Lukewarm Laodicea: saved or unsaved?
Must read: Marilyn Agee calls it correctly in her post yesterday http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/march2011/marilyna324.htm
My Add'l Comments: Proponents of a Single Rapture event where every Born-again Christian is raptured pretribulationly promote the Historical Time Period Theory of the Seven Churches. This view equates the Seven Churches in Revelation Chapters 2 & 3 as Seven consecutive time periods throughout church history from the first century until today. They say that we are currently in the final Laodicean time period, and since the Laodiceans are lukewarm they are really not saved. Then, they maintain that those who are really saved Born-again Christians can go back to claim the Lord's promise made to the Philadelphia Church in the prior time period. Thus they try to make all today's Born-again Christians Philadelphians regardless of whether or not they fit what the scriptures say about the Philadelphians. For me, a near/far view of Revelation 2 & 3 where the seven first century Churches represent seven types of individual Christians throughout church history makes more sense, and this is backed up by the fact that numerous prophecies throughout the scriptures are fulfilled both near and far.
Re: Philadelphia Rev 3:8-10 NKJV "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie- indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth."
The Philadelphia Church has persevered under persecution and has been judged by the Lord to be worthy to escape the "hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world" (the great tribulation). This just does not fit all Born-again Christians. "Because you have kept my command to persevere, ..." this denotes a reward for faithfulness and obedience. They have passed their test. Only Two of Revelation's Seven Churches were not told they needed to repent, Philadelphia and Smyrna. Smyrna was told that they would have "tribulation ten days." The other Five Churches all need to repent.
Re: Smyrna Rev 2:9-10 "I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life."
The Lord Jesus Christ is warning Five Churches in Revelation Chapters 2 & 3 including Laodicea that they need to Repent. One church, Sardis is called "Dead" indicating that the majority there are unsaved, but with some exceptions. "Lukewarm" just doesn't have the same connotation as "Dead." Is being "Hot" a requirement for getting or keeping salvation? I say no, but I do believe it is a requirement for making the First Rapture event, which I call the 'Open Door'. Philadelphia and Smyrna were the two churches who were not told that they needed to repent. Philadelphia was promised that they would have an "open door" to escape the hour of trial (great tribulation), and Smyrna was told that they would only have tribulation for "ten days." Please notice in Matthew Chapter 24 that the Lord Jesus calls the time prior to the Abomination of Desolation the "Birth Pangs", so really the only tribulation is the great tribulation. Escaping the great tribulation is conditional, and not every saved individual will do it. However, escaping the Wrath of God is unconditional and all saved individuals will be raptured at the "gathering together of the elect" (the 2nd Rapture event) which occurs immediately after the Sixth Seal. The difference is that the 3.5 year great tribulation contains the wrath of God, but the whole great tribulation itself is not the wrath of God. The wrath of God begins at the opening of the Seventh Seal and includes all the Trumpet and Bowl judgments. The "gathering together of the elect" in the sky removes all Born-again Christians as well as all children under the age of accountability after the Sixth Seal, before God's wrath. Matt 24:29-31, Rev 6:12-17. Many call Matt 24:27-31 the Second Coming, but this is the cutting short of Antichrist's evil reign by God's wrath, which will need a substantial amount of time for it to be poured out upon the earth before the Second Coming to the earth happens at the end of the 3.5 years.
Marilyn is looking for the First Rapture event this Spring, and I am looking for it in April 2012, 'ten days' after the Abomination of Desolation, which I believe will occur on April 11, 2012. The 'ten days' in Rev 2:10 to me is a timing clue. Regardless of the timing we need to follow the Lord's instructions to Repent daily.
Luke 21:36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."