Relevant Bible Teaching "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth."
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Arguments for a Pre-Tribulation Rapture
Arguments for a Pre-Tribulation Rapture
 
  1. Believers are promised to be kept from the hour of testing that is about to come on the whole earth. 
 
Revelation 3:10 says, “Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”  This is an obvious reference to the final seven year tribulation period in which the antichrist will be allowed to deceive the world (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).  Believers have hope that, should this final period come to pass in their lifetimes, they will be kept from having to face God’s wrath during the tribulation period.  Might it be, that this was even foretold in the Old Testament?  Zephaniah 2:3 says, “Seek the Lord, All you humble of the earth Who have carried out His ordinances; Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of the Lord’s anger.”
 

  1. Christians are promised not to face God’s wrath ever on earth or in eternity because Christ bore it on the cross once and for all on their behalf. 
 
1 Thessalonians 5:9 says, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Thessalonians 1:10 says that Jesus rescues believers from the wrath to come.  The wrath of God is revealed against all unrighteousness (Romans 1:18), but it is not against believers.  While it is true that God’s wrath is most fully poured out in the sentencing of unbelievers to hell, Revelation 6:16-17 makes it clear that God’s wrath is also being poured out upon the earth during the tribulation period (see also Revelation 15:1, 16:1, 16:19, 19:15 and Zephaniah 1:15).  Believers should not have to be part of that.  However, those who come to faith during the tribulation will have to suffer the effects of God’s wrath because they came to faith too late.  This does not mean that God is targeting them in His anger or that they are objects of His wrath.  It just means that they do not have the promise of being kept from the hour of trial.  According to God’s love and mercy for His own, it will be for their sake that the days of wrath will be cut short.  As Matthew 24:22 says, “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.”  Even in a time of wrath, God is merciful to those who call out to Him for salvation.
 

  1. Christ’s appearing is a “blessed hope” for believers.
 
Titus 2:13 says, “Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.”  Jesus’ return is something that believers should look forward to.  1 Thessalonians 4:18 says that believers should comfort one another with the truth of His coming appearing.  The meeting of Christ in the air at the rapture is a great and glorious hope, and it is the point at which sanctification is finished and glorification is finally accomplished.  It is when sin and the flesh hold no more sway on the believer, and it is when all that ails the body and mind are cured and made new.  This is a great day to look forward to, and it is why believers ought to call to Jesus to come quickly.  They should want this day to come sooner rather than later.  This is the resurrection of believers unto life eternal, and those who died in Christ during the tribulation will be part of the first resurrection (as compared to the second resurrection for unbelievers to eternal hell) described in Revelation 20:6.  The tribulation believers will join the believers who were already resurrected at the time of the rapture before the final seven year period of tribulation (Revelation 20:4).  Believers go right from dying to the presence of Jesus as if they pass through time and go right to the glorious appearing (1 Corinthians 5:8).  The moment they die, they go to be with Jesus in paradise (Luke 23:43), raptured, meeting Christ in the air, and given new immortal bodies (2 Corinthians 4:14). 
 

  1. The bride of Christ, which is the believing church of Jesus, is depicted at the marriage supper of the Lamb before  Christ makes His descent to earth at His second coming. 
 
Revelation 19:7 says, “‘Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.’  It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”  It is following this that Jesus is seen with the armies of heaven coming to earth to lay waste to the armies of the earth and to cast the beast and false prophet into hell (v. 11-21).  Thus, the church must have already been raptured and taken to heaven before Jesus makes His second coming. 
 

  1. The work of the Holy Spirit through the church holds back the tribulation work of Satan until the church is taken out of the way.
 
2 Thessalonians 2:7 says, “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.”  Satan has been working throughout history to raise up people, leaders, armies, and nations to blaspheme God and harm God’s people.  In the last days, he will no longer be restrained as God allows Satan’s deluding and deceiving influence to go forth unimpeded (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12, Daniel 8:12).  The Spirit will still convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment because some will turn to Christ during the tribulation.  The Spirit will not have been taken out of the way, but the church, the pillar and support of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15), will have been through the rapture. 
 

  1. Noah and his family were spared the wrath of God as was Lot because they were righteous in God’s sight by faith.
 
Luke 17:26-30 says,
 
“And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.” 
 
While this passage is a clear warning to unbelievers not to be like those in Noah’s day or in Sodom and Gomorrah before it was destroyed, it also presents the idea that the righteous were spared the wrathful judgments of God.  Believers will certainly be kept from hell, but they should also be kept from the wrath of God during the tribulation.
 

  1. No man knows the hour of Christ’s return even though His second coming is easily understood to be seven years after the beginning of the tribulation and three and a half years after the antichrist breaks the peace covenant. 
 
Matthew 24:36 says, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”  This points to two separate future appearances of Christ, first, to rapture the saints and, second, to come in judgment.  Revelation 19:11-21 explains clearly His second coming as a minister of wrath and judgment upon the unbelieving.  But there is also a time before this when the saints are caught up with Jesus in mid-air, the dead in Christ first followed by those in Him who are alive and remain (1 Corinthians 15:50-58, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). 
 

  1. God doesn’t use the church to evangelize during the great tribulation, but he uses two witnesses and even an angel speaking from heaven directly. 
 
This is significant because it means that the Great Commission, as far as the church is concerned, is over once the final seven year period starts.  If the church was still present and functioning, then they would be the central component of gospel proclamation.  But that is not how Revelation pictures future events.  The gospel will go to the ends of the earth during the tribulation through the testimony of the two witnesses (Revelation 11:1-7) and the declaration of an angel from  heaven (Revelation 14:6-7), and then the final end will come (Matthew 24:14). 
 

  1. The focal point of the final seven years of Daniel’s seventy weeks is Israel, not the church.
 
The whole timeline of the last seven years is based on Israel and their future restoration.  Daniel 9:24 says, “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place.”  The first 483 years have already passed, but seven years remain (see Daniel 9:25-27).  The decree concerning the seventieth week is for “your people and your holy city,” a clear reference to Daniel’s Jewish brethren (see also Zephaniah 1:4).  At the end of the period, the Jews who survive as well as those whom God seals (Revelation 7:4-8) will finally have a heart for God (Micah 4:1-2, Ezekiel 36:26).  God will never write Israel off, but they will be a nation dedicated to Him in the end (Jeremiah 31:36).
 

  1. The church is seen in Revelation 1-3, but Revelation 4 transitions to a time after these things.
 
Revelation 4:1 says, “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.’” Thus, there will be a time in the future which is post-church.  The tribulation period is focused on God’s judgment on unbelieving man, on Satan’s wrath against Israel (Revelation 12:5), on Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7), and on tribulation saints.  The church is with God in heaven during all of this judgment. 
 

  1. Since the seventh and last trumpet in Revelation is a judgment for unbelievers, the last trump that Paul speaks of must refer to a separate event for believers.
 
When believers are given their glorified bodies at the rapture, the experience pictured in 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, there is a shout from heaven and a trumpet sound.  This does not happen at the first resurrection (Revelation 20:4-6), and the last trumpet which announces the final bowl judgments is a judgment of the unrighteous (Revelation 11:15, 16:17).  Thus, there must be a rapture to account for this last trump for the righteous.    
 

  1. It is likely that the twenty-four elders refer to believers also.
 
In the KJV, Revelation 5:9-10 reveals the twenty-four elders praising God and declaring themselves grateful for their redemption.  In the NASB, the same passage shows the elders praising God for the salvation of the nations in the third person, not necessarily including themselves in the mix.  Going with the idea that the KJV has it right, it makes sense also that the elders are clothed in white (Revelation 4:4) because that matches the description of the bride in Revelation 19:8 and of the promise to the church in Revelation 3:5.  That they wear golden crowns is consistent with the fact that believers sit on thrones (Revelation 4:4) and rule with Christ Who has a golden crown as well (Revelation 14:14).   Revelation 2:10 and James 1:15 also speak of a crown of life for believers.  Revelation 4:4 depicts the elders as sitting on thrones, and then Revelation 20:4 picks up on that thought seamlessly speaking of those who sit on thrones.  It makes sense if they represent believers because then they will have already been translated into their heavenly bodies at the rapture.  Then the rest (Revelation 20:4), any saints who actually survived the tribulation, are harvested by angels (Mark 13:27, Matthew 24:31) and taken to the first resurrection where they are given new bodies.  All saints then have new bodies and reign with Christ in the millennial period (Revelation 20:6).