With events escalating worldwide, Christians are thinking more and more about the Coming of the Lord. However, a very large portion of the Church adamantly professes a “pre-trib rapture”, by which they mean that Christians will suddenly and unexpectedly be taken out of the earth before anything remotely unpleasant can happen to them.
That is such a comforting belief that it’s believed by many, including myself for the greater part of my Christian life.
That is, until I was challenged to prove it! And not prove it by books and what preachers said, but by the only reliable witness, the word of God, the bible.
- Here is my article about that: http://birthpangs.org/articles/biblical/nailing-colours.html
As well as the unbiblical nature of the teaching, at no time did Jesus promise to exclude all believers from suffering and tribulation. Quite the opposite:
- John 16:33 In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world
- Acts 14:22 We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God
Not One Verse
Did you know, there is not ONE verse in the Old or New Testaments that teaches a pre-trib rapture? Not one. Joe Schimmel of Good Fight Ministries has offered a ten thousand dollar prize for anyone who can provide even one verse that proves a pre-trib rapture. Nobody has claimed the prize!!
These two videos by “Revealing Truth” ministry, one short and the other going into more details also briefly covers the historic emergence of the pre-trib teaching, and then shows from the bible how it is contradicted by what Jesus and the Apostles taught in the bible.
The full version: When Does the Rapture Happen?
A shorter version: Is The Rapture About to Happen?
Here, along with other important statements, he says “Listen to what the bible teaches and not what people say!”.
Reasons to be Doubtful
- The teaching was not present in any of the churches until the 19th Century
- The first teachings were based on speculation and a vision, not just bible texts
- Darby promoted pre-trib because he believed in “Dispensationalism“
- Daniel’s final week of seven years does not exclude believers
- The reign of the Beast is specifically said to last only three and a half years
- The “last trump” is not mentioned at the start of Revelation, but halfway through
- The “great multitude” of believers suddenly appears in heaven after the first half of the seven years.
- Jesus said the end would not come until after a series of intense birthpangs
- The Resurrection happens at the same time as the Rapture
- Believers are still mentioned in Revelation after the beginning chapters
- Nowhere does the bible exempt believers from suffering for their faith
- Noah and Lot were both present up to the very day of destruction
- The Tribulation is never said to last seven years
- The Tribulation is different to the wrath of God
- Believers undergo tribulation (troubles, birthpangs) but not the wrath of God
- There are signs in the sun, moon and stars as well as on earth before the End
- There is no mention throughout the Book of Revelation of a pre-trib rapture
Pre-Wrath or Mid-Trib or IntraSeal
I honestly believe it is another sign of the fast-approaching End that many more believers including prominent teachers are falling away from Pre-Trib and adopting a more biblical approach to Revelation.
One of the first signs, in 1990, was the Rosenthal book “The Prewrath Rapture of the Church“
I had already changed my viewpoint, but I bought the book, pleased to see another aspect of the endtimes teaching, almost the first of its kind. As it happens, I didn’t go along with all he said, but I didn’t need to, there was enough meat on the bones to fuel my interest.
After a lot of study throughout the bible, I have come to the conclusion that the rapture happens before the wrath of God (the seven bowls of wrath poured out). It’s NOT the classic “pre-wrath” belief but a variation of it.
BUT, important point here, it doesn’t matter what my exact beliefs are, and it definitely should not be an issue that divides us, even less for falling out of fellowship with others or angrily denouncing them, because they are not pre-trib [or whatever].
Let’s agree to differ!
Here is an article examining and explaining all the different views; below is the explanation of mid-trib:
The mid-tribulation view divides the 70th week of Daniel into two sections – the Great Tribulation and the Wrath of God (or the wrath of Satan, and the wrath of God). This view places the rapture after the sixth seal, but before the 7 trumpets and 7 bowls. Revelation 6:12-17 speaks of a cosmic chaos, after the opening of the sixth seal, during which time the unbelievers declare, “…the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Revelation 7:1-9 then tells of the “sealing” of the servants of God, after which a great multitude is seen in heaven.
The mid-trib view looks to 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 which says the rapture will not occur until after the Antichrist is revealed. This event, which Jesus calls the abomination of desolation (Matthew 24:15), occurs around mid-point of Daniel’s 70th week (Daniel 9:27). The mid-tribulation view generally says that the Wrath of God will begin about half-way through the seven year period, and that Christians will miss the most intense part of the Great Tribulation.
I wish that every Christian could go through the same process as I did, in being challenged to prove the pre-trib rapture solely from the bible texts, nothing else – no preaching, no sermons, no books, no interpretation by anyone else, just the bible. Close all the books, come away from Youtube, and just prove it from the bible!! You CANNOT.
It will require you to stop “reading into” verses with interpretations that are not there (such as John of Revelation being commanded to “come up here” being the Rapture). No, it’s not. It doesn’t say that, and we should not read the rapture into it.
It will also require faith, commitment and a decision to hold to God and his truth regardless of ANYTHING that might happen – even imprisonment, torture, death, whatever! That is a stumbling point for many, especially in the Western world. However, it is a fact that ALL of the apostles (with the possible exception of John) were called to die for the Lord, some in horrible ways. Many Christians have been martyred throughout the centuries, and are still being persecuted and killed even to this day. Why should WE be exempt?
God has promised to be with us, and that should be enough. Let’s not invent a get-out clause because we are not prepared to endure the treatment that our Lord himself endured, nor let us deny his words, that –
“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rise against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of My name, but the one who perseveres to the end will be saved. ” [Matt 10:21-22]