Post-Trib Responses to Pre-Trib Beliefs #1

This series will examine a number of Pre-Tribulational Rapture beliefs about the Rapture/Resurrection in light of scriptural contexts and parallel passages.

Pre-Trib Belief No. 1:   Jesus comes for His Church/Bride, to take up to Heaven, before the Tribulation (Luke 21:36; John 14:1-3; 1Thess 1:10, 4:14-17, 5:9; Rev 3:10).

Response 1A

Jesus said “But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man”(Luke 21:36) following His description of the tribulation in verses 25-35. He then says “when YOU see these things happening…” (v31), and it (the trib.) will come upon all who dwell on the face of the earth (v35).

Obviously the people he is talking to are going through the tribulation.  He is encouraging them to not give in, not worship the Beast, and to pray that God would give them strength to stand.  He is not promising to zap them out prior to the trib., or even during it.

Response 1B

John 14:1-3: “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”

No where does Jesus state in these verses in John, nor in the wider context, that this takes place prior to the tribulation.  On the other hand, Matthew 24:29, 31 says But immediately after the tribulation of those days… He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

Response 1C

1 Thes 1:9-10: For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

1 Thes 5:9: For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ

“The wrath to come” does not mean “the tribulation.”  If it does, I would like to read where the bible states that.  Over and over the bible declares that the wrath of God will be toward the disobedient (Col 3:6) and the unbelieving (Heb 3:10-12).  People will experience the wrath of God when they are judged and condemned to Hell.  Some case can be made that the armies invading Israel at Armageddon will experience God’s wrath.  For a more complete discussion of that see http://midnightwatcher.wordpress.com/2011/03/26/lost-in-translation-not-appointed-unto-wrath-what-scripture-is-really-saying/

Response 1D

1 Thes 4:14-17:   For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

Verse 17 says “we who are alive and remain”.  Remain through what?  The tribulation.  In 2 Thessalonians, further instructions to the same church, Paul reports that the apostasy and the “man of lawlessness”, i.e., the antichrist, comes first (2 Thes 2:1-4).  Furthermore, the dead are raised FIRST, before those who are alive.  More detail on this can be found in 1 Cor 15:51-52:  Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  Changed into what?  Our resurrection bodies (v35-50).  Why do we need bodies?  Because we will be living on the earth, during the Millennium, when Christ reigns physically.

When we “meet the Lord in the air”, it is not to go to heaven, but to return to earth.  The word “meet” in Greek is ἀπάντησις apantēsis, G529, derived from G528 ἀπαντάω, apantaō, “to go to meet”.  It is a technical term that refers specifically to the practice of sending a delegation outside the city walls and gates to receive a dignitary who was coming. This was the practice when a king and his army were returning from war. All the people would pour forth from the city gates and welcome them with pomp and circumstance. The people would meet them outside and then usher them back into the city with shouts of joy and acclamation. So we are resurrected/changed, meet the Lord in the air, and then return to earth to rule and reign with Him.  We don’t go off to Heaven for up to 7 years.

Response 1E

Rev 3:10: Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

Boy, talk about taking a verse out of context.  This is written to the church in Philadelphia, in about 95 AD.  Nowhere does it say that the Philadelphians would be snatched away to Heaven, and indeed, they were not.  Nowhere does it say that this verse applies to Christians in some later dispensation or date.  If the messages of the seven churches could somehow be applied to consecutive periods down through “the church age” (a dispensational term), the Philadelphian church is not the last, the Laodicean church is.  In every way that this verse can be analyzed, it does not tell us that by persevering we will then be secretly raptured away.

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One Response to Post-Trib Responses to Pre-Trib Beliefs #1

  1. There is a lot of confusion on what God’s wrath is. In Revelation 14:9-11 we are clearly told what the wrath of God is:

    [9] And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
    [10] The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
    [11] And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

    God’s wrath is Hell. The wrath of God is where a person is assigned to at the time of death. The judgments that brings about death is the harvest at the end of the age Rev. 14:15. 1 Thess. 5: 9+ addresses this as well. We are not assigned to wrath but to SALVATION. Read the follow-up verses. It’s not talking about the temporal. Heaven is our assignment. Precious in the sight of Him is the death of His saints. Death is not associated with wrath other than the assignment afterward… heaven, or hell? God pours out His judgments whether trumpet or bowl, and that harvest at the end of the age, brings about the eternal result. Look back on the trumpets. Prior to them man declares that God’s wrath has come. Man has a temporal view. The Word doesn’t declare God’s wrath until the last trumpet where the unjust is judged (i.e. sentenced to Hell). That where the wrath of God occurs. Here in Rev. 14:9-11 it tells us what God’s wrath is, it’s the fire and brimstone that gives no rest day or night forever and ever. The words in the Greek that are translated into English for wrath are different concerning 1 Thess. 5:9 (or-gay) and the bowl judgements in Rev. 16 (thnmos).

    Consider for a moment, a Christian dying a long agonizing death of cancer, then consider one of God’s judgments of His indignation being poured out and the wicked is given an almost instantaneous death of a tsunami, or a bullet to the head. The unbeliever thinks that is the end of it, and they might even consider that a sweet way to go. The temporal removal of the spirit is not God’s wrath. Hell is! Key word to remember here is assigned, or appointed. It’s the end result, not the means of getting there

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