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THEOLOGY > Future > End of the Age > Rapture Question > Personal Introduction   


I was raised in a conservative and dispensational home; one of my earliest Bibles was a Scofield Reference Bible. So, without realizing it, I equated conservatism with Dispensationalism. I grew up believing the Bible, and this meant that the Lord was going to come for His Church before the Great Tribulation. I knew of no other valid eschatological view. I did not know that you could be conservative and hold a different position. I was bound by my tradition without realizing the narrowness of my thinking on this issue.

This perspective was challenged and corrected when I read George Ladd’s book, That Blessed Hope. I came to realize that you could hold a non-dispensational view and still be considered a conservative believer. His book opened the door into my thinking. In addition, his presentation seemed logical and consistent; and, most importantly, it seemed Biblical. I was also impressed with the quotes he gave from the early Church Fathers which reflected a position contrary to that of the Dispensationalist. Also, I came to understand that Dispensationalism was of very recent origin, really less than two-hundred years old. How could an innovative belief of such recent vintage be correct? Ladd’s book introduced me to a perspective that I had never contemplated

Thus, I began a study of nearly ten years, reflecting on and evaluating the implications of Ladd’s book and my own personal belief. I read other books and investigated Scripture. I came to realize that the question of the time of the Rapture was not an isolated issue, but was related to a number of other topics. In fact, Dispensationalism was a complete hermeneutic that impacted all of Scripture. The more I understood the larger picture, the more it bothered me and seemed incongruous with the teaching of the Bible. The door that Ladd’s book had opened in my mind became more open. I realized that I could not continue to believe and teach what I had formerly believed and taught.

My study evolved into an outlining of ten truths or facts that, for me, became the essential ground for my rejecting Dispensationalism in favor of Historic Premillennialism. These ten facts form the basis for the approach at this website and are not original with me; they are discussed in different ways by a number of authors. But the organization and presentation of them in this work is mine. For me, they are compelling and convincing.

For those who may read this information, it is my hope that their interest in eschatology will be increased and, at the same time, guided in the proper direction. In this area, as in most areas of Biblical study, few are teachable; most simply desire that their current belief system simply be reaffirmed by what they hear and read. There are few believers who pursue Truth; most students are bound and have no comprehension of their bondage. A teachable disposition coupled with a pursuit of Truth is seldom found in those who profess Christ. Is it possible for the grace that creates a believer not, at the same time, to create the trait of teachableness? Will not a true believer always be open to, and seeking, the Truth? How can a person be embraced by Truth and as a result not be in search of a more accurate understanding of the Truth?

An appropriate title for this specific study could be: A Second Time; the phrase is taken from Hebrews 9:28 which reads as follows: “So Christ was offered to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” There are only two comings of the Lord: the first and the second. The first coming was “to bear the sins of many”; He is coming “a second time” for salvation, that is, to effect the eternal salvation of those He redeemed at His first coming. His first coming has taken place; those who belong to Him are waiting for His coming “a second time.”

I have not found the way out of dispensationalism easy
and I sometimes wonder if even now I have left it completely.
The inward struggle to orient oneself to the historic faith only,
intensely involves many emotions. Moreover, readjusting theological patterns
sometimes leaves one uncomfortable. Even today some of my dearest friends
are convinced that I have departed from the evangelical faith.
Clarence Bass

My dispensational system and hermeneutic was one of distinctions
finding distinctions in everything I examined, yet I distinctly
missed the unity of the Bible in God’s covenant of grace in Christ.
Curtis Crenshaw

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