Pre-Trib Rapture

First of all, it’s important to note that the term “the great tribulation” is NEVER used as a title for the coming time period, it’s only used as a description (Matthew 24:21-22). The proper title is the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7; cf Daniel 12:1) or “Daniel’s seventieth week” (Daniel 9:24).

The common passage that post-tribber heretics will use to prove the post-trib heresy is Matthew 24:29-31. A simple comparing of Matthew 24 to what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 will show that Jesus was clearly not talking about the same event in Matthew 24 as what Paul described in 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.

Lets take a look at the two passages of scripture and you will see that they don’t line up with each other:

In 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 & 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, God is speaking with his voice “like a trump” (1 Cor. 15:52, 1 Thess. 4:16) there is no mention of the “trump of God” or God speaking with his voice like a trumpet in Matthew 24, in Matthew 24:29-31 the “sound of a trumpet” is being made by the angels, not by God himself.

Matthew 24 mentions great signs and wonders (Matt. 24:3, Matt. 24:24) happening before the appearing of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:22 says the Jews require a sign). There are no signs and wonders mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 or 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.

Matthew 24:29-31 also mentions that “all the tribes of the earth will mourn” when the appearing of Jesus Christ happens (compare this Zechariah 12:10, which makes clear that the Jews will look on him who they pierced and they will mourn), Paul never mentioned any tribes mourning in 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 & 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.

1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16 both mentions dead saints being resurrected and going up BEFORE the living saints. There are no dead saints being resurrected anywhere in Matthew 24 (or in Mark 13, Luke 17 & 21).

Matthew 24:29-31 says that the angels gather the elect from the four corners from the earth. There are no angels gathering people in 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 or 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, Paul simply said that Christians hear the trump of God and meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

The events in 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 are described as happening in a “moment in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Cor. 15:52), the events happen as quick as the blink of an eye. This is not the case in Matthew 24:29-31, a process of events that takes time are described, first the sun and moon are darkened, then the stars fall from heaven (Matthew 24:29, Joel 3:15), then the sign of the Son of man appears (Matthew 24:30), and then the angels gather the elect (Matthew 24:31), the event described in Matthew 24:29-31 are not happening in the “moment in the twinkling of an eye.”

Refuting common errors from post-tribbers:

Only one future resurrection?

A common lie from post-trib heretics is that there is only 1 future resurrection (a lot of them seem to think that the rapture happens at Christ’s second coming). Post-tribbers have to deny that there are three parts to the first resurrection in scripture because it would destroy the post-trib heresy.

1 Corinthians 15:20-24 mentions three parts of the resurrection:

1 Corinthians 15:20-24 (KJV) – “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.”

The three resurrections:

The first resurrection (“Christ the firstfruits”):

The first resurrection is Christ and the Old Testament saints.

Matthew 27:52-53
 (KJV) – “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”

The second resurrection (“They that are Christ’s”)

The second resurrection is the rapture of Christians who are “sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30).

Ephesians 1:10-14 (KJV) – “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

The third resurrection (“Then cometh the end”):

The third resurrection is for saints in the time of Jacob’s trouble and the millennial kingdom, Revelation 20:5 shows that this won’t happen until after the 1000 year reign of Christ.

Revelation 20:5 (KJV) – “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”

What about Isaiah 25:8?

Isaiah 25:8 is fulfilled in two separate events, not one event as the post-tribbers claim.

Isaiah 25:8 (KJV) – “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.”

The first part of Isaiah 25:8 (“He will swallow up death in victory”) is fulfilled at the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:54.

1 Corinthians 15:54 (KJV) – “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”

Paul is referring back to Isaiah 25:8, that is why he says “that is written” and quotes the first part of Isaiah 25:8.

The second part of Isaiah 25:8 (“the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces”) is fulfilled at the end of the 1000 year reign of Christ at the great white throne judgement in Revelation 21:4.

Revelation 21:4 (KJV) – And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

Scriptures that prove a pre-trib rapture:

Contrary to what post-tribbers say, there are plenty of scriptures that prove a pre-trib rapture.

Ephesians 1:10-14 says (in verse 10) that Jesus will “gather together in one all things in Christ” (Compare verse 10 with Galatians 3:28, we are all “one in Christ Jesus” this is about the body of Christ), verse 13 says that believers are “sealed with that holy spirit of promise” (eternal security), and verse 14 shows the redemption of the “purchased possession” (compare verse 14 with 1 Corinthians 15:52-54, Christians get an incorruptible body, that is the redemption of the purchased possession), this HAS to happen BEFORE the time of Jacob’s trouble because Revelation 14:9-11 is clear that “any man” (not just unsaved people) that takes the mark will get God’s wrath and end up in the lake of fire. If a sealed believer went into the time of Jacob’s trouble, they could lose their salvation if they took the mark thus making God a liar.

2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 is clear that somebody (the body of Christ) needs to be removed BEFORE the antichrist can show up, the Antichrist is currently being hindered from showing up. Revelation 5:9-11 shows blood redeemed GENTILE saints who are IN heaven BEFORE the Antichrist is unleashed in Revelation 6:2.

Romans 11:1-25 is clear that there is going to be a time when God is provoking the Jews to jealousy (verse 11) and their fullness is going to come in AFTER the fullness of the gentiles (verse 12 & verse 25), If Christians go into the Time of Jacob’s trouble, there would be no fullness of the Jews that come in because the fullness of the gentiles hasn’t happened yet. The time of Jacob’s trouble is CLEARLY for the Jewish people (Dan. 9:24, Matt. 24:16, Matt. 24:20). The body of Christ leaves BEFORE God goes back to dealing with Israel in the time of Jacob’s trouble.

Post-trib rapture contradictions:

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 and Matthew 24:15-16 are clear that there will be a rebuilt temple of God in Jerusalem and the Antichrist where the Antichrist will one day sit on a throne and claim to be God, but how does this work for Christians because 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 1 Corinthians 6:19, and 2 Corinthians 6:16 is clear that the BODIES of Christians are the temple of God. So If a Christian’s BODY is the temple of God, how can the Antichrist sit on a throne inside of the bodies of Christians?

Romans 13:1-7 is clear that Christians are to obey the government (unless they are infringing on the commandments of God, see Acts 5:29), Romans 13:2 is a direct contradiction of Revelation 13:16, because people will have to disobey the government and refuse to take the mark, and Revelation 20:4 is also clear that there will be saints who will be executed for disobeying the government and refusing to take the mark (Revelation 14:9-11 says people who take the mark will end up in the lake of fire). Romans 13:7 says that Christians should honor the government, Also, according to post-trib logic, Christians would have to honor the antichrist or else they would be disobeying verse 7.

1 Timothy 5:8 says that a man who doesn’t provide for his house is “worse than an infidel.” It’s the man’s job to provide for his family. Revelation 13:17 is clear that nobody will be able to buy or sell unless they take the mark. So a Christian husband would either have to take the mark of the beast in order to provide (Revelation 14:9-11 is clear that “any man” that takes the mark ends up in the lake of fire), or he would have to refuse the mark resulting in him not being able to buy or sell to provide for his family thus disobeying 1 Timothy 5:8.

The post-trib rapture is spiritual theft:

The post-trib rapture heresy steals the joy and peace the saved Christian should have. Every pauline epistle begins with peace from God.

Romans 1:7 (KJV) – “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Corinthians 1:3 (KJV) – “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Corinthians 1:2 (KJV) – “Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Etc. Etc. Etc.

However, in the time of Jacob’s trouble, God is who takes peace from the earth.

Revelation 6:4 (KJV) – “And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.”

God promises us peace, but if we go into the time of Jacob’s trouble, God takes our peace, so is God a liar?

The post-trib rapture heresy also takes away peace from Christians by giving them a spirit of fear. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but if you have the idea that you will go into the TOJT and face God’s wrath for 7 years you will get a spirit of fear.

2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) – “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Don’t tell me that you won’t have a spirit of fear if you think you are going into the TOJT, especially after reading the gory details about what will be going on during the TOJT in the book of Revelations.

“But the pre-trib rapture was invented in 1830 by John Nelson Darby”

The 1830 lie is the most common lie espoused by post-tribbers. First of all, Bible-Believing Christians deal with SCRIPTURE, the standard for doctrine is scripture alone, so it doesn’t matter who said what first, it only matters what the word of God says. So even if the pre-trib rapture was only invented in 1830, it doesn’t prove it’s false because the standard is not the “historic position of the church” the standard is what the scriptures say.

However, there is plenty of proof that the pre-trib rapture was taught BEFORE 1830.

Irenaeus (130 – 202 AD):
“Those nations however, who did not of themselves raise up their eyes unto heaven, nor returned thanks to their Maker, nor wished to behold the light of truth, but who were like blind mice concealed in the depths of ignorance, the word justly reckons “as waste water from a sink, and as the turning-weight of a balance — in fact, as nothing;”(1) so far useful and serviceable to the just, as stubble conduces towards the growth of the wheat, and its straw, by means of combustion, serves for working gold. And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, “There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be.”(2) For this is the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption.”

(Irenaeus, ‘Against Heresies’ 5.29)

Ephraim the Syrian (306 – 373 AD):
“Or do you not believe unless you see with your eyes? See to it that this sentence be not fulfilled among you of the prophet who declares: “Woe to those who desire to see the day of the Lord!” For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins. And so, brothers most dear to me, it is the eleventh hour, and the end of the world comes to the harvest, and angels, armed and prepared, hold sickles in their hands, awaiting the empire of the Lord.”

(Ephraim the Syrian, ‘On the Last Times 2’)

Joseph Mede (1586 – 1638 AD):
“I will add this more, namely, what may be conceived to be the cause of this rapture of the saints on high to meet the Lord in the clouds, rather than to wait his coming to earth….What if it be, that they may be preserved during the Conflagration of the earth and the works thereof, 2 Pet.3:10, that as Noah and his family were preserved from the Deluge by being lift up above the waters in the Ark; so should the saints at the Conflagration be lift up in the clouds unto their Ark, Christ, to be preserved there from the deluge of fire, wherein the wicked shall be consumed?”

(“The Works of Joseph Mede,” 1672, London edition, Book IV, p.776)