Sunday, October 02, 2022

The Rapture and the Imprecatory Psalms

All true Christians are believers, but not all believers are Christians.

That is in the Bible. Abraham wasn’t a Christian. Christianity belongs to the time following the ministry of the Lord Jesus, the descent of the Holy Spirit, and the inauguration of the church. That’s when the disciples became Christians. You don’t read the word “Christian” in the Old Testament, nor is a Christian described. What you have is godly or ungodly Israelites; those who believed God and those who didn’t; the wicked and the righteous in Israel — and of course some Gentiles saved as well.

The position from which a godly Jewish believer would look at things and the stance of an equally godly Christian looking at things are quite different.

A Godly Cry for Vengeance

You see, it was right for a Jew to cry out for vengeance on his enemies. It was right in the past and it will be right in the future. “Shall not God, who is righteous, bring about justice for his elect who cry to him day and night, and will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will bring about justice for them.”

Now is justice for God’s elect what you and I are praying for? We can pray for justice in a sense. I want the nations to be just. I want my country to do justice. We can pray for that. But you’re not praying for justice when you are wronged personally. You know that must await a period in the future, you know not when, when the Judge who does indeed stand at the door will intervene.

Prayers the Church Cannot Utter

But here I am going to suggest to you the Lord is looking at a people who will be on earth at his return as the Son of Man. Notice how he speaks here: “I tell you, he will bring about justice for them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Will he find a company of people believing in him in that way who will be crying out to him and saying, “O God, avenge us of our adversaries, deal with them, punish them,” like that widow?

Yes, he will. These psalms that cry out for vengeance are called the imprecatory psalms; psalms that use language we cannot take on our lips today. But we recognize their validity, and they will find a response at the coming of the Son of Man. At that very hour prior to his coming, this prayer will arise from earth, a prayer that we as Christians cannot utter.

Let me ask you, who is going to utter it then? My solution to that is that there will be a company on earth that will rightly cry out for vengeance and will rightly cry out for justice on earth. That company will be the remnant of Israel.

Which Prayer Will God Answer?

You’ve faced this problem, haven’t you. Let’s say there’s an election coming up, and you’ve settled in your mind that it’s time Mr. Trudeau was out. With all due respect to him, you’ve decided his term in office is finished and you’re going to vote him out. You’ve prayed about it. But a Christian who is equally godly and exercised is praying, and he’s praying that Trudeau will remain in. Now, what are you going to do about that? Which prayer is God going to answer?

So you run into a problem there. Well, you’ve got an even bigger problem here. How can there be a company of people on earth crying out for vengeance and another company, a Christian company, crying out for mercy? The two can’t exist together, not if both prayers are directed by God. And I believe these prayers are directed by God. I don’t think they’re an expression of immaturity that has to be discarded. I believe these prayers are valid in their time, and it will be appropriate for these prayers to spring forth from the heart and the lips of godly Israelites in that time of great tribulation prior to the coming of the Son of Man. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith such as this; like the widow who cries out for vengeance? Yes, and God will avenge them, and speedily, for their prayer is right.

Where is the Church?

Well, where is the church at that time?

That’s why I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. That’s not the only reason, but I don’t hang my faith in a pre-tribulation rapture on a few verses in the New Testament. I believe the whole teaching of the program of God for Israel, and the whole teaching of God about his program for the church demands that the church be gone from this earth before these cries from godly believers will once again come to have meaning and purpose.

— Colin Anderson, excerpted from “Israel in the Psalms”, February 1983

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