Pre or Post-Tribulation?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by pleasant1312, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. pleasant1312

    pleasant1312
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    Hello everyone! I have some questions that I hope those of you more knowledgable than I can answer.

    Long story short: My husband and I have always attended churches that taught pre-tribulation rapture. It's never had a name to us - it's just always been taught as fact. But, we often listen to podcasts from a local church we really like and recently heard a sermon about a post-tribulation rapture. This has, of course, sent my husband and I back to our Bibles to try and decide for ourselves what we really think.

    With that said, I'm hoping some of you here can point us in the right direction. We aren't looking to "prove" either side; we just want to read all that we can and hope to understand it better. Please understand that we are not Bible scholars or anything like that, and a lot of the debates and discussions I've read on this board can quickly go into realms I cannot imagine understanding at this point. =D So please, keep it simple!

    What passages and verses do you recommend to support your viewpoint, and what is your viewpoint? Were you, like us, taught one view and then began to believe another?
     
  2. webdog

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    Well, I think we should look to Christ first and foremost in understanding the rapture. Jesus addressed this in Matthew 24 and Luke 17, and ironically His similes included Lot and Noah as examples. Both instances the righteous were removed prior to judgement. Does that really fit the post trib understanding? I say no.

    In addition, what is the purpose of the tribulation? It is called the time of Jacob's trouble for a reason...it is geared towards the Jews, not those who are in Christ who God had already poured out His wrath on Him at the cross. What is the purpose for believers to go through "Jacob's Trouble". There is none, and before the post-tribs, preterists and amil's chime in about persecution, the purpose of the Great Tribulation is not persecution, it is judgement against a world which has rejected Him and restoration of the Jewish people. That is it.
     
  3. beameup

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    The "key" to Matthew ch. 24 is in verse 20:
    But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
    Christians are not under the Law of Moses and do not observe the Sabbath.
    This entire chapter is addressed JEWS, to (genetic) Israel, not the Church.
     
  4. Tom Butler

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    Welcome, sister, from another Kentuckian.

    Back in late l960s and early 1970s, when the Middle East was heating up, there arose a real interest in the end times. That interest grew even more with the arrival of Hal Lindsey's book, The Late,Great Planet Earth. It seemed as if prophecy conferences sprang up all over town. Almost universally, those conferences were oriented toward a pre-trib rapture. The view was so popular that some folks said if you didn't believe it you might not be saved.

    Then, in the mid-1970s, a young pastor came to lead our church. One Sunday evening, he preached on the end times,and advocated a post-tribulational point of view. Immediately after the service, several of us headed to where he was. When he saw us coming, he smiled, held up both hands and said, "Okay,, we're not going to debate tonight."

    "Here's your assignment," he said. "I want you to search the scriptures, and find one clear, unmistakeable, not-subject-to-any-other-interpretation verse or passage which teaches a pre-trib rapture. Come back next week and let's talk."

    We all searched, confident that we'd find a bunch of them. First we went to the old reliables. You know, I Corinthians 4:13-18; I Thess 5:9 (God has not appointed us to suffer wrath, but...) and a few others.

    We couldn't find one. You'd think that for such an important eschatalogical view there would be at least one which teaches pre-trib.

    Matthew 24 is clearly post-tribulational. I Thessalonians 5 is post-tribulational.

    Revelation 7 is pictured in heaven. Vv 13-15 speak of martyrs who came out of the Tribulation--believers who were killed on earth, not raptured out.
     
  5. RustySword

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    There are no fast answers, unfortunately.

    Those who teach the pre-trib rapture, and can defend it, have probably (and hopefully) spent a great deal of time studying the issue, and what they are giving you is only the top of the building without showing you the foundation.

    People are going to get tired of hearing (actually, reading...) me say this here, but the foundation is in books like Chafer's Systematic Theology, especially the volumes on Ecclesiology and Eschatology. And yes, that's a lot of reading.

    It would be nice if somebody with the gift took the time to put the meat of Chafer's arguments into something more concise.
     
  6. revmwc

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    But Revelation 4:1 is definitely PRE-TRIBULATIONAL with the Saints in Heaven rewarded.

    Then you must deal with"

    Revelation 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
    13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
    14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.


    Remember Revelation 4:4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

    The armies which were in Heaven come with Christ and are clothe in fine linen white and clean, the 24 elders are clothed in white raiment.

    Revelation 3:5
    He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.


    Revelation 3:18
    I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

    Of course Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
    8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

    Verse is the key to the armies that come with Christ from Heaven they are already in Heaven during the Tribulation. Which is seen in Revelation 4 when

    John hears Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

    Sounds real similar to this:
    1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

    The shout the voice of the arch angel the trump of God and the first voice I heard was as it were a Trumpet. talking with mme and saying come up hither. What happens in 1 Thessaloninas 4 the Trumpet sounds and the dead rise and we who are alive and remain meet them in the air and so will we ever be with the Lord. Sounds really like a Pre-Trib Rapture to me.

    Matthew 24 definitely shows a Pre-Trib view.

    Right here we see in Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
    5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
    6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
    7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
    8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

    The end is not yet all these are the beginning of sorrows, the church is taken and the Tribulation begins, because the end of Daniels 70 weeks of 7 year periods will occur after the Church is removed. It is a Jewish period of time of 7 years the 70th week and must be fulfilled or Daniel proven a false prophet. Verse 6 the end is not yet, verse 8 then the beginning of sorrows, the tribualtion. This is the break and then the Tribulation begins.

    Based on this and other things the Pre-Trib view fits scripture not the post-trib.
     
  7. thomas15

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    I think a good question to answer is what is the purpose of the future tribulation and what is the scope of ministry of the church?
     
  8. revmwc

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    The tribulation is a time of Jacobs trouble a time in which 144,000 Jewish witnesses appear to tell of Christ. 12,000 from each tribe, not of the Church but of the Tribes of Israel, two witnesses are standing daily in Jerusalem witnessing for Christ as the Messiah to Israel although the whole wolrd sees them. Thus it is a Jewish period.

    The ministry of the Chrirch is to reach the World for Christ. The thing we also need to see is the fact that God has dealt with men in different ERA's through different means. Noah preached judgement was coming and had 7 converts the rest of the world perished in his day. God dealt with Israel through the law and prophets judgement came to both. God is dealing with mankind through the church right now. Enoch walked with God and was not because God took Him, God can take the church and bring in the Trib when it is His time.
     
  9. Greektim

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    It's funny how the A-tribulational view is rarely mentioned. 2nd coming then the consummation of all things. That's what I believe we are waiting for.
     
  10. thomas15

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    I agree with you revmwc on all this.

    I was directing this to the OP. I think if you want to sort out all the pre/mid/post/ amil/premill you are in for a lot of personal study time.
     
  11. annsni

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    Honestly, at this time in my life, I feel that I have other things to study and haven't taken the time to fully study this out because it makes not one difference in my walk with the Lord. I know He's coming back to take me home and if I have to live through the tribulation to do that, I'll be ready. I'm ready to die for Him and be persecuted. If He comes before that happens, wonderful. If not, I'm prepared because I've been studying how to live my life for the Lord, memorizing Scripture and preaching the Gospel. :) Maybe some day I'll have more time to put into seeing all of the arguments about this and see which seems more Scripturally sound....
     
  12. preachinjesus

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    Yep. :thumbs:

    That's the no-tribulation view.
     
  13. revmwc

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    Scripture is really clear about there to being a Trib.
     
  14. preachinjesus

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    Nope! It's not.
     
  15. revmwc

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    Matthew 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows

    Sorrows from greek wÏdiðn Odin which means: the pain of childbirth, travail pain, birth pangs
    intolerable anguish, in reference to the dire calamities precede the advent of the Messiah
    Sounds like Tribulation to me.

    Then Christ sais in Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

    Tribulation from Gr. qliÛyiv Thlipsis a pressing, pressing together, pressure
    metaph. oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits

    Again there will be time of Great TRibualtion as the world has never seen.

    Quite clear.
     
  16. preachinjesus

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    I just had a big reply wiped out by an iOS memory leak...nuts!...well I'll try to reply later on and replicate my post.
     
  17. Siberian

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    This is your key? You should unpack that a little. Will Mosaic Law and Sabbath worship be re-instituted during the tribulation?
     
  18. preachinjesus

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    okay, let's try this again...cursed safari...anyhoo, oh goody, let's talk Greek!

    The specific word that you're looking for here is ὠδίνων. It generally refers to "birth pains" and, when used in the four instances of the NT, refers generally to signs of the impending eschaton. What is difficult about your usage of the term as a point of refutation is that in order to get the word to mean what you want it to mean you have to impute meaning into its usage.

    ὠδίνων is used generally to refer to signs of the end. I'm okay with that. Yet it doesn't refer to an explicit moment prior to a tribulation, or difficult, period and never has an attachment of chronology to it. Rather the usage in the NT refers singularly to difficults times approach the return of Christ. No premillennial, even amillennial, eschatology disagrees with this. However, the term is never used in assocation with a specific time period or given delimitations of time.

    So the word isn't a good one to use. It certainly doesn't prove anything other than we should be aware and witnesses to the possibility of the end of days. Yet the prophetic nature of the word is rather amorphous and never speaks about specifics. Mark 13.8 speaks about the nature of the destruction of the Temple (be careful of the errant preterist interpretation) and Acts 2:24 is Peter's sermon about the nature of Christ's redemption of mankind. Neither is eschatologically in the category you espouse.

    The only other usage is 1 Thess 5:3 is speaking about the nature of the Day of Lord. There is no attachment to a tribulational period and definitely no afixing of a time prior to such an event.

    Your case isn't a good one.

    Now here is a better word since it is the actual Greek word used for "tribulation." The word θλῖψις is translated differently across the uses in the NT, usually because it is speaking of general suffering and persecution. My challenge here, first the passage you cite and then generally in the NT, is to show me how it is used to speak of a definite 7 year period after the Church is taken away. Here, Matt 24:21 the context doesn't permit a limited read and imputing a time period. Rather Jesus, continuing His discourse, is speaking about the nature of the end of days. Notice the continued use in Matt 24:29, the tribulation/suffering will end with an immediate arrival of Jesus Christ. Yet given the context in 24:22ff it seems Jesus is mentioning the Church is still present in these difficult days.

    So it doesn't appear that there is ever a place where this term is used with regards to a specifically delimited time period. Particularly in the 24:21 reference the term occurs without a definite article. Jesus appears to be referrring to a period(s) where trial comes onto the Church and world. There will be a time(s) where difficult days beset the faithful and unfaithful alike.

    So you have to also look at the rest of the NT usage of the term. That is pretty hefty because it occurs 45 times in the NT. The LXX (Septuagint) usage is never eschatological but is almost always speaking of difficult days of persecution or trial. So you've got to find places where the term isn't used to refer to these things. I guess I'd sum up my overall challenge to your to claims in several questions:

    1. Where does the term occur with the definite article and what is the context?
    2. Why is this term, used in Acts 7:10f; 11:19; 14:22; 20:23, refer to persecutions or trials experience in the time frame of the passages to the referents/disciples? Why is the usage, outside of this, eschatologically only speaking of a 7 year tribulation?
    3. Why is the Church seemingly present for the trials when Jesus speaks of the trials/tribulations/suffering?
    4. Why is the time period you've ascribed 7 years? Why not 77? Why not 700? Why not 7 weeks? Why not 10 years? etc
    5. Where does the NT directly associate, explicitly associate, 7 years with a tribulation period unlike any other?
    6. Why is it the majority uses of this term in epistolary literature (including Pauline) specifically mention sufferings going on in history or the present of the readers of the letters?
    7. When is the term μεγάλη used with the term for suffering/tribulation? How many times does that occur?

    I'll stop at 7 since it is a relevant number for our discussion. ;) Anyhoo, my hope is that I've given you plenty to think about. The difficulty of the dispensational pre-trib/pre-mil interpretation of Scripture is that it isn't found in Scripture explicitly but only through the coupling of a literalist and figurative read of Scripture. Yet they claim to be literalists. It is not a consistent hermeneutic to prove their point. In the end even progressive dispensationalist who are historical pre-mil like me look with eager anticipation to the coming of Christ. We just believe the Second Coming is the Second Coming...not Second Coming A and Second Coming B.

    I look forward to your, or anyone else's, reply to my points. :D
     
  19. revmwc

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    Let's first look at number 4 where I can get definite time periods:

    Revelation 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
    which is a 3 1/2 year period.
    Revelation 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
    the second 3 1/2 year period in which the woman not the bride of Christ but the Woman which had the man child, normally a reference to Israel as the Nation in Which Christ would come.
    These times make 7 years.
    Of course the Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
    25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
    26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
    27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

    70 weeks are determined, from history of this we know that these weeks involved 7 year periods for whn Jesus came and was cut off there had passed 483 years of time and messiah was cut off. The balance of the 70 weeks was not fulfilled by Christ nor has yet happened. The abomination which will stand in the temple has yet to happen. So this is a 7 year period that must be fulfilled. We are told in Revelation that Christ will reign for 1000 years at His return and the 7 years of this end will not see the abomination standing in the temple as Christ said so when does it happen? Revelation 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
    5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

    Here is the midst of the 70th week of Daniel 42 months or 3 1/2 years. The 1st of the week seen in
    Revelation11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
    3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

    The 1 st 42 month of the 84 or 7 years is seen here.
    Where is the church, Reveleation 3:10 gives the ANSWER:

    Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

    The church is promised to be kept from the time of trouble or affliction or Tribualtion.

    Hour (gr Hora) of temptation Periasmos
    Hora

    a certain definite time or season fixed by natural law and returning with the revolving year
    of the seasons of the year, spring, summer, autumn, winter
    the daytime (bounded by the rising and setting of the sun), a day
    a twelfth part of the day-time, an hour, (the twelve hours of the day are reckoned from the rising to the setting of the sun)
    any definite time, point of time, moment

    Peirasmos an experiment, attempt, trial, proving
    trial, proving: the trial made of you by my bodily condition, since condition served as to test the love of the Galatians toward Paul (Gal. 4:

    the trial of man's fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy
    an enticement to sin, temptation, whether arising from the desires or from the outward circumstances
    an internal temptation to sin 1b
    of the temptation by which the devil sought to divert Jesus the Messiah from his divine errand
    of the condition of things, or a mental state, by which we are enticed to sin, or to a lapse from the faith and holiness
    adversity, affliction, trouble: sent by God and serving to test or prove one's character, faith, holiness
    temptation (i.e. trial) of God by men
    rebellion against God, by which his power and justice are, as it were, put to the proof and challenged to show themselves

    Notice Christ says it is a time coming which will try them that swell upon the earth and yet the church will be kept from it. Those who keep the word of His patience, those who trust Chirst. Throughout Revelation and with Daniel and Christ telling the church that they will be kept from the time of adverstiy affliction or trouble. The middle verses of Revelation give us the time period for this and we see that the Nation Israel not the Church is under attacke in this period.
    Revelation 4:1 coupled with 1 Thessalonians 4 shows the church being snatched out, 1 Corithians 3 shows the believers receiving rewards at the judgement seat of Christ not at the Great White throne in which the unbelievers face at the end of the Tribulation and we see a church in Heaven while the time of affliction lasting 7 years is occuring on the earth.

    Pretty clear their is a tribulation period coming and it will last 7 years.
     
  20. Grasshopper

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    Neither view.


    29. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

    [The sun shall be darkened, &c.] That is, the Jewish heaven shall perish, and the sun and moon of its glory and happiness shall be darkened, and brought to nothing. The sun is the religion of the church; the moon is the government of the state; and the stars are the judges and doctors of both. Compare Isaiah 13:10, and Ezekiel 32:7,8, &c.


    http://philologos.org/__eb-jl/matt24.htm
     

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