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
Revelation 6, actually:
There will be people who turn to Christ in faith throughout the Tribulation period and who are martyred for it. It sounds like there will be quite a bit of the wrath of God poured out upon the earth even before the seven bowls of the wrath of God spoken of in Revelation 15-17. The Seven Seals included war, famine, death and terror.
Seventy weeks was determined to scatter the power of the holy people
Jesus was crusafide in the middle of the week, about three and one half
years later Steven was killed the result being that many believers left
and went to places such as Antioch and started preaching the gospel
therefore full filling danials 70 weeks, makes sense to me but I don’t know.
Doesn’t matter to me - ether way it’s gonna be....rapturous...
Yes, I know all the pre-tribulation arguments well, and I know the tribulation period will be all the unprecedented horror that Jesus told us it would be, and yet I still don’t see TWO second comings of Jesus in Scripture. Those verses in Psalms 91 point out how God protects us. Regardless, time will tell. It’s not a make-or-break salvation issue.
My own humble opinion is that, with the rate of apostasy we're seeing, there will be so few believers at that time that their disappearance will make few waves in the entire scheme of things.
I agree. It’s not a salvation deal breaker.
What I watch for, though, is a furtive spirit of unbelief in ANY event of resurrection. Those who pooh pooh the pre-trib rapture are often of this persuasion.
I’ve already read as much of it as I can stomach. When there are so many basic errors in the first few paragraphs, I generally don’t waste my time slogging through the rest.
“The tribulation is to fulfill abrahams covenant so his children will be saved.”
Where does the Bible say that?
“Only jews will be saved during the tribulation”
Where does the Bible say that?
“Jesus was crusafide in the middle of the week, about three and one half years later Steven was killed the result being that many believers left and went to places such as Antioch and started preaching the gospel therefore full filling danials 70 weeks”
Well, go back and look at Matthew 24. In that chapter, Jesus is telling his disciples about the tribulation and the end of the world, and he specifically references the prophecy of Daniel’s 70 weeks:
“15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:”
Now, we know he isn’t simply telling them to flee because the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD is coming, because a verse prior to this we are told:
“14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
The gospel was not preached in all the world before 70 AD, and the end of the world certainly didn’t come then. So the reference in verses 15 and 16 to Daniel are pointing out that those verses will have a fulfillment further in the future. This is confirmed in verse 21:
“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.”
So this seems to pinpoint that the events that Daniel spoke about, at least from the midpoint of the 70th week, are happening just before the great tribulation that is referenced by the other passages in the NT and detailed in Revelation.
Now, there are obviously some issues with that, since, as you noted, if you calculate the years since the proclamation to rebuild the temple until the time of Jesus, it does seem to match with Daniel’s chronology. There are multiple ways that people interpret the passages to try and match up with actual events, some placing Jesus’ death at the midpoint of the 70th week, and others placing it at the end of the 69th week. Either way, we are left with either half a week or a full week of years that seem to happen after Christ’s death, but not immediately after, since Jesus speaks of them in Matthew 24 as accompanying the events at the end of the world.
I am at work on a phone so ill give a quick answer, based on my memory. I remember it taught in church like 10 years ago and it stuck. God promised redemption to jews as his chosen people, that has not happened as they are still looking for his coming. The church will be raptured and with it goes the holy spirit from among the gentiles. The two witnesses will be preaching from jerusalem and they will realize the blood of Christ on their hands and repent, while in second thessalonians’s it tells that those that reject Christ now, inferred as not having his promises which is gentiles, will be turned over to the great delusion and fall under the antichrist. God has his chosen people that he promised to bless snd the tribulation will be that redemption for them.
Gods word can speak of past present and future simultaneously, it is a Divine work. Those words were simultaneously speaking of 70 ad and the rapture, leatlrn of the prophetic nature of the jewish feast given to moses.
Yes, I am familiar with that general type of teaching, I just was hoping someone could point out to me where exactly they found the basis of that teaching in the Bible, since I have never been able to locate it.
The Church is not mentioned again after Chapter 3 of The Revelation.
firmly in the pre trib camp here. it there is a third possibility the pre wrath (mid trib) rapture. maranatha!
there are two second comings. one suddenly for the Church and one exactly 7 years after the treaty is signed with the Church
I would be in that camp. I don't believe any of this Late Great Planet Earth/Left Behind/pre-trib stuff.
All things common to the last 2000 years.
The new Heaven and new Earth are just as real as anything in the Bible. John the revelator son of zebedee gave a very detailed account of the new heaven
I do not believe so, because if Jesus said he would return in the same generation as those he was speaking with, only one of two alternatives can occur.
1. He did: He was truthful and fulfilled his promise
2. He didn’t: He was mistaken, a fool or both
One cannot pretend the Scriptures say one thing without discounting something else. Of course God’s words are timeless; but even more than that they are TRUTH. What say you? The Disciples asked Jesus for a sign regarding his return (they understood what ‘this generation’ and ‘some standing here’ to mean exactly that)
So do you believe Jesus has returned or not? If he has NOT returned, do you believe that he was mistaken, a fool or even a liar.
How can one so easily question and outright reject Jesus’s own words. Look up the Arabic, see for yourself. Jesus is not a supermarket where you can pick and choose what you want. Sorry, Jesus is ALL or NOTHING. If you were to be true to yourself, you would say: “I don’t understand it, but Jesus said it would happen and I believe it did.”
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