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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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1 posted on 07/07/2007 7:48:40 PM PDT by tnarg
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To: tnarg

I am a modified dispensationalist who believes the pre-tribbies are holding to a doctrine that has almost no scriptural basis. Nothing in the Bible indicates the church in an Age of Apostasy will be “raptured” out and not face the winnowing process that has been the fate of Christians in every age.

2 posted on 07/07/2007 7:54:48 PM PDT by attiladhun2 (Islam is a despotism so vile that it would warm the heart of Orwell's Big Brother)
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To: attiladhun2


That site is run by Oneness Pentecostals but they have pretty good end times teaching.

3 posted on 07/07/2007 7:59:24 PM PDT by fishtank ("Amnesty" and "amnesia" are from the same root word !!!)
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To: attiladhun2

Only God knows the time.

4 posted on 07/07/2007 8:02:28 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Greed is NOT a conservative ideal.)
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To: tnarg

Reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw a few years ago: warning, in case of Rapture, this car will be unmanned.

I remember thinking that would be pretty inconsiderate of the Lord to zap people out of vehicles barreling down city streets. (By the way, I don’t believe in a pretribulation rapture.)

5 posted on 07/07/2007 8:16:21 PM PDT by caseinpoint (Don't get thickly involved in thin things.)
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To: attiladhun2
I agree with that although I don’t know that I am a “modified dispensationalist” being that I don’t know what it is. ;-)

For now, I am content with the label: historic premillenialist.

I’m open to learn more though.

6 posted on 07/07/2007 8:35:11 PM PDT by streetpreacher (Arminian by birth, Calvinist by the grace of God)
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To: fishtank
I don’t know that it’s worth the effort seeing that they are heretics.
7 posted on 07/07/2007 8:36:03 PM PDT by streetpreacher (Arminian by birth, Calvinist by the grace of God)
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To: caseinpoint

Warning: In case of Jihad, car will explode.

8 posted on 07/07/2007 8:36:42 PM PDT by streetpreacher (Arminian by birth, Calvinist by the grace of God)
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To: tnarg

“The belief in a secret rapture of believers before the tribulation”

Ummm, trust me it won’t be a secret.

9 posted on 07/07/2007 8:42:18 PM PDT by swmobuffalo (The only good terrorist is a dead terrorist.)
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To: attiladhun2
Food for thought...

Is Christ's Return Imminent?

10 posted on 07/07/2007 9:14:06 PM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: attiladhun2

I suppose in the great scheme of things it doesn’t matter.

11 posted on 07/07/2007 9:22:42 PM PDT by aft_lizard (born conservative...I chose to be a republican)
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To: streetpreacher

Now that’s a bumper sticker I would pay attention to, as in accelerating out of the area as quickly as possible. ;o)

12 posted on 07/07/2007 9:55:15 PM PDT by caseinpoint (Don't get thickly involved in thin things.)
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To: LiteKeeper
Food for thought...


13 posted on 07/07/2007 10:00:23 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: attiladhun2

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

14 posted on 07/07/2007 10:04:26 PM PDT by CA Conservative
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To: attiladhun2

I haven’t a clue what a ‘modified dispensationlist’ is, but the Fathers of the Church uniformly applied the Scriptural passages adduced in support of the notion of a ‘rapture’ to the experience of Christians alive at the time of the General Resurrection.

The ‘pre-tribulation rapture’ is a 19th century innovation, and is heresy even without a conciliar condemnation.

15 posted on 07/07/2007 10:12:53 PM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: The_Reader_David
The ‘pre-tribulation rapture’ is a 19th century innovation...

Like Papal infallibility?

16 posted on 07/07/2007 10:21:16 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: tnarg
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?

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.

Let’s look at the verses you have cited: 29 “Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 30 At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”

Sounds frightening enough. Jesus follows with the fig tree lesson. Then He assures us His Words will never pass away. Time for some more prophecy:

36”No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

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?

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.

This is barely a beginning of the many reasons we believe there will be a “rapture”. I certainly don’t claim to speak for the many different variants of this teaching.

Is the point of your post to persuade us your point is correct? You may be, for I can never claim to be anything more than a simple student. Have you considered that some of us once believed as you do? With our present limitations, there will always be some things we don’t understand. There will always be some pieces of the “puzzle” that don’t seem to fit. For me, I am able to fit many more pieces with the “rapture” theory.


“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.”

17 posted on 07/07/2007 11:09:14 PM PDT by labette
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To: labette
Good post...

And as you say, the 2nd coming of Jesus will be known to all...It won't be a mystery and 'all' eyes (the entire world) will see him...

In the pre-tribulation rapture, only Christians will see Jesus...

While the rapture of the church is clearly manifest in the bible, there are religious groups that claim they can't find it there...I can only assume that God has blinded them to the fact since it is so cleary attested to in the word of God...

And then many Christians can see the rapture in the scripture but they claim it is at the end of the tribulation period...

What most people don't consider is that there is more than one resurrection spoken of in the bible...

In the book of the end times, God says 'come up hither' three different times...But then people get hung up on this verse:

Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

To those people the rapture is at the end of the tribulation...

But as any farmer knows, there are 3 'pickings' when it comes to the harvest...When the tomatos start getting ripe, you rush out and pick the first ripe ones among the green...You pick the firstfruits...

In the peak of the season, you go out and get the main harvest...But, there will yet be some left that are not ready to pick...At the end of the season, after the main harvest is sold, or put up for the winter, you go out and get those last few that have become ripe before the frost hits...Those are the gleanings...And they are all the First resurrection...All are Christians...

The first resurrection of God's believers has three parts to it...There will be a pre-tribulation rapture, AND there will be a post tribulation rapture...

And what if the pre-tribulation rapture wasn't revealed until the 1800s??? So what??? I have no doubt that some things that will happen in the future have yet to be revealed...

18 posted on 07/08/2007 3:17:49 AM PDT by Iscool (OK, I'm Back...Now what were your other two wishes???)
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To: attiladhun2


19 posted on 07/08/2007 4:58:01 AM PDT by tnarg
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To: fishtank

thanks for the reference

20 posted on 07/08/2007 4:58:30 AM PDT by tnarg
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