My first pastor was a missionary pastor of the Assemblies of God who hailed from Springfield, Missouri, USA. I can say that he sincerely taught us the things of God he was convinced were true. One of them was that of the pre-tribulation rapture of the Church. It made me wonder one time when he warned us not to fellowship with self identified Christians who did not believe this way with regards to the Second Coming of Christ. Now, coming from an RC background, it was fascinating to me that the pre-tribulation rapture scheme was totally of a different schema of things, because as I was taught in the Apostles Creed, that when Jesus comes, that was the end.
So I wondered as I saw the lives of these anti-Left Behind Christians, why they ought to be shunned.
Through my study, over the years my pre-trib understanding came more and more under skepticism and I finally abandoned it as early as 15 years ago and wind up in what theologians might call the Historic Pre-millinialism. This shares the same scheme as the A-mills except when Jesus returns a 1000 year period still follows. I held to this view because I reasoned that the promise of God to David, that he should have an heir on his throne should have a physical fulfillment. What changed?
One path in my journey led me to studying the book of Acts to see how the Apostles preached, I was trying to see if there was anything similar to the way evangelicals did it. In summary my answer is "no", there is no preaching in Acts 2 like that of Whitfield - you must be born again. I saw none of that.
Remember the physical fulfillment idea I had? Well Acts 2:34-36 shot that idea down. Then there was the other idea, the theological idea. Why do I think the A-millinialists have it? Because of the Gospel, because of the Cross. It makes sense because of the logic of the Cross.
Over in Col 2:15 15(C) He disarmed the rulers and authorities[a] and(D) put them to open shame, by(E) triumphing over them in him.[b]
If Jesus' in his coming, in his living, in his dying and in his rising, God has forgiven us of our sins, then this as we have often said, is a done deal. No amount of hard work can the devil do could ever undo his defeat. Then, this means that a new order of things has come upon us men (and women of course) since Jesus died and was raised. God has peace for us as far as our relationship with him is concerned already, by virtue of the Cross; Jesus brought the kingdom of God with him at his coming (death and resurrection). Hence, the announcement of the angel to the shepherds - Luke 2.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them,
This certainly sounds like a moping up operation to me, doesn't it? But I can not see it with my physical eyes, I can only see it in the spiritual eyes of faith; in the eyes of Word of God. Because, that is what it says.