Friday, October 26, 2007

Dangers Of The Pan Theory

Warning: The following post may dispel some previously held views and beliefs. It may in fact awaken some from the endless slumber wrought upon the house of God by the theory of escapism. If you are fond of ignorance, or are otherwise averse to facing reality, please read no further!
We live in an age where there is no shortage of theories, or for that matter theorists. Everyone nowadays seems to be an authority on one form of end time teaching or another. Some seem harmless enough, so grand in their absurdity that one just shakes it off laughing, while others are more subtle in their purpose disguising themselves in Scripture, attempting to justify the unjustifiable.
In recent years there has been great controversy among the theorists concerning one subject in particular, that of the timeline of Christ's imminent return, wherein we will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. This is a real event, it is Biblical, and although the word 'rapture' is never once mentioned in the Word, there will one day be a 'catching up, or catching away' wherein we will meet the Lord in the air. This post however, is not about splitting hairs, so whether you call it 'rapture', or 'catching up', let us agree that it is a real and imminent event.
There are those who hold vehemently to the belief that this event will take place pre-tribulation, others affirm that it will be sometime mid-tribulation, others post-tribulation, then there are those too cowardly to take a stand for fear of offending the sensibilities of others, calling themselves pan-theorists.
Now I know many of you are skipping down this post, wanting to see where I stand on the issue, but as is alluded to by the title this is not the reason for this article. Suffice it to say, I believe that allot of Christians have already packed their bags, sleeping with one eye open, not wanting to miss something that is quite a ways off, from a scriptural standpoint at least. My advice, unpack, put your clothes back in your closets, because we'll be here for awhile.
In order to prove in a Biblical manner, the 'when' of our departure from this earth, a long and scripture heavy article is required, and if I ever feel compelled to write it, it will most likely be on the hand of help website. Keep in mind however, that the Bible was written for the children of God, and to those of the world, and still in the world it is foolishness. If this is the case, then every word in the Book pertains to believers, and the book does speak of tribulation, of great upheaval, and many other issues which many Christians believe they will not be here for.
With that having been said, we return our focus back to the pan theorists. In layman's terms a pan theorist is one who believes that it will all pan out in the end. It doesn't really matter, the 'when' of it is none of our concern. 'It will happen when it happens', they whisper suppressing a yawn.
As noble as the pan theory might seem on the surface, there are hidden dangers that the wise must address lest he become a fool.
On this issue, I fear that neither ignorance or indifference is the best course of action. If the enemy can't get God's children to fall into the temptations and snares he puts out, his next best hope is that he find said children unprepared for battle when they are confronted with it. The enemy's hope, is that the children never mature into soldiers, but remain in a permanent state of spiritual infancy, wherein they are dependent on others for their nourishment, their wardrobe, and their very lives.
The pan theory encourages indifference, it promotes slumber, and does not compel the church to grow from grace to grace, from glory to glory, and from strength to strength. It allows for a static existence, wherein it was enough that one just raised their hand in a service. From that point forward, smooth sailing, blue skies, and the eventual blessing from on high.
A soldier is only deemed a soldier after he has successfully completed basic training, after he has been entrusted with the weapons of his warfare, and taught to use the weapons in his arsenal. Just because someone buys army fatigues at a surplus store, it does not make them a soldier, just as showing up in church twice a year does not make one a warrior for Christ.
Living without the expectation of confrontation, not being aware that some day, perhaps some day soon you will have to do battle against the darkness, gives many a false sense of security, and as the heart is want to do, allows them to justify their absence of maturity and growth in Christ.
I've said this in my sermons, but it is worth repeating here, God is not looking to run a day care center, He is looking to lead an army.
Lack of spiritual preparation, and spiritual maturity will be the downfall of many nominal Christians once the dark days, the evil days are upon us, and some will even turn their backs on God, shaking their fists at the heavens because in their hearts they did not believe they would see those days with their own eyes.
One cannot justify indifference by calling it trust, just as one cannot justify spiritual atrophy by saying they never saw the need for maturity, since they believed they would never have to stand, to fight, and to overcome.
I could go on, much can be said, in fact volumes can be written as to why we need to be aware of the times we are living in, why we need to prepare spiritually, why we need to put on our armor, and purpose in our hearts that we will not defile ourselves, that we will stand, and fight, but attention spans being what they are nowadays, I will leave you with a few notable and timely scriptures.
2 Timothy 3:12, "Yes and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution."
Ephesians 6:10-14, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand."

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.


Elm Street Chapel said...


What you speak is truth and I thank God for you letting yourself be moved to write it.

Believing that the Lord will come before all of things He said would happen would be contrary to what He spoke when He was here on earth and what is written in the word. I think we should all stop listening to the words of men regarding this subject and just ask God.

Of course, that too takes patience and discipline, which is why most people do not think of even going there in the Lord. But, as we all know, it DOES matter when His return is for He is the very reason why we must stand in the days to come, and to know that His reward is with Him.

In Him,

Anonymous said...

The number of shepherds who will tell us the truth is low.
They have made the narrow way broad and easy.
Thank you for keeping the truth above making sure the feelings of the sheep are not hurt.
Reading what you wrote brought the ten virgins to mind.
And I believe that Jesus is telling us of the condition of the Church when He returns.
Just as you wrote ,a careless indifferent attitude as Rome burns to the ground.
No doubt the five virgins without oil assume that they are prepared and ready for imminent rapture.
Listen to what the five virging with oil in their lamps have to say to them when it is too late and what Jesus says to the decieved saints who bought into a big lie.

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
Matt 25

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;
2 Corinthians 10:4

The Church today has changed the word of God. One example of this.

For the weapons of our warfare are political and mighty thru power hungry men to the pulling down of the voting lever to get God's will accomplished in the earth.

Elm Street Chapel said...

Not ten minutes ago I was talking to a person who said he believes in Jesus. He holds to the point that his religious organization is the oldest and the true church. He was talking about a Church that believes once saved, always saved. And, just how wrong they were, that they can sin, say sorry, and sin again. Thats why he holds to his faith. I asked him do you pray to dead people? No saints. Are they dead people? Yes. I said your bible says not to talk to dead people it's called necromancy. He said that they are closer to God (totally ignoring the point). I asked, are they God? Well no.But the bible says not to do that and a man said it was okay, who do you believe, I replied. I'll get back with you, he responded. I'll get back with you.

Every man is right in his own eyes. Not according to truth, but hey, who's perfect? Little, oh so little, do they know. Ignorance is bliss, for now. But when his soul is on the line will his foolishness sustain him? Father open his eyes to see and ears to hear, draw him to You, give him a desire for truth.

Isaiah 5:20
20Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Luke 12
47And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

48But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

We are called to a higher standard.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Michael, and Amen to all of the above. In recent times I have sensed the Lord really impressing upon me the need to 'not become entangled in civillian affairs' as a soldier in active training. When Abraham went to the valley to rescue Lot, taken prisoner during the battle of the kings, it was with his household of trained men. They were battle ready. And so must we be: able and ready to endure hardship, vigilant and obedient. I used to attend a church where the pastor liked to say "Pie in the sky when you die and steak on your plate while you wait". I feel sadness and amazement that so many of the church are ignorant of these things (the coming of the Lord) and actually prefer to remain ignorant.

Anonymous said...

I am glad you wrote about this. I thinks it's one of those topics that are easy to cast into the "it isn't pertinent for salvation, so lets not nit pick about it" categories. But it is important, for the very reasons you described.

I was raised in a "pre-trib" home. As I grew older and read the scriptures for myself, I could see how people could come to that conclusion. Although at first glance, in my youth it seemed more likely to me that it would be a mid-trib thing. And then as I grew in age and faith, I realized it didn't matter when it was going to happen it mattered how you were prepared. Even if you take early verses in Revelation to mean pre-trib, things are are going to be horribly bad before it happens, and people need to be prepared. Spiritually, mentally and physically. You can't win a battle without practice.
My kids learned to drive through repetition, they learned math through repetition and recitation, they learned to cook with practice and repetion. Everything we learn in life comes with practice. Prayer, strength and discernment is the same way. Instantly praying in times of need comes with practice and dedication. Talking with God becomes becomes the norm the more you do it. If people aren't used to relying on God in their everyday lives now, they won't instinctively turn to turn Him when they are in the midst of panic.
Mark 13:35-37 says; "Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!' "
So "Let's watch." Let's watch and practice our spiritual battle plan.
Mrs. Pugh

A Seed Sower said...

Oh how you must be encouraged by all these wonderful posts that God's sheep are leaving for you.
How important it is to learn to be overcomers in our daily lives, that we may be fit to be overcomers in that which is to come. Learning to get the rule over my own spirit is a full time job,that I not become a cast away myself.
God Bless
Helen B.

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael,

First of all I want to let you know how much I appreciate your ministry. Thank you for your faithfulness.

In response to your “Pan” blog: I once had a pastor who used the phrase “It will all pan out in the end,” whenever the subject of the rapture came up. Though I cannot judge his heart for the reason he said it, I assumed it was to keep conflict between the “saints” to a minimal level in our church.

I was raised in a liberal church and was not taught about the rapture or anything pertaining to the end of our age. However, in my early twenties I was saved and joined a small Bible study group where I began to grow in the knowledge of the Lord. I immediately took an interest in the last days and scripture pertaining to it since I had never heard it before. Most of my understanding on the end of the age simply comes from the scriptures and not from books of men.

Since first reading the scriptures about the great tribulation and the coming of Christ I have always believed that Christians will be on the earth during the three and a half year reign of the anit-christ because that is what the Scriptures teach in Revelation 13:5-10; “Then the beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God. And he was given authority to do whatever he wanted for forty-two months. And he spoke terrible words of blasphemy against God, slandering his name and his dwelling– that is, those who dwell in heaven. And the beast was allowed to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation. And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life before the world was made– the Book that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand. Anyone who is destined for prison will be taken to prison. Anyone destined to die by the sword will die by the sword. This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful.”

Also, Revelation 13:16-18; 14:9-13 says; He required everyone– small and great, rich and poor, free and slave– to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could bury or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name. Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666.”/ “Then a third angel followed them, shouting , “Anyone who worships the beast and his statue or who accepts his mark on the forehead or on the hand must drink the wine of God’s anger. It has been poured full strength into God’s cup of wrath. And they will be tormented with fire and burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb. The smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever, and they will have no relief day or night, for they have worshiped the beast and his statue and have accepted the mark of his name. This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus.”

Concerning events “prior” to the Lord’s Second Coming, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 says; “Now, dear brothers and sisters, let us clarify some things about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we will be gathered to meet him. Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Don’t believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us. Don’t be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed– the one who brings destruction. He will exult himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God.”

Likewise in Matthew 24:29-31, concerning the gathering Jesus himself taught; “Immediately after the anguish (pressure, affliction, burden, persecution, tribulation, trouble) of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, the stars will from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world– from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.”

Finally in Daniel chapter 11:31-37; 12:5-7, referring to the time of the anti-christ, the scriptures say; “His army will take over the Temple fortress, pollute the sanctuary, put a stop to the daily sacrifices, and set up the sacrilegious object that causes desecration. He will flatter and win over those who have violated the covenant. But the people who know their God will be strong and will resist him. Wise leaders will give instruction to many, but these teachers will die by fire and sword, or they will be jailed and robbed. During these persecutions, little help will arrive, and many who join them will not be sincere. And some of the wise will fall victim to persecution. In this way, they will be refined and cleansed and made pure until the time of the end, for the appointed time is still to come. The king will do as he pleases, exalting himself and claiming to be greater than every god, even blaspheming the God of gods. He will succeed, but only until the time of wrath is completed. For what has been determined will surely take place. He will have no respect for the gods of his ancestors, or for the god loved by women, or for any other god, for he will boast that he is greater than them all.”/ “Then I, Daniel, looked and saw two others standing on opposite banks of the river. One of them asked the man dressed in linen, who was now standing above the river, “How long will it be until these shocking events are over?” The man dressed in linen, who was standing above the river, raised both his hands toward heaven and took a solemn oath by the One who lives forever, saying, “It will go on for a time, times, and half a time. When the shattering of the holy people has finally come to and end, all these things will have happened.”

In closing, I believe Christians will go through the great tribulation period which will last for three and a half years. I believe it’s called the “great tribulation” because it will be the one and only time in all of history that Christians will not be able to find a place of refuge on this earth from persecution. However, if we draw close to the Lord, while it is still day, then we will have a heavenly refuge during the tribulation, who will help us remain faithful during the darkest time in all of history that is yet to come. “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone in my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.” Psalm 91:1-2

Anonymous said...

I firmly believe in a PRE- tibulation "catching up".. but i also believe we will have to go through, God seperating the goats from the sheep , within his house, and i do believe there will be perusucution for he church of America, and i beleive God will have to provide for his, supernaturally.....

I believe in teh pre-tribulation, for in Revelations 6, showes us clearly...


Anonymous said...

It seems that many who believe in a pre-tribulation "rapture" or catching away believe it because the idea that the Father would pour out wrath and punishment on His own children who have received Yeshua's salvation does not square with other Scriptures such as the one saying God has not appointed us to suffer wrath.

Here is something to think about. The Exodus from Egypt has many similarities to what is described in the Book of Revelation. The children of Israel were still in Egypt during the 10 plagues. But the Lord made a distinction between those who were His and those who were not. It was a testimony to Pharoah and the Egyptians. It caused many Gentiles to believe and join themselves to Israel and leave with them. The plagues were not wrath and punishment on Israel but worked for their vindication and deliverance. (Despite the fact that it made Pharoah madder and harsher on them.)

What if God intends to repeat this Exodus type of scenario again as a testimony before He takes us out of the world? It may be scary to watch, but we know from the story of Exodus - which by the way God commanded His people, including all who have come to Him through Yeshua/Jesus, to observe the Passover year after year FOREVER as a vivid reminder of this, and we know everything recorded of what He did in the past is written for the benefit of those living at the end - that we have nothing to fear if the blood is on the doorway to our heart and we are dressed and ready to leave at midnight.

Anonymous said...

I came back to this post to check out some of the comments, and I'm glad I did. I must be thinking on the same lines as Kelly today.
I think the tribulation we (Christians) are going to go through will be tremendous also.
I was talking with my family a while back about the fact that there is no longer anywhere a persecuted Christian can go. All the continents are discovered/populated/controlled. In the past, there have been new lands to travel to and new governments to build, but this is no more. When the persecutions come, and they will, there will be no running away. Standing firm in the faith of God is the ONLY answer.
I think we will be here for the "great tribulation" because we have to be. It's only when your back is against the wall, that you really know where you stand.
God will surely care for those who truly care for Him.

Mrs. Pugh

Anonymous said...

so who is in the most precarious position? the the panthist? the pretribber? the mid-post or no tribber? having been in one or more of those camps at various intervals in my walk i am not sure where to dwell other then in our maker-to be eager to be with the Lord is a good thing, but to pass through those dark curtains ahead to get there diminishes my excitement somewhat.

having had glimpses of understanding into what hellish devices lie behind those curtains of uncertainy makes this time in which we live not one to relish.

when i jumped on board during the latter outpouring in the late 70's amid the great excitement of the Lord's imminent return-and then watched things flare up in 88 with 88 reasons-followed by another cooldown and then catching your granddad and yourself in the early 90's caused me to go full circle with the endtimes dogma- which brings me to my longwinded point-the Lord can handle our incorrect views on the end, taking His precious time to bring us to the point where we are prepared to meet him wherever His timeline finds us at the appointed time.

my concern now is that i am woefully unpepared and those in my chrisitian circles are incredibly indifferent to these things of which you write. amazing isn't it-only hours away and most of the disciples are again sleeping in the garden!

thanks for the wonderful reads-it is good to be challenged again:)

pete g.

Anonymous said...

Quote: Living without the expectation of confrontation, not being aware that some day, perhaps some day soon you will have to do battle against the darkness, gives many a false sense of security, and as the heart is want to do, allows them to justify their absence of maturity and growth in Christ.

There are great times of tribulation coming upon the church and the nations, and the church must be prepared but is in the most part not, or is worse fighting the wrong battles.

You are right in that God wants an army. However, with respect, tho I know what you meant, that 'some day soon' is NOW - darkness is here now. The church should have arisen long ago, and God is calling people from slumber to fight NOW - not when the 'big one' comes which it surely will.

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