Skip to comments.PRE- OR POST-TRIB RAPTURE? (ORIGINAL)
Posted on 05/14/2019 12:13:01 PM PDT by fwdude
The Rapture of the church involves all believers being caught up to heaventhose just resurrected, together with those alive at the time (1 Thes:4:13-18 ). If it occurs at the beginning of the tribulation period, then clearly Christs Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation to rescue Israel in the midst of Armageddon is a separate event. According to Zechariah:14:3-5 , all the saints must accompany Christ back to earth. But if the Rapture occurs at the end of the Tribulation, it must be simultaneous with the Second Coming, making them one event. Which is it: two events separated by seven years, or one event with two diverse purposes?
This question, though it has nothing to do with the gospel of salvation, divides much of the evangelical church. Happily, it can be settled rather easily. The descriptions in Scripture of the Rapture and Second Coming respectively are so different in so many details that they could not possibly be describing the same occurrence. We cant cover all of these distinctions, but here are a few:
1) At the Rapture, Christ does not return to earth but catches believers up to meet Him above the earth, taking them directly to heaven: I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also (Jn:14:3 ); caught up...to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord (1 Thes:4:17 ).
In contrast, at the Second Coming Christ returns to this earth to rule Israel and the world from Davids throne in Jerusalem: his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem (Zec:14:4 ); the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end (Lk 1:32, 33); And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him....The armies which are in heaven followed him....Out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and shall rule them with a rod of iron (Rev:19:11-15 ).
2) At the Rapture there is a resurrection of all believers who have died up to that time: the dead shall be raised incorruptible (1 Cor:15:52 , 53); the dead in Christ shall rise first... (1 Thes:4:16 ).
In contrast, at the Second Coming there is no resurrection until Antichrist is defeated, he and the false prophet have been cast alive into a lake of fire (Rev:19:20 ) and Satan has been bound in the bottomless pit [for] a thousand years (20:1-3) none of which is even remotely related to the rapture of believers to heaven. Then, to the first resurrection which occurred at the Rapture are added a unique group: them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands...they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years (4, 5).
3) At the Rapture, the bodies of living believers (like those who are resurrected) will be changed to become immortal: We shall not all sleep [i.e., die], but we shall all be changed...the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we [who are living] shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality (1 Cor:15:51-53 ); we which are alive...shall be caught up together with them [the resurrected saints]...to meet the Lord in the air [clearly requiring immortal bodies] (1 Thes:4:17 ).
In contrast, at the Second Coming all of the saints return with Christ from heaven and will therefore already have been changed into immortality: the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee (Zec:14:5 ); I saw heaven opened [and one] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood...and the armies which were in heaven followed him [to] smite the nations (Rev:19:11-15 ).
4) The Rapture occurs during relative peace and prosperity, when the world does not expect judgment from God: And as it was in the days of Noah [the last thing they expected was Gods judgment]...they did eat, they drank...married wives...were given in marriage [and as in] the days of Lot...they bought, they sold...planted...builded....Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. (Lk 17:26-30).
Again in complete contrast, the Second Coming occurs in the midst of the worst war the world has ever seen and following the greatest devastation this planet has ever suffered or ever will: then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world...nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved (Mat:24:21 , 22); behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed...power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger....There was a great earthquake...every mountain and island were moved out of their places...[men] hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks...for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Rev:6:8-17 ); and the four angels were loosed...to slay the third part of men (9:15); and the...sea...became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea. And...the rivers and fountains of waters...became blood...the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and...men were scorched with great heat...and...there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth....And every island fled away and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail [of large stones]...every stone about the weight of a talent (16:3-21); And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True....And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen....And I saw the beast [Antichrist], and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat upon the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and...the false prophet [and they] were cast alive into a lake of fire... (19:11-21).
5) The Rapture occurs when conditions in the world seem to indicate that all is well, when very few expect Christ to return and He catches even the church by surprise: of that day and hour knoweth no man...in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh (Mat:24:36 , 44).
In contrast, when the Second Coming occurs, not even Antichrist is caught by surprisethe many visible signs alert everyone that Christ is right at the door: when ye shall see all these things, know that it [Christs coming] is near, even at the doors (Mat:24:33 ); the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse (Rev:19:19 ).
6) The Rapture occurs when the church is sleeping, with little expectation of the Lords return: While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept (Mat:25:5 ); Watch ye therefore...lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping (Mk 13:35, 36).
In contrast, the Second Coming occurs at the end of the Tribulation in the midst of worldwide devastation and hopeless distress; the Antichrist and his armies are attacking Israel, much of Jerusalem is already captured (Zec:14:1 , 2), and Israel is on the verge of annihilation. It is inconceivable that the church, if it were still here, would be slumbering in complacency and under the delusion that surely Christ wouldnt come now!
7) Since the Rapture instantly takes us, without dying, out of this world of sin, pain and sorrow to be forever with Christ and like Him, never more to grieve Him, it is called the blessed hope: Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ (Titus:2:13 ); every man that hath this hope (1 Jn:3:3 ).
In contrast, the Second Coming (or a post-trib rapture at that time) could hardly be called a blessed hope, inasmuch as very few Christians (if the church were still here) would survive to enjoy it. Having refused to receive the 666 mark of the beast in their right hand, or in their forehead and therefore being unable to buy or sell, and refusing to worship the image of the beast [they would] be killed (Rev:13:15-17 ). It makes no sense to suggest that if you can secretly eat out of enough garbage pails to avoid starvation and still keep one step ahead of Antichrists world police death squads, Blessed hope! Youll be raptured at Armageddon!
8) As for the Rapture, unquestionably, the early church was taught to expect it at any moment and to eagerly watch, wait and look for Christs return, when He will catch all believers up into His Fathers house to be with Him eternally: Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord... (Lk 12:35, 36); For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body (Philippians:3:20 ); ...ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven...even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come (1 Thes:1:9 , 10); looking for that blessed hope (Titus:2:13 ); unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation (Heb:9:28 ). One does not watch, wait and look each day for something that cannot happen until Antichrists advent or the end of a seven-year tribulation. Thus, there must be a coming of Christ that could happen at any moment.
In contrast, the Second Coming, by very definition as described in Scripture, cannot be expected momentarily. Therefore, none of the scriptures just quoted concerning watching and waiting and looking for the Lord could refer to the Second Coming or to a post-trib rapture of the church. These scriptures could therefore refer only to a pre-trib rapture.
9) The pre-trib Rapture has a powerful, purifying effect upon those who have this hope in Him. The fact that it is to be expected at any moment can only mean that it must come before Antichrist is revealed and before the Tribulation. If Christ could come at any moment, there is no time to waste, no time to delay witnessing, no time to indulge in sin with the idea of repenting and changing ones ways later: And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming (1 Jn:2:28 ); And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure (3:3).
In contrast, anticipation of the Second Coming (or a post-trib rapture at that time) could hardly have a purifying effect, because it cant take place for at least seven yearsplenty of time to delay witnessing, getting right with the Lord and holy living until later. In fact, the Lord said that believing he couldnt come at any moment would have the opposite effect from purifying believers: If that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants...and to eat and drink and to be drunken; the lord of that servant will come at an hour when he is not aware (Mat:24:48-49 ; Lk 12:45, 46).
10) The Rapture is not only an event that we are to expect momentarily and to eagerly anticipate, but we are to ask our Lord to come immediately. Here is how the Bible ends: And the Spirit and the bride say, Come....Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus (Rev:22:17 , 20).
In contrast, the Second Coming is not of such a nature and timing that we could ask Christ to effect it right now. Since Christ obviously cannot return to the earth in judgment to rescue Israel, stop the destruction at Armageddon and destroy the Antichrist along with his kingdom and his armies until the end of the Tribulation, for us to cry out to Christ, Come, Lord Jesus! would be like demanding payment on a debt that isnt due for seven years. Yet, the Spirit and the bride do cry out, Come, Lord Jesus. We can only conclude that there must be a coming of Christ that could occur at any moment. It cannot be the Second Coming or a post-trib rapture. It can only be a pre-trib rapture.
11) There are at least two events which occur in heaven for which the church must be present and which, therefore, cannot take place until the Rapture occurs: the judgment seat of Christ, and the marriage of the Lamb to His bride: for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ (Rom:14:10 ); For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad (2 Cor:5:10 ); the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted [to] be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white [as a result of her cleansing at the judgment seat of Christ] (Rev:19:7-8 ). Both these events occur prior to Christs return to earth and thus demand a prior rapture.
It is clear that the Second Coming cannot occur until these two vital events, which demand the presence of the church in heaven, have taken place. It is only after the Lamb has been married to His bride that she accompanies Him back to earth to rescue Israel and to destroy Antichrist and his armies: And the armies which were in heaven followed him...clothed in fine linen, white and clean (Rev:19:14 ).
We know not why the Bridegroom tarries, but exactly as He foretold, the church is asleep. In that context, our Lord added: And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him (Mat:25:6 ). May each of us be listening eagerly for that cry of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Indeed, we ought to be sounding it aloud, for the Lord could come at any moment to take us to Himself. So let us watch and wait and look for Him in eager anticipationand encourage others to do the same. It will have a purifying and motivating effect in our lives. TBC
There are TWO comings. The first ended when Jesus ascended to The Father. The second will be at the end of the Tribulation. The Rapture is not a ‘touch down on planet Earth event. WE go to meet Him and according to Jesus in John 14 go then with Him to the Father’s House where He has been preparing a place for us. We return to the Earth with Jesus at His second coming touch down before setting up His Kingdom.
Then that makes three.
No, there are two Jesus to Earth comings. The Rapture is not a to earth coming for we are called up into the first heaven to meet the Lord int he air and return to the third Heaven with Him.
I am not sure that I said or implied that his disciples misunderstood; that would be foolish, because Jesus was quite clear.
Luke 17:22-24 The Coming of the Kingdom of God
20 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, Here it is, or There it is, because the kingdom of God is in your midst.[a]
22 Then he said to his disciples, The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. 23 People will tell you, There he is! or Here he is! Do not go running off after them. 24 For the Son of Man in his day[b] will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.
Just a little history. One of the most celebrated reports from antiquity of bizarre goings on in the sky appears in Josephus, History of the Wars relating to c. 65 AD.
Besides these, a few days after that feast [of the unleavened bread], on the twenty first day of the month of Artemisius, a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared: I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it [the destruction of the temple in 70] of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armour were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding the cities (6,5,3).
I find this fascinating and I hope you don’t mind that I shared it.
I believe this has run it’s course. No ill feelings
God sends "strong delusion" in the end times so that those who have already rejected the truth and who hate God will believe the lie the Antichrist will declare and through his deception, the ungodly will not only continue to reject whatever light might get in but they will be the ones cursing and gnashing their teeth at God for the calamity He rains down upon them. Even in their exceedingly great suffering - when it is undeniable that it is GOD who is causing it - they will not turn to Him in repentance. But...we know that there will be a number of people who will believe during this time - especially the Jewish people but some Gentiles also - and they will be persecuted and many martyred. When Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation to set up His 1000 year reign, those believers who made it out alive will go into the millennium.
Jesus said "some who are standing here" would see Him in His glory. Peter, John and James were those men and they did indeed see Him. They got a foretaste of that reality.
The second group (the generation) to see Him will be when Jesus comes back at the Tribulation's end to defeat the Antichrist and the false prophet and to set up His kingdom upon the earth, the people alive when all those things that were foretold to happen in the end times are fulfilled will see Him in His glory and kingdom. It will all happen within a set number of years once the ball gets rolling. Remember when Jesus spoke about seeing things "begin to take place":
These things will all take place within a lifespan. Some of these things, I believe, will even be witnessed by believers before the Rapture happens and will be how we can know it will be soon look up and we await His catching us up to be with Him with joyful anticipation. We won't know the day or the hour, but we can know the times and the seasons. Soon...
No, I am not and have not said that they will be "spared" from the wrath, just that they will have a deliverer. The only people going into the Tribulation will be UNBELIEVERS (Jews and Gentiles), the church/Bride of Christ will have been snatched away/caught up to be with the Bridegroom while the Time of Jacob's Trouble is going on. Scripture says multiple times that there will be people slain for their faith during this time, so that tells me not everyone remains in unbelief. The vast majority of mankind, however, will weep and wail and gnash their teeth at God out of wicked hatred for Him and His wrath poured out will be well deserved. I don't know why you don't seem to understand that THIS time is different from all the other times where bad things have happened to good people. During the Tribulation, there won't be Christians enduring God's wrath, because it's not meant for them/us. We are taken out of the way - and also, I believe, the influence of the Holy Spirit. He is in the world to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8). Because He is taken out of the way, the deception will be successful. Those who do not want the light of the truth will reject what little light they do have and they will have no excuse before God. He sends them strong delusion and they will believe the lies of Satan.
Do you not believe there will be a "Rapture" at all? Do you believe there will be a time of Great Tribulation? What about the 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ upon the earth prior to Him creating a new heaven and a new earth wherein righteousness dwells for all eternity? Are all the Scripture passages about these things not literal but allegorical only?
Yeah, I'm still waiting for the time when the wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the goat; the calf and young lion and fatling will be together, and a little child will lead them. The cow will graze with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play by the cobras den, and the toddler will reach into the vipers nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the sea is full of water. ;o)
1 Thess 1:9&10
I am not sure if what Peter, James and John saw is valid as it speaks about his “departure,” which would predates his return.
In Mark 14:61-62, Jesus declares that the high priest who delivered him over to the Romans for execution will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven.
Then in John 21:22-23, Jesus says that the Apostle John will remain alive until His return.
This is a fascinating Study. I highly suggest a study on “New Heavens and New Earth” God promised to never destroy the Earth and all on it after the Flood. Reason suggests that if God cannot lie; then the destruction of the Earth and Heaven, MUST refer to something different.
It is paradox’s like these that must be solved before one can even come close to seeing the Scriptures for what they really are. The Holy Bible is the most amazing book ever printed. It’s not a hand book on how to live your life, though many will use for that and be happy. It is not history book and should not be taken literally 100% To do so (and many do) is to gloss over to real meaning (try a study on the number 1000) The Holy Scriptures were written by a number of different authors, each with a slightly different view and is riddled with apparent contradictions.
Is it a book of mysteries, a book of puzzles; perhaps. I think it as a book of tapestry with multiple stories of different colored threads. It’s up to the read to weave these threads into an amazing Tapestry of Truth.
God is Love, God is Truth and God is Spirit; this must be the basis for all understanding.
It has ... and I look forward to the next thread.
As iron sharpens iron ...
“Scripture says multiple times that there will be people slain for their faith during this time, so that tells me not everyone remains in unbelief.”
Ok, so there are Christians on earth during this time, since they can’t be dismissed as “just Jews” if they have faith in Christ that they are willing to die for.
“During the Tribulation, there won’t be Christians enduring God’s wrath, because it’s not meant for them/us”
But you just said there were going to be Christians on earth. So there are only 2 possibilities here, either they are suffering God’s wrath too (in which case the promise to keep us from wrath can’t mean that we will all be saved from the tribulation), OR they are somehow miraculously kept from suffering God’s wrath (in which case the argument that we have to be removed before the tribulation so that we won’t suffer wrath also breaks down).
So there is a logical inconsistency there in these arguments.
“During the Tribulation, there won’t be Christians enduring God’s wrath, because it’s not meant for them/us. We are taken out of the way...”
But we’re not all taken out of the way, as you have admitted, since there must be Christians on earth during the tribulation in order for there to be tribulation saints. So that argument isn’t enough to resolve the contradiction.
“Because He is taken out of the way, the deception will be successful.”
Do you really believe the Holy Spirit is “taken out of the way” during the tribulation? How would that even work, since the Holy Spirit is God and God is by His nature omnipresent? How could any of the people who are saved during the tribulation be saved if they have no access to the Holy Spirit, since the Holy Spirit must prepare us to receive salvation, as we cannot, in our natural sinful state, accept it?
“Do you not believe there will be a “Rapture” at all?”
Well, I certainly believe there will be a resurrection of the just, and those Christians alive when it happens will be transformed directly into their heavenly bodies, rather than having to suffer death first. If you want to call that a “rapture”, I don’t have any objection, but I don’t see much point in inventing another term for something the Bible simply calls a resurrection.
“Do you believe there will be a time of Great Tribulation?”
“What about the 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ upon the earth prior to Him creating a new heaven and a new earth wherein righteousness dwells for all eternity?”
“Are all the Scripture passages about these things not literal but allegorical only?”
If you can show me some passages that say “the church will be removed before the tribulation”, of course I’ll believe that literally, but those passages don’t exist. The passages that do touch on the subject seem to say the opposite, as far as I can tell.
I think it is obvious what Jesus meant since the incident on the Mount of Transfiguration happened a little over a week after Jesus said it.
In Mark 14:61-62, Jesus declares that the high priest who delivered him over to the Romans for execution will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven.
But He didn't say they would see this shortly, just that they WOULD see Him one day. And we know that one day at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10,11). We also are told:
Immediately after the tribulation of those days: The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (Matt. 24:29-31).
Then in John 21:22-23, Jesus says that the Apostle John will remain alive until His return.
Actually, no, Jesus didn't say that. What He said was:
As for your other points, we ought to believe what God tells us and not try to second guess or accuse Him of contradicting Himself. We can trust in the authority of God's word because it IS His word and "heaven and earth will pass away, but the word of our God will never pass away". If He says he will create a new heavens and new earth where righteousness dwells and which will no longer have any taint of sin, then I believe Him. The Apostle Peter writes that:
Your math doesn’t add up. There is no where in the bible the tribulation is stated to be 3 years. It starts when the temple is destroyed, and ends with his coming as Jesus stated.
I don’t deny there will be a new temple, that is clear. There could be a double fulfillment of the abomination of desolation also, I don’t deny that. I don’t think the text is 100% clear until events happen and it becomes 100% clear, but I believe the messiah will build the temple himself, as Zechariah 6 says.
no, I definitely don’t think the church has supplanted Israel, the church age has allowed gentiles to be grafted into the commonwealth of Israel, but a faithful remnant of Israel (non-gentile) will always exist. I also believe the prophecies about the restoration of Israel are to physical Israel, whether they are faithful or not. what do you believe?
I believe in a pre-trib rapture of those that have accepted Jesus, a 7 yesr trib with ghe antichrist declaring himself god 3.5 yrs in. The trib is to allow the house of jacob to be redeemed through repentance. The 3rd temple either just before or after the rapture will be built.
You can read about it in I Thessalonians 4 and 5 and continuing to II Thessalonians and then events spoken of in John's book of Revelation. The article with this thread lays them all out. The Rapture, I believe is another "mystery" that was revealed to St. Paul just as the one he wrote about to the Corinthians concerning our resurrection in I Corinthians 15 where we shall not all sleep (die) but we shall all be changed in a moment in a twinkling of an eye.
I've spent many years studying this subject and I remain convinced there will be a catching up of the body of Christ prior to the seven year period known as the Tribulation. Nothing I have read adequately disproves it and I am not hanging onto the doctrine out of some misplaced pride or stubbornness. I know not everyone sees it the same way which is why I don't try to browbeat or get into a knockdown drag out fight over it nor do I want to continue arguing with you about it. Whether one believes it or not doesn't determine their eternal salvation. But...I do think the awareness that Christ could come back for us at any moment has a positive effect on how we live our lives. His imminent return heightens our senses to the events around us. We see how world events are all leading to the time when Jesus returns to set up His kingdom upon earth and we will finally see how we were always meant to live under His rule.
God bless you as you live for His glory and await the blessed hope.
#1 is incorrect - Jesus specifically says His Kingdom is not of this world — Jesus will not come as an earthy King.
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