Unlike other WordPress bloggers who deal with doctrinal issues, I do invite opposition comments and even believe in healthy debate; where scriptures are thought, or felt to be abused by me. If in so doing you present me with a scriptural argument thinking me to be off base; then I will either accept your point and say so, or I will point out based on related scriptures why you may be missing something else in your thinking.
Although, I sometimes use “argument” in what I say on this site, I don’t encourage argument just based on a belief, but am looking for a scripturally based argument which supports that belief. This is the only healthy argument. We all have beliefs, but we don’t all have scriptural reasons for our thinking. Evidence from Scripture is the only evidence important for doctrine.
I came out of Dispensational theology. I know the stronger arguments given on this position. I will list some of them here. But there may be others that you will come up with. Should you feel that there are stronger arguments for this view please point those out in the comments section.
My approach to this series will be to deal with each reason given that I will list below, and I will do that in a separate post on each. This way hopefully we can address the same arguments for or against each one in our discussion.
Here are some of the stronger arguments used for the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.
1. The Falling away from Faith taught by the Lord in Matthew 24 and by Paul in 2 Thess. 2 cannot happen to any born again Christian within the church. Each individual within the church is promised eternal security. No man can pluck you out of My hand or out of the Father’s hand. Therefore the falling away would need to be either for the Jews during the time of Tribulation or for unsaved Gentiles both before and after the Rapture. The term in question here is Apostasy.
2. We are not destined to ever experience God’s wrath as His bride, and the Tribulation is God’s wrath.
3. There is no mention of the Church being on earth in Revelation between Chapter 4 verse 1 and chapter 19, and yet it is precisely in these chapters where we find the Tribulation described.
4. Dispensationalism is as the term implies many past and future ages termed dispensations. These carry into and through the “church age” and divide the “church age” into seven historical date delineated parts as scene in the seven churches of Revelation 2&3. The promise to escape the test which is coming to all earth dwellers is a promise to the Philadelphia church, the sixth one of these churches, and is therefore a promise of Rapture before the seventh apostate church age (Laodicea) appears. The sixth church thus represents the last of the saved “Gentile church ages (which then constitutes the bride yet to be Raptured)”
5. The bride of Messiah the church is different than the bride of God the Father, which was established in the Old Testament to be Israel. This Bride will be saved after the Rapture of Christ’s Bride, and just as there are two parts to the second coming of Christ, there are more than two parts to the first resurrection. Jesus’ bride is resurrected, and then God’s bride is resurrected. Jesus was the first fruits of resurrection.
6. Proper exegesis encompasses the proper dividing of scripture. Thus rightly dividing the word of God (the Scriptures) between Israel and the Church is the key to understanding prophecy.
7. A. Given the fact that Israel will be saved after the Church bride is Raptured then there must be two gospels as argued by many. They are depicted as the Gospel of the kingdom which John the Baptist and Jesus preached, followed by the gospel to the Gentiles which Paul was given. This gospel is known as the Gospel of Grace. B. As an aside to this point, it is pointed out that Israel’s individuals were saved before Christ’s first Coming by faith in a future Messiah, and the keeping of the law, and that their salvation will be similar to this during the Tribulation, since the Holy Spirit will revert back to His former method of interaction with man before Christ’s first coming.
8. The Lords Coming for the Church is to be an imminent looked for event that takes place without signs. We are to expect His return in every generation. Therefore the Lords coming for us could be at any time even today, because “no one knows the day or the hour” of His return. But if His return is after the Tribulation, then we would know the day if not the hour. Thus this coming for us known as the Rapture, does not seem to fit with His Coming with us back to earth. In future posts we will examine each of these arguments.
There are of course other arguments. We will discuss some of them as we discuss these in the posts to follow.