• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.
  3. Please note there is a new rule regarding the posting of videos. It reads, "Post a summary of the videos you post . An exception can be made for music videos.". Unless you are simply sharing music, please post a summary, or the gist, of the video you wish to share.
  4. There have been some changes in the Life Stages section involving the following forums: Roaring 20s, Terrific Thirties, Fabulous Forties, and Golden Eagles. They are changed to Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Golden Eagles will have a slight change.
  5. CF Staff, Angels and Ambassadors; ask that you join us in praying for the world in this difficult time, asking our Holy Father to stop the spread of the virus, and for healing of all affected.

Featured Debating the Existence of the Pre-Trib Rapture

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by Matisyahu8898, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. Matisyahu8898

    Matisyahu8898 Member Supporter

    United States
    Hello, I am a 19-year-old fellow Christian, and I have plenty of concerns regarding the Pre-Tribulation Rapture (PTR).

    Scroll down for TL;DR.

    Some of my favorite bible teachers, and preachers believe in the PTR. I never had a strong belief in it, but always kind of assumed it did exist, mostly because of the Left Behind movies/books, and the people I listened to. I like studying end times prophecy, and so, upon doing my own research, I started to doubt it's existence. I think that PTR believers' interpretation of Revelation is fairly accurate, with the coming Beast and tribulation (however, I'm not sure it's going to be exactly seven years long, because Revelation isn't specific enough), but I don't see any evidence that Christians will be raptured out to avoid it.

    Anyways, let's get to the point...
    I have seen many people argue for, and against the PTR, but I think that most people just bicker, and I have yet to see any intelligent debate concerning the PTR. Most people from both sides seem to have their go-to questions that just get annoying, and no question from either side seem to bring anything valuable into question. I personally don't believe in the PTR. I don't think that there is near enough evidence for it, and think that it's illogical to believe in it. I, however, may be missing something that most people don't mention, and so that's why I want to debate it here. I am very open to the idea of it, but can't find evidence myself.

    The things I hear the most are as follows:

    Those against the PTR (here after referred to as, "anti-PTRs") say,
    "The word, 'Rapture' is never in the bible."
    "The Rapture doctrine has only been around for a few hundred years."

    Those who believe in the PTR (here after referred to as, "PTRs") quote,
    1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17
    1 Corinthians 15:51-53

    I, someone who is open to both sides, see these arguments and my problems with this are as follows:

    The anti-PTRs shouldn't care about the word itself. Who cares if it is ever mentioned by name or not? Question what the bible says about it. Most PTRs openly say that 'rapture' is a man given name that comes from Greek and Latin words that are in the bible. The word, "Trinity" is never in the bible, but the bible is very explicit about the existence of it, and the word,
    "Godhead" is in the bible. 'Trinity' is a man given word that explains the split person of God.
    Since the rapture is recent doctrine, one should look at it very skeptically, but it doesn't mean you should just toss it out immediately! You're saying that every mystery of the bible has already been revealed, and anyone who finds something new is making something up? It may be likely, but it isn't a sure thing. Just look at the sign of Revelation 12 that took place in the sky last September. No one ever thought that that was referring to the stars until they looked up and saw what was going on (I'm not saying that the Sept 23rd sign is definitely of sure significance, but I do think that Jesus wants our attention. It's a little hard to completely dismiss). A lot of the anti-PTRs are Calvanists, at least most I know, and Calvanism introduced tons of doctrines just a few hundreds years before the rapture doctrine. (I don't personally believe in Calvanism, but we'll talk about that another day.)

    The PTRs can't use just those two verse, because they don't explicitly say anything about the tribulation. Both refer to the second coming of Jesus Christ, but neither say that their will be a rapture before the Beast's appearance, or that Christians will be spared from God's wrath. 1 Thess. refers to going up to meet God, but never mentions that we will be caught up before the tribulation. It only says that being caught up will be involved when Jesus comes back. 1 Cor. says that we will have to be changed in order to enter Heaven. Paul is saying that our bodies aren't just going to stop aging, but instead our bodies will have to be changed in order to be 'imperishable', and 'immortal'. This happens to the dead bodies as well. The souls of the dead will come back to claim their bodies once again, but before going back into Heaven they will have to be perfect bodies, not piles of dust, or half-decomposed skeletons. It makes no sense to me that people take these verses in 1 Cor., and say that this means that every Christian on earth will all of the sudden disappear leaving behind their clothes (some say blood as well), and everyone left on earth is going to be stuck dodging empty cars. I mean, come on...where are you getting that from?!

    Too Long; Didn't Read:
    Those for, and those against the Pre-Trib Rapture, just seem to bicker, and never any intelligent debate. They both seem to be very stubborn, and those for the PTR, don't provide any logical evidence.

    So, my request for you, is that can you please tell me why people believe in the PTR, and allow me to possibly debate you? Or, if you are anti-PTR, like me, if there is any scripture that sheds a little extra light on the situation that I don't know, that would be greatly appreciated, or if you have anything else you'd like to add about why the PTR is false.
    I'm open to any other debate about anything else you have to say regarding the rapture. Maybe I'm missing something obvious, and you'd like to point it out to me, or maybe you have a view that disagrees with both sides (I know that are a lot of different theories about the end times, so let's constrict this to viewpoints concerning the PTR, not the second coming in general).

    Thanks in advance for your replies! I appreciate your opinion.
    In Christ, Matt
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. jax5434

    jax5434 Member

    United States
    I am a Pan Tribulationist. I figure it will all pan out in the end.

    God Bless
    • Like Like x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • List
  3. BABerean2

    BABerean2 Newbie Supporter

    Very few modern Christians know why modern Dispensational Theology needs a pretrib removal of the Church. The original promoters of the doctrine claimed that the "Church Age" was merely a "parenthesis" in God's dealing with the nation of Israel.
    They claimed God would end the "Age of Grace" and would go back and deal with modern Israel under the Old Covenant system during the 7 year period before the Second Coming of Christ.

    What is wrong with the idea?

    The New Covenant promised to Israel and Judah in Jeremiah 31:31-34 is found fulfilled by Christ during the first century in Hebrews 8:6-13, and is specifically applied to the Church in Hebrews 12:22-24, and 2 Corinthians 3:6-8. The New Covenant has made the Old Covenant "obsolete" in Hebrews 8:13. The New Covenant is "everlasting" in Hebrews 13:20. Therefore, God is not going back to an "obsolete" covenant during a future time. We find those under the blood of the Lamb in Revelation 12:11. A person cannot be under the blood of the Lamb and not be under the Grace of the New Covenant Church.

    Once a person comes to understand the New Covenant modern Dispensational Theology falls apart and its pretrib doctrine falls with it.

    The following links will provide you with the answers you are looking for.
    However, it will take some time to review them.

    Genesis of Dispensational Theology

    with particular reference to the early Brethren Movement.
    F. Roy Coad (Brethren Historian) pages 10-26

    Lacunza, Manuel, “Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty“
    PDF Files

    Origin of the Pretrib Rapture Doctrine
    Pastor Tim Warner

    Pretribulationist Revisionism
    (Grant Jeffrey’s revision of early Church Posttrib viewpoints)
    Pastor Tim Warner

    Left Behind or Led Astray?
    Good Fight Ministries

    The New Covenant: Bob George

  4. rockytopva

    rockytopva Love to pray! :) Supporter

    Christ comes as a thief... And a thief does not come well announced. I see Christ coming as the world is in a big party scene, in which the Lord says...

    Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. - Revelation 15:16
  5. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    There is no direct statement by Jesus or a New Testament writer saying the greatest of all tribulations (Matthew 24:21) will be exactly seven years long. The seven-year idea is based on interpretation, if I remember right, of something in the Book of Daniel.

    And Jesus tells clearly what will happen "Immediately after the tribulation of those days", in Matthew 24:29-31. It says God's "elect" will be gathered . . . after the tribulation. So, clearly there will be elect on this earth "Immediately after the tribulation". To me, this supports that those elect, or a number of them, have lived in the tribulation without being hurt by God's judgments. God has control of Himself, so His wrath judgments will not hurt His obedient servants. It is like how Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were not harmed by the fire of that furnace, but those flames killed the enemies who threw them in there.

    So, God is easily able to take care of us in any tribulation, by His grace almighty >

    "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4)

    So, pre-tribbers are correct that God has not appointed us to wrath > 1 Thessalonians 5:9. But ones think this means God can not keep us blessed during the great tribulation, and so Jesus has to rapture us before it. But God does not have a self-control problem, so He would hurt us children of God while punishing evil people.

    And this is about how God is able . . . not how able we would be to do well in the tribulation. So, don't judge by how you are now. Trust how God can do all His good with you, no matter what we are going through.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
  6. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    May be the intelligent pre-tribbers don't bicker. And the post-trib intelligent people don't bicker.

    And there are lonely people who like to play word chess, to see if they can get someone into a lively debate.

    And I have talked with at least one ministerial guy who said he did not even know it was an issue. I would guess he simply believes Jesus will come back.

    For a while, I was an assumer. The people ministering to me always said Jesus will come back before the great tribulation. But then I decided I should look for where the Bible says this, or admit it doesn't say this.

    There is no clear New Testament statement saying anything like, "Jesus will return immediately before the tribulation."

    But Jesus does say what will happen "Immediately after".
  7. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    I am post-trib, and I don't buy this idea >
    The Rapture is the resurrection of the church bride, and the resurrection of Christ's Bride is Biblical. In 2 Timothy 2:18, I think, our Apostle Paul uses the word "resurrection" in a way which means the end-time resurrection of Christ's Church Bride; and this is what the word "Rapture" means.

    So, the word "Rapture" is not in the Bible, but it means what is in the Bible. But > I use this word to mean the resurrection of Christ's Bride at the end of the great tribulation. As far as I'm concerned, it is not only a pre-trib belief term.

    Our Apostle Paul has spoken of the resurrection of the church bride, in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. And this description is a match with what a number of Rapture believers say will happen in the Rapture. So, our Apostle Paul has indeed taught the Rapture.

    But he has not in plain words taught a pre-trib Rapture. Plus, I don't remember Paul directly teaching a post-trib Rapture. But the way he presents the end-time resurrection is a match for what I have always understood "Rapture" to mean.

    But there are people who are mainly into picking at other people's words, without making sure they really understand what someone means. And they can also fail to understand what the words of the Bible mean. What they can do for one they can do for the other.
  8. JackRT

    JackRT OOPS!!! Supporter

    Thread title:

    Debating the Existence of the Pre-Trib Rapture

    End Times and Rapture speculations are based on interpretations of diverse scriptures all of which can be interpreted differently. How in heck can you debate the existence of something that is speculated to happen in the future? These debates are an immense waste of time and effort.
  9. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Revelation 7, to me, clearly shows how God seals His servants before the wrath judgments start, so the judgments will not hurt His servants. He will be in absolute control of what happens.
  10. rockytopva

    rockytopva Love to pray! :) Supporter

    Rapture is not in the Bible but caught up is...
    Rapture is not in the Bible but a return as a thief is
    Rapture is not in the Bible but in times like Noah is
    Rapture is not in the Bible but in times like Lot is
    Rapture is not in the Bible but in times You think not is

    36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
    37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
    38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
    39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
    40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
    41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
    42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
    43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
    44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. - Matthew 24

    26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
    27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
    28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
    29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
    30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
    31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.
    32 Remember Lot's wife.
    33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
    34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
    35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
    36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
    37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together. - Luke 17
  11. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Well-Known Member

    United States
    Calvary Chapel
    One of the clearest passages for the timing of the rapture is actually in the OT, Isaiah 26:19-21.

    It tells of a time when the dead are raised, and His people are gathered to Him and told to enter the chambers that Jesus told us He was preparing for us. This takes place prior to the Lord unleashing His wrath on the whole earth, to the extend that the dead will no longer be buried. This hasn't happened yet as we still bury our dead. It's here we can see plainly the Lord gathers His people and raises His dead prior to His wrath.
  12. keras

    keras Writer of studies on Bible prophecy

    New Zealand
    There is no rapture to heaven for any living person. Only the souls of the murdered martyrs are kept under the heavenly Altar. Revelation 6:9-11 They are allowed to cry out at times; Revelation 19:1-3

    The 'catching up' prophesied in 1Thessalonians 4:15-17, is the gathering referred to in Matthew 24:31 and is just a transportation to where Jesus is. That is: in Jerusalem, at the commencement of His Millennium reign.

    The proof that God's holy people remain on earth during the Great Tribulation period of 42 months is in Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 13:7. Those Christians who have remained faithful and kept their trust in God, will be taken to a place of safety on earth, while the rest face persecution. Revelation 12:14-17
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
  13. BABerean2

    BABerean2 Newbie Supporter

    The problem is that promoters of the pretrib doctrine have attempted to claim that the tribulation period is the wrath of God, even though the Greek words for "tribulation" and "wrath" are two different words. We find in Revelation chapter 12 that at least part of the period is the wrath of Satan.

    Rev 12:11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 
    Rev 12:12  Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time." 

    In the passage above we find those "under the blood of the Lamb".
    One must be a member of the Body of Christ to be under the blood of the Lamb.
    We also find the wrath of Satan.

    The timing of the gathering and wrath are found in the passage below.

    Rev 11:15  Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" (The text says the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of God and Christ "forever", at the 7th trumpet, which is the last trumpet in the Bible.)

    Rev 11:16  And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, 

    Rev 11:17  saying: "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned. 

    Rev 11:18  The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth." 
    (How could this verse be any clearer? We find both "wrath" and the time of the judgment of the dead in the same verse.)

    The time of the judgment of the dead follows right after the 7th trumpet.

    In 1 Corinthians chapter 15 the Apostle Paul puts our gathering at the time of the last trumpet. The 7th trumpet is the last trumpet in the Bible.
    There is no 8th trumpet in the Book of Revelation.
    Both Paul and John were being guided by the same Holy Spirit when they recorded these words in scripture.

    1Co 15:51  Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 

    1Co 15:52  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 

    Because we have the return of Christ in Revelation 16:15-16 and also in Revelation chapter 19, we know the Book of Revelation is not in chronological order.
    It is a series of overlapping visions.

  14. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Well-Known Member

    United States
    Calvary Chapel

    Is this really coming from the guy who tried to sell me a correlation between Matthew 16:19, Mark 3:27, and Colossians 2:15 just because they both have the same English word 'spoil', even though one of them is a different word, with a completely different meeting? Consistency, please.

    This doesn't somehow negate anything I said. There is no raising of the dead or gathering of the living to God mentioned in chapter 11. There is no hiding away of His people for a while anywhere near the text. You are imposing it on the text to fit your point.

    And implying that Paul was referencing the 7th trumpet in Revelation is a bit silly when one considers he didn't have any knowledge concerning those trumpets yet. In fact, no one did. Even if you want to say he knew, his audience certainly didn't. The only trumpets that could even be in scope are those his readers would have been already familiar with, those pertaining to the feasts of Israel. Besides, just because it says 'last' doesn't mean the last one forever as if it justifies looking for a last mention. It means the last in succession. If I told my wife I ate the last cookie, she isn't going to assume to world is now out of cookies, just that our bag is now empty.
  15. BABerean2

    BABerean2 Newbie Supporter

    Then it would be "silly" to think that Paul had any idea about future events, based on your viewpoint.

    And to say that Revelation 11:18 has nothing to do with "the raising of the dead", only works by ignoring the reference to the judgment of the dead in that text and Christ's words in John 5:27-30.

    Your attempts to say that the 7th trumpet is not the "last" trumpet are intended to prop up modern Dispensational Theology, first brought to America by John Nelson Darby, about the time of the Civil War. Since that time it spread like a virus through the modern evangelical Church.

  16. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Well-Known Member

    United States
    Calvary Chapel

    You say based on my viewpoint Paul couldn't know anything about the future? Then I say you are clueless about my viewpoint which you claim to understand so well.

    Try to place yourself as one of Paul's initial readers and he said, "We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed at the last moon doggie." The conversation would probably be like this...

    "Moon doggie? What is that, Paul?"

    "Oh, just wait another few decades and someone will have the mood doggie vision. When that happens, don't forget to count the moon doggies right."

    The text plainly states that Paul was showing them a mystery, not adding to one. That was a time of revelation. The Corinthians were meant to understand. If this had been something foreign to his readers, there would have been an explanation, but he assumed they would know what he was talking about.
  17. HenryM

    HenryM Well-Known Member

    I don't think that's adequate reasoning.

    From what I have seen and heard, post-tribbers generally are to the obvious degree more hostile towards pre-tribbers than pre-tribbers are to them. And we can assume that there's equal or similar distribution of intelligence among the two groups.
  18. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    What you say is very clear. But by "intelligent" I meant intelligent enough not to bicker. But this might not be a correct use of the word, unless "intelligent" can mean "wise".

    I am post-trib, but I understand that God has called us to love one another by being "tenderhearted" (Ephesians 4:32), and >

    "with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love," (Ephesians 4:2)

    If I am post-trib, this means Jesus wants me to be ready for any tribulation, at all, and be ready to be kind and compassionate with any evil person, at all, no matter what he or she might be doing to me. So, I would not be representing Jesus and His meaning of post-trib if I am getting nasty and hotheaded and hostile against people only because they do not agree with some idea I might have. I mean, if I am ready to be kind with people who are torturing me in the tribulation, how can I be getting nasty about just a difference of understanding of the Bible?

    However, there are people who will claim to believe what is correct, but in order to try to make themselves look good and holier than others. So, when they get questioned about their camouflage, they can get pretty upset. But how we are becoming in God's love is what we really need. And even correct knowledge, alone, is not going to get us real with God.

    "rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." (1 Peter 3:4)

    So, first we need to be about pleasing God, by being gentle and quiet in His love. And the beauty of God's gentle and quiet love is "incorruptible", so that we can not be corrupted by any evil, at all. Even in the greatest of tribulation, we can be in the almighty power and protection, in us, of God's "gentle and quiet spirit" of His love, as it is written,

    "And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?" (1 Peter 3:13)

    So, in case ones plaster themselves with a post-trib label, but do not become genuine in God's love, this is what people also do with the Bible > we can use what is good and right to make ourselves look good, but without getting into the love meaning in our character.

    Our Apostle Paul discovered how in God's grace he could have "pleasure" in his tribulations. And Paul suffered great tortures. But God's grace is almighty to keep us even in His own pleasure while we go through things with Him > 2 Corinthians 12:7-15. This is not about how we are able, but how easily God is able. So, do not judge by how you are now; but trust how God can bring us to all His good, in spite of all the bad things which Satan might bring against us.

    Satanic people do take what is right and use it in a bad way, as part of Satan's strategy to give what is right a bad name. So, in case wrong people are claiming post-trib . . . make sure with God about what is really right. Do not let counterfeit money trick you into thinking there is no real money :)
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
  19. BABerean2

    BABerean2 Newbie Supporter

    Yes. Paul would have expected the Corinthians to know what the word "last" means.

    As for your doctrine, there are now so many different mutations of modern Dispensational Theology that it would be difficult to know exactly what you believe.

    However, we do know what Darby, Scofield, and Larkin taught, based on their writings.

    Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel was a promoter of modern Dispensational Theology, based on what I have heard from Pastor Steve Gregg, who is a former member.

  20. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Well-Known Member

    United States
    Calvary Chapel
    You keep using Scofield and Darby as a crutch to blame for those things you don't like. That's like the third time you've brought them up today with me. They didn't create dispensationalism and they have nothing to do with me.

    As for what I personally believe, I've been telling you plainly for months. One would think for someone who seems to always want to refute what I say on these topics, that you would have an idea by now what you are continually attempting to refute.