Emails continue to come to my inbox that in effect put forth that the view of the Pre-Trib Rapture of the Church is leading people to be unprepared to face what all evidence around us plainly indicates is coming. “New developments,” as one writer puts it, now show that our Pre-Trib view is wrong and we are doing God and those who come to the website great disservice by teaching such error.
We who teach the Pre-Trib Rapture are ignoring those frightening threats to our families and nation, this emailer charged. Such threats as things we see government agencies doing aimed at usurping our liberties, for example, obviously intended to one day put martial law into effect. They plan to do this, the emailer believes,as soon as a false flag event of sufficient magnitude can be created to make such intrusion upon our liberty seem justified.
My email correspondent then recommends numerous teachers I should seek out, those whom he has found to have the truth. I recently interviewed with one of these teachers on his TV program. (We discussed the Rapture to some extent, and the host seemed in agreement with me at the end of our interview, by the way.)
We have always received diatribes against our belief in the Pre-Trib view of the Rapture. But, recently, the “new evidence” slant on the rants has increased significantly. One particular element of the “new evidence” is interesting enough that I sensed it should be made the nucleus around which to build this week’s commentary.
Although the interesting element wasn’t framed by the exact term “unfair,” that was the tenor of the accusation against the Pre-Trib view of the Rapture. The Pre-Tribulational Rapture is an unfair proposition–rather, would be so, if the Pre-Trib view were true, which, of course, it isn’t, according to the “new evidence” that is now overwhelming against that possibility. That was our emailer’s proposition.
The writer said he had studied the accumulating evidence and now must admit that he agreed with his new teachers. He believes that “the pre-trib rapture needs a new and updated research. At this point it seems to me that to hold to this doctrine would suggest that the people in the very country that are supporting and directly or indirectly are causing some of the greatest calamities upon the face of the earth are the people who have not as yet suffered tribulation for Christ’s sake, yet feel imminently prepared to be raptured.”
He asked rhetorically: “What if the Christians in Iraq, Syria, and Northern Africa subscribed to the pre-trib doctrine? They were beheaded, martyred, not raptured…How do we reconcile this to the doctrine, I humbly ask?”
Although a bit confused by the expression of his thought –and I don’t mean to ridicule or be unkind–I presume he means that Christians in America who believe in the Pre-Trib view of the Rapture support an American government that is causing most of the problems in the world. He goes on to imply (I infer), like such anti-Pre-Trib emails always do, that since believers in the rest of the world are dying martyrs’ deaths or at the very least suffering great persecution, Christians in America cannot expect to be Raptured. This –again, I infer that he believes based upon his words–would be unfair–that is, run counter to God’s righteous character.
He apparently now believes that all Christians must suffer during at least part of the coming Tribulation–the last seven years of what Jesus called the most terrible time in human history (Matthew 24: 21). His premise about the nature of the Rapture of the Church, like all other such railing against the Pre-Trib view I’ve received, demonstrates misunderstanding of the believer’s position in Christ.
The following was, in part, my reply to him. I’ve edited it to some extent for making the point of this commentary.
I’m responding because I want to–for the thousandth time at least—say that the Rapture of the Church is not a matter of rescue from physical troubles so much as it is a salvation issue. The Rapture is directly linked to belief in Christ for one’s salvation during this Church Age. We are not to be called to be with Christ because we are deserving of rescue from a planet headed into Tribulation. We will be called to Him because of God’s prophetic program. He will call the Church –His Bride—to Himself, then God again will begin dealing with Israel in all of His covenant promises to that people. This is what the Bible teaches about this prophetic truth.
Always the questions emailers such as you bring up is this: Why should American Christians not suffer, while the rest of the world’s Christians are suffering greatly –even to the point of martyrdom?
Let me turn it around. Why is it necessary that any Christian suffer martyrdom or tribulation in order to be in God’s good graces in terms of eternal security? Does the fact that millions of Americans have lived and died as believers in Christ mean that because they have not suffered through the seven years of Tribulation and martyrdom they will have to come back to life and go through those terrible things in order to be worthy to enter Heaven?
Millions of believers have suffered and died, and are doing so even now, and it is terrible–tragic. However, that suffering has nothing whatsoever to do with the Rapture. The Rapture is a positional matter for the Christian. His or her position in Christ as Savior–as Redeemer- during the Church Age (Age of Grace) is what the Rapture is all about. The Rapture is a salvation issue, not an insurance policy of some sort against physical hard times and/or physical death. It is a matter of the soul.
Christians in America might yet suffer persecution and death. There are no promises in that regard. But, there are promises that Christians –in America and all over the world–will never suffer God’s wrath or the seven years of His judgment. Wrath and judgment and dealing again with Israel is what the Tribulation entails.
You mention that “new developments” have you rethinking that these indicate Christians will go through at least part of the Tribulation. God’s Word – His truth — is unchanging, no matter current circumstance. His prophetic program remains the same as He planned in eternity past.
This blog web site and our Rapture Ready website, raptureready.com, has many articles on the Rapture, containing all of the Scriptures relevant to the fact that the believer will be kept out of the very time of God’s judgment that is surely coming to a world of wickedness and rebellion. (See Revelation 3: 10.) The Pre-Trib Rapture isn’t unfair; it is truth from the Word of God.