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.
I’m with you, Terry! My strong belief in the Pre-Trib Rapture, as well as seeing Bible Prophecy being fulfilled as never before, keep me faithful to my little Tract ministry, and remind me to “work while it is day”. I truly believe that we have been given a “window” of grace, and that we must make the best of our remaining time.
Well said Terry.
Good answer: Rapture is a positional or salvation issue, not an insurance policy. As in the Garden, Satan continues to use the same old lies and man continues to fall for them. God may yet destroy us in an epic judgment of our overwhelming national sins which is another issue.
I totally agree with this post and with Hope’s comment.
Excellent response to the line of thinking that somehow believers in America must suffer in the tribulation. I love how you say that the Rapture is a salvation issue. It is not an escape from persecution, but from the outpouring of God’s wrath upon the earth. Thanks so much for this post!!
Some very strong thoughts Terry. Thank you for your work. I love the statement how the Rapture is a Salvation issue etc. God bless you
Reblogged this on Serve Him in the Waiting.
I wish folks would just read, read, READ and study their bibles and determine for themselves the truth instead of letting others tell them what to believe. And I don’t just mean the chapters and verses concerning end times only. I mean the ENTIRETY of the bible in order to better understand our God’s character and His ultimate plan for His creation. Otherwise, it’s the equivalent of reading out of context, whereby meaning tends to get lost in translation, sometimes to detrimental extent. The evidence for a pre-trib rapture is clear as can be when you really, trully study the Word and seek the Truth.
The Great Tribulation is 3.5 years The Rapture will happen before the last 3.5 not 7 years The 10 kings rule 1 hour with the beast that is the last 3.5 years.We will be rescued from Gods wrath but not the first 3.5. Better to be prepared spiritually and provisionally just in case you are wrong on dates.
For the coming of our LORD and our being gathered together to HIM that day will not come until the apostasy and man of sin is revealed A clear reading of the text shows we will be here for shtf.We save for retirement but we dont know what will happen so we might as prep and then maybe not need it.GOD BLESS
While it is true that the last 3.5 years is referred to by Jesus as the “Great Tribulation” (Matt. 24:21) (the same 42 month period the Beast is given ruling authority; Rev. 13:5-7) the first 1,260 days is under the administration of the Two Witnesses who come in the power of Elijah (against Israel, drought) and Moses (against the nations, water to blood) to prophesy against the world based on the testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and administer God’s justice. Also the 7th Trumpet is blown AFTER the murder of the Two Witnesses, just after the mid-point of the Tribulation (Rev. 11:7-15). Yet if the administration of plagues by the Two Witnesses and the first six Trumpets are a form of God’s wrath (and there seems to be no reason to believe otherwise) then the Church cannot be present during the first 3.5 years either. Christ having taken the wrath of God on behalf of believers could NOT again administer wrath upon Christ’s Bride, this is nothing short of double jeopardy. Paul is VERY clear about this in his epistles to the Thessalonians (1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9). In fact Paul uses a variety of terms in 1 & 2 Thessalonians (affliction, suffering, distress, and persecutions – all different Greek terms) to describe troubles facing believers but NEVER wrath. The only time wrath is used in Thessalonians is against the antagonists (likely by Roman agency as directed by God; 1 Thess. 2:16).
Elijah and Enoch not Moses. Moses died. Enoch and Elijah both were Raptured, Period. These Prophets of GOD are still in their earthly bodies and have to return and die, then rise up after being dead for 3 days then, be Raptured to Heaven.
Bill read the verse before. 2 Thessalonians 2:2
Speaks of the second coming not the rapture.
Terry, this is one of the first times I have seen this response to Pre-Trib scoffers in that the Rapture is not about us, but about God and His plan for salvation. I come from a technical background and see the common sense approach to this. If the the AntiChrist appears today, there are many Christians with the Holy Spirit that could overcome him in Jesus’ name. Thus, as 2 Thessalonians 2 clearly states, God will remove the restrainer (Holy Spirit) before the AntiChrist can prevail over the Saints. So, for those that propose a mid or pre-wrath Rapture, how do you explain the AntiChrist signing of a seven year treaty with Israel at the beginning of the tribulation? If a person was to sign such a treaty today, would Christians just run and hide or know the truth and take action to overcome this man in Jesus’ name? I believe the latter and with this belief, the restrainer has to be removed along with the Church before the tribulation starts. In the meantime of the last 2,000 years, some Christians have died as martyrs and some have been blessed to share the Gospel with little or know persecution.
So sad to see all of the confusion taking place but like Paul exhorted the Thessalonians to not be so easily shaken in their faith because false prophets and teachers will always be trying to beguile the Believers. I know that I am paraphrasing but all of Paul’s encouragements are constant and continuous throughout the Epistles. But the one thing that caught my inner most being as I began to read your opening comment was so sweet and very simple. God’s word tells us that Jesus would step out on that Glorious Cloud when the last lost SOUL is saved.
God is not slack and because He truly is our Omniscient Great I AM, he alone knows the ending from the beginning and all of this is not going to change what HE has already determined and set the time. Known in the Hebrew language as a MOED: A Set Time by the authority of God Almighty.
I really like this article. God is sovereign and KNOWS what each of us will suffer, by our own choices and just the sin in this fallen world. He knows our sufferings and I find nothing in Scripture that states the amount of suffering each of us will go through. That is HIS BUSINESS. Ours is to be ready, whenever and however HE chooses to call us HOME.
I’m not a proponent of pre-tribulation rapture. In fact, I think people probably don’t know as much as they’d like to think they do about the end times. But I like the conversation. God bless!
Reblogged this on BibleProphecyWatch.
Yes we will suffer trials and tribulations – God’s people have been under attack by satan since the Garden of Eden. Christians are the most persecuted people on earth – every 6 minutes a Christian is martyred for their faith and belief in Jesus Christ.
But the Great Tribulation is God’s Wrath on an unbelieving and ungodly earth and our Father tells us that His people are NOT appointed to His Wrath and will be spared the hour of temptation. This is our blessed hope, wherefore, comfort one another with these words.
“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” Revelation 3:10
“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10
“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to >>>ESCAPE<<< all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." Luke 21:36
"And await His Son from the Heavens, whom He raised from the dead, Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath which is coming."
1 Thessalonians 1:10
thank you very much I really enjoy reading your articles and I believe in Pre trib so come Lord Jesus come Amen.
I wished I had more data I would love to be able to watch and read your insights it’s a Biblical pre-trib Rapture and tribulation thank you in Jesus name God bless you and keep you amen and amen.
Only God knows ….All we have to do is be ready.