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Pre-tribulation Rapture

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Twelve reasons why I believe the pre-tribulation rapture makes most sense of the scriptures:

 

  1. There is clearly a difference between the meeting in the air for the saints and the coming of the Lord to the earth with the saints. 1 Thess 4.13-5.11 as opposed to Zech 14.5, Jude 14, Revelation 19.14.

 

  2. A number of scriptures give the expectation that the coming of the Lord for the church could happen at any time therefore believers should be in a continual state of readiness for this. 1 Cor 1.7, 16.22, 1 Thess 1.10, 4.13-5.11, Titus 2.13, Heb 9.28, James 5.8, 1 Pet 1.13, Jude 21, Rev 3.11, 22.7,12,17,20. If the Mark of the Beast system has to be in place before this event can take place then clearly the Lord cannot come at any time as the 666 is not in place.

 

  3. Jesus said you cannot work out the date of his coming, but if see the 666 system in place you should be able to work out that there are 42 months to go before the coming of the Lord.

 

  4. Paul says people will be saying ‘Peace and safety’ at the time of the event described in 1 Thess 4.13-5.11, but at the second coming of Christ to the earth there will have been 7 years of tribulation with God’s wrath poured out and the armies of the world gathering for Armageddon. Who will be saying ‘peace and safety’ then?

 

  5. Jesus describes a time when life will be going on as normal with people doing things like buying and selling, building and planting, marrying and giving in marriage at the time when ‘one shall be taken and one shall be left’ (Luke 17.26-37) but at the end of the tribulation period life will be totally abnormal and only those who have the mark of the beast will be able to buy and sell.

 

  6. The pre trib rapture gives the best explanation for the gap between the end of the 69th week and the beginning of the 70th week in Daniel 9.24-27. There must be a gap because the 69th week ends before the crucifixion (Robert Anderson’s calculations put it as the Triumphal entry which makes a lot of sense theologically, but are not crucial to this argument). This is then followed by the fall of the Temple (40 years later) and a prolonged period of wars and desolations (contrary to Jewish hopes of peace following the coming of the Messiah). There is no way that the events of the fall of the Temple can be fitted into the 70th week period of Dan 9.27 as some affirm. Nor does this make any sense of Dan 9.24 as this whole period must bring about the sealing of OT messianic prophecy and the anointing of the Holy of Holies which will only take place at the 2nd coming of Messiah to the earth. The gap between the 69th and 70th week is occupied by the spirit filled church composed of Jews and Gentiles which is raptured prior to the events of Dan 9.27 when attention goes back to Israel as the vehicle of God’s purpose.

 

  7. The pre trib rapture gives the best explanation of why the saints have to be resurrected after the return of the Lord to the earth in Rev 20.4. Since the Lord has returned with the saints (who have been through the marriage supper of the Lamb) why does he then need to resurrect the saints? Only logical explanation is that these were not saints at the time of the rapture but were converted afterwards and for the most part martyred during the tribulation and ‘held under the altar’ (Rev 6.9-11) and come out of the great tribulation (Rev 7.13-14). As they became saints during the tribulation they have a part in the first resurrection (of the saved) and not the second resurrection (of the damned) (Rev 20.6, 14).

 

  8. The rapture is the blessed hope of the church (Titus 2.13). If it only comes at the end of the tribulation it is not much of a hope as you are likely to be executed before it happens.

 

  9. Jesus said when you see the signs of his return beginning to happen you should look up because redemption is drawing near, not when they are ending (Luke 21.28).

 

 10. The tribulation, especially the final 3 ½ years, is the outpouring of God’s wrath, but Paul says God has not appointed us to wrath (1 Thess 5.9).

 

 11. Individuals being taken to be with the Lord supernaturally happened in the OT on two occasions (Enoch and Elijah). In both cases life continued on earth afterwards.

 

 12. The hope of the Lord’s return is to purify ourselves (1 John 3.3). If Jesus can come at any time (only possible in the pre-trib position) you have a motivation to purify yourself (wanting to be doing his will and in a right relationship with him at the moment of his coming).

 

 

There are other reasons for this view, but all in all it is the one which makes most sense of all the scriptures. I have considered alternative views but find them lacking in consistency. I regret that due to pressure of time I am unable to go into lengthy arguments over this issue.

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