When I was much younger I tried to please everyone. I would bend over backwards to get people to like me. As I got older I realized that is not possible.
For one thing, I have to tell you, I’m not perfect. I know, I know. Someone may find that hard to believe. (Tongue-in-cheek, please!) Of course I have my quirks, and I’ve been called opinionated in some corners, but I try to keep an open mind on life. The Bible may say something to me, but later on a light may go on that says I need to take another look.
I was a major “Hal Lindseyite” for many years, but I had to find out that what scripture says is entirely different. Also to mention, John Wolvoord earned a reputation as one of the most influential dispensational theologians of the 20th century. I, too, came away from their teachings convinced of what they had to say.
Their teaching came from inductive reasoning. Just what is this?
The term “inductive reasoning” refers to reasoning that takes specific information and makes a broader generalization that’s considered probable, while still remaining open to the fact that the conclusion may not be 100% guaranteed.
In other words, you’re making an educated or informed guess based on the information or data that you have. It might sound right, but that doesn’t mean it is right.
I went into a Christian Book store in the 70’s and picked up a book pertaining to eschatology and its various thoughts from different communities of beliefs. I came away angry that so many appeared to be making up false doctrine. I put the book aside.
Then in 1977, after I had experienced the realm of Pentecostalism, I heard a minister on a Christian radio station teaching the Word. I was caught in a new way of what appeared to be opposed to my foundational knowledge of the Rapture doctrine. He said, in short, that he believed in the literal return of Jesus Christ as it said in scripture, but disputed the Rapture doctrine. So. To give equal time I gave him a listen. By the time I figured I’d heard enough I was pretty well ticked. So I turned him off and thought I might as well do some digging of my own.
I am no Greek or Hebrew scholar, but I do know how to look up and research Greek and Hebrew words. After being in school for ministry, I chose this method of study provided me with a clearer understanding as years went by, but at the time all I had was a Thompson’s Chain Reference Bible and a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and a Vine’s Expository Dictionary. I dug out every word I heard this minister talk about. I put what I found in order in a fashion that outlined my findings. I was astonished to find I could not prove this minister to be wrong in what he taught.
Also to include here, I did a historical approach of the Rapture doctrine and found holes in it that didn’t carry weight to maintain the foundational “truths” that Lindsey and Wolvoord taught. They just don’t. I could go on for days on this subject and just might do so. We’ll see.
But to include here as well, this same minister tore down the buildings of about every thing I’d ever thought about as being Biblical truth in Christmas and Easter as well. I got so angry I total cut him off.
Five or six months later at the request of a couple of grandmotherly figures in my life at the time, I went to hear this same minister in person over a three night span. His teaching was specifically on the Kingdom of God, where it is, what it is and who rules it. It was seven 90 minutes cassette tapes. I was totally blown away. An open heaven came over me and the whole concept of Biblical doctrine was opened to me. From there on, I could not get enough of the Word.
My family and I eventually sold our home, I quit my job and moved to where this man’s church was to be a part of that ministry. All this time, I listened to many different preachers and teachers. One was even a Welch pastor, who was saved during the Welch Revival. He was almost 90 yrs old at the time. He was a most fascinating man to listen to. He taught the homiletic class where I went to school. He was a deep believer in prayer. He would tell stories of being in London during WWII when the bomber sirens would go off and he and his fellow Christians would congregate in a church. They would pray all the while the bombs were being dropped. When it would be over and they exited the church they found all the surrounding buildings would have been demolished by bombs, but the church remained intact. Made me have chills to hear him speak about how God kept him.
I firmly believe in the eventual, literal return of Jesus Christ in the same manner as he left. I had to readjust my thinking and get away from the any-minute rapture doctrine. If you have ought with this post, I’m not going to defend it. I just ask you do your own digging as I did, without the influence of anyone outside of scripture save the use of strictly research books without commentaries. That and prayer will likely prove to be the most life changing moments you’ll experience.