This is not a salvation issue; don’t treat it as if it is. Study to show thyself approved (2 Tim 2:15) and share your views with gentleness and respect.
12/29/15 – As far as Christians should be concerned, it should be about the truth of G_d’s word and not about egos or personal views. So, when the subject of the rapture comes up we need to be able to share views without anger and disrespect: if you can’t do that, then you have a sin problem you need to repent of and take to the L_rd. There is no argument against that as far as scripture is concerned.
We may debate these non-salvation issues but we are never to attack each other over them.
But I find it very sobering that many Christians have no clue what those terms even mean. “What is your view on the rapture?” The ignorance is pitifully revealed when someone shoots back, “I believe in Bible!” Which only proves they have no idea what you’re talking about.
What is the only book in the Bible that gives a blessing just for reading it?
It is the book of Revelation. If you haven’t read it (most Christians I meet never have), do so immediately.
Also start with Matthew 24 and watch for the word, “then”.
Who was He speaking to in that passage? Believers or non-believers? Since He was addressing the disciples, they were clearly believers.
These awful things are going to happen but it’s “just the beginning”, “then” you will experience “tribulation” such as the world has never seen and none would survive if He did not cut those days short.
There is no satisfying way to get around the passages in Matthew 24 while holding to a pre-trib view.
I am also shocked that there are ministries that require potential members to believe a certain view of the rapture and end times scenario, to actually sign on the dotted line or they are not allowed to be a member!
My views today are certainly very different from when I was younger and not as mature in my faith! And praise G_d for that!
This is directly in contradiction to scripture! If the church you’re in has these policies, get yourself to another church because that’s just an indication of deeper problems.
There are many Christian websites that had to shut down the comments section due to “Christians” attacking people with venom over a different end-times view.
People, what are you doing??
This is clearly an indication that “the church”, at least the American church, is very sick.
G_d is not afraid of your question! Nor is any mature believer! It’s not about you being right it’s about gleaning out what G_d really meant!
I’m so very grateful for the students of scripture with whom I could debate as we challenged each other, but always in total love for one another and with the unified goal of arriving at a deeper understanding of G_d’s word! What a powerful growing tool!
Search out the scriptures! Find a study group like that where you can lovingly challenge each other in the right spirit! If you can’t find one, start one!
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
-2 Tim 2:15
Having said that, I was raised as most people are to believe in the pre-trib rapture. It was only later in biblical studies and theology classes I discovered there were multiple views, all scriptural, but varying in the strength of their support.
Why did all those pastors never even mention the different views? I feel that is deceptive. Give us an overview and then tell us which one you feel passionate about and why. Don’t misrepresent scripture as if there is only one way to read (a lie of omission) about this tribulation/rapture issue. That’s dishonest and it puts the sheep in a very vulnerable position. They will not be able to answer even the most basic questions of why they believe a certain way, which is in opposition to scripture’s call for us to be able to give a reason for what we believe. And, it will cause confusion, opening a door of doubt regarding the whole of G_d’s word when they find out there are other views that are also biblical.
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
-1 Peter 3:15
Pastors, you’re not equipping the church by keeping them ignorant! All you’re doing is providing more fuel for the fires of doubt regarding the truth of scripture. Lying never produces holiness and spiritual maturity!
So, what do those terms mean, pre-, mid- and post-trib?
This is in reference to the book of Revelation and other prophetic passages in the Bible regarding the return of the Messiah.
There is a mentioned time of “great tribulation” that will be so intense that “none would survive” if G_d was not putting an end to it (Matt 24), and the second coming when all believers are “caught up with Him in the clouds” (1 Thess 4:17).
Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
-1 Thess 4:17
Pre-, Mid- or Post- refers to pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or post-tribulation.
It is in response to the question, when will the believers be raptured up? Will believers escape all of the difficulty and be taken out before the tribulation begins? Will they have to go through some of it? Or will they have to endure all of it?
But the one who endures to the end, it is he who shall be saved.
I was blessed to have a teacher in my high school biblical studies classes that presented an overview of all the views and the support for each and allowed us to make up our own minds. That was my introduction to the study of eschatology, which is the ten-dollar term for the study of end-times theology.
I continued my biblical and theological studies throughout college and planned on going to seminary but that didn’t seem to be in G_d’s plan for my life, so I continued studying on my own and discussed views with friends in seminary or who were already pastors.
What I can tell you is that after decades of thought and revisiting the topic in recent years, I have to say that I believe there is not adequate biblical support for the pre-trib view. I think the greatest support lies in the “sometime after” views. I believe we are going to go through some or all of it.
I mean, the world has been suffering for the name of Christ for centuries, now more than ever. Yet, even as Christian persecution has been growing here in the states, somehow the American church has developed the idea that the American Christians won’t have to suffer for Christ, only other people have to do that because…they’re not as good of Christians as the American church is? There is zero logic in that and zero congruence with scripture. Need I say very ugly arrogance??
Scripture says there is a special place in eternity, not a time-out corner, for those who have lost their lives for Christ so you can’t view yourself as better than those who suffered and died for Him!
Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of G_d, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
And it is a very prophetic thing that Christians in the Middle East are being beheaded in such great numbers.
It is a fact that the Exodus account is a profound picture of the end times and the children of Israel had to go through the first few plagues in Egypt, then G_d put His hand of protection around them on the 4th plague.
22 And in that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there, in order that you may know that I am the L_rd in the midst of the land.
Pre-trib holders always leave out this scriptural passage in my experience.
There is also the fact that the menorah and the Jewish feasts have major prophetic significance regarding end-times events.
This shouldn’t be a surprise but for most Western Christians it is.
The feasts were given by G_d Himself and His instructions were very specific and very clear. There is a reason for everything He does. It’s clear He meant it, and that there was value and importance in His plan. In fact, the first feast was Passover and He instructed the followers to “do it forever.”
Since we are “grafted in” to the vine of Israel (they are not grafted into us), that applies to us, to all believers.
Check out these passages in Romans 11:
16If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.
17But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, 18do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. 19You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”
It is also highly prophetic that in these last days we have had the blessing of messianic rabbis being called to wake up the Western Christian church, such as Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. This is very significant.
G_d is saying, you’ve been ignoring parts and aspects of my Word! You’re going to need what it says! It’s all very important and you are not to add to it or take away, not a jot or a tittle!
For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke (one jot or one tittle) shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
We must rediscover the Jewish roots of the Christian faith and put down our ideas that came from centuries of anti-semitism and traditions that ignored or sanitized the Jewishness of the Messiah and the scriptures.
You cannot be anti-semitic and be a Christian! Yeshua Jesus was and is a Jewish savior!
It doesn’t matter what you were taught, it matters what G_d told us in His word to do!
It doesn’t matter what it means to you, it matters what it means to Him!
As you look at these issues, you will continually come up against a major point: scripture is clear that there is not one random molecule in the universe, and G_d doesn’t waste anything or do anything randomly.
God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
I highly recommend the book series, Lost in Translation. There are three books in the series (they are short) and they will cause you to put the book down and calm your brain from reevaluating all the bad teaching you’ve had in the past, teaching that always analyzes the meaning and interpretation of scripture while looking through the lens of Greek culture and language when the scriptures are thoroughly Hebrew in language, culture and context. Clearly information will be missed while taking that approach.
These books make the subject matter very easy to understand and it becomes very clear. The authors put everything back in context of Hebrew culture and the picture that emerges is astonishing! It is also likely to have a profound impact on your walk with the L_rd in a very good way.
“The pre-tribulation rapture doctrine is pretty new. There is no evidence of anyone teaching it before 1830,” as one pastor puts it. And that is true.
However, I have a great deal of respect for Pastor Gary Stearman. He is thoroughly pre-trib and has the integrity to present his views with decency and respect. Though I disagree with him.
But, hallelujah, I will be so happy to be wrong on the issue! If we are taken out before any suffering, that’s great! But it’s not very likely in my view.
We are clearly in the last days, but that doesn’t mean we know exactly when the L_rd’s return will be, for no man knows the day or the hour, not even the Son.
Therefore, be on the alert, for you do not know which day you L_rd is coming.
If we are to just be passive, keeping our heads in the sand which is willful ignorance, and wait for some surprise gift of being raptured with no tribulation at all, why would the L_rd tell us to be on the alert?? Why would you need to watch or discern the signs and the times at all? You got your ticket punched so why even bother thinking about it?
But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. -Matthew 24:36
We are instructed to know the season, however, and the priests were even chastised for not paying attention to the signs. We are repeatedly told to stay alert, to watch, and to warn others. We can’t watch and warn others if we don’t know what it is we’re watching for!
You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time?
The return of the Messiah cannot happen until certain prophecies are fulfilled, because scripture says they must be fulfilled before His return and G_d never contradicts His word.
But we are certainly very close!
As I tell my study group often, we don’t know exactly how all this will play out, but we know the general direction this is going! We don’t know exactly when, but we are clearly in the season.
But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
So, I encourage you to pray about it and study the issue from reputable teachers (There are so many false teachers out there!). This is a good place to start.
In Matthew 24 the first thing from the mouth of the Messiah when asked about His return was, “Do not be deceived,” and He repeated it several times in the chapter. Apparently deception will be a very big deal; I think that is here now. It is certainly present in all of the mega-church “it’s all about feeling good” doctrine.
There will also be a great falling away, which is underway, it’s just a question of how bad it will get and how long it will go on. I mean, if you’re taught it’s all about feeling good and going with the flow and then persecution comes, why would you take suffering rather than renounce Christ? You probably wouldn’t. You’ve got a contradiction in your theology.
Then there is the Abomination Desolation in the temple.
Get to know the signs of the return of Christ and know what to watch for! As you do that, filled with the Holy Spirit, the Ruach HaKodesh, you will truly be able to stay joy-filled even with all the chaos and destruction around you.
Look up! Your redemption draweth nigh!
The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.
The joy of the L_rd is our strength! It is not just a platitude!
for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
See, it’s not all about you and you getting out of here unscathed: it’s about sharing your faith with others, helping them to find eternal life with our loving G_d, sharing the hope that “lies within us.”
Our hope is in Him not in our circumstances. As Christians our view should not be focused on this life but on the eternal. The former fades quickly like dew and the latter endures forever. Our hope is only found in Him.
16For the L_rd himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of G_d, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the L_rd in the air. And so we will be with the L_rd forever. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.
-1 Thess. 4
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
30“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earthc will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.d 31And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
If you don’t know Yeshua as your savior, don’t wait, ask Him right now to be the L_rd of your life!
…that if you confess with your mouth Yeshua Jesus as L_rd, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
Get saved, read His word everyday (King James or New American Standard are both good versions), get in a solid biblical church, get baptized and watch the power of G_d transform your life. Only He can take the rubble of your life and make it something beautiful. He waits for you with open arms!
Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
This film below is a fairly good presentation of some of the problems with the pre-trib view.
But in the words of my high school biblical studies teacher, “Pray for pre-, plan for post-!” There is great wisdom in that!
As you study this, ask the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit, to guide you and to keep you from all deception. The forces of darkness are very good at what they do.
You will find yourself being drawn to one view or the other, but never become arrogant or hostile about it because in five years time you may have a very different view. It is something that should be a regular part of your bible studies, it is an ongoing study.
But get prepared for mid- or post-, and then let G_d be G_d.
Come quickly, L_rd Jesus!
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
No time is wasted studying G_d’s word! Dig in!