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Friday, October 16, 2009

The Bema

Last night, my wife, my 9-year-old son and I listened to a CD of a dramatic presentation called The Bema. The presentation, which occurred at Bent Tree Fellowship in north Carrollton, Texas (just north of Dallas), was based on a book of the same name. "The Bema" refers to a future judgment at the end of time; this is not the "sheep and goats" judgment, which separates believers from unbelievers, but the "wood, hay and stubble", "receiving crowns" judgment which will be for God's people only. It is not a judgment for punishment, but for reward. The story and drama are a narrative about a man who goes to Heaven in the Rapture, but at the Bema seat of Christ, he discovers that he has done hardly anything of eternal significance. I won't give away the ending, but the message is that we should do the work of God's Kingdom while we have the chance during the short life that God gives us on Earth. It is very similar in some ways to a chapter from The Rapture by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, which I read recently (and which was written years after this story).

My brother sent me the CD, and I listened to it myself first... after I heard it, I knew my family was going to love it. We've been thinking a lot about what God wants us to do in ministry as a family and as part of a church family, and this story resonated so much with us. Afterward we sat in the living room and talked for some time about ministry and doing what God calls us to do. We also had some really good talk time about Bible reading and how important it is to hide the Word in your heart. You know, that's what family is really all about... having other people to seek God with. I'm so grateful that God provided that time for us!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many Christians are aware that articles like "Pretrib Rapture Diehards" (note LaHaye's hypocrisy under "1992"), "Pretrib Hypocrisy," and "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" can now be found on Google and other engines. Sometimes truth can be very hurtful and shocking! Ned

MJ said...

Hi Ned... I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. My personal opinion is that there is a very convincing amount of evidence in the Word in favor of a rapture of the Church before the time of tribulation that Jesus spoke of, but that is certainly not what this blog post is about. Neither is it about Tim LaHaye's Theology or personal life (the story we listened to on the CD was written by a completely different author long before the similar LaHaye/Jenkins story). And I would have to say that articles that use words like "Diehards" and "Hypocrisy" and "Dishonesty" to describe other believers in a public forum are unlikely to be well-reasoned, thoughtful articles; those kinds of terms are the kind of words people use to be sensational and stir things up. And stirring up strife with other believers is, I'm sure you would agree, something that is DEFINITELY taught against in the Word.

I've done some reading about Tim LaHaye, and I will say without any shame that I disagree with him on a number of points. I've also read his non-"Left Behind" writing about the end times, and I'd say he has a lot to say that makes perfect sense. God has to use imperfect people to communicate truths, mainly because there just aren't any not-imperfect people around at the moment. I'm not sure from your brief post if you are criticizing Mr. LaHaye or criticizing people who believe in a pre-Tribulation rapture, but based on your own words, it sounds like you are trying to shock and hurt people. The truth that frees people is not the same as the truth that hurts people, and perpetuating hurtful gossip, true or not, is not an act of love.