Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why I Believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture: Part 4

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

In Part 1, I covered what I call the "bedrock" foundational tenets about the Bible and its interpretation that provide the foundation in which to analyze the reasons for why I believe the Bible teaches a Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church. The following are two further reasons.


6) God's wrath involves the whole 7-Year Tribulation.


The view that the Rapture will occur at the mid-point of the Tribulation is based upon 1 Corinthians 15:52 which states that the Rapture will occur at the blowing of "the last trumpet." This Mid-Tribulation Rapture view then declares this trumpet to be the last of the seven trumpets in Revelation 11 that is blown at the mid-point of the Tribulation. Why of the 114 references to trumpets in the Bible these two are identified as one and the same only defies sound Bible study. The context clearly shows the last trumpet of 1 Corinthians 15 is blown for believers whereas the seven trumpets of Revelation 8, 9 and 11 are sounded for unbelievers. The Revelation trumpets therefore can have no relevance for the Church.

The Pre-Wrath Rapture view has the Church raptured just before the bowl judgments (Revelation 16) that occur during the last quarter of the Tribulation. The bowl judgments are the only judgments this view considers to be the wrath of God, leaving the Seal and Trumpet judgments as wrath from man and Satan. But, isn't it Jesus Himself who breaks the seals that launch each of the Revelation 6 seal judgments which occur at the beginning of the Tribulation? Also, the seven angels who blow the trumpets that initiate each of the trumpet judgments are given their trumpets at the throne of God (Revelation 8:2). And, Revelation 15:1 states that the bowl judgments at the end of the Tribulation finish the wrath of God, not begin His wrath.

Because these judgments are initiated by Jesus Himself at the beginning of the Tribulation, the whole Tribulation must be God's wrath, which the Church is exempt from.


7) The Old Testament and Revelation leave the Church out of the Tribulation.


The focus of the Tribulation — to pour out God's wrath on the earth just like the Flood (Isa. 24:22; Zeph. 3:8; 1 Thes. 5:3; 2 Thes. 2:12) and to bring the Jewish people to accept Jesus as Messiah (Mat. 23:39; Lk. 13:35) — is addressed by the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation to the unbelievers and the Jewish people. In any biblical content concerning the Tribulation/Day of the Lord, the Church cannot be found.

The whole concept of the Church was a mystery to the Old Testament prophets. They focused on the nation of Israel. The Book of Matthew is written to the Jewish people, whom Jesus is addressing in Matthew 24. In the Book of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3 cover the Church Age, but then there is no mention of the Church until after the Tribulation/Day of the Lord chapters 6-18. In Chapter 19, the Church returns to the texts and can be found, not suffering, but celebrating with Christ at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and preparing to return with Jesus to earth.


I will continue posting more reasons why I believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture in Part 5.

7 comments:

Steve H said...

Nathan -

I just discovered that you had posted more of your reasons... I'll continue looking through them.

Just wanted to question you on point #7 - in your view, do do not consider those who come to Christ during the tribulation to be part of His church. Where do you find justification for not including them under that label? Wouldn't we still be "one body" with them? And if that's the case, your arguments about the church not suffering God's wrath during the Tribulation would be inaccurate - believers WILL suffer the wrath, even in your model.

Nathan Jones said...

Believers always have suffered and will suffer in any age, Steve. But, the special time period for God's loosing His wrath upon the world - the 7-Year Tribulation - is like the Flood a special time in human history. It is set apart (see Part 1 #5).

There will be believers during the Tribulation, but they won't be any more part of the Church than Old Testament saints and Millennial Kingdom believers. The Church is a unique gathering of believers in time - it is the Bride of Christ.

Continue to read on in all 6 parts I've posted, then comment.

Andy said...

The tribulation period is a time of God's great wrath upon men who walk on the blood of Jesus as if it were an unclean thing (Hebrews 10:29) during this time of Grace when God has freely opened the doors of heaven to all who will believe. That time will also be an extension of his Grace in that he will allow repentant sinners another opportunity to get saved during that time, but they will pay for it with their lives solely because they ignore Jesus today. God could just destroy the unrepentant men on earth, but he wants men to repent and get saved. He does not want to destroy us!!! He is even going to show himself to the world in the heavens (Rev. 6:14-16) in an attempt to wake up men who are willingly ignorant, and yet many will still refuse to repent (Rev. 9:20-21, & 16:9). Nobody will stand before God and say "If only I had seen God, then I would have gotten saved". People today refuse Jesus with their rebellious will power because they love their sin! People then will refuse Jesus for the same reason even after having seen God in the heavens. If you are still rejecting Jesus today, give him your heart now before that time of great wrath, and you will not have to suffer God's wrath upon an earth that has spit on God's Holy Son Jesus who loved us and willingly gave his life for us on Calvary! If you continue to reject Jesus, don't think God will guarantee you another chance during the tribulation (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 {11-12 specifically}). Second chances may only be for those who have never heard yet!

Armageddon Thru To You said...

The trumpet in Rev 11:15 that post tribbers cite to refute pre-tribbers is called salpizo in Greek, but the trumpet in 1 Cor 15:52 that pre-tribbers cite is called salpigx in Greek. The Greek names are different, and for a reason.

If man is not appointed to wrath (i.e., the tribulation) as it says in 1 Thes 5:9, then Dr. Reagan is right that the Rev 11:15 trumpet does not appear to apply as the last trumpet.

mr hyde said...

Hi ya ATTY! I never know where I'm going to run into you.

Good point re the Last Trumpet.

Showers (Maranatha) has one of the best discussions I've seen on this question. Very thorough scholar.

daniel said...

nathan
can you tell me why paul says 2 things have to happen before our gathering unto Him and you say nothing has to happen? (2thess:2)

can you tell me why God would go out of His way to make sure we understood that reading, deciphering, and obeying the trumpets of revelation would result in a special crown and you say it has no relevence to the church?

when paul says about the rapture "behold, i show you a MYSTERY" do you think it's possible that he's talking about rev. 10:7 where john says "in the days of the voice of the seventh angel (read THE LAST TRUMP) the MYSTERY OF GOD should be finished?
(and why would God think this particular trumpet so special that He sets it up and singles it out so much in chapter 10?)

and finally, is it not clear from rev. 11:18 (after the last trump has sounded) that now is the time of wrath to begin (vials) and for the just recently raptured saints to receive their rewards in heaven?

Nathan Jones said...

Daniel, I think this series on why I believe in a Pre-Trib Rapture answers your questions, but I'll respond anyway.

Reread 2 Thes. 2 in it's entirety... it's talking about the Day of the Lord in the context of conforting the chuch of Thessalonica in that they haven't (and won't) enter that day, which is the Tribulation.

Why do you assume the trumpet that's part of the Rapture is also the trumpet of the seventh trumpet judgment? Rather a huge leap.

What cinches the Pre-Trib Rapture view for me is that Jesus Himself opens all the seal judgments, thereby releasing God's wrath throughout the entire Tribulation. Also, the Church is not destined to experience God's wrath (see Rom. 5:9; Col. 3:4; 1 Thes. 1:10; 5:9; Rev. 3:10).

While I disagree with your interpretation of the prophetic scriptures, we can praise the Lord that one's salvation isn't dependent on their end-time views.