Tattoos and the Rapture :: By Thomas Tillman

Much of the Church today is in sad, sick sorry shape, exhibiting all the symptoms of the lukewarm, ineffective Apostate Church which was prophesied by Jesus, Paul, Peter and Judeto appear in these last days. In addition to the many false religions of the world leading billions of poor deceived souls down the wide boulevard which leads to death and eternity in Hell, there are two branches of the false, apostate Church. One teaches that what the Bible has always told us to avoid or withstand is now perfectly fine and those who practice such should be celebrated and embraced. The other teaches that salvation is only through strict adherence to an artificially established long set of rules for ‘proper conduct’. The second is exemplified by many versions of ‘holiness’ religions teaching that they, each little group, and only they, are truly saved and that, only through maintaining a lifestyle of ‘holiness’ and sinlessness, coming from obedience to countless extra Biblical rules and regulations, usually established by the leader of each group. Jesus spoke of these ‘pastors’ when He said, ‘For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men.’ Matt 23:4ff. Sadly, the people are kept in a constant state of fear and flux, being taught that they can easily lose salvation with the slightest misstep. We even had a poor deluded young lady call into our radio ministry telling us that a good and chaste women mustn’t laugh, especially in the presence of men… their silly but deadly lists go on and on… suffice to say, they may believe they are saved, but if they also believe that all these other things are necessary for salvation, works of the flesh, then can they really be saved since they are placing their faith and trust in things other than or in addition to Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross alone?

The other half of the apostate Church are being taught that much of the Bible’s claims should be denied, and much that the Bible rejects should in fact, be embraced. As example, the Bible teaches clearly against murder and yet, much of today’s hip, cool ‘Emergent Church’ and its leadership heartily approve of a ‘woman’s right to choose’… choose to murder, that is. The Bible commands against fornication yet rarely will a pastor or many Christians take a stand against ‘living together’ or being ‘sexually active’. The Bible teaches us that God views homosexuality as sin, even calling it an abomination, yet the apostate Church desires to ‘honor diversity’ and to ‘receive our gay brothers and sisters with love’, to be inclusive. Anyone who would deny such a thing is bigoted, narrow and exclusive, they claim.

Some believe that the Rapture will include anyone who has said ‘the sinner’s prayer’. The Bible tells us, rather, that the Rapture will be for those who are patiently waiting for His coming, Rev. 3 and even more so, those who are looking for His coming, those who are living in such a way that they are excitedly and eagerly looking, watching and waiting for their Savior to return in the clouds to take His bride away. The Rapture is called our blessed hope. It can only be the blessed hope of the one who actively hopes for it.

If the parable of the ten virgins refers to the Rapture, then it also makes clear that the Rapture is reserved for those who keep their oil, a type for the Holy Spirit, full, that is, walking in and being led by God’s Holy Spirit day by day.

Are there things we can do which will keep us from the Rapture? Are there things which exemplify a life which is not eagerly watching and waiting for our Lord’s return in the clouds? What if a Christian is now living an active homosexual lifestyle? What if a Christian is living a life of regular burglary? What if a Christian is now living a life of lying? These are all things specifically commanded by God to not do.

Let’s talk about tattoos, Christians and tattoos. For some reason, many would rather not talk about tattoos, after all, who am I to judge what someone else does. It is a normal and accepted part of our civilization… It is to his master he will stand or fall. However, just like some other ‘personal areas’ that would be preferred left in the dark, namely homosexuality and abortion, stealing and lying etc… things that have become so unhip to talk about, God Himself addresses the situation of His people and tattoos, and just plain common sense will say much to those with ears to hear or brains to think.

We read in Lev. 19:28, Amplified Bible, ‘You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead nor print or tattoo any marks upon you; I am the Lord.’ Period! So, right off, we discover that God commands Israel not to be tattooed. Ah, you say, but we are not under Law, but under grace. That is true. A tattoo will not keep any Christian out of Heaven. Nevertheless, obviously it must not ’ok’ with God, since He went to the trouble to purposely address the practice. Why? We’ll see.

The history of tattoo dates from the time of the flood, 5000 years and surely even before. In fact, the very first reference to a mark on the body goes back to almost the very beginning, to the third human, Cain. We are told that God placed on him a mark that would be recognized by all who saw it as God’s protection on Cain from being killed in vengeance for the murder of his brother, Abel. Gen. 4:15

I won’t bore you with the entire life history of the tattoo. Tattooing developed in every ancient civilization and from the start, in all of those cultures, tattoos have invariably been connected with the spiritual realm, to represent ’gods’ or as protection from evil spirits, as well as an outer picture of the spirit within. (Maoris) Since God commanded His people to not tattoo, then it was obviously always connected with the kingdom of darkness, Lucifer’s domain since God excluded from His kingdom, the Kingdom of Light. None of this is something to be argued or convinced of, it simply is reality. Whether consciously or not, ultimately the underlying attitude behind a tattoo is, just like every sin, this is my body, I own it, I control it and I will do with it, and to it, what I will… so there!

As an unbeliever, go ahead! Do what you will. However, God warned against many things, whether we might think them sinful or dangerous or not. Many have contracted deadly diseases from tattoo needles, many have contracted terrible infections of the skin and deeper.

As believers, children of God, our attitudes should be different from the world’s. First, God did tell His people, ‘Do not be tattooed’, for health reasons as well as His command that we be different, set apart unto Him… in the world, but not of the world. Rev 18:4, 2Cor 6:17, 1John 2 ‘Come out from among them and be ye separate.’ ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.’

Paul wrote to us in Rom 12, ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God,’ and, in 1 Cor 6, ‘Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body[c] and in your spirit, which are God’s’. In Gen. 1, ‘God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.’ Have you ever wondered what kind of tattoos God has, other than, of course, our names on the palms of His hands? Isa 49:16

By the way, we’ve all heard the tired meme, ‘My tattoos are a witnessing tool.’ Really!? That might be legitimate if before you got your tattoos you were already using every avenue available to you in witnessing to the lost already. Usually what that really means is, ‘I’m embarressed to talk about the Lord Jesus Christ with anyone, so these tatts sort of get me off the hook, in my own mind and obviously also with many of the gullible ones to whom I’ve said it.

Now lets see it in tangible terms… let’s say you are able to buy a Lamborghini Reventon… they go for a mere $1,600,000.00 That’s 1.6 million! You really like your new Lamborghini Reventon. In fact, one might guess you love your Lamborghini Reventon. By the way, you’ll need to take some special lessons just to be able to drive the thing. (I saw a video recently in which someone was taping from behind, his friend in his new Lamborghini. He took off at the light, turned the corner and, being unable to control such a powerful car, spun across the line, plowing in between two other cars coming from the opposite direction… just like that, the new car smell is gone.) Anyway, back to your new Lamborghini Reventon for $1,600,000.00… lets say I ask to borrow it; you say, ‘Sure, why not!’ (You’re nor very bright, after all) So, I take it home and begin to drive it around. Answer this… do you think you would be pleased if I were to scratch my name into the door or across the hood with a key, or even if I were to write my name across the back hatch with an indelible black marker? Do you think you’d be pleased if I began to place all manner of permanent bumper stickers all over your new Lamborghini Reventon for which you paid $1.6 million dollars?

Or, let’s say you just paid, at auction, $13,100,000.00, ($13.1 million) for the thoroughbred horse, Seattle Dancer, a descendant of Seattle Slew, the Triple Crown winner, and I, your very good friend who has been busy defacing your new Lamborghini Reventon, ask if I can borrow your new horse to ride around the neighborhood and also to pull my shiny new plow. You (remember, you still are none too bright) say ‘Sure’. Then, when I get it home, I take out my new electric branding iron and burn my name or maybe a butterfly or fairy across your new $13,100,000 horse’s face, or across his rump. How pleased are you now, as I ride toward you while you are surveying all the scratches and stickers and markers on your now slightly used Lamborghini Reventon?

I forgot to remind you… before I ever borrowed your Lamborghini Reventon or Seattle Dancer, you told me not to mark up or deface them in any way… you even gave it to me in writing. Now how do you feel? …maybe just a little disrespected, insulted, mad? Remember, we are not our own, we have been bought with a price, the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. These are not our decisions to make. They are God’s, and He has made them. Either we desire to honor God with our bodies, His way, or we don’t. The choice is simple… just like with everything else. God speaks, and we listen or ignore. The human body and mind are far, far more advanced, intricate and valuable than any automobile or horse.

A final thought… I believe the great resurgence in tattooing over the past thirty years has been directed by the forces of darkness with the express goal of conditioning all humanity to willingly receive a mark or tattoo in the right hand or forehead, the Mark of the Beast, something related to 666. That is the tattoo which will most certainly keep out of Heaven every person who receives it.

I don’t care if you have tattoos or not, but we had better always consider whether or not God does. He did say so, after all, and God, unlike us, never speaks just to hear Himself talking. The Word of God, Every Word God speaks, is active and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, and it always reveals the thoughts and intents of the heart. His Word also tells us, the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked… who can really know it? Does your heart say, get a cool tattoo… everyone’s doing it. I’m wise enough to know what’s best… I’m really quite certain that God didn’t really mean what He said. ‘Hath God really said’? When the heart, or a demon, speaks like that… it is like what happened to Solomon. He had been given wisdom far in excess of anyone who has ever lived, save Jesus Christ, of course. His heart told him it was ok to take just one foreign wife, she is after all a princess of Egypt and that sure would be a really good alliance to form, don’t you think, God? Finally, he took 1000 wives and concubines and his heart was turned away from the Lord his God unto the abominations of the nations around Israel of which God had said, you will not take wives for yourselves from them. Unlike his father David who sinned grievously, but always returned to God in humility and was known by God as a man after His own heart, Solomon preferred sin and sex and demons. What do we prefer?

Again, a tattoo would never keep a Christian out of Heaven, and if you have tatts, many Christians do. But, tattoos might just keep an unbeliever from coming to God, as one of the things which could cause a person to feel unworthy to even approach God, or it might be the thing which keeps a Christian from walking close to God, a constant reminder that I have done something which God told me not to… isn’t that exactly why Adam and Eve were hiding in the bushes when God came for a walk?

Will tattoos keep a person from the Rapture? It all depends on what is in one’s heart, or not.

I would certainly advise one who has tattoo(s), to humbly acknowledge God’s command against it and to ask His forgiveness, which He promised to give and to cleanse for all unrighteousness. We are given His invitation to always come boldly unto the Throne of Grace to receive all help in time of need.

Remember, Man looks at the outward appearance, God looks on the heart. Have a heart that seeks God, that always follows hard after God, He is the One to Whom we will give account.