I have recently come across several articles, and been in several conversations with people I respect, and believe love and follow God, who have been trashing anyone who believes in a pre-tribulation rapture, and dispensations.
I have no personal issue with someone who thinks the church will be raptured during or after the tribulation. The thing that does bother me is the reason I keep hearing from those who do not agree with a dispensation understanding…someone who believes in dispensations thinks things are going to get worse and worse in the world, and will not be as missional as someone who believes otherwise.
In total sincerity, I am not getting the logic. It would seem to me that someone who felt like sin would increase, and the rhythm of life would sound less and less as God intended, would feel a greater need to speak the gospel, seek the redemption of their community, fight for justice for the helpless, and offer benevolence to the poor. The reminders of sin, and therefore th opporunity to speak truth, is everywhere. No matter when you think Jesus is coming back, and no matter who is right, we are ALL called to the SAME mission.
To infer that a dispensational church will inevitably be inwardly focused, isolating themselves, and a church who does not believe in dispensations will inevitably be missional is just not connected to reality. There are people on both sides of the argument being obedient, as well as completely ignoring, the commands of Christ in regards to the missional heart of the church.
I recently heard a guy I enjoy and respect say a belief in dispensations in the single greatest deterent to a missional lifestyle that he knows of.
I would say that no matter what you believe, if you aren’t being missional, its not because you think Jesus is coming for the church before the rapture, its because you don’t know the heart of God for His creation. People who love the gospel, and are faithful with it, do so because they know God, and love what he loves. Not because they think the church is going to live through part of, or all of the tribulation.
Would love to know what you think.