Why I Believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture
11 reasons why Jesus will come back before the Tribulation
by Nathan E. Jones ~ Lamb & Lion Ministries
Frequently I am asked to explain or defend the end-time view of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church. For that topic, lots of Bible verses, readings and references rattle around in my skull. I can extract each like a Powerball out of an air machine and present it to the inquiring mind, but never in a linear, comprehensive manner in which I particularly appreciate. And so, this article is my attempt to organize my brain on the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view. You're welcome to come along on the journey!
Taking It to the Bedrock
My belief that there will be a Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church stands on the bedrock of the following foundational tenets:
A) The Bible is the Word of God
The 66-book canon called the Bible is God's inerrant, infallible message to mankind, explaining His purposes and plans for the ages (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21). No other document can be reliably trusted, nor remotely reach the bar for the requirements of authentication that the Bible attains to so easily.
B) The Bible is to be Interpreted Literally
God means what He says and says what He means. God wants His creations to know His will plainly. While God does indulge in picturesque descriptions and parables, an explanation almost always follows or context is provided for explanation. Spiritualization of text, therefore, has no proper place in interpreting Scriptures. Any eschatological viewpoint must then be thrown out if it is based on the reader's desire to spiritualize the Bible into whatever ethereal meaning they desire. Take the Bible for its plain sense meaning………
1) The Bible describes the Rapture and Second Coming as different events.
The Bible must see the Rapture (Jn. 14:1-14; I Cor. 15:51-58; 1 Thes. 4:13-18) and the Second Coming (Zech. 14:1-21; Matt. 24:29-31; Mk. 13:24-27; Lk. 21:25-27; Rev. 19) as separate events, because when the verses are compared they describe two very different scenarios:
1. Rapture— believers meet Christ in the air
● Second Coming — Christ returns to the Mount of Olives to meet the believers on earth
2. Rapture — Mount of Olives is unchanged
● Second Coming — Mount of Olives is divided, forming a valley east of Jerusalem
3. Rapture — living believers obtain glorified bodies
● Second Coming — living believers remain in same bodies
4. Rapture — believers go to heaven
● Second Coming — glorified believers come from heaven, earthly believers stay on earth
5. Rapture — world left unjudged and living in sin
● Second Coming — world is judged and righteousness is established
6. Rapture — depicts deliverance of the Church from wrath
● Second Coming — depicts deliverance of believers who endured wrath
7. Rapture — no signs precede it
● Second Coming — many signs precede it
8. Rapture — revealed only in New Testament
● Second Coming — revealed in both Old and New Testaments
9. Rapture — deals with only the saved
● Second Coming — deals with both the saved and unsaved
10. Rapture — Satan remains free
● Second Coming — Satan is bound and thrown into the Abyss
Since the Rapture and Second Coming clearly are different events that do not occur at the same time, this would rule out a Post-Tribulation Rapture scenario.
2) The Rapture is described as occurring at any time without warning.
Jesus stated in Matthew 24:42,44 to "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come... So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." Not only do believers in Christ not know when to expect Him, but the Father Himself seems to have left Jesus out on the exact time His Son is to return. As Jesus stated in Matthew 24:36, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." These and other verses (Mat. 24:36,42,44,50; 25:13; 1 Thes. 4:18; ****. 2:13; 1 Jn. 2:28; 3:2-3) indicate that Jesus' arrival will come when nobody expects it………
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