In part 1, we examined the definition and dangers of FUD. Now, in part 2, we'll get into why we do it to ourselves, and how this affects our view of the Rapture.
So, why do we do this to ourselves?
For one thing, we still have a sin nature to us that is called "the flesh." This nature tries to draw us away from God, that we are autonomous and can do things "on our own." (This is the point where we get into trouble.) WE think things like "i don't want to bother God" or "i don't need god to handle this". But soon, one problem becomes 20, then 40, and we are under a burden that would have given Samson a hernia! But at the core of it, we take things upon ourselves because the old us still wants to be "god", and does not want to yield the reins of power easily to the true God, God almighty:
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? " (Jeremiah 17:9)
A second reason is a powerful one indeed: Satan.
Satan is seeking to destroy the human race any way he can, and drag them to hell. Those who are saved he cannot bring to hell, but he can try to hurt them and make as miserable as he can: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" (1 Peter 5:8)
Satan will do anything he can to come between us and the Lord, to destroy our witness and ruin our credibility and effectiveness as tools for the Lord to use. Jesus had to pray for Peter, because the bible tells us:
"And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." (Luke 22:31-32)
Satan wanted to work on Peter and make him stumble. And we all know how that story turned out: Peter ended up denying the lord three times. Satan may not be able to touch our salvation, but he can surely try to cramp our witness.
Speaking of which, now comes about the Rapture and what role FUD plays in that.
As we know from scriptures, the Lord will come before Daniel's 70th week (the Tribulation), and take us as he has promised in scripture. We are not going to be here for that time, as we have already made our choice to serve the Lord.
SO, how does FUD affect this?
The Rapture represents hope for us: that we will no longer be here, but with Christ in heaven: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
For some of, They begin to see EVERYTHING as a "sign" that a signless event is about to transpire (despite the bible tells us about no man knowing the time), and cause people to "date-set". When those dates don't come true, they end up looking foolish and this hurts the credibility of our witness as a whole. Everyone begins to look the same to non-Christians, and all of us lose any sort of audience we may of had with seekers and those that would have heard us.
For others, FUD causes them to believe that the tribulation has already taken place, and therefore, there is not going to be a pre-tribulation rapture.They consider themselves stuck for "the long haul" and that they will have to endure horrors untold. This rips away the hope from them, and they begin to see internment camps, torture chambers, and sinister conspiracies under every table and in every nook and cranny. This also damages our witness as a whole, because in effect, Christians show none of the peace that they claim to have, and that we are just as scared and uncertain as an unsaved individual is about the things of the future.
But whatever point is taken, the conspiracies and living in fear seem to be more important to them than what the Bible actually has to say about the future, and it's as if they enjoy scaring themselves to death over it.
Here's what they forget:
"Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces.Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us. For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread." (Isaiah 9-13)
God knows all about the conspiracies, and is not concerned with them. We aren't to fear them or run in terror, but we are to trust the Lord in both situations. Only HE know when the time of the Rapture is, and he has promised us an escape.
FUD is a large umbrella, and different people have different reactions to it depending upon who they are, but one thing is certain: the reactions it produces are not biblical ones. We are supposed to have discernment in all things, and as scriptures tell us:
"And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Acts 17:10-11)
When we don't discern things properly, we begin to believe half-truths and lies. We lose any credibility we have, and Satan, one way or the other, wins.
Part 3 will deal with how the other side sees our witness in all of this.