also adulterated with Kings past and present.. Babylon was not built in seven years or as some suggest three and half years..

      The sure signs of the approaching Day of the Lord (His physical return) can be seen in the increase of the wickedness and violence of men as was in the days of Noah and of Lot, the increasing ferocity of weather, the weapons of war that can take out entire cities, But above all, is the ‘Idolatry’ that is to be found even in the House of God. (The Apostasy) 2Thes2:3

      So; what Jesus spoke of in Mat 24 crosses the span of time with a dramatic increase prior to His Return which will be on the Last day Jn6:40, Rev22:12

    • Chuckles says:

      Vic said:

      When virtually all Christian Media is dispensational, I do not blame him

      Vic, I didn’t get my end-times views from “Christian Media”, but from biblical study. Sure, I did not eschew the use of commentaries or other materials, but if I agree with dispensational pre-trib scholars on some issues, it’s because their views make much more biblical sense than the opposition.

      Besides, it is untrue that “virtually all Christian Media is dispensational”. Would that such were true. The big movement in Christendom these days is anti-dispensational, anti-Israel, Church-has-to-fix-the-world-for-Jesus-to-come apostasy.

      it clearly states early in Revelation he was addressing the 7 Churches at the time

      Yes, he was, but as with so many prophecies, there is more to it. John is told at the beginning of Rev. 4 that the visions he was about to be given applied to “what will happen after these things“, which things are what he was shown in Rev. 2 and 3.

      Vic, have you checked out anything in those resources I mentioned?

      Do you even intend to?

      • Vic says:

        I have seen the site, but I really don’t know if the ‘interpretations’ are even accurate.
        Anybody, and I mean anybody, can be completely and utterly convinced
        there’s a Pre-Trib, Post Trib, or Pre Wrath Rapture.
        It is apparent that you are locked and loaded with the Pre Trib notion ‘Chuckes’, and
        Wild Horses will never ever you budge from your position…ever, never…God Bless you Man, because after
        Centuries of debate on the issue by Dozens If not Hundreds of the Great Theologians, Scholars,
        and Preachers on Planet Earth, you have finally found the answer that settles it all…and THAT’S the
        problem.
        You see, I can study this Rapture debate’ till my eyes get bloodshot, the undeniable fact is I don’t
        have the sufficient erudition to debate or know with confidence to those who do have erudition and went
        to Fill in the Blank Theologica/ChristianSchool or Seminary to counter what they know.
        That’s the issue here, the point is the Bible is not crystal clear on it, i mean, how could I, you, or anybody
        else be certain? And why was Scripture absolutely, positively, unabashedly crystal clear on who was going to be saved from judgment when judgment was about to occur in the OT, but WE, us, you, me and anybody else
        reading this, in this day and age are not really sure about it, when OT survivors of Judgment KNEW they were going to be spared? why is it that WE, so far removed from the OT generation that it’s not even funny, is the Rapture debate is so muddled, we should have been transmitted with the ”’Don’t worry, the Lifeboat is coming” message with hardcore, unabashed, unanimous certainty and simplicity even clearer because of the fact we’re so distant into the far future from the Bible Days, that my concern is actually for the further distant future Christians because it will be more muddled because so much more time has passed!
        So something’s ‘off”, the OT Judgment survivors were comforted knowing they would be ‘snatched away’ somehow, but for US, it’s not clear no matter how much one studies, and nothing personal but after the long history of rapture debates, I have a hard believing, you found the answer, after many many years, of debate,
        and the website you keep talking about, is the end all be all answer to whether the LifeBoat is coming before TSHTF…clearer who was going to spared in the OT, much more muddier for us, the generation far, far removed from the OT…why?? It should have been clearer for us, so we know, and maybe ease some anxiety,
        because if anything, anxiety increases with us not knowing, no matter, no matter, no matter how much one ”studies”, because there’s always arguments to the contrary, beacuse it’s not clear.

        • Chuckles says:

          Well, Vic, there’s one thing you seem to “know”, and that is that “nobody can know”. You’ve convinced yourself of that, and you seem to draw comfort from the fog.

          I won’t even attempt to unravel the twisted, disjointed progression of ideas you posted above. I had the impression that you wanted answers, but apparently I was mistaken.

  10. Vic says:

    I see what you’re saying, but the increase in wickedness and violence has stayed a constant with the growth in population, and more to the point, the ”violence” has dropped like rock here in the states over the past 20 years.

    Now, one can easily say it’s the calm before the storm, but as a student of History, times were much more brutal in the past than they were today, The Spanish/British conquests, The mass genocides of Mao, Stalin, Genghis Khan,
    Pol Pot, the little known mass genocide of the French Revolution known as ”Vendee”…jaw dropping stuff, I could go on and on, but you get my point, all things being equal, we’re doing pretty damn good despite what the media crams down our throats every night.
    And yes, yes, the news about ISIS and all that, not to put on rose colored glasses on today’s events whatsoever,
    but ISIS present day is nothing compared to the events of the past, though one may think the world is coming apart at the seams, when Earth was much less populated than it was today, the violence, wars, and mass murders were out of control, manic, and downright nastier and bloodier on a more epic scale than today, by far…knock on wood.

  11. jaz says:

    Hi Vic; There only need be one verse of scripture to disprove the pre-trib rapture ‘theory’ Rev22:12

    Indeed Jesus is coming Quickly “Like Lightening from the east to the west so shall be the coming of the Son of men” Mat24:27 and he is coming to reward all men of their deeds..
    Be they ‘the deeds of Faith’ or the deeds of the Flesh’
    Judgment Day is what the Apostles Taught at the return of Christ Acts10:42 Jn5:27-29
    And furthermore; it is not some seven years before the Last Day.. Jesus comes on the Last day… Jn6:40
    There is no more day as we know it after the ‘Last Day’ as it will be a “New heaven and a New earth” as God promised to the righteous only 2Pet3:1314 The New heaven and the New earth belong only to the Israel of God who are only “The redeemed of the Lord” Isa51:11, Rev21:22

  12. Vic says:

    Well, there you go Jaz, another view to the ‘Chuckles’ view on it…not discounting that one either…I’m open either way…My focal point to the extreme is why Scripture was not communicating to a far, FAR distant future generation like us with extreme clarity…I just don’t get it….It’s apparently extremely clear on what behavior we’e not supposed to indulge in, that’s pretty clear to us, I mean, that’s something that doesn’t need much ‘study’, but with the Rapture theory it’s like it’s intentionally nebulous as opposed to the clarity on how we’re supposed to toe the line on behaviors and morality.
    Here’s a recent video recorded on 10-12-14 on the DEBATE IS OVER (allegedly), about the Pre-Trib Rapture…Check it out there Chuckles, I’m open, rebuttal this recording, show us where he’s in error, I’ll study it a bit, and even go back to YOUR Pre-Trib site you recommend to balance it out…see if we come to some kind of ‘conclusion’ if you feel so strongly about the Pre Trib notion.
    Be Well.

    • Chuckles says:

      Test! [Thumping microphone]… Test! Is this back on yet?

    • Chuckles says:

      Whew! Haven’t been able to post here for weeks! Apparently nobody has been able to post since about 10/23. Wonder what happened.

      Well anyway, we’re back on. Now, where were we Vic? Oh, yeah, that YouTube “The Debate is Over” thing you asked me to critique…

      I finally got time to listen to the whole thing. That took a lot longer than 97 minutes because I did a lot of pausing the audio to take notes. It’s basically what I expected. The same old postie “arguments”, with a couple of variations thrown in. One thing I hadn’t heard before is Lankford’s contention that the “pause” in Daniel’s timeline for Israel in Dan. 9:24-27 occurs in the middle of the 70th week instead of between the 69th and 70th weeks. Lankford bases his view on a misunderstanding of when “the coming of Messiah the Prince” occurs. He thinks it happened at the beginning of the Lord’s ministry. Lankford associates Jesus’ earthly ministry (approximately 3.5 years) with the 1st half of the 70th week. That’s nonsense, because the Messiah’s “coming” happened when Jesus entered Jerusalem–as Messiah officially–on the back of a donkey several days before His crucifixion. (We call that “Palm Sunday”.) Remember what Jesus said to Jerusalem? “If you had known in this day…” (Luke 19:42).

      Also rampant are some of the usual postie assumptions: “Saints” in the Tribulation means the Church, “tribulation” of from the world equated with the tribulation that comes upon the world from God, confusion of the “last trumpet of 1st Cor. 15 with the seventh trumpet of Revelation, cramming the wrath of God into the very end of the 70th week…Iow, much of the usual arbitrary nonsense that has been refuted countless times in books and on the web (not to mention by the Bible itself).

      Bottom line; lapses in cogency such as those are typical of the entire interview. It’s sobering that someone with such a sloppy grasp of eschatology–not to mention pretribulationism–publishes books and DVDs. Yeesh. Talk about “people perish[ing] for lack of knowledge”!

      Vic, I’m not saying you should throw away your Bible, just the opposite. But when comparing the works of men to the Bible, you can go to ill-informed, self-anointed post-tribbers like Lankford, or you can delve into the works of people who have made the study of biblical prophecy their life’s work, such as Dr. Thomas Ice, Dr. Mark Hitchcock, Dr John Walvoord, and others. It’s that simple.

  13. Chuckles says:

    Vic, the title tells me much of what I need to know about the veracity of the “debate” presented in that YouTube audio. It’s a central tenet of pretribulationism that the issue is inferential. I’ve already stated that. Therefore, the debate is most certainly not over. It’s non-pre-tribbers–especially amillenarians and post-tribbers–that come up with presumptuous titles like “The Pre Trib Debate is Over”.

    Nevertheless, I’ll make an effort to listen to that audio this weekend, and offer a critique later.

    One thing ’til then: jaz has provided you with a textbook example of defective post-trib/amillennial reasoning on this subject. None of the Scriptures quoted have anything in them to preclude the Rapture of the Church. Some pertain to Christ’s 2nd coming to the earth to rescue Israel and set up His kingdom on earth, and judgements thereafter. The rapture (Christ’s catching up His Church to meet Him in the air) and Christ’s return to the earth after “the tribulation of those days” (the 70th week of Daniel) are two different events often confused by jaz and others.

  14. jaz says:

    Chuckles; The Apostles taught only One return of Christ on the ‘Last day’ where he comes from the right hand of the Father to “judge the living and the dead” This is also found in Rev 11:18 with the last trump..

    Vs18 describes the Wrath of God upon the Nations, the judgment of the dead, the rewarding of bond-servants, prophets and saints…. in other words ; the return of Christ is what the Apostles called “The day of the Lord”
    1Thes5:2 which Paul ties with the rapture 1Thes4:16,17..
    It is in the appearing in His Kingdom that The Living and the dead are Judged 2Tim4:1 The Kingdom of Christ has alway been an everlasting one “Not of this world” which will be manifested at His return in the New heavens and New earth on the “Day of the Lord” 2Pet3:10..
    It is in the Light of Apostolic teaching that the prophets must be understood and that is the case with the prophecies of Daniel… the 70th week is only separated from the previous 69 by your theology… Reality is; that the Old covenant with Israel is over It is replaced by the New.. “the Olive Tree’ is Spiritual Israel (the Kingdom over which Christ reigns) made up of Jews and gentiles “the redeemed of the Lord” For the promise given to Abraham is fulfilled in Christ the only “legitimate heir” and the New Covenant in His Blood… The Messiah was foretold to come and He has come His ministry ended with the shedding of His Blood “We preach Christ crucified” said the Apostle (salvation is not by Race but by Grace)
    Jesus is not returning to save anyone but to judge all who rejected His Messianic work of atonement for sins….

    You have a dispensational (Man-made theory) of eschatology and not an Apostolic one..

  15. Vic says:

    Thx Chuckles and Jaz, I truly appreciate the input from the both of you…the 3 hour Hank Hanegraaf and Mark Hitchcock Date Of Revelation debate is the last video I’ve seen related to the subject…’seen 9 HOURS of it…yes, I’ve seen it 3 times and my head hurts, lol…excellent arguments on both sides IMHO
    WHEN ”Revelation” was actually written really does appear to be the ‘fulcrum’ of everything regarding the last days..woulda been nice for John At Patmos to DATE the darn Book…would have take him just seconds to do it…goodness gracious.
    Currently I’ve been leapfrogging back to Genesis, and somebody pointed out to me a few things almost everyone misses.
    First of all, when it says (caps emphasized) ”Let US make Man in OUR own Image, after OUR own likeness”, and then the very next passage it says God made Man in his OWN image, what’s going on there?…It appears that there’s an Ultra-Intelligent group of Extraterrestrials (Angels) asking permission to make Man in THEIR own image with 3 plurality references, then God appears to ignore this Council by making Man in his OWN image.
    Secondly, we all have been taught that Adam was created IN the Garden Of Eden, but the text simply doesn’t support it, Adam was ”put” there, which must mean he was created somewhere else first, then placed there…but from where?? Incredible, we’ve been taught all of our lives that Adam was created IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN. Gen:2 v. 15: And God TOOK the Man and PUT him into the Garden Of Eden…”
    This begs the question, where was Adam made, and how far was the trip to where he was made to where he was was PUT? The next County? The next Continent? The next Planet? Why not just make him AT the Garden Of Eden? Why did he have to be TAKEN from a Mystery Location after he was made, then Placed??
    You may never find another inquiring mind like mine in your entire lifetime…lol, come on guys, virtually all of Humanity is in a hypnotic trance, I’m not, and I know you guys are not either, and as for the rapture, thx to Chuckles and a few other people, I’ve leaned toward the Pre-Trib view, but I’m not yelling from the rooftops, because there’s always that doubt….that little nagging thing…we ALL have it.

    • Chuckles says:

      Vic, if you read Gen. 1:26, you’ll notice that it says “Then GOD said, ‘Let US make…'” etc. It is God, not “an Ultra-Intelligent group of Extraterrestrials (Angels)” making man in God’s image. The use of plural pronouns in this verse doesn’t mean someone other than God is speaking. Rather, it is one of the proofs underlying the doctrine of the Trinity, so it is in complete harmony with verse 27, “And God created man…” etc.

      As for where Adam was made, why should it be any issue that he was made outside the Garden of Eden? I certainly haven’t been taught all my life that he was made in the garden. The Scripture does say that he was “formed out of the dust of the ground” (of earth, that is, Gen. 2:7, 1st Cor. 15:47), but, as you have noted, it doesn’t say he was made in the G of E. Why did God make Adam in one place, then put him in the Garden? From the text, it appears the G of E was “planted” by God after Adam was created. That would have something to do with it.

      But really, is that question that important?

      Part of Bible study is learning to ask the right questions. You can’t find the right answers without asking the right questions. Often I find that the answer to the right question is contained in the very text that brought the question to my mind in the first place. (It’s wonderful how God has anticipated our questions in His written Word.) Other questions I file under “hold for future inquiry”.

  16. Vic says:

    So when he created Mankind, he didn’t call Man ”good”, but he calls his every other creation ”good”…is there a reason?
    Also when his ”Rib” is taken out to make Woman, but no one has ever questioned: ”Hey, wait a minute, wouldn’t that make Adam’s Rib Cage UNEVEN some how, which would in turn make OUR Rib Cages uneven too?

    Maybe he replaced his literal Rib that was removed, but the text doesn’t support it, so I’m not buying that one yet.
    Why were we all taught it was a literal ”Rib”, if it wasn’t, even though this is an ENGLISH play on words, could it be possible that the ”Rib”, could be ”Ribose”, the RNA/DNA molecule essential for cloning? Because to me that makes much more sense than what you and I have been taught, taking a BONE from his Chest and making Woman, he could EASILY make Woman from a tiny blood sample anyway, so why would he need an Entire RIB?..I’ve always thought the common way that every Pastor teaches was ‘off’ somehow…just weird…Picturing God making a small incision on Adam’s flesh and taking a tiny sample of Blood so God could ‘tweak’ his DNA to create a second Sex from ‘RIB-ose’ makes much more sense, and makes MUCH more sense present day anyway with our knowledge Science, but is THAT even really true? Because DNA tinkering good or bad, is very Ancient anyway.

  17. jesusknight says:

    The new movie called “The Remaining” is not the tale of old that old school believers think it is; at least not deep down. On the surface, it seems like most middle of the road Christian movies these days – end of the world scenario, trumpets, wide-spread death, mayhem and despair. The film is quite edgey, with plenty of indecision, fear, and supernatural happenings and thrills, and is pretty much done with a phone camera, which is kinda cool. But that’s just the surface.

    Its astonishing to me that the more noticeable and distinct difference (to me) between this film and others like it seems to be flying way over the heads of most who see it. Although, to be fair, I had to sleep on it for two days, forget about it and then wake up from a deep sleep with it so clear in my head I had to write it down before I forgot. And, no, I never do that about a film and have never done so before.

    In most Christian films of this type, the rapture has happened and the world is full of non-believers, with some scattered nominal carnal ‘Christians’ here and there that begin to recognize what happened. In this is the similarity of all end times Christian films. The round-up and murder of Christians world wide starts soon after, and the adventure is to those who are trying to survive until Christ’s soon return. In those films, the focus is on the UNBELIEVER, trying to make him understand the dire straits he is in – to repent and come to Christ before its too late and they die in their sins. The believer, usually, is considered to be spiritually ‘untouchable’, and is used in these films as a way to bring the lost to God in the physical. They have the time and place to hear, consider, and convert (or not) before something happens (or not) to them and those around them.

    NOT so this film! And this is where it is completely different from every other film ever produced that has to do with the Coming of Jesus and the rapture of His church.
    The focus of this film is actually on the BELIEVER himself, not the unbeliever. It is noteworthy to pay attention to the fact that there are NO believers left in this film at all when the rapture is done. The world is full of NON-believers and fence sitters who have to come to terms that they have been left behind and they need to get their act together, and quickly.
    They scarcely have time to acknowledge the change of heart they have to themselves much less to anyone else, before they are quickly and brutally slaughtered or poisoned (by stinging) by evil, spiritual beings that are attracted to their new found faith; spirits sent specifically to kill those who now believe, and eradicate them from the earth as quickly as possible before (hopefully) they convert others.
    The focus is not on the tribulation, per se, nor even the anti-christ, but on the personal and radical change of faith in others. They are so changed by their circumstances and surroundings that their faith is pure and true, and quick. There is absolutely no time or place for false conversion in this film anywhere. The faith of the characters doesn’t come by reading a bible, either, but more by ‘hearing’. The bible itself curiously never mentions being saved by reading.. but by ‘hearing’. And this movie takes that to heart and uses it very effectively. In fact, the bible a new believer is carrying with her is burnt to a crisp, in an attack that leaves her poisoned and dying and the book utterly useless and ruined. Truly, a day is coming where we may not be able to read the bible to refresh our faith; we will have to know our faith by listening to our Father in heaven when He speaks to us. Literally.

    The believers in the film don’t get attacked until they try to tell someone what is going on, and then the attack is so quick and brutal, that there is little time for the listener to take it to heart, except maybe to think that they should never convert, so as to possibly avoid death in the end.

    This film is a brilliant warning of things to come for those who can see and hear; in the spirit, and in the physical. The world we live in is getting more and more hostile to our faith, and they are looking for excuses to do something about it.
    And we can’t say we haven’t been warned, because they tell us again and again in their movies, books and blogs. Its noticeable in the new laws throughout the country and the world. The world hates Christians, and its getting worse.
    We have been targeted as a group, found wanting, and are going to be exterminated like rats in a cage. There will be nowhere to go, no one to tell that can be trusted with our life, and no way out but death or complete denunciation of the true faith, which is also death. And, like the movie, there will be no room – or time – for false conversion or sitting on the fence once they make up their minds to act.

    As a group, we Christians must wake up, open our eyes and ears to the Truth, and live it with true meaning for those all around us. Whether we are housewives who stay at home, a person who works outside the home, a child at public school, or anyone anywhere else, doing anything. So that when that time does come, we will be ready, and be a good witness to the Truth that is God in Christ Jesus, and remain faithful and true to the end. And, hopefully, take others with us to the kingdom of God for eternity.

  18. Vic says:

    I’m almost convinced at this point the ”Rapture” ITSELF is a part of the ”Strong delusion”, when UFO’S will arrive en masse when they are ‘needed the the most either just BEFORE OR AFTER some sort of major Earth catastrophe,
    and offer us a way out of here….DO NOT get on those Ships, and I don’t care if one of those ‘Aliens’ looks exactly how Jesus would look….DO NOT get on those ships, because I will just bet that most ”Christians” will board those Craft like Flies on Dung ignorant to the likelihood they’ll by piloted by the Annunaki, for the continued enslavement of humanity, because they need our ”energy” to survive…The movie THE MATRIX was not far
    off in that regard.
    Relatedly, it’s very tough to dimiss the oldest inscriptions we have, The Sumerian Cuneiform, which has virtually the SAME Creation story as the Bible WAYYYYY before the Bible was written and completed, and other stories as well with even the similar or same names of the people in those stories!
    I say that to Bible defending ”Christians” quite a bit, and they don’t have the slightest clue….The Cuneiform Problem is an enormous challenge, and not just mere ‘coincidence’ they have the SAME stories as in Scripture, an it’s not a stretch by any means to say much of the Johnny come lately Bible, is a forgery of the much more ancient Cuneiform Tablets…Heck, we have none the ORIGINAL texts from either the OT, or NT itself, and that’s a bit concerning.

  19. Sharon says:

    Rapture fans might also enjoy going to Googleland and typing in “Left Behind or Led Astray?” (seen on YouTube).

  20. Vic says:

    Something is completely ‘off’ with this Rapture theory Sharon…something is off, Jesus would have clear to the absolute extreme would have said with the upmost clarity something to the hardcore clarity as like: “Do not fear, for sincere believers in me shall not perish, but shall be taken away before the Beast shall begin his wrath upon the Earth.”
    THAT’S a Crystal Clear statement…seriously why are Preachers and Teachers so absolutely Crystal Clear with the proverbial finger wagging about not doing naughty things, but not so crystal clear about OTHER things like the Rapture?…In other words, why aren’t the messages at least consistently clear? In other words, why are some things out in the open, and some things not?
    In other words, why if God changes not, then why are the ‘rules of game’ changed on what Mankind should and shouldn’t do changed up in between OT to the NT?
    I have a childlike faith, but this ‘Child’ also has a childlike intuition, and an inquiring God Given Brain to ask questions.

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