“Surely the eyes of the LORD are on the sinful kingdom. I will destroy it from the face of the earth–yet I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob,” declares the LORD. “For I will give the command, and I will shake the house of Israel among all the nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, and not a pebble will reach the ground. All the sinners among my people will die by the sword, all those who say, ‘Disaster will not overtake or meet us.’ ” (Amos 9:8-10 NIV)
Reading Revelation invokes a promised blessing. We are doubly blessed if we take the prophecy to heart. The reason why is given: “Because the time is near.” (Rev. 1:3).
Past the middle of the book is a warning that needs to be taken to heart. It involves an evil figure who will dominate the landscape.
“He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast–all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.
He who has an ear to hear, let him hear. If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints. (Rev. 13:7-10 NIV)
Here we have in the Word of God a book to which the Lord has attached blessings and curses (cf. Rev. 22:18-19). In it we are forewarned of an unparalleled disaster and time of distress for the saints. The problem is this: The Church is populated with Pre-Tribulation Rapture (PTR) and Amillennialist teachers who make irrelevant the above prophecy. Many, if not most of the PTR promoters, tell their flock the rapture occurs at the beginning of Revelation 4. They say that in verse 1 a voice calls to John, “Come up here.” So that is it. That’s the rapture in the Bible’s last book. (TV Pastor and evangelist John Hagee is prominent among this group.)
In other words, Pastor Hagee’s flock is supposedly gone before the opening of the seven seals in Chapter 6 and assuredly absent when the antichrist rules in Chapter 13. Those following this Christian teacher–and others like him–have become convinced Christians will not be overtaken by disaster. They believe they will be in heaven wearing crowns after Chapter 4. Then who are “the saints” in 13:7? Who are “the saints” “killed with the sword” in Revelation 13:10?
Though Amillennialists often scoff at the PTR crowd, they are really in the same boat. Little attention is paid by this segment of Christianity to prophecy period. Though, infrequently, they may cherry-pick a verse from Revelation to buttress their teaching, they more or less erase all the warnings. How so? By declaring that Revelation is an allegory or symbolic. Millions of Christians under their influence have swallowed the lie that “Disaster will not meet us.”
What does God call his people who reject a literal judgment or a physical Coming of Christ? Through the prophet Amos, He calls them “sinners”. (See Amos 9:10 at top)
Of course, an Amillennialist could try to make “die by the sword” symbolic. A symbolic sword won’t hurt so much. For my Bible-believing PTR Christian brothers and sisters, I go to my knees. Please, please, question your false prophet teachers. Prepare for the day of disaster before you taste the blade.