Question of the day: the rapture.

When today’s QOTD was posted, the actual body of the post didn’t publish. Whatever. Here’s take #2.  :]

When people discuss the rapture of the church, they say that the Bible isn’t completely clear about the timing of it. What I mean by that is – when looking at the timeline the Bible lays out regarding future events, sometimes it’s not very clear because the book of Revelation “jumps around” a bit at times.

So here’s the question for today…

In regards to the Rapture, do you believe in a…

  1. Pre-tribulation rapture?
  2. Mid-tribulatoin rapture?
  3. Post-tribulation rapture?

Why do you hold that opinion?
What Scriptures do you have to back your stance on the issue?

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Posted on May 9, 2011, in Question of the Day and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I think that the type of Rapture as taught by the Left Behind series is terrible exegesis. It has no historical foundation within the belief of the early church – rather it is based on Darby’s writings 100 years ago.

    I find it interesting that there are two extremes that I have seen from those who believe this type of thinking.

    1) its a form of escapism… yet God wants us to engage and not escape.
    2.) The amount of fear among Christians as they try to work out if we are closer to it happening or not… God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear – so why all the fear about it?

    Just a few thoughts.

  2. Laura Bancroft

    Let me start out by saying I am a Pantribulationist. It will all “Pan” out in the end if I have a saving knowledge of Christ.
    I personally think the discussion and fervor surrounding the rapture is ridiculous and too much emphasis is placed on it by way too many churches. A few years after first hearing the term my family was denied church membership by a large Baptist church when out of the blue the pastor asked my believe on it. I told him the truth. I’m a Pantribulationist. He didn’t find it funny nor did he want to furthur hear my believe. He sent us home with a foot worth of books I needed to study before coming back with presumably a changed and repentant heart. He nicely suggested we didn’t really fit in with his church and should find a different one because he didn’t want my off believes on rapture getting spread. Here’s the thing. Yes I want to see and dwell with my Saviour and see his face more than anything. However, I really don’t think it matters at what point in the tribulation this happens. My vote is Pre but I don’t think I have a say. So if it is post it doesn’t bother me. My faith and hope is on Jesus Christ. Whenever it happens, God is in control and what matters is that I have a saving knowledge of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He has also charged us to go out to all the ends of the earth and spread the Good News. How are you doing that? How is your relationship with Jesus Christ? Those are the things that are important. Further more, I find discussing The Rapture to fall under Titus 4:9 and 1 Timothy 1:4, if only from my experiences with strong proponents of Rapture doctrine. Maybe instead of “what do you believe about the rapture” the question to ask yourself is why is what I believe important. Is it important enough to argue and not fellowship with someone?

  3. I believe we’ll be here up to the 6th seal, but not for the bowls of wrath. My reasoning is how chapter Rev chapter 7 distinguishes between “the Jews” and the “Gentiles” (v9 sounds like Gentiles to me) and they’re shown to be in heaven, while later, at the fifth trumpet, 9:4, those marked on their foreheads with the seal of God (the Jews) are shown to still be on the earth. This is not a thorough conclusion, its just what I base my understanding on an independent study of Revelation.

    Now, having said all of that, I believe there are three basic keys that can help with understanding the book of Revelation:

    1. I believe more important than trying to understand the timing of God, it is far more productive to try to understand the purpose of God. Don’t get hung up on the order of events as much as seeing what God is doing.

    2. Watch for phrases like “after this I looked”, “then I saw”, “then I looked” — this is a clue that John’s “scenery” has changed. Wipe your mental images clean when you see this and know that you’re looking at a new scene that stands by itself.

    3. Watch for two distinct groups of people: “those who dwell on earth” (this always refers to people of the world), and “those who dwell in heaven” (this always refers to the church, remember Eph 2:6, our dwelling is in heaven.)

    Those are three things I’ve personally learned to use when reading the Book of Revelation, I hope it benefits you as you read it. 🙂

    God bless, Richard – http://rcsthe.blogspot.com
    Current article:

  4. Craig is 100% wrong when he says the pre-trib rapture is based on writings of Darby. Pre-millennial teachings were condemned at 2 Papist councils before Darby was ever born: Ephesus in 431 & 1516 at the 5th Lateran Council. Papa Popey JPII then warned against this “fable” again in 1998 on the eve of the new millennium. You have to remember, most of “church history” is written by Catholics and reformers who range in eschatology from full preterism to mild replacement theology which encompasses amillennialism and post-millennialism (unbelief in the literal 1000 year reign of the Son of David). The people that would have believed a pre-millennial teaching would have been groups like the Paulicians, Cathari, Albigenses etc: the groups who had their writing burned etc while being chased through the valleys of Europe by Popish persons.

    Likewise it is also foolish to assume that because some doctrine popped up “late” that it is automatically not true. In Daniel 12:4, the LORD tells Daniel to “seal the book, even to the time of the end:” The LORD has put a seal on a certain things in the book of Daniel and the scripture as a whole until His specified time, in the case of Daniel “the end.” Whenever this time begins or began then the LORD will unseal the book and give understanding to whom he will of those things.

    You can see Enoch as a type of the pre-trib rapture and noah as a type of the Jew going through the tribulation. You can John as a type of the Church in Rev 4:1. The time most often referred to as THE Great Tribulation (which term is never found in scripture), is actually referred to in scripture as the time of Jacob’s trouble.

  5. Good post Tony.

    Ephraim the Syrian taught a three year long Tribulation, but that the church was raptured before it in 376 A.D.:

    “We ought to understand thoroughly, there my brothers, what is imminent or overhanging. Already, there have been hungers and plagues, violent movements of nations and sins, which have been predicted by the Lord. Prepare ourselves for the meeting of the Lord so that He may draw us from confusion which overwhelms the world. Believe me, dearest brothers, the coming of the Lord is nigh. Believe me because the end of the world is at hand.

    Because all saints and the elect of the Lord are gathered together before the Tribulation which is about to come, and are taken to the Lord in order that they may not see at anytime the confusion that overwhelms the world because of our sins. And so, brothers most dear to me, it is the eleventh hour and the end of this world comes to the harvest and [to the] angels’ hands awaiting the empire of the kingdom of our Lord.

    When, therefore, the end of the world comes, that abominable, lying and murderous one who is born from the tribe of Dan [comes] . . . conceived from the seed of man and from a most vile [woman] mixed with an evil or worthless spirit.

    Therefore, when he receives the kingdom, he orders the Temple of God to be rebuilt for himself, which is in Jerusalem; who, after coming into it, shall sit as God in order that he may be adored by all nations.

    Then all people from everywhere shall flock together by him, and the holy city shall be trampled on by the nations for 42 months. [This is] just as the holy apostle says in the Apocalypse, which becomes three and a half years—1,260 days.

    Then, when the three and a half years have been completed, the time of Antichrist through whom [Satan] will have seduced the whole world, after the resurrection of the two prophets, in the hour which the world does not know and on the day which the enemy or son of perdition does not know, will come the sign of the Son of Man. And coming forward, the Lord shall appear with great power and much majesty with the sign of the word of salvation going before Him.”

    – Antichrist and the End of the World

  6. I believe that Craig is going to be left behind to help all the unbelievers come to know Christ. The only problem is that he will have to fight off Nick Carpathia and his evil crowd…if he is not persuaded by his good looks.

    I believe that the 144,000 are actually 144 special Independent Baptist preachers who will be selected by the Lord from an elite seminary (Hyles Anderson) to be end-time missionary/martyrs. They will ultimately die from lack of support. The reason for the number being 144, not 144,000, is due to an early manuscript error (the scribe was said to whack at a dessert roach 3 times after starting a smiley face on his hand, hence the three zeros).

    The Rapture will actually take place when all the earth is of one mind and agrees that the set of Jersey Shore should be bulldozed and Rob Bell opens a Hooters Restaurant on the campus of Mars Hill (I don’t know where that one came from, honestly).

    Really, we get so much mixed up all the time and argue over things we arrogantly think we know all about – things which are up for debate. Whatever you decide, remember that your safest bet is to preach Christ, and Him crucified.

    Odds are, mathematically speaking, none of us will see the Second Coming/Rapture/whatever. On the other hand, the odds are totally in our favor that we will die, and after that’ the judgment. The rapture may not come for another 100 years, but we’ll all be dead by then, for sure. Are we ready?

  7. Good question, Heather. I think most Christians fall under pre-Trib whether they’ve taken the time to somewhat analyze 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (et al similar verses) or not.

    But does it matter? Of course not. We’ve already been delivered from the worst and transferred to the best position possible – intimacy with God. Whether we are post- or pre-tribbers, we should be empty of fear as we love Jesus (1 John 4:18).

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