In the 1800’s a heresy was popularized by a man named John Darby. It was then further popularized by another man named Cyrus R. Scofield, through what is known as the Scofield Study Bible. The theology promoted in the study notes of this Bible is called Dispensational theology, and many of it’s doctrines are firmly entrenched as “Bible truth” in the minds of believers. An unbiblical distinction between the church and Israel is at the core of this teaching.
Dispensational theology has broken the second coming of the Lord into two parts. The teaching is that the Lord will come secretly only for the church (the secret rapture) and then again at a later time to pour out his wrath. One of the dangers of this teaching is that people will think that there is a second chance to receive salvation after the coming of the Lord. Satan has a purpose for every false doctrine, and that purpose is the destruction of souls. I used to believe this teaching myself until I learned the source and the reasoning behind it. It made me search the Scriptures for the truth.
Dispensational theology is an intricate web of deceit with various teachings. What follows is just a small portion of its false doctrines. Dispensationalism teaches that Jesus came to set up an earthly kingdom, but the Jews rejected his offer. Because of this, God’s original plan was interrupted and an alternative plan (plan B) was put into effect. It is taught that plan B was unforseen by God and would not have gone into effect if the Jews had accepted Jesus’ original offer of an earthly kingdom. Plan B, they say, is the cross and the church. Since the church is an interruption in God’s original plan, it will be taken out in a secret rapture. Then God will continue with what he had planned to do all along.
Clearly this is heresy and the exact opposite of what is taught in the Bible. The Bible teaches that the cross was foreordained by God and that the expectation of an earthly kingdom was a serious error of the Jews, causing them to “miss” their Messiah.
Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
When John 6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.
I don’t know many Christians that would say they believe the “plan B” portion of Dispensational teaching, but many have ingested at least one of the fruits of this heresy. That fruit is believing that there will be a secret rapture. This teaching has been further promoted by the fictional Left Behind series.
We know from Scripture that one day Christ will return. He came once, the first time, and now believers look forward to his second coming. That is when the dead in Christ shall rise, and that is when living believers will be taken up, or raptured, to be with the Lord. Then the wrath of God will come upon the earth and all “shall be burned up.” One event. No one will be “left behind” for another chance to be saved. It will all be over. That’s the simple, Scriptural truth of it all.
But 2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2 Timothy 4:2-4 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
A fable is a tale, fiction, a myth.