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Preaching a Pre-Tribulation Rapture Weakens the Church
ArriveNet ^ | July 7, 2007 | J. Grant Swank, Jr.

Posted on 07/07/2007 7:48:37 PM PDT by tnarg

Mark it down as biblical truth: There is no pre-tribulation rapture.

However, untold thousands believe in the "secret rapture of the church" prior to the tribulation period. This is because untold thousands don't want to have to think of suffering through a tribulation time frame. The late Corrie ten Boom called this pre-trib rapture teaching the "American doctrine." Go figure.

The belief in a secret rapture of believers before the tribulation is also because of a best-seller, "The Late, Great Planet Earth," by Hal Lindsey which was set loose in the l960s. It has been a paperback aggressively pushed by practically every evangelical / fundamentalist engine going.

Theologians, videos, films and preachers bolster up this myth with their earnest preachings and teachings.

Yet this is nothing but a myth, accented as much by certain theologically conservative Protestant segments similar unto the Roman Catholic underlining of the immaculate conception of Mary. Nevertheless, if there is no biblical support for such a Mariology teaching, it is bogus. Likewise, the pre-tribulation rapture teaching is bogus.

The pre-trib rapture concept was manufactured in the 1800s in an 18 year old Plymouth Brethren girl's dream, told to her Pastor, John Darby, and then relayed to C. I. Scofield who bought into the dream as revealed truth. Scofield placed this pre-tribulation rapture notion as a footnote in his popular Bible, hence the spread of the myth.

However, just the opposite is biblical truth. In Matthew 24:29-3l, for instance, the rapture ("gathering together") is placed in the same time frame as the open second coming of Jesus Christ. And all of this is "after the tribulation" (verse 29). That is it in a nutshell!

Yet pre-tribulation rapturists sidestep this clear passage for more oblique passages. The latter are twisted and turned in order to fit into the "American doctrine." Yet such twisting is not sound exegesis. And for biblically-riveted evangelicals and fundamentalists to commit this drastic error is bordering on the horrific.

All other passages in Scripture relating to the "gathering together unto Him" must refer back to the literal time line provided by Jesus in Matthew 24.

One must not use a symbolic passage in the Book of Revelation or any other symbolically-based section of the Bible by which to draw a pre-tribulation rapture doctrine.

Further, one must not take words of the apostle Paul so as to insert them opportunistically into a conjured pre-tribulation string of Scripture references. Yet this has been done ad infinitum.

Instead, Jesus' literalism of Matthew 24 must be used as the benchmark for all other "gathering together" themes of Scripture.

One starts with literalism and moves into symbolism when seeking to understand Scripture; it is not the other way around.

During the 1970s and 1980s there was much written and preached about a pre-tribulation rapture. This has wound down some in the last decade or so. Why?

Today, with the world situation being what it is, there is not that much risk-taking in preaching dogmatically the pre-tribulation rapture. Why?

Is it because there are many who are beginning to question its validity? Is it because the world state is so uncertain that to go out on a limb with a false hope may ricochet?

One wonders, with world events progressively becoming more and more anti-Christian, why the pre-tribulation rapture persons are not celebrating each dawn as the day when Jesus may return to earth.

Such is not the phenomenon on a large scale. Furthermore, it may be because the next generation has not bought into this notion.

In any case, it is a myth, a legend of conservative Protestantism's own conjuring and has no base in the Holy Scriptures.

Yet these very Protestants are the ones who ardently point out the myths of Catholicism while holding to some of their own myths. Both segments of Christendom need to do some serious housecleaning of manufactured legends in order to return to the simple Bible truths; otherwise, the church suffers from severe lack of knowledge.

What is so frightening about holding to a pre-tribulation rapture? It is more than mere academic quibbling. Holding to such a notion is drastically weakening the church worldwide.

The church should be preparing for spiritual battle against the most evil forces arrayed by hell.

Instead, the church is languishing with a false hope. This is all orchestrated by the demonic powers in order to eventuate in a limp army of believers. And to see that through in this age of laxity in religion does not take much on the part of the dark powers. In addition, the apostate segment of religion is doing its fair share of blackening truth.

Does it take much intelligence to realize that there are awesomely wretched days yet ahead for the righteous remnant?

Those who are not strong will drop--fall away, as biblically predicted. They will be too numerous to contemplate. But for those who are truly into carrying the daily cross there will be nothing able to thwart their zeal for Christ.

Already the remnant is being strengthened by the Spirit of light. He is gathering His own together in the power of the resurrection and the might of the revealed Word. There numbers are few; but their ardor before the Father is lovingly honored.

Set your vision upon the difficulties yet to be. They are but the trials permitted by the coming Christ.

At the close of the tribulation period, then there will be the gathering together of the believers from the four corners of the earth. They will greet Jesus in the clouds as He descends through space, having left the right hand of the Father in heaven.

The gathering together ("rapture") and the second advent then will be realized as one and the same event occurring at the end of the tribulation time frame. Jesus' declaration in Matthew 24:29-3l states it clearly.

TOPICS: Apologetics; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: endtimes; rapture; secondcoming; swankwatch
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To: cripplecreek

and God has stated same in his revelation.

those who study his divine revelation discover not only the details but also the love behind giving those details to the truly vigilant and committed.

21 posted on 07/08/2007 4:59:21 AM PDT by tnarg
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To: caseinpoint

thanks for your statement in parenthesis particularly.

22 posted on 07/08/2007 5:00:08 AM PDT by tnarg
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To: streetpreacher

to learn more from the word itself, study carefully matthew 24, mark 13 and luke 21 as well as revelation 19-20.

note especially matthew 24:29-31. reread it until it really reveals its tidy detail.

23 posted on 07/08/2007 5:01:37 AM PDT by tnarg
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To: swmobuffalo

and, trust the word, it won’t occur prior to the tribulation: matthew 24:29-31.

24 posted on 07/08/2007 5:02:31 AM PDT by tnarg
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To: LiteKeeper

christ will not return until all the signs HE stated are in line up for his second return.

he will not return this evening, for instance. the word states nowhere that his return is merely willy-nilly timing.

he gave the signs in matthew 24, for instance, and the time of his return is particularized in matthew 24:29-31.

25 posted on 07/08/2007 5:03:55 AM PDT by tnarg
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To: CA Conservative

God will not have his bride suffer his wrath. onlyl the ungodly suffer that. but his bride does suffer persecuation. and there ia a huge difference.

as i type, there are scores of ‘bride’ believers who are suffering persecution but that has nothing to do with the wrath of the divine.

26 posted on 07/08/2007 5:05:04 AM PDT by tnarg
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To: The_Reader_David

yes, per “The ‘pre-tribulation rapture’ is a 19th century innovation” as i stated in my article.

27 posted on 07/08/2007 5:06:19 AM PDT by tnarg
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To: aft_lizard

everything matters if it is put by the divine in the divine revelation or it would not be there.

28 posted on 07/08/2007 5:07:04 AM PDT by tnarg
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To: P-Marlowe


29 posted on 07/08/2007 5:07:31 AM PDT by tnarg
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To: labette

“keeping you from the hour” can also be translated from the greek term for “from” as “in the midst of.”

believers don’t suffer divine wrath. they may suffer however persecution. there is a huge difference between suffering divine wrath and suffering due to persecution.

30 posted on 07/08/2007 5:08:55 AM PDT by tnarg
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To: labette; CA Conservative
The church should be preparing for spiritual battle against the most evil forces arrayed by hell.

That statement is true, no matter what your Christian religious affiliation is.

I really don’t see how Matthew 24:29-3l refutes the pre-trib rapture. Before we micro examine any verse, shouldn’t we take the context into account, i.e. the entire 24th {and some of the 25th} chapter?

Matt.24:29 tells us that there will be two tribulations, the first is that of Satan, Immediately after the tribulation of those days....That is the one Christians must be concerned about as he is coming after us (he already has the others):

Rev.12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

That is one of the verses in which God tells us we will be here to experience that tribulation. ...If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation....(Rev.14:9-10). When Jesus arrives, at the 7th trump, His 2nd Advent, it is the time of His wrath but He isn't angry at His children, those that didn't fall for Satan's deceit and waited for the true Christ. We have nothing to fear from Him.

Labette, you wrote: Obviously, our Lord is telling of multiple events that will take place at different time periods. For example, verse 2; “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” Here, I think Jesus is foretelling the Roman destruction of the temple. {70 A.D. ??} It should be safe to conclude this chapter covers a wide range of history.

Many agree with you, in that Jesus was speaking about the event of 70AD but I don't think the gravity of that chapter could possibly mean that. He is telling his disciples about the end of the world, not just what would happen to that one small spot, no matter how important it was. Also there are still stones standing at the wailing wall. To me, the belief in 70AD being the time He was speaking of is part of, Take heed that no man deceive you.

Oh-oh, Something’s wrong here? The Son of Man will come at an hour I do not expect? If I see great tribulation, the sun and moon darkened, stars “falling” etc. Let me assure you, I will be expecting my Master’s return at any minute.....When non-believers witness this, will they really be “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage” and be living without a clue?

It is my belief that the "great tribulation" is that of Satan, of his lies and deceit. He is the anti-christ, which was mistranslated and should be "instead of Christ". Many, actually most, will fall for his lies because they won't know he is an imposter. His tribulation will be one of peace and prosperity (playing like he is the Lamb). That is why the tribulation is so great (Matt.24:21). The "stars" that are falling are the fallen angels who return with Satan. The "eating, drinking and giving in marriage" is reference to how it was in the days of Noah when the fallen angels were "marrying" daughters of Adam. It isn't non-believers but believers, Christians, that will be the first to be "taken" by his deceit.

Who are “all the nations of the earth” that will mourn when His “sign” appears? It can’t be us, because we would not mourn, we would be relieved and happy at His appearing.

Would you mourn if you, who love Christ and followed Him all your life, suddenly realized you have been worshipping the imposter, the anti-christ, Satan. You wouldn't realize that until the true Christ appears and then it would be too late to change. That is what the great apostasy is about. What would make a true Christian change who they worship? Nothing - it is done with deceit but that will not be an excuse as God warns us many times in His letter and tells us what will happen. That is why the rapture doctrine is very dangerous. Many are being taught they will be taken away and do not study the warnings He wrote to us.

So...those that do not follow anti-christ will be, as you say, relieved and happy at His coming, the others will not.

“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”...“Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.”

We will not suffer wrath as we are His children but the condition is that we stay true to Jesus Christ and "endure patiently" through the deception of Satan in his tribulation. His Word keeps us from Satan's "hour" and as the verse you quoted states - "that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth

CA Conservative you said: So you are of the opinion that God will have his Bride suffer His Wrath along with the unbelievers of the world?

We will not suffer if we stay true and it will be very difficult. In speaking of Satan's tribulation, his hour, Jesus said, And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. "No flesh saved", meaning, most men will follow Satan.

31 posted on 07/08/2007 5:28:41 AM PDT by Ping-Pong
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To: attiladhun2

You mistake tribulations for the great tribulation. Also Hebrew prophesy is pattern. You should restudy the last time the earth was judged. If there is a rapture to come, you will find your answer there.

32 posted on 07/08/2007 5:46:58 AM PDT by D Rider
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To: LiteKeeper
I did not read the article..., but Christs return is not imminent, if there is no rapture. Since the man of sin would need to have been revealed first, also 3 1/2 years of judgment on the earth.
33 posted on 07/08/2007 5:50:08 AM PDT by D Rider
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Some interesting arguments have been made here.

34 posted on 07/08/2007 6:30:24 AM PDT by labette
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To: Iscool

Heh, heh.
I always thought the old wedding customs were an interesting portrayal. But I really like your tomato harvest comparison...I can relate to that!

35 posted on 07/08/2007 6:36:33 AM PDT by labette
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To: D Rider

it would be nice if you did read the article.

36 posted on 07/08/2007 7:01:07 AM PDT by tnarg
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To: tnarg

There’s not many post-tribbers here on FR - nice to see that we can add one more to the tally.

37 posted on 07/08/2007 8:03:01 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (As heard on the Amish Radio Network!
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To: tnarg
God will not have his bride suffer his wrath. onlyl the ungodly suffer that. but his bride does suffer persecuation. and there ia a huge difference.

But the Tribulation is directly described as the wrath of God on the world. If the Church (His Bride) will be here during that tie, then it will receive His wrath as well, since many of the plagues and judgments are world-wide in their scope...

38 posted on 07/08/2007 8:28:18 AM PDT by CA Conservative
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To: Alex Murphy

yes, am added to the tally. thanks for the welcome.

39 posted on 07/08/2007 9:41:21 AM PDT by tnarg
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To: CA Conservative

the entire trib time frame is NOT referred to as the wrath of deity. only the bowls of wrath are related specifically to divine wrath.

believers suffer through the tribulation for believers are specifically mentioned in the tribulation time frame. i’ll leave that to your homework to find them. they are there. they are the ones beheaded, etc. so go to it. have fun. enjoy the study.

40 posted on 07/08/2007 9:42:45 AM PDT by tnarg
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