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Pre-tribulation Rapture/ A Biblical Doctrine?

Updated on August 4, 2012

Pre-trib rapture, scripturally correct?

Many churches teach pre-tribulation rapture, do they back it up with vague references?
Many churches teach pre-tribulation rapture, do they back it up with vague references? | Source
Let what scripture actually says help form your interpretations of such important coming events.
Let what scripture actually says help form your interpretations of such important coming events. | Source
Jesus has promised to remain with us through all things, as the author and finisher of our faith, he will give us the grace and strength to endure!
Jesus has promised to remain with us through all things, as the author and finisher of our faith, he will give us the grace and strength to endure! | Source

Preaching true doctrine is a must!

Biblical Prophecy and Pre-tribulation Rapture!

One can't examine the last days Bible prophecy or eschatology without discussing the rapture! While pre-tribulation rapture seems to be the predominant view of Christians,at least for Christians in the west and America. While this view has been taught as the main view in seminaries in America, it's also gotten a large amount of press in such novels as the "Left Behind" book series and is the view in books by most prophecy teachers. This being the case, I'm sure I will receive alot of criticism from Christians for not supporting the pre-tribulation view!

I must admit that it sounds better that we will not be here for the difficult time of the great tribulation, and I'm sure it helps to fill the church pews and offering plates. But the real question is, "Does scripture clearly back up this view for the timing of the rapture?" If not, then why are we holding onto something not clearly in scripture? I originally set to examine what Jesus says in Matthew 24 about the last days, but can't without looking at the rapture issue.

To start with, one thing that always bothered me about the books on the rapture is why they may briefly touch on Matt. 24, but ignore what it says of the gathering of the saints by claiming that this chapter of Matthew was written for and applies only to the Jews left behind after the rapture of the church. Let's examine Matthew 24 in light of that statement.

First of all, unless Jews are saved or Messianic Jews, they generally don't acknowledge the New Testament or the words of Jesus. Next, his disciples asked him questions in regards to his statements about the Temple buildings being destroyed and his return, but this was later on the Mount of Olives that they privately asked him these questions. In Matt. 24:3 Later,Jesus sat on the slopes of the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and asked, "When will all this take place? And will there be any sign ahead of time to signal your return and the end of the world?" (NLT)

While his disciples were Jewish men, they were believers in Jesus, which made them the church by faith, so Jesus was addressing the church. This is further evidenced by what Jesus says in verse 9: "Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world for your allegiance to me. v.10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other."

I have news for those who hold that this pertains only to the Jews. They do not hold allegiance to Jesus Christ, and if they did they would have been raptured according to those who hold to this view of pre-trib. rapture. We Gentiles are grafted into the vine of Christ or the bride of Christ, and if were are already in heaven by a pre-trib rapture for the marriage supper of the lamb, half of the bride of Christ is still on earth going through the tribulation.

Rather, the persecution of the saints is the bundling of the tares and wheat during the tribulation period, where the believing Jews are grafted back into the church, as there is only one church. Persecution and tribulation is said throughout scripture to be a purifying agent of the faith, it's also used to tell those who's professed faith is not sincere.

Matt. 24: 12, 13 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But those who endure to the end will be saved. The form of love mentioned here is agape love, which is only applicable to saved Christians, whether Jewish or Gentile originally, there is no difference according to the word of God.

In Daniel 11:33-35, it confirms this concept in scripture, saying: "Those who are wise will give instruction to many. But for a time many of these teachers will die by fire and sword, or they will be jailed and robbed. While these persecutions are going on, a little help will arrive, though many who join them will not be sincere. And some who are wise will fall victim to persecution. In this way, they will be refined and cleansed and made pure until the time of the end, for the appointed time is still to come."

Let us not think that we as the church are above the Jews, but like it states in Romans 11: 20b-21, "Don't think highly of yourself, but fear what could happen. For if God did not spare the branches he put there first, he won't spare you either." 24b; "he will be far more eager to graft the Jews back into the tree where they belong."

I believe we as Christians will be here to go through the tribulation, with God purifying us and grafting those believing Jews back into the church during this period. To clarify this thought and finish up, let's look at Revelation 12:13-17 And when the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the child. But she was given two wings like those of a great eagle. This allowed her to fly to a place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be cared for and protected from the dragon for a time, times, and half a time.

Then the dragon tried to drown the women with a flood of water that flowed from it's mouth. But the earth helped her by opening it's mouth and swallowing the river that gushed out from the mouth of the dragon. Then the dragon became angry at the women, and he declared war against the rest of her children--all who keep God's commandments and confess that they belong to Jesus.

Satan's wrath is directed against both the Jews and the Christians during this time of persecution. God uses this to seperate the wheat from the tares in the sight of the world, also to graft the newly believing Jews into the church through the fellowship of shared suffering. God's purposes will always be fulfilled, even using the enemies actions to bring about fulfillment. Suffering and persecution were instituted against the church in the first years and Jesus stated that we shouldn't be surprised to see extreme, yet similar things done when the branch is brown compared to when the branch was green.

Matthew 24: 29-31, "Immediately after those horrible days end, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then at last, the sign of the coming of the Son of Man will appear in the heavens, and there be deep mourning among the nations of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man arrive on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send forth his angels with the sound of a mighty trumpet blast, and they will gather together his chosen ones from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven."

This is a very clear verse indicating an end- tribulation rapture, and I know there are many who will contend this. Let me ask what clear and literal verse you would use to support a pre-tribulation rapture? Since one of the first rules of Bible interpretation is to take a literal view whenever possible, why throw that out a verse so clearly literal?

Now let's examine the scriptures commonly used to back up the pre-tribulation view. Many Bible teachers used to refer to Revelation 4:1 "Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before spoke to me with the sound of a mighty trumpet blast. The voice said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after these things."

I love the book of Revelations, and this is Jesus talking to the Apostle John, after telling him messages for the church. This was one of the reasons that I could not accept this view, as how do you get a rapture out of this verse, when there are other clear references to the rapture or gathering of the saints.

Let's compare this to Revelation 14: 14-16, "Then I saw the Son of Man sitting on a white cloud. He had a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Then an angel came from the Temple and called out in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud, "Use the sickle, for the time has come for you to harvest; the crop is ripe on the earth." So the one sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the whole earth was harvested. Since another rule of Bible interpretation is to let scripture interpret scripture, this would clearly be good to use to help us with the scriptures from Matthew that also refer to the harvest.

Going back to examine Revelation 14:12 Let this encourage God's holy people to endure persecution patiently and remain firm to the end, obeying his commands and trusting in Jesus. This also also verifies that Christians are here to endure persecution´╗┐ in this time of tribulation. Pre-tribulationists would say that these are the saints that have believed after the rapture of the church. It appears that would put the church as being a class above the Jews and those other Christians, when we just read a warning by God to not think more highly of ourselves.

Now, most would refer to the scripture that states that Christians are not destined for the wrath of God, I would be the first to agree with that. Just like in Egypt, God's wrath was poured out on the people of Egypt, while God kept it from affecting the Hebrews at all. This brought persecution from their Egyptian slave masters, because of their exemption from the plagues.This is a clear parallel to the time of tribulation.

There seems to be some confusion between the wrath of God and the persecution of the saints by the forces of the anti-christ.

Revelation 13:7 And the beast was allowed to wage war against God's holy people and to overcome them. And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation. V. 10 The people who are destined for prison will be arrested and taken away. Those who are destined for death will be killed. But do not be dismayed, for here is your opportunity to have endurance and faith. Jesus promises that those who walk by faith will suffer persecution in this world.

Don't buy into Bible interpretations for this time ahead that don't line up with what scripture says, just because it sounds better and tickles your itching ears. Let's look at what scripture clearly says!

´╗┐

Watch another present all the scriptures for the rapture!

Pre-trib. Rapture

Let me offer a few thoughts in conclusion! First of all, I know many good teachers, and brothers and sisters in Christ who hold this view of a pre-trib. rapture. I am not saying any of this to stir up strife and contention, and I continue to listen to many good preachers and teachers who still hold this view. I listen with open ears, somewhat hoping that they can convince me of this view. As yet, they dance around the scriptures that speak to this issue clearly, and point to ones that really don't apply.

If I'm wrong, I'm not going to worry, as I'll be prepared to go through the worst time in world history and I'm sure Jesus will still allow me on the first flight going! I have alot of concern for those who are Christians who accept this as a valid Bible teaching because they have heard it so often from their favorite respected teachers. Let's remember that Paul commended the Bereans for searching out the scriptures to verify the things that he taught. Know why you believe the things you've been taught! Thanks for reading this and whatever comments you make whether good or bad!

What about Bible prophecy?

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    • Elijah7 profile image

      Elijah7 4 years ago from Israel - England - Hong Kong - Hawaii - Paradise

      Hey brother - this is cool. Love the dialogue. Got something for you to DEEPLY CONSIDER....

      adolf hitler's satanic outrage of antichrist horror began in AD 1938 and was OVER by AD 1945 - SEVEN YEARS.

      A time and times and half a time later (3.5 years) Israel was RESTORED - As Prophesied, and so began The Next Chapter and The Countdown To The Second Coming †

      PRIOR to this, in AD 1908 we HAD Tunguska, followed shortly by World War One.

      During WW1, in AD 1918, the young David Ben Gurion fought in The Historic Battle of Megiddo when the Land of Israel came into Christendom's Hand PROPERLY for the First Time via Great Britain † AMEN & AMEN †

      The era from AD 1908 thru AD 1945, Capped by Hiroshima & Nagasaki, including the Communist Atrocities, The Famines, Spanish Flu, the entire grisly historic package, has been entirely OVERLOOKED and FORGOTTEN by Biblical End Time students of Prophecy.

      On Israel's 21st birthday a man walked on the moon, PLUS a global plethora of technological marvels continues to FLOOD THE PLANET - Amen †

      † Got some VERY GOOD NEWS for you man † The Worst IS Over † In JESUS' Holy Name † Amen & Amen †

      Here's The Prophecy of hitler below - Daniel 8 : 23 - 27 - Spot The Holocaust - Followed by The Prophecy of Tunguska - The Herald of Armageddon - A Place in "HISTORY"....

      The Final Scripture Link (Daniel 11) Is The Prophecy of the entire antichrist historical litany of islam (including mosques in the last verse)...

      † This should cheer you up no end † In The Holy Spirit OF Prophesying, In The Almighty and Holy Name of The Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah Himself † SOON To RETURN † Amen & Amen †

      HITLER & THE NAZIS :-

      † Daniel 8 : 23 - 27 †

      "And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it."

      THE TUNGUSKA EVENT IN AD 1908 :-

      † Revelation 9 : 1 - 2 †

      "And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit."

      THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF ISLAM, BIRTH, PASSAGE, FINAL DEMISE & MOSQUES (Includes The Crusades; The French Crusader Fortress, islamic bloody carnage across 14 centuries plus, and continuing; the mamaluks; ayatollah khomeini; abuse of women; the Jordanians; the gulf, afghanistan & iraqi wars; the arms deals between iran and china & russia; most ALL current islamic territories; the Dome on The Rock [Abomination That Maketh Desolate]

      ESSENTIALLY brother The Third World War - THE THIRD WOE - overt since AD 2001 - The War AGAINST "Terrorislam")

      † DANIEL CHAPTER ELEVEN † (The "bankruptcy" of the antichrist spirit) IN THE HOLIEST NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST ALMIGHTY HIMSELF † Amen & Amen & Alleluia †

      http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel...

      And The Theme Tune Gift for you of a New Worship Song HERE :

      http://www.TheSevenThunders.org/C7-Music/Revival.m...

    • slcockerham profile image
      Author

      slcockerham 4 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

      Elijah 7, Forgive me brother, I just woke up, and wasn't thinking clearly as yet! I stand corrected on Gog and Magog being the final battle. There will obviously be a battle pertaining again to Israel that wipes out large portions of the earth's population during the four horsemen. Although there has always been tribulation, it seems quite clear that there will be a 7-yr. period of tribulation in Revelation that we will indeed be here for as Christians. These were the things I was refering to in my hub, not the Gog and Magog war.It kinda of threw me, not being awake yet. It seems clear that this war at the beginning of the trib. period is what may well be used to instill a demonic prejudice towards both the Christians and Jews in the anti-christ's "war" against both. And that this works to graft believing Jews back into the vine of the faithful, the bundling of the tares and wheat. Thanks for your insightful comments! God bless you! ps. My real point in this hub, is to stir up Christians who may have bought into doctrines that tickle the ears to search the scriptures, so that they might know the truth and why they believe what they believe!

    • Elijah7 profile image

      Elijah7 4 years ago from Israel - England - Hong Kong - Hawaii - Paradise

      Hi brother - HERE :

      † Revelation 20 : 7 - 9 †

      "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them."

      † Matthew 25 : 6 †

      "And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him."

      And three New Worship Songs Gifts for you to accompany this Theme - Maranatha †

      http://www.TheSevenThunders.org/C7-Music/RendThehe...

      http://www.TheSevenThunders.org/C7-Music/YOU-Said....

      http://www.TheSevenThunders.org/C7-Music/Theres-A-...

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

      I am glad I took the read. No matter what angle you look at it from, it ends the same. Now I can look forward to going through the tribulation. Oh boy! At least I won't be all alone.

    • Elijah7 profile image

      Elijah7 4 years ago from Israel - England - Hong Kong - Hawaii - Paradise

      Very well written hub brother. The video was excellent also.

      Regarding The Gog Magog War, we have NOTHING to be concerned about there for a LONG, LONG TIME. This War, God Confirms Through Ezekiel, WILL happen - BUT not until AFTER THE MILLENNIUM has Run Her Course (Her Because The True Church Occupies The Millennium - Amen †).

      The disciples MISSED The Crucifixion of The Lord, despite hearing ALL about this multiple times when JESUS Preached unto them - The Church TODAY, in the Context of this hub - LIKEWISE....

      One Condensed SNAPSHOT of The Twentieth Century REVEALS ALL.

      A further glance back across History to the time of The Abomination that Maketh Desolate (The Dome on The Rock), and then forwards again into NOW with "Terrorislam", and Great Tribulation ALSO becomes much CLEARER - This "Tribulation" has been happening for a VERY LONG TIME, only that TODAY we can see ALL OF IT, with fine and sharp focus.

      Brother, just write this Comment to ENCOURAGE you....

      ALL is NOT what it seems....Amen †

      The Second Coming IS Imminent.

      Closing with this Holy Scripture, in line with your hub Theme, that most students of this Subject seem to conveniently MISS...

      † Matthew 25 : 31 - 33 †

      "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left."

      The Sheep ARE His True Church † They ARE PRESENT on the earth At His Second Coming, when He Judges All NATIONS...

      Good bye Goats - and Amen to THIS - Maranatha brother....Selah

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