PART 2: The Problem with the Pretribultion Rapture

Jerusalem Olivet
Jerusalem as Seen from Olivet

In PART 1:  we showed how the foundational “rapture” verse (1 Cor 15:51-58) used by the Pretribulation Rapture proponents provides three independent witnesses to place the “rapture” at the end of the tribulation and coincident with the Second Coming of Christ. The other foundational rapture verse is 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17.

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

We can see that this passage perfectly parallels the passages in 1 Cor. 15:51-58, and these two passages are clearly speaking of the same event . . . the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Just as in 1 Cor., we are given clear information on the timing of this event. In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4.

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

In this passage Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit clearly tells us that this “rapture” spoken of in 1 Thess 4:13-17 does not happen until AFTER a great apostasy and the revelation of the man of sin, that is, the antichrist. Clearly the antichrist is revealed at the midpoint of the tribulation when he goes into the temple and declares himself to be God. So, there is no way that this “rapture” could occur before the tribulation.

With this, we now have four clear Biblical witnesses that indicate that the “rapture” of the church is simply Christ’s second coming at the end of the tribulation period.

The reason this is important is that as believers we will be here for the tribulation. We need to prepare for that. By “prepare” I do not mean we need to buy a generator and bury food in our back yards. I mean that spiritually we need to prepare to have to choose between our faith and our life. Christ taught that anyone who would seek to live a Godly life would face persecution 2 Timothy 3:12:

12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

As the western church, we have enjoyed a season of peace and lack of persecution. This is the exception and not normal. Throughout time, and even now in many parts of the world, followers of Christ are being persecuted and martyred for their faith. To believe that as westerners we are so favored by God that we get a “ticket out” before the tribulation starts is to not understand the promises of God and not understand what we are clearly told to prepare for.

4 thoughts on “PART 2: The Problem with the Pretribultion Rapture”

  1. Good word. It appears to me that we are in the final days and I don’t see the US being a bastion for Christianity; it may even lead the way in persecuting Christians. You can hardly proclaim God’s Word on public property anymore in the US – it seems most hate the message, even officers want to shut it down. Hopefully I’m not off topic here. When I consider that there will be some Christian survivors when Christ returns, I wonder how they’ll do it. I don’t plan to avoid all persecution but I do want to plan for my best survival. Some say the rural areas of the US will be safest, but I have my doubts. Maybe I’ll know the right answer at that time, but I don’t want to limit my options by failing to plan. Thank you for your work.

    1. Mark,
      The things you are describing sound very much like the ‘Mystery Babylon’ described throughout the Bible. If it is not the US specifically, it sure seems very related to the overall power system of the West right now. So, what is a Christian to do? I take courage from Revelation 18:14

      “‘Come out of her, my people,’
      so that you will not share in her sins,
      so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
      5 for her sins are piled up to heaven,
      and God has remembered her crimes.
      6 Give back to her as she has given;
      pay her back double for what she has done.

      So, God warns His people to come out of Babylon. We have to ponder what that means. On physical location, I would at least get to rural areas, where there is still fear and reverence for God. Then the thing we should ponder, if we can not get all the way out of Babylon, then we at least need to get Babylon out of us. In the first part of Daniel, Daniel was taken to Babylon, and there was no way for him to get out of Babylon because he was taken captive. Yet when offered delicacies from the King’s table, he declined them. So for us, perhaps we should self examine and see, are we partaking in the delicacies and idolatry of Babylon. How are we doing with pornography? Have we successfully relied on God’s power to resist that temptation? How about Netflix and other popular entertainment? Do we send the money that God has graciously provided us to a company that produces films that profane God’s name? Do we watch movies that profane God’s name? Have we made sports our idol, and give worship to sports titans that really belongs to God? Do we send our children to public schools where they are indoctrinated into the Babylonian religion and world view. So many more things I could talk about.

      Bottom line, get out of Babylon as much as you can, and then get Babylon COMPLETELY out of you.

      1. YES! That’s what I like to hear; keep bringing that holy message! I realize the questions were probably rhetorical and I don’t want to clutter your comments with a conversation, so I don’t expect you to post this comment; I just have to encourage you and thank you. You have great bible discussions on youtube, it’s the kind of discussions I like to keep my mind on. I’d like to contribute thoughts and encouragement, but I don’t do youtube (other than watching a few select videos such as yours). Thanks for the reply.

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