The questionable Pretribulation Rapture

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Tim too, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. Tim too

    Tim too
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    I grew up being taught and believing that the church was going to be raptured before the tribulation. Since then I have realized this was not true.

    Here are some of the issues that caused me to question my belief in a pre-trib rapture.

    1. There is a problem with the concept of wrath vs. tribulation. One of the key tenets of the pre-trib position is that God did not appoint the church to suffer wrath. (1 Thessalonians 5:9) This is true the church is not appointed to suffer God’s wrath. There is a difference in God’s wrath and the Biblical concept of tribulation. Wrath is from God on disobedient men and tribulation is what the church suffers at the hands of the world. Jesus said that in this world we would have tribulation. (John 16:33) Notice that in Revelation the wrath of God is not poured out until after the tribulation, after the sixth seal is broken. (Revelation 6:15-17, Matt 24:29)

    2. Signs in the heavens. There are two major signs that accompany the return of the Lord. After these signs Jesus said He would send His angels into the four corners of the world to gather His elect. (Isai 13:9-11, Joel 2:31, Matt 24:29-31, Mk 13:24-28, Lk 21:25-28, Acts 2:20-21, Rev 6:12)

    3. The phrase Paul uses to describe our being gathered to Christ is “the day of the Lord.” (1 Cor 5:4, 2 Cor 1:14, 1 Thes 5:2, 2 Thes 2:2-3 This day is tied in scripture to the signs that appear in the heavens. (Isai 13:6-10, Joel 2:31, Zeph 1:14-15, Acts 2:20, 2 Peter 3:10) There is no mention of the word rapture in the Bible but there is the day of the Lord.

    4. There are a couple of problems with the pretrib interpretation of 2 Thes 2:1-12. First, Paul says that we will not even be gathered to the Lord until the great apostasy comes and the Antichrist is revealed. According to the pretrib view we are not going to be here when the anti-christ is revealed because his appearing is in the middle of the 7 years of the tribulation. If the pretrib view of the Holy Spirit being restrainer in this passage is correct and the restrainer is removed when the church is raptured who is going to draw all of those people who are saved out of the tribulation? This passage alone is enough to cause someone to have serious questions about the pretrib rapture.

    5. Problems with numbers. The pretrib view of the rapture says that the church rapture is shown in Revelation 5:8-14. There is a problem with the numbers here. In verse 11 there is given a number for those are worshipping, ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands and thousands. However, the number of those saved out of the great tribulation in Revelation 7:9-14 is so big that no one is able to number it. So essentially, 10,000 X 10,000 = 100,000,000 plus thousands and thousands from the time Christ went back to the Father’s right until the rapture, but then in three and half years more people come to Christ than can be numbered. It doesn’t add up.

    6. Problem with the names in the Revelation 5:8-14 passage. This passage calls the 10,000 X 10,000 and thousands and thousands “angels.” We are not angels. This cannot be the church. However, the innumerable group of people that are worshipping the Lamb in Revelation 7:9-14 are called the “the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” This great number of people is definitely the church.

    7. The problem with the calls to persevere in Revelation. (Rev 13:10, Rev 14:12) Both of the references listed are given after describing the antichrist and the mark. Why would there be such warnings if we were not going to be here?


    Finally, which position would be most to Satan’s advantage? If the rapture is true then there is no damage done by believing otherwise. If you are a Christian you are still going to be raptured. However if the rapture is not true there is real danger. Believers are not going to be looking the antichrist or the mark. They could be deceived into taking the mark. Those who take the mark are under the same judgment as unbelievers.

    In the love of Christ,
    Tim
     
  2. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    I too was raised in a church that was very much Pretrib and Premil in their theology. I am not really sure anyone completely understood the concepts, they just knew that was right even though they could not explain it. As I got older and began to study the concepts myself I began to feel very uncomfortable with the Pretrib concepts. Thus from my study I would say that at the moment I am more of a Historical Premil person. But as my journey continues that may change, but I do feel there are way too many holes in the theology of Pretrib.
     
  3. Gunther

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    PastorSBC1303, you are studying the issue and are not sure about your own position but you know that the pretrib view is full of holes?

    Is it not possible that you were given an uninformed view of pretrib or that you did/do not fully understand it?
     
  4. PastorSBC1303

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    Gunther,

    I understand my view completely. My point was that the more I study, the more I glean and understand regarding how full of holes the pretrib position is--ie the points that were made in this original post.
     
  5. npetreley

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    Tim too,

    I agree with all your points regarding pre-trib rapture. IMO, pre-trib rapture isn't even close to being Biblical. The most Biblical view of which I am aware is called the pre-wrath rapture.

    Marvin Rosenthal wrote a pretty good book about it called The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church, and he raises many of the same issues you did.
     
  6. Petey Dragon

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    In rapture debates, there is often a general assumption that the church is untouchable... that unlike Israel, the church cannot possibly face God's wrath, despite committing far worse sins.

    Facing God's wrath, and being destroyed by God's wrath, are two entirely different things. God may have promised not to destroy the church, but He never promised a free pass.
     
  7. tannerml

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    Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    The church, by virtue of being the church, is not under the wrath of God. This is no free pass. The sins of the church are atoned for by the blood of Him who is her husband, the Lord Jesus.

    Soli Deo Gloria
     
  8. Tim too

    Tim too
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    Thanks for mentioning the book. I haven't read it but I would like to.

    In the love of Christ,
    Tim
     
  9. Pete Richert

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    The issue has nothing to do about whether the Church can face persecution, or is under God's wrath, or etc. What is important is what does the Bible say concerning the timing of the Lord's coming, what must happen first, who will see it, does it square away with all OT prophecies, etc.
     
  10. Tim too

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    I agree with you about the church not suffering the wrath of God. The error in the pretrib view is that is confuses the wrath of God against sinful men with tribulation which is almost always spoken of in the Bible as against the church from the world.

    In the love of Christ,
    Tim
     
  11. Ed Edwards

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    Oh my, what a destruction of pretribulation
    rapture strawmen :D The actual pretribulation
    rapture doctrine is not at all as described
    above. The pretribulation rapture
    doctrine presented above is hardly close
    enough to repair in the time i have to
    type this morning.

    Tim too: "the pretrib view of the
    rapture says that the church
    rapture is shown in Revelation 5:8-14."

    I've been a pretribber for 51 years
    and this is news to me. Which pretribber
    is out teaching this stuff? Did you
    get his lisense tag when he ran over you? [​IMG]

    Here is ed's primer on "tribulation"
    which he wrote about 10 years ago:

    The Five Tribulations
    of the Holy Bible
    Contrasted and compared
    by ed

    The following terms are used in the Holy Bible to denote
    tribulation: tribulation, distress, trouble

    1. tribulation due to the human condition
    WHO: all the sons and daughters of Adan & Eve
    WHAT: heartaches, pains, troubles, distresses, disappointements,
    affliction, trouble, ordeal, suffering, wretchedness,
    misfortune, worry, care, hardship, agony,
    anguish, torment, adversity,
    travail of a woman giving birth, disease, cancer,
    famine, plague, fatigue, depression, etc.
    WHEN: From Adam's explusion from the Garden of Eden
    to the day a new heaven & new earth is created by
    God, AKA: time as opposed to eternity
    WHERE: worldwide
    WHY: God only knows why, it is just the way things are,
    maybe it has to do with the fall of man in the Garden of Eden?

    2. tribulation of Christian Martyrdom
    WHO: those Christians chosen by the Holy Spirit for special honor
    WHAT: persecution by non-Christians: Pagans, athiests, and
    even people who call themselves "Christian" but aren't
    WHEN: 33AD to the start of the millinnial kingdom of Jesus
    WHERE: worldwide
    WHY: many are called to follow Jesus;
    few are chosen to the honor of the spiritual
    gift of martyrdom

    3. tribulation of the Jews scattered among the Gentiles
    WHO: Yisrael dispersed among the goy
    WHAT: persecution by non-Christians: Pagans, athiests, and
    usually people who call themselves "Christian" but aren't
    WHEN: during the time of the Gentiles
    (from Mount Calvary to Mount Olivet)
    WHERE: worldwide
    WHY: punishment for rejecting Messiah Jesus

    4. "The Tribulation period" of those ruled by the Antichrist
    WHO: citizens of the world
    WHAT: a fate worse than death (Rev 6:15-17, Rev 9:6)
    WHEN: during the 70th week of Daniel (first half)
    WHERE: worldwide
    WHY: punishment for rejecting Lord Jesus

    5. "The Great Tribulation period" of those ruled by the Antrichrist
    WHO: people who take the mark of the beast
    WHAT: the wrath of God
    WHEN: during the 70th week of Daniel (last half)
    WHERE: worldwide
    WHY: punishment for rejecting Lord Jesus

    Here are the names/descriptions of the Tribulation
    Period found in the O.T.:

    The tribulation in Deut 4:30
    the day of Israel's calamity in Deut 32:35, Obadiah 1:12-14
    the indignation in Isaiah 26:20, Daniel 11:36
    the overflowing scourge in Isaiah 28:15,18
    The Lord's strange work in Isaiah 28:21
    The year of recompence in Isaiah 34:8
    The day of vengeance in Isaiah 34:8, 35:4, 61:2
    The time of Jacob's Trouble in Jeremiah 30:7
    The day of darkness in Joel 2:2, Amos 5:18, 20; Zephaniah 1:15
    See also Zephaniah 1:15-16.:
     
  12. Ed Edwards

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    Amen, Brother Pete -- Preach it! [​IMG]

    Here is another pretrib writing of mine
    from about 4 years ago:

    Pretrib pre-mill outline of time forward:

    0. church age continues &lt;== you are here!
    1. rapture/resurrection
    2. Tribulation time
    3. Second Advent of Jesus event
    4. literal MK=millinnial kingdom
    5. new heaven & new earth

    The timeline according to Matthew 24
    (Mount Olivet Discourse, also Matthew 25,
    Mark 13, Luke 21):

    0. church age continues &lt;== you are here!
    Matthew 24:4-15

    1. rapture/resurrection
    Matthew 24:31-44

    2. Tribulation time
    Matthew 24:21-28

    3. Second Advent of Jesus event
    Matthew 24:29-30)

    Not mentioned in Matthew 24:
    (4. literal MK=millinnial kingdom)
    (5. new heaven & new earth)

    The timeline according to Revelation:

    0. church age continues - Rev 2-3 &lt;== you are here!
    1. rapture/resurrection - Rev 4:1 (type)
    2. Tribulation time - Rev 4:2-19:10
    3. Second Advent of Jesus event - Rev 19:11-21
    4. literal MK=millinnial kingdom - Rev 20:1-6
    5. new heaven & new earth - Rev 20:7-22:5

    The timeline according to 2 Thessalonians 2:

    0. church age continues &lt;== you are here!
    (implied, until the falling away)

    1. rapture/resurrection
    v.1 - gathering together unto him
    v.3 - falling away

    2. Tribulation time
    (time of the man of sin)

    3. Second Advent of Jesus event
    v.1 - coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
    v.8

    Not mentioned:
    (4. literal MK=millinnial kingdom)
    (5. new heaven & new earth)
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Baptist Believer

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    If this is your view, you need to rethink it.

    Those who are "taken" in Matthew 24 are taken in JUDGEMENT, not raptured. Those who are left behind are the righteous ones. Just as the flood of Noah washed away the unrighteous (v.39), so shall the unrighteous be swept away to destruction when the Son of Man returns for His church.

    36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
    37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
    38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
    39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
    40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left.
    41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.
    42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
    43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.
    44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
     
  14. npetreley

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    Here in Matthew 24 we have all the information we need to see the order of events, and when the rapture occurs. Verse 28 tells you these events occur immediately AFTER the great tribulation, so the order is simple:

    1. Great Tribulation

    2. The celestial signs of the Day of the Lord and the return of Christ.

    3. Everyone on earth mourns as they see the visible return of Christ in glory.

    4. (Not in Matthew) Seals a remnant from all the tribes of Israel for protection during the wrath of God.

    5. Rapture.

    6. (Not in Matthew) Wrath.

    First, it occurs immediately after the tribulation of those days (the great tribulation). The tribulation is ended with the return of Christ, which is marked by the celestial signs of the Day of the Lord.

    The Day of the Lord is the Day of the Lord's wrath (we are not appointed to wrath).

    However, God will protect the remnant of His people Israel on the Day of the Lord.

    And now let's bring all of the above together in Revelation.

    Here are the celestial signs that, as Jesus said in Matthew 24, come "immediately after the tribulation".

    Jesus continues, "then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory".

    Note that it is the day of His wrath. Now God seals His remnant from all the tribes of Israel for protection during the outpouring of wrath.

    Then He gathers together His elect (the rapture).

    Now where did all these raptured people come from?

     
  15. Tim too

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    Hi Ed,

    Thanks for pointing out my mistake. I stand corrected. I don't contest that the pretrib view of the rapture is typed in Rev. 4:1. I should have said pretribbers say that Rev 4 & 5 show the church as in heaven after the rapture.

    Here are some links to some pretribber pages that say that.

    http://www.geocities.com/truedino/ch7rapt.htm
    http://www.soulcare.org/Bible%20Studies/Revelation/Revelation_4to5_Rapture.htm
    http://www.angelfire.com/de/rapture/The_1st_Resurrection.html
    http://www.trbc.org/sermons/971116.html

    I appreciate your presentation of pretrib teachings but how would you explain the problems, say in 2 Thes 2:1-12 that I have listed?

    In the love of Christ,
    Tim
     
  16. Watchman

    Watchman
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    How many people would want their bride to go through what is going to happen here on earth?
     
  17. Doubting Thomas

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    Are you saying that the "Bride" is exempt from persecution and martyrdom? Are the millions of Christians who've been persecuted and martyred through the ages not part of the "Bride"? If they are part of the Bride, then what makes us think that we are somehow exempt from tribulation? (Remember "tribulation" is NOT synonymous with God's wrath.)
     
  18. Helen

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    Doubting Thomas, it's not that way. It is that the Bride will not be subject to the wrath of the Father. That is quite a different matter.
     
  19. Doubting Thomas

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    Exactly. However, the "Tribulation" and "God's Wrath" are not identical. That was my point.
     
  20. Ed Edwards

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    Revelation 7:13b:
    " ... These are the ones who come out
    of the great tribulation ... "

    Did Noah come out of the flood before
    the flood or during the flood?

    Did Lot come out of Sodom before the
    destruction of Sodom or during the
    destruction of Sodom?

    I believe the un-numberable quantity
    of born-again, church-age,
    Christian elect saints who CAME OUT
    of the Tribulation Period came out,
    by the grace of God, before the
    Tribualtion Period at the pretribulation
    rapture/resurrection. If you are going to
    shout "Amen", now would be a GOOD TIME
    to do it [​IMG]
     

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