We teach a pretribulation rapture of the church. Alan Hultberg defines it as, “The rapture is a theological term that refers to the ‘catching up’ of the church to meet the Lord in the air in association with his return and with the resurrection of believers.”  Debate exists among dispensationalists pertaining to the timing of the event. Pretribulation rapture proponents assert those in the church will be taken off the earth before the seven years of tribulation as described in Revelation (or Daniel’s seventieth week). We believe there are good arguments for this view (mainly 1 Thess 4:16-17 and 1 Cor 15:50ff).
However, we also believe there are some bad arguments from dispensationalists who defend the pretribulation rapture. Two leading arguments from pretribs are built on an argument from silence and a misinterpretation of John 14. Our challenge to dispensationalists is to argue from the text theological positions and represent our views with solid arguments not based on logical fallacies and bad interpretations.
Rapture Series Overview
There are four or five parts in this blog series. The first post will evaluate the argument from silence pertaining to Revelation 6-19. The second post will analyze John 14. Part three will evaluate 1 Thessalonians. Part four evaluates 1 Corinthians 15. A fifth part may come to fruition evaluating Revelation 3:10 (although Shawn hasn’t confirmed it yet–hint hint Shawn 🙂
Argument from silence
This argument states John never mentions the church when describing Daniel’s seventieth week in Revelation 6-19. Because the church is not mentioned and the focus is on Israel, the church is therefore absent from the scene and the Pretribulation Rapture accounts for this evidence. One author notes,
It is remarkable and totally unexpected that John would shift from detailed instructions for the church to absolute silence about the church for the fourteen chapters describing Daniel’s seventieth week (Rev. 6-19) if, in fact, the church continued into the tribulation. 
In order for this statement to support the pretrib view, the author needs to know the mind of John, the author of Revelation. He continues,
If the church will experience the tribulation of Daniel’s seventieth week, then surely the most detailed study of the tribulation events would include an account of the church’s role. But it doesn’t!
The problem here is this is an argument from silence. Chapter 6-19 says nothing about the rapture. The mid or post-trib proponent could argue the text says nothing about the rapture because John does not care to deal with it. The post-trib proponent could insist nothing is mentioned because the rapture doesn’t occur until the end of the tribulation. Both mid and post-tribers could assert, John writes Revelation to prepare the church for the coming destruction. Of course someone could argue there is no rapture because John does not mention it!
Criag Blaising says,
The problem we have in answering the question is that, as in the Olivet Discourse, there is no EXPLICIT mention of the rapture in the book of Revelation. This silence per se favors none of the tribulational positions presented in this book. All one can conclude is that an explicit discussion of the topic of the rapture was not in keeping with the purposes of the book or the purpose of the Lord in revealing these visions “
Too often we argue from narrative what the narrative does not intend to teach. It is a bad argument to claim something exists because the narrative does not mention it. This assumes we know the mind of the author and why he chose to mention and not mention details. In reality all we can assert about the text is what the author told us. We know the author intended to communicate what he wrote down and his words need to be the focal point of our discussion. When we come across arguments from silence, it reveals the proponents presuppositions more than what the text actually says.
The argument from silence really means the presupposition needs to be evaluated. In order to assert a pre, mid, or post-tribulation view, advocates need to assert a positive argument for his or her position. Therefore the pre-trib view is best asserted by examining texts that deal with the rapture.
 Alan Hultberg, “Introduction,” Three Views on The Rapture, pg 11.
 Richard Mayhue, “Why a Pretribulation Rapture?,” Christ Prophetic Plans, 89.
 Craig Blaising, “A Case for the Pretribulation Rapture,” Three Views on the Rapture, 61-2.
I’m not understanding exactly what you are saying in you (1) reason for defaulting to the pretrib view… What do you do you mean by the old testament portrait?
However, the (2) reason is easy to explain concerning wrath… very easy indeed.
The scripture states that we are not appointed to wrath, BUT to salvation and forever living with Him… 1Thess. 5:9,10 (don’t forget vs. 10) When the term wrath is used by the pretrib view it is always ASSUMED that wrath is temporal rather than eternal. The Greek word for wrath that is used in this verse is also used the first 3 times in Revelation (through chap. 11). After which a different Greek word for wrath is used. Some translations translate this second word as anger. Let’s take a look at the first 3 times… Rev. 6:16,Rev. 6:17, Rev.11:18. (going from memory…may not be exact, but close) The first two we are told that MAN declares that God’s wrath has come…God did not declare it. The last one… GOD declares that His wrath IS come, and with it He judges the dead…not the living. It is eternal in nature. Note the usage of the second Greek word for wrath in Rev. 14. Those who drink of God’s wrath will forever burn with fire and brimstone. There again eternal in nature.
This is why we are not appointed to God’s wrath…ever, because we are eternal beings, and the saved are not going to Hell. Consider the temporal scenario of Earth: Frank and Thelma are a married couple who have served God all of their lives. Frank is visiting his wife in the hospital who has been dying from a painful cancer for the last year. Frank looks out the window to see a tsunami kill Satanist doing a ritual on the beach. “Look,” he yells at Thelma, “God’s wrath has instantly taken out the wicked on the beach!” God’s anger may have judged the wicked on the beach, but His wrath is how they are judged eternally… in Hell.
The wrath of God as temporal is an incorrect assumption of the pretrib view. Every precept of the view is built upon an opinion, assumption, or conjecture. For this reason I see that there is no reason to default it the view whatsoever.
Thanks for stopping by. I’m sure you noticed there is an entire series on the rapture, this being article one. I’m sure many of your questions are answered in the other blog posts. Thanks for the note, Godspeed.
Johnny Ward said:
(Yo Jason. Wondering if you’ve ever caught this web something. Blessings.)
PRETRIB RAPTURE SECRETS
How can the “rapture” be “imminent”? Acts 3:21 says that Jesus “must” stay in heaven (He’s now there with the Father) “until the times of restitution of all things” which includes, says Scofield, “the restoration of the theocracy under David’s Son” which obviously can’t begin before or during Antichrist’s reign. (“The Rapture Question,” by the long time No. 1 pretrib authority John Walvoord, didn’t dare to even list, in its scripture index, the too-hot-to-handle Acts 3:21!) Since Jesus can’t even leave heaven before the tribulation ends (Acts 2:34,35 echo this), the rapture therefore can’t take place before the end of the trib! (The same Acts verses were also too hot for John Darby – the so-called “father of dispensationalism” – to list in the scripture index in his “Letters”!)
Paul explains the “times and the seasons” (I Thess. 5:1) of the catching up (I Thess. 4:17) as the “day of the Lord” (5:2) which FOLLOWS the posttrib sun/moon darkening (Matt. 24:29; Acts 2:20) WHEN “sudden destruction” (5:3) of the wicked occurs! The “rest” for “all them that believe” is tied to such destruction in II Thess. 1:6-10! (If the wicked are destroyed before or during the trib, who’d be left alive to serve the Antichrist?) Paul also ties the change-into-immortality “rapture” (I Cor. 15:52) to the posttrib end of “death” (15:54). (Will death be ended before or during the trib? Of course not! And vs. 54 is also tied to Isa. 25:8 which is Israel’s posttrib resurrection!)
Many are unaware that before 1830 all Christians had always viewed I Thess. 4’s “catching up” as an integral part of the final second coming to earth. In 1830 this “rapture” was stretched forward and turned into a separate coming of Christ. To further strengthen their novel view, which the mass of evangelical scholars rejected throughout the 1800s, pretrib teachers in the early 1900s began to stretch forward the “day of the Lord” (what Darby and Scofield never dared to do) and hook it up with their already-stretched-forward “rapture.” Many leading evangelical scholars still weren’t convinced of pretrib, so pretrib teachers then began teaching that the “falling away” of II Thess. 2:3 is really a pretrib rapture (the same as saying that the “rapture” in 2:3 must happen before the “rapture” [“gathering”] in 2:1 can happen – the height of desperation!).
Other Google articles on the 182-year-old pretrib rapture view include “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” “Pretrib Rapture Scholar Wannabes,” “Famous Rapture Watchers,” “Pretrib Rapture Diehards,” “X-Raying Margaret,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Walvoord Melts Ice,” “Wily Jeffrey,” “The Rapture Index (Mad Theology),” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Roots of (Warlike) Christian Zionism,” “Scholars Weigh My Research,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Deceiving and Being Deceived,” and “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty” – all by the author of the bestselling book “The Rapture Plot” (see Armageddon Books).
Johnny, I appreciate your comment. I feel as if we’ve answered some of those questions in our other posts on the Rapture. Shawn even dealt with the DOL in part 6, https://shepherdthesheep.com/2012/04/10/part-v-evaluating-the-rapture/?preview=true.
I do have a question for you. I often hear people reference the pre-trib view as a 180 year old view as if that is a trump card. Can you explain why the age of the doctrinal stance is important to determining accurate exegesis of the text?
Another question, is do you fully understand the pre-trib view? I don’t think the Pre-tribber says Christ returns, but more asserts he comes half way down, meets his people (the church) and takes them to heaven. He then returns after the 7 year tribulation. Some of your examples I don’t disagree with, but I also don’t see that eliminating the pre-trib view.
Thanks for your time.
As far as I am concerned, I believe the pre-trib position only becomes clear when one tries to correlate all that is said in Scripture concerning the return of Jesus. What emerges from such a correlation is that there are really two classes of passages. One which speaks of the Lord’s return as something that will happen suddenly with no notice, and another which speaks of the Lord’s return as something that will be preceded by signs and that it should be discernible when it is about to happen. The best explanation for the former is a pre-trib position (I think), while the best explanation for the latter is the parousia.
Most positions recognize the two classes of texts though, even preterists. Only, they usually speak of the former class as being about the parousia and the latter as being about the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Romans in 70 AD.
Honestly one of the big reasons this series interested me was due to a lack of being able to articulate what I believe. So far studying for the series has been good and frustrating at the same time. Frustrating because so many arguments are logical fallacies, but good in the sense of informative and reconfirming.
With that said, I still find it somewhat hard to be extremely cavalier about a rapture view and assert with ABSOLUTE authority our view like I would the deity of Christ. Of course in the next week or two my thoughts could change 🙂
Everyone thinks their view is correct, but how can you really tell, and how important is it really?
Both Jesus and Paul tell us to be careful that no man deceive you concerning this issue… Matt. 24:4, 2 Thess. 2:3. Peter tells us that those who don’t get it correct, “..twist the scriptures as the always do…” 2 Pet. 3:16. So obviously the warning stipulates that there is a lot of deception and twisting of the Word.
If you are interested in the truth, you must be willing to set aside all opinion, assumption, conjecture and speculation. If you can do this the truth will become available to you. This is not an easy task, especially if you have studied a lot of man’s opinion, and therefore see through those lenses. If you, however, are new to the study, let the Bible be your guide. Otherwise, you must be able to set aside all the movies, lectures, and ideas that may have bombarded you with man’s opinion over the years.
One certain way to understand that the Word of God has been tampered with is that certain ideas or doctrines create loose ends that must be tied up and therefore must be explained only by man. Like a child who has told a lie and must tell others to cover for the first on. These ideas create sub-doctrines that cannot be substantiated by the Word and must be explained by someone in order to be understood. You will not be able to find any explanation from the Word, because they are super-scriptural, and therefore added to the Word. For the truth to be found the idea must flow with the whole of Scripture and all “loose end” must be dealt with by Scripture, leaving no room for man to interfere.
Here is an example of a loose end or sub-doctrine: The pre-tribulation rapture view tells us that the bride is raptured seven years prior to the second coming. That is the initial idea. However it creates many loose ends that must be explained and must be addressed solely by man. One loose end is the sub-doctrine of the tribulation saints. The tribulation saint cannot be the bride, because the bride is in heaven (according to the view). This causes many problems with the whole of Scripture; “we are one body in Christ Jesus”, the promises that apply to the bride, don’t apply to the tribulation saints, etc. How can the saints be one body as a bride, and another as separate from the bride, and remain one body? Man’s explanation of this view, tells us that the tribulation saints must become eternal heavenly servants of the bride. This in effect makes the tribulation saints greater than the bride, because, “He who wishes to be greatest in the kingdom of heaven must become a servant of all.” If that is the case, it would be more desirable to be a tribulation saint than a member of the bride. There are a lot of other complications that this the concept of tribulation saints bring, and those who carry this particular view cannot agree exactly on how this all plays out. Here in lies the problem. It is super-scriptural in nature. Not explained by the Word and therefore the end result must be conjured to make sense of it all. As a result there will be many views concerning the sub-doctrines. This is a loose end that creates a sub-doctrine that is derived and conjured by man. Be careful that no man deceive you! This sub-doctrine is a secondary lie to cover the initial.
Another issue is a doctrine changing the Word of God to be able to accommodate their view. Peter addresses this… 2 Peter 3:16. In order for the doctrine to be received it must be taught to those with a shallow understanding of the Word.
Here is an example of this: Luke 21:36 tells us to pray always that we may be counted worthy to escape all that is coming upon the earth… The pre-tribulation view tells us that the word “escape” in this passage refers to the rapture. Okay if that is the case, what does this concept do with the rest of the verse? “…Pray always that you may be counted worthy…” Most have the understanding that the prerequisite to being raptured is being saved. We are saved by grace and not by works or being worthy… Eph 2:8,9. However, for the word “escape” to be the rapture, we must be raptured by our worthiness and pray always accordingly. So now we are told that only some Christians will be raptured because not all are worthy, although saved. To continue this thinking, they would also loose any bride status in order to become tribulation saints. Perhaps even having to have to face martyrdom to earn their way into heaven because Christ died for the bride, and not for them. This verse creates division among those who hold the view. Some believe there is no division of those who are saved that get raptured at the rapture and some do. Overall the understanding of salvation equating those “assigned for rapture” must be severed, otherwise we would have to be saved by works, contrary to the Word. Jesus told us the parable of the 10 virgins in Matt. 25. The five foolish were not only told, “depart from me, I never knew you,” but “go to hell” as well. What they were not told is that they would get a second chance as a tribulation saint. As you can see the Word gets changed (twisted as Peter states) to accommodate the view.
You must ask yourself, is your own desires clouding your view? Often I get asked, “Why would you want to go through the great tribulation?” As if what I want as anything to do with God’s plan. The obvious conclusion to those who ask this question is that their personal desires have clouded their perception of the truth. Is it foolish to walk directly in the direction of persecution? Peter rebuked Jesus for walking into His crucifixion. Jesus in turn stated, “Get thee behind me Satan.” Today the church spends much of their time running from taking up their cross.
If Peter tells us that those who do not get it right concerning the view of eschatology (end times), “twist the scripture as they always do.” The “as they always do” is huge. That means that your perceptions of truth concerning your “end time” beliefs exemplifies your perception of the Scriptures as a whole. This puts great importance upon the study of eschatology. We must be lovers of the truth, if not God Himself will send a delusion upon us as stated in 2 Thess. 2 at the end of chapter.
Again, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your desire to accurately handle the Word. I agree with you opinions of men do not have authority and the Bible is the standard for truth.
You have an interesting criteria for determining truth, “For the truth to be found the idea must flow with the whole of Scripture and all “loose end” must be dealt with by Scripture, leaving no room for man to interfere.” In your words, if there is a ‘loose end’ then the interpretation of Scripture is wrong. What Bible verse are you using to prove this criteria is true? What if someone sees the ‘loose end’ as no loose end, but you see it as problematic? I believe you are really forcing someone to agree with your interpretation as a standard for measuring truth.
Second, you’re welcome to disagree with me. I have no problems with that. You’re also welcome to show me where my interpretation is not faithful. However, I would challenge you to deal with our arguments in this series instead of creating a Straw man. Your Luke 21:36 example does not aid your argument. I believe the pre-tribulation rapture is the most faithful interpretation however I do NOT agree with how you understand the pre-trib view handles Luke 21:36 and the word “escape.” In fact, I don’t think Luke 21:36 teaches the rapture at all. So, in essence, you have formed an argument, then refuted the argument to which no author on this blog made. It is akin to putting words in my mouth then calling me a liar. This seems problematic and unjust.
You are MORE than welcome to challenge any view I hold. But if you are going to comment and espouse doctrine, please deal with the arguments presented, not someone else’s argument. thanks, Godspeed.–Jason
You want me to respond directly your arguments presented. That’s cool, but the problem I face is that your arguments are founded upon the window dressings rather than on the foundations. This is the problem I find with all of the pretrib teaching. Foundational issues are superficially addressed if at all, and then switched to window dressing issues. I submit to you that the entirety of the foundation of the pretrib view is based upon opinion, conjecture, assumption, and speculation. This is the warning of Jesus and Paul concerning eschatology, “be careful that no man deceive you.”
You state that you believe that there are good arguments for the view, and list two passages…1 Thess. 4:16,17, and 1 Cor. 15:50ff (not sure what ff means, and I think you are referring to verse 51,52 rather than vs.50). Your argument is “pertaining to the timing of the event.” 1 Thess. 4:16,17 offers absolutely no indication of timing, however 1 Cor. 15:51,52 does, it states;
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
There are only two verses concerning eschatology that speak of a mystery and a the sound of a trumpet in the Word. It also happens to be concerning the last trumpet…
Rev. 10;7 “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” The voice is defined as a trumpet in Rev. 8:2, and 11:15 and seen as this context throughout chapters 8 though 11.
Of course, for the pretrib doctrine must reject the second verse as consequential, and therefore reject any timing that the Word offers concerning the timing of the rapture.
Although the Word gives timing to the rapture over and over again, the pretrib doctrine must reject them all to maintain their view:
“at the last trump…”
“as a thief in the night…” 2 Peter 3:10, Rev. 16:15
“…after the tribulation of those days…” Matt. 24:29
The pretrib view tells us concerning the rapture, “of that day, no one knows the day or the hour…” quoting Matt. 24:36. Telling us that all immanency falls upon the rapture. But back up and READ the Word, “Of that day…” which day? The Word just described the second coming in the preceding verses. If the rapture happened 7 years prior then we would know EXACTLY when the second coming were to happen. That also would attempt to make Jesus out to be a liar in the declaration on how he would come, “like a thief…” (Rev. 16:15, 2 Peter 3:10). Jesus would have to have declared that he was coming, “like a politician in the daylight” rather than a thief in the night, because the rapture 7 years prior would have declared the timing of the second coming.
If you separate the rapture event from the second coming and study out the Word, you will find that the Word always gives the element of surprise to the second coming and never to the the passages that pretribber consider as rapture. Yet the pretribbers always claim immanency to the rapture declaring that no one knows the day or the hour.
The fact of the matter is that the rapture and the second coming are one in the same, otherwise you make a liar out of Jesus concerning the nature in which He declared HOW he would return, “like a thief.” The first event would declare the second.
The pretrib doctrine is a study of opinion, conjecture, assumption, and speculation and separates itself from the truth of the Word of God.
Well, at this point we are going to go no where 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. I hope the study of His Word continues to conform you into His image! Studying God’s Word compels us to be like Him, humble, teachable, compassionate, slow to anger, kind, and tender-hearted. I get the sense you may be a little more worked up over this issue than Scripture is.
Post-trib guys unite the rapture and Second Coming. I know that and yet the lack of a single Bible verse that connects the two creates the same problems for you as you levy against the pretrib guys. You are forced to read one passage from one book into the the other . . . In other words, you have to harmonize 1 Corinthians 15:50ff (ff= following) with Revelation. But since the authors do not do that you are asserting conjecture. This is reasonable conjecture and I see how you get it, but to charge the pretrib guy with inaccurately handling the Bible seems a little silly to me.
Can someone get the timing of the rapture wrong and still be saved? You are rather dogmatic on this issue and continue to put words in my mouth. Where did we claim immanency? Also, in Matthew 24:33ff (ff means following) Jesus tells the people the generation in the tribulation must recognized that He is near. Jesus teaches the Olivet discourse so we can know what the End Times look like. This generation is to be on alert. (This generation = the generation in the tribulation). Jesus, talking to the disciples of Israel tells Israel they need to be on alert. This does not undermine the pretrib rapture.
I understand your position and you have some interesting points, but you continue to levy false charges against what I believe. I once beat up straw men too, then I realized it is really unjust of me to do that to someone I disagree with. Again, I wouldn’t agree with your charge against the pretrib view concerning Matthew 24:36. You put words in our mouth again.
Timing is always the big question. Peter said the prophets knew they were looking for the Messiah, they just didn’t know the exact timing. As we said in all our blogs we lean pretrib because it paints the least amount of problems. But this isn’t something to part fellowship over. Thanks for stopping by, continue to pray my Bible study leads me to accurately reflect our great Savior Jesus Christ!
Harmonizing the rapture with the second coming is easy.
Jesus states, “I come as a thief…” 2 Peter 3:10, Rev. 16:15. Both of these references are clearly second coming in nature.
Matt. 24:36 states, “of that day, no man knows the day or the hour…” That day is clearly referring to the day that was just described in the preceding verses…. “immediately after the tribulation…” (vs. 29) Clearly second coming in nature.
If there were a rapture 7 years prior… Jesus would be lying concerning the nature in which He stated how He would come, “like a thief…” Jesus doesn’t lie. The separation of rapture from second coming is the lie. The first would announce the second coming as you are WELL aware of.
The Scripture ALWAYS places the element of surprise upon the second coming… ALWAYS. Man in light of the pretrib doctrine attempts to place it upon the rapture, but fails when it comes to backing it by scripture.
The pretrib doctrine is clearly a lie. Those who want to believe it do not love the truth. Those who do not love the truth have place themselves in a position to have the heavy delusion of God Himself placed upon them…2 Thess. 2:11,12
What does Matthew 24:33-34 mean?
How does 24:42 relate to the discussion on Matthew 24:32-41?
Did you read Ken Stiles post on 1 Corinthians 15? Here
Did you read my post on 1 Thessalonians? here
Are you really willing to say a person’s view of the rapture prevents them from going to heaven and being with Christ?
I read your post on 1 Thessalonians and understand and follow what you are saying. How does that apply to dis-harmonizing the rapture from the second coming? It does not. I do not see how it applies my reply to what was written. Why do you choose to refuse to evaluate the facts?
I also read and re-read Ken Stiles… His writing style is difficult to follow. He mentions several untruths and then builds his argument upon them without substantiating them. I’ve found this to be a very common pretrib practice, the foundational issues are ignored, while the decor is focused upon. I may respond on that link later. That article does not address the attempt to call Jesus a “liar” concerning then nature in which He promised how He would come, “like a thief…”
Matt. 24:33,34 means exactly what it says. In what way are you confused that you feel the need to ask?
Now that we’ve dealt with your distraction from the issue at hand, the fact remains that the separation of the event of the rapture from the second coming is a 100% fabrication and in effect make Jesus into a liar if you believe that in a separation.
Concerning a person’s view of eschatology and salvation, Scripture makes it very clear of the weight that getting it right carries. Yes, that it has substantial foundational cornerstones concerning salvation. Both Jesus and Peter discuss it.
Peter tells us of it’s importance when he tells us that those who do not get it correct, twist the Word of God as they always do…2 Peter 3:16. “Always” would refer to the whole of Scripture, which, of course, carries through to the foundational message of salvation. I see this as a result to what degree a person is willing to accept truth. The truth hurts, so many pick and choose what they want to believe because they do not want to fact truth.
Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith, gives us a parable concerning salvation. It is the parable of the sower found in Mark 4. The seed is sown and some falls with the weed seed soil and some on rocky soil, and some on fertile soil. He tells us that those who do not have the mindset that embraces tribulation and persecution, “immediately stumble” when it comes. The pretrib doctrine is a huge supporter of smoothing over tribulation that we are assigned to… John 16:33. Jesus promises us tribulation and tells us to have peace and good cheer concerning it. The pretrib doctrine lies to us and attempts to inform us that we are to take comfort in skipping out of it…1 Thess.4:18. When in truth the context is found in vs. 13 debunking the false teaching of the Sadducees’ that there is no resurrection of the dead.
Jesus tells us what causes people to fall away and describes the salvation experience as “stoney soil.” Paul tells us that there will be a great falling away prior to our gathering together with Him… 2 Thess. 2:1-3. We saw this happen in China in the last century when the red curtain fell. The church leaders who lived through it testify that they are remorseful that they had ever taught the pretrib teaching, but rather that they had prepared their people for the tribulation that Jesus promises…John 16:33. As a result of the pretrib teaching, many immediately turned from their faith with the tribulation and persecution came. I suspect that history will repeat itself here soon in the United States. Today much of the church in China considers the pretrib teaching a doctrine of devils, for obvious reasons.
Consider for a moment that a “falling away” must first take place (as stated in 2 Thess. 2:1-3), and that this “falling away” or apostasy, (apostasia in the Greek) refers to believers departing from the faith. Jesus tells us a key component of falling away is not counting the cost of tribulation when it comes. So simple math tells us that tribulation is the cause of this apostasy (falling away). What group of people are taught that they will not be experiencing the tribulation? Pretribbers. Yet, Paul mentions another thing that must happen first in these passages prior to us “being gathered together with him.” That is the anti-christ being revealed. We can speculate who that may be, but he hasn’t been revealed yet, so we can not say for certain. These two things are mentioned together as what must happen first. Consider Peters prophesy considering mockers, “Where is the promise of His coming?” Only an apostatized pretribber who has that mindset can mock another with that same pretrib mindset that Christ is coming prior to tribulation. All the others know there was never given a ‘get out of tribulation free’ card.
Does holding a pretrib view make you a non-believer? Of course not, but it shows that counting the cost of being a believer may not be a consideration. This mindset can be eternally detrimental in light of Jesus’ words concerning “stoney soil” …Mark 4:17 when tribulation and persecution comes. Jesus states this as fact…Mark 4:17 Of course, I do understand that theoretically the view excepts the concept of tribulation for Christians, but in a practical, paying the ultimate price, no. That is why it is necessary to teach a false teaching of “comforting one another with these words.” “These words” being the the falsely conjured up idea of skipping out of tribulation.
The fact does not change. If you believe that there is a difference between the rapture and the second coming, and the rapture happens 7 years prior to the second coming, then you are calling Jesus a liar in the nature in which He promised that He’d come, “Like a thief…” 2 Peter 3:10, Rev. 16:15. If that were the case then the rapture would indeed declare the second coming and make Jesus into a liar. Jesus told us that if the goodman knew when his house would be broken into, that he’d know at what hour to keep watch…Matt. 24:41,42. In like manor if the rapture happened at the beginning of the tribulation that last 7 years, then those watching (Rev. 16:15) would know the time to be watching the one coming, “like a thief…” Jesus does not lie!
The seven year Tribulation is spelled out so well we will know we’re in the Tribulation period and will be expecting the return at any moment . . . in a sense your own criteria has been undone by the facts of the 7 year Trib.
Also, I asked about Matthew 24:33-42 because I’d like to see how you handle those texts. I get the sense you are giving more weight to one verse out of an entire paragraph than handling the entire text. So your explanation helps . . . seek to understand someone before levying assaults . . . a lesson you would do well to heed. Insulting someone doesn’t mean you are right, it just means your heart is prideful. If you’re right, then be kind because the truth is the truth.
I on the other hand won’t know when He comes, but I will be caught up. 🙂 And if the rapture should happen today, as we ascend, I promise not to say, “I told you so.” 🙂 . . . mainly because we will be so enthralled by the Lord that we will just want to worship Him.
I can’t wait for Jesus to return and us sit with Him and reign with Him and honor Him in every way, no more struggle with sin, no more blasting others who don’t see eye to eye with my bent and point of view and telling them they make Jesus out to be a liar. . . . It will be awesome!!!
Godpseed, thanks for stopping by and explaining your view. If you’re right, then pray my continued study of His Word leads me in the right direction.
Personally, I’m going to continue to make a bigger deal about being like Jesus and teaching His Word in it’s entirety. When I stack everything together, this is such a small issue. Godspeed
I deleted your last response because there is no reason to insult anyone on this blog (please read here for rules to follow). You and I have both professed to place our hope in Christ for salvation. He died on the cross for my sins, paying the death penalty I deserve, in my place. He forgives us of sin, iniquity, and cleanses us, while uniting us to Him! WE are saved on grace alone, through faith!!! We both see a future hope for Israel and both think Christ will reign a 1000 years in the Millennium Kingdom before the New Heavens and Earth. We are supposedly brothers in Christ as you yourself have admitted. The hope Peter is talking about us having is Jesus Christ, not your view of the rapture.
To be honest with you, I’m done talking about this issue. If you or I had one verse that clearly taught the timing of the rapture we would use it. But we don’t. Therefore we both have to prove our harmonization of Scripture is legit. You refuse to answer my questions about Matthew. You may not understand why that is important and because of that you will NEVER understand why I reject the post-tribulation view.
In the end, I don’t care enough to stay up late and talk about it with you. My encouragement to you is preach Christ. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him
raptured. . . oops, crucified. 😉
Take this energy, use it to be humble, faithful, and make yourself available to serve your church. Love Christ and love His people. Get involved in their life, serve them, and encourage them, all the while being patient and gracious, for the Lord teaches us and He grows us. “The Lord’s slave must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with GENTLENESS correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” Having a different view of the rapture doesn’t make someone an opponent and opposed to the Gospel. Reread your Bible, the emphasis is on the Gospel and His church. The one another’s are what you are called to do.
Godspeed and may the Lord bless us as we pursue Him!
You state that the 7 year tribulation is spelled out so well, but you make no reference to what that is. I understand how Scripture spells out the timing, and then I am also aware how the pretrib doctrine spells it out, but there again, you may spell it out differently.
History is very clear in the fact that it has been fulfilled concerning the seventieth week the pretrib doctrine attempts to assign to the tribulation period. Titus spent a 3.5 year conquest against Israel to dispel the uprising against Rome from 66 to 70 AD. As a result the daily sacrifices were ended. His army became an abomination of desolation concerning the temple in Jerusalem by the gentiles entering the holy places that where they were not permitted. The temple was left desolate with not one stone left upon another because when it burnt the gold melted between the stones, and the gold seekers removed every stone to retrieve it. This flows with the 69 weeks preceding it, and the fact that the daily sacrifices have been ended for near 2000 years should be a wake up call to anyone attempting to make the passage out otherwise. Unfortunately this is the passage that the pretrib doctrine uses to show that the great tribulation is for the Jew and references the time of Jacob’s trouble. Jacob’s trouble is indeed about Israel. (Jacob’s name was changed to Israel.) However, Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7) is not about the great tribulation. It is about a time where Israel is scattered (Jer. 30:10,11) to the ends of the Earth where she is then gathered… Jer 31:8.This too was fulfilled between 70 AD and 1948. Isaiah tells us that once she is gathered she will never be scattered again. The gathering began just prior to 1948 and continues to this day. At the time of the Messiah’s return Israel will not be scattered, but in captivity… big difference. Jerusalem will be half occupied by Jews while the other in captivity…Zach. 14:2-4.
It is an interesting fabrication, the idea that the 70th week must be separated by nearly 2000 years from the 69 other weeks to bring about an end to the daily sacrifices that already ended as prophesied nearly 2000 years ago. A child can easily understand this fulfillment of prophesy, but why can’t a pretribber? The reason is to maintain a separation between Israel and the church. Although Jesus tore down the walls of separation (Eph 2:11-14)and made us one body in Christ Jesus, the pretrib doctrine must maintain a separation, why? To bring you the doctrine of the pretrib rapture.
The pretrib doctrine must continue with the dividing the body of Christ. It tells us that the bride is raptured prior to the tribulation and that the tribulation saints cannot be the bride. This is not only contrary to the Word of God, but creates new doctrines concerning “tribulation saints.” The “tribulation saint” do not have the same promises that the bride has, so doctrines must be conjured up to accommodate them.
The idea that the rapture is separate from the second coming is entirely conjured up by man. The only backing that can be counted on to substantiate it is the word “mystery”. The word mystery is not a license to make up your own doctrine. The Word of God tells us EXACTLY when the rapture will happen, “at the last trump.”(1 Cor. 15:51,52) Rev. 10:7 tells us that when this trumpet is sounded, that the mystery of God will be revealed.
At no time does the pretrib doctrine stand on the Word of God, but solely upon the doctrines of man. I’m personally waiting to see just one idea come from the pretrib doctrine that is not based upon the opinions of man, but Scripture. These ideas simply do not exist, but the doctrines of man are well guarded. If you get too close to exposing the truth, major offenses are taken, and all sorts of excuses start coming up.
You will never offend me. In fact, I have compassion for you. You have made the timing of the rapture the key doctrine to determine orthodoxy and false teachers.
Flee youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. Is that what you are looking for a fight? Take up Zumba, the Octagon, or Karate. It seems you don’t really want to understand, but belittle and make your position known. I haven’t the time of day to deal with it 🙂
The Lord’s slave must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all (that actually means me and anyone else you talk to about their heretical rapture views — it even means unbelievers), able to teach (aren’t we thankful for the internet allowing us to have a voice we probably would have no where else), patient when wronged (that means not replying with insults or even crying FOUL, I’ve been injured), WITH GENTLENESS (imagine a mother tenderly taking care of her infant child — YES, that is how you should address people) CORRECTING those who are in opposition (we aren’t in that much opposition unless you don’t stand for the Gospel? do you?) if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth. (boy, I pray this is a part of both our life’s)
Failure to seek to understand where someone is coming from means you can beat up on their straw man. The reason I don’t want to engage you and this is the last comment from me (btw, probably your last comment to be allowed on the post too) is you don’t really want to learn or understand, you seem to want to belittle and tear down. You can’t begin to understand how or why someone would think differently than you do. Because of that you come off as hard headed and prideful. I’d rather get in the middle of a dog fight then debate theology with you.
I pray you grow to be more like Christ and learn humility, compassion, gentleness, and the need to be patient with people. I think you should look to how Christ leads us gently. You know, he doesn’t strike us with thunderbolts when we sin, he leads us back to repentance and the Gospel. He says we should be praying and focusing on growing in the depth and breadth of His love for us. I love thinking about the Gospel and the more I do, the more I find myself wanting to love others the same way He loves us.
Good questions Shawn. The goal is simple: outline some bad arguments and present some good arguments in order to encourage biblical arguments for doctrine. We believe 1 Thessalonians and 1 Corinthians will present two good arguments for the Rapture. I am still working on some common objections raised in my argument.
At the end of the day, this is a small issue, but necessary because the Bible teaches it. Small issue because so many people do not see a future hope for the nation Israel and the Millennial Kingdom. Those are larger, more important eschatology issues.
I think each position needs to acknowledge limited data and maybe not be as dogmatic as say the divinity of Christ! But We teach what the Bible teaches and we should present arguments as Scripture presents them 🙂