Dan. 9:24-27 teaches that the final seven years--the 70th week--will fulfill God's timeline with Israel. It also teaches that there is a gap of unknown length of time between the 69th and 70th years, which we know to be the church age, the dispensation of grace. Only the church receives the indwelling Holy Spirit, who seals us unto the day of redemption, so that nothing can take us out of the Father's hand. Nowhere does the Old Testament indicate that this was true in the dispensation of law. So when the church age ends at the rapture, the 70th week picks up, and will operate on the same basis as the previous 69 weeks.I've always had a little trouble with this idea. I know many of you believe it here. If this is true, then all the "preaching and teaching"we have been doing now will be moot for tribulation saints. I think we are ALL saved by GRACE through FAITH--past, present and future. If trib saints are responsible for maintaining their salvation not a one of them will make into the end. And their bibles are basically useless. And since the only ones left will also be brand new believers, they won't even have anyone to teach them. Are you saying they will have to go back to the law? Burnt sacrifices? ALL of the law or just some of it? Maintaining one's own salvation? I can't make sense of this in my head. I can't find more than a verse or two to support it. Are you suggesting, as some Assembly of God churches teach, that if these tribulation saints tell a lie and then forget to ask for forgiveness right away they are doomed to hell if they should die before they get a chance to repent? I'm gonna have rewrite all my "left-behind" letters.
I have always found great comfort in this fact. I have many in my circle who have been hearing me "preach" for years and I KNOW that once the rapture occurs they are going to say, "By, Golly. She was right." But if what you are all saying is true, then all my preaching is for naught. Cuz I have always taught them OSAS. He who has been made free, is free indeed. Never once did I tell them they were going to have to maintain their own salvation. Cuz Jesus died for them, too, if they choose to believe/accept it.
Someone said above...RonJohn??...that the works of the trib saints will be the EVIDENCE of their salvation and not the REASON for it. Isn't that the same as it is now? THAT I can get behind. Whether God's focus is on Israel or the church, His promises are true. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. The alpha and omega. The beginning and the end. I think if the OSAS doctrine was revoked during the tribulation, it would be more clear in the Word. I love me some Brother Jack (and some Andy C.) but this is one area where I do not agree.
I was challenged today in my bible study time as I was listening to a teacher many of us probably follow. He challenged everyone to write down the name of one person to whom you are witnessing to/praying for and then to reach out that specific friend/person and ask how they are doing with their faith. I had a friend come right to mind and I reached out to her. I haven't heard back from her. I hope I will, but even if I dont, I am promised that His rod will not return void. We-- Holy Spirit and myself-- have been "working on her" for years and she is "this close" to getting off that fence. Do I now need to go back and tell her that I was wrong and that she should forget everything I have ever taught her about Jesus cuz it turns out, it is only true if she commits now? That it all goes out the window after the rapture? Without that OSAS doctrine, no-one would ever measure up. It's impossible. The reason we need Jesus is because we CANNOT do it on our own. Being a Christian would be JOYLESS and EXHAUSTING. Not that the tribulation is going to be joyful and easy, but I just can't see how anyone would get on board who thought their salvation was up to them.
P.S. My biggest witnessing challenge comes from the "Oh, I've lived a pretty good life. I'm okay." crowd. Not really the "I need to see it to believe it" crowd.