Pre-Tribulation Rapture

Question from a Site Viewer
You said this–at least then, I could avoid the sufferingin your defense of pre-millennialism. I consider myself of no eschatalogical view, as it is a human’s word and humans’ words and interpretations often sow discord among brethren.

That statement of yours shows the humanism that still lies in you. It still lies in me brother as well. It also leaves out our Sovereign’s power and glory. Do you really believe that Jesus Christ cannot protect his own while the world experiences his wrath? Read about how he saved Daniel again. Not by my power, not by my might, but by my Spirit. Jesus Christ, by his most minor of thoughts, could cover us with his wings and prevent all calamity.

Think of how many will be saved during the perilous times ahead.

Tim’s Answer
Thank you for your comment. I fully agree with you that God could save His people even in the midst of His judgment on the earth. However, that is not what I read Scripture as saying will happen during that dark time on the earth. To the opposite, Scripture tells us that the Beast will have power over the saints to overcome them (Revelation 13:7) and the Beast out of the Earth (whom I believe is the False Prophet) has power to kill those who do not worship the Beast and his image (Revelation 13:15). Thus, while God has the power to preserve, God says that He will not preserve His saints. Rather, they will be overcome by the Antichrist. Yet we know that in their death they ultimately triumph over the Antichrist (Revelation 15:2). Even God’s two witnesses are slain (Revelation 11:7). Thus, while God could save His people, He has told us that He will not. His people will suffer during the time of the Tribulation. It will be so bad that God says that if He did not shorten the days, no flesh would be saved (Matthew 24:22). Given the horrors God has said will take place, it is no wonder to me that those who can would want to escape. Christ spoke of our escape in Luke 21:36, where He says that we should watch and pray always that we may be counted worthy to escape all these things. Thus, my statement that I would rather die than go through that suffering I believe resonates with the words of Scripture. I am reminded that God has often allowed His people to die before His judgment falls (1 Kings 14:12-23; 2 Kings 22:20; Isaiah 57:1-2). This is His mercy. And, consistent with Christ’s statement in Luke 21:36, if there were not a pre-tribulation rapture I would be praying, as He commanded, that I might be found worthy to escape all these things, even if it meant my death. But because I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, I think Christ’s statement in Luke 21:36 points not to an escape through death, but an escape through His coming to fulfill what was prophesied in Isaiah 26:20-21. Thus, my hope is not deliverance by death, but deliverance by the appearing of Jesus Christ.

However, I respect those who believe otherwise. It is not my desire to say that they are wrong in their views, even though I personally do not find their views to be the best interpretation of the Scriptural passages. I also know that they do not find my views persuasive. But my intent is not to persuade men, but to represent Christ and His Word well. To this end, I invite people to consider what I see His Word teaching. What you or anyone actually believes about this or any other biblical doctrine is ultimately a matter of the individual conscience and God.

I do not know what you mean by the term “humanism.” That word has various meanings in different circles. I take it in your usage that it is a bad thing, although I am reminded that God Himself thought that becoming human was a good thing. If humanism means a life apart from Christ, then that is a bad thing. If humanism means a life made fully human in God, then that is a good thing. Being in the likeness of the second Adam is our goal; that is, to be human and righteous is our ultimate destiny. At the end, we will be humans and God will be God. That is what He made us to be. And our desire to avoid suffering is not a bad thing. Paul fled from one city to the next when persecution arose. It is not against God to want to avoid suffering, even when we know that the life of a Christian often is marked by suffering. Even Jesus prayed that the cup might pass from Him, although ultimately He wanted the Father’s will to be done. That also is my desire, although I would say with Christ that if it is possible to avoid suffering, that would be preferable.

But it is not my desire to avoid suffering that leads me to a pre-tribulation viewpoint. It is the Scriptures themselves that lead me to that conclusion.

I hope this helps to explain our position.

May the Lord Jesus always be the desire of your heart, joy of your eyes, and the strength of your life.

a fellow servant,

tim

Related Articles:
The Rapture, Part I
The Rapture, Part II
The Rapture, Part III
Amillennialism, Post-millennialism, or Pre-millennialism?

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