After years of being a regular guest speaker at Calvary Chapel's Great Lakes Prophecy Conference at Calvary Chapel of Appleton, Wisconsin, this year Chuck Missler was suddenly dropped from the roster shortly before the conference took place the weekend of September 11-13. During the Q & A session, conference goers, of which I was one, were finally told the truth about why Chuck wasn't there.
The reason concerns a book by Chuck and his wife, Nancy, that their Koinonia House Ministry recently released, "The Kingdom, Power, & Glory: The Overcomer's Handbook." Calvary Chapel of Appleton pastor Dwight Douville, Tommy Ice of Pre-Trib Research Center, and pastor Joe Focht of Calvary Chapel - Philadelphia held a conference call with Chuck Missler in which they expressed concern over a teaching contained in the new book; namely, that although "carnal Christians" will be raptured along with "Spirit-filled Christians," they will find themselves "cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matt. 8:12, 22:13, 25:30). Pastor Douville also reported that the Misslers speculate in the book that this punishment could last for the entire millennial period, while spiritual Christians will be given authority to rule and reign with Christ "in the Millennial Kingdom."
Pastor Douville and some of the guest speakers on the stage expressed a feeling of being "deeply grieved" at not only Chuck and Nancy wandering into this error but also at their refusal to recant and recall the books. Because of the Missler's refusal to correct their error, Chuck was regretfully uninvited from the conference this year. Although Calvary Chapel theology is itself rife with error regarding the terms of salvation, application of Scripture, timing of Biblical prophetic events, our new identity in Christ, and facts about the afterlife, I think you'll agree that this was a commendable decision in guarding their congregations from these particular un-Biblical ideas.
I have had the pleasure of personally meeting Mr. Missler at previous prophecy conferences at Calvary Chapel of Appleton; and I found him to be unfailingly approachable and friendly. He once gave me one of his teaching media tools for my son who was in Iraq at the time. He is dazzlingly brilliant in many areas, including quantum physics, in particular nano-particles and string theory, world history, and military matters; and he can rattle off his ideas at a dizzying speed! Chuck has one glaring deficiency in his approach to Bible study, however, and that is the fact that he does not recognize the distinctions in God's word between his dealings with Israel in time past and in the ages to come, and with the church which is his body in the "but now." More than once over the past few years, I have determined to write to Chuck and open a discussion with him on the subject of "rightly dividing the word of truth" according to 2 Timothy 2:15 laid down for us by our God-given apostle of the Gentiles, Paul. The fact that I never got around to doing that makes me partly to blame for the Misslers wandering into gross error of this kind.
The idea of "the children of the kingdom" being cast into outer darkness," and the "weeping and gnashing of teeth" concept is found exclusively in Scriptures addressed to (Matt. 15:24) and concerning ONLY the nation of Israel during Christ's specific ministry to her. God did not address the Gentiles directly until he set Israel's kingdom promises aside and raised up a new apostle, Paul, to "bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel." (Acts 9:15). During Israel's program in time past, in the Acts period, and in the ages to come (tribulation, millennium), Gentiles were to find salvation through Israel's witness. In the "but now" (Eph. 2:13), the age of Gentile grace (Eph. 3:1, 2), God's unique gospel of grace according to the revelation of the mystery committed to Paul, is made known through the inspired writings of our apostle in his post-Acts epistles.
The church which is Christ's body, comprised of individual Gentiles and Jews saved by Paul's gospel, is reconciled to God through Christ (2 Cor. 5:19) having been made the "righteousness of God in him." We are "complete in him," and "accepted in the beloved," having "redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." These are but a few of the "all spiritual blessings" even the most carnal believer has in Christ! In essence, when God looks at us, he sees his Son, for we are "in him" by the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit when he seals us with himself for eternity. For God to cast one of us into "outer darkness" would be the same as God casting the Lord Jesus Christ there as well! The Misslers have a fundamental misunderstanding of who we are made to be in Christ for simply believing the gospel of our salvation for today. Carnal or not, saved or not, sin is no longer the issue with God as all have been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, especially the believer.
Confusing the Body of Christ's heavenly destination with redeemed Israel's earthly one by reading someone else's "mail," results in a myriad of errors that keep on compounding if not corrected. Israel will inherit the earth -- not the Body of Christ -- and because she is under the curse of the law and prophesied courses of punishment (Lev. 26) when her program is in effect, there are stiff penalties recorded for failure to hearken to God's requirements during her ultimate time of testing, the tribulation period. Entrance to the kingdom in the inner portion of the land is granted only to a faithful remnant, the "overcomers," a term that Missler erroneously applies to the church which is his body saved by grace. Those Israelites who go through the tribulation in an unfaithful attitude of disobedience and unbelief will indeed find themselves left out of the promised reward, the earthly kingdom. No such future awaits even the most carnal member of the Body of Christ who is already seated with Christ in the heavenlies.
Those of us who truly love Christ will labor in love by preaching him according to the revelation of the mystery given exclusively to and through our apostle, Paul, and by allowing Christ to live through us by his Spirit by learning and living the doctrines given to us in Paul's post-Acts epistles. Rightly dividing the word of truth will guard us from serious error and from furthering Satan's plan of evil to deceive and confuse us as to where in God's word we must go to find God's message for today.
I sincerely hope that Chuck and Nancy Missler - and members of Calvary Chapel who read this - will seek out good grace teaching, some of which can be found at links listed at the bottom of this page. It's never too late to begin doing God's will, which is "to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God." (Eph. 3:9).
Update (9/23/09): Discovered this Q & A about the book on one of the Missler's websites. Question #1 on the meaning of "outer darkness" is answered by explaining that this is "simply a metaphor for being excluded from the joy of Christ's presence." To state that this is the fate of a saved believer contradicts all of Paul's writings after receiving the post-Acts revelation of the mystery in which he declares that we are "seated in heavenly places in Christ" and "accepted in the beloved" in his letter to the Ephesians.