50 Reasons Why the Rapture Must Happen Before the Tribulation

By Daniel Valles, Abridged Notes, 08/12/2013

 

Clarifications:
The Rapture refers to when Christ appears in the clouds and calls His children (those who have trusted in Him) up to heaven. The term Pre-Tribulation (Pre-Trib) simple means that the Rapture happens before the Tribulation. Post-Tribulation (Post-Trib) refers to the concept that the Rapture would happen after the Tribulation. The Tribulation is the 7-year period of God's wrath on the world (Rev. 6:17). The Second Coming is when Jesus Christ returns to Earth as Ruler and King; it is not the Rapture.
 

A key to understanding prophecy (and the Scriptures in general) is this: That which is most important and needful for our knowledge and practice in Scripture will be the most simplest and easiest to understand. As an example, Salvation is one of the simplest concepts in Scripture to grasp (John 3:16, Romans 10:9, Acts 16:31). When we grasp these simple truths and are assured of them, a lot falls in line; what we do not understand must always be weighed with what we do know, and should not overwrite it.

While there is much in Scripture regarding prophecy, there are subjects and areas that Christ lays out very simply and plainly to His disciples. He, Himself, told them that He wanted them to understand prophecy (Matthew 24:15). There may be much about prophecy we may not understand, but we must always take the clearest and simplest truths and use them to temper and guide our understanding of the passages we wrestle with. For this reason, I start this list with the simplest, plainest truths that Christ spelled out to a bunch of fishermen about His return. He told them the pattern, and then doubly recounted the details of this pattern to make sure they (and we) understood it.

 
Key Jesus Christ told His disciples that His coming will be as the days of Noah - and then Jesus Christ, Himself, proceeded to describe the chronology of those days by explicitly stating that Noah "entered into the ark" before the flood came (Matthew 24:37-39). "so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." - Matthew 24:39.
Key

To emphasize this point, Jesus Christ repeated this detailed account in Luke 17:26, recording the detail that Noah "entered into the ark" before the flood, and then "the flood came" (Luke 17:26-27). "Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed." - Luke 17:30

Key Jesus Christ also told His disciples that His coming will be as the days of Lot - and then Jesus Christ, Himself, proceeded to describe the chronology of that event by explicitly stating that Lot "went out of Sodom" before God's judgment rained down (Luke 17:28-29). "Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed." - Luke 17:30
Key God reminds us of these individuals again, and tells us that it is God's nature to deliver believers before divine judgment: Noah, Lot, Rahab, etc. (II Pet. 2:5-9). Note that Peter (who penned the book of Peter) was present when Christ told it to His disciples the first time.
Key Right after that, He tells them about Noah and Lot, He further emphasizes this and describes 2-3 examples (Matthew 24:40-41, Luke 17:34-36) of how some people will be taken, and some will be left.
Key Right after that, He warns them "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." If Christ returns at any other time than before the Tribulation, then you would know (to the day) when to expect Him. The fact that He is coming before is what catches people off guard.
Key Right after that, He tells them of the metaphor of the unannounced thief (Matthew 24:43-44), and told His disciples His coming would be in the same manner.
Key Right after that, He uses the illustration of the unfaithful servant who was caught off-guard by his master's unannounced return (Matthew 24:45-51).
Key Right after that, He tells them the parable of the ten virgins, and how some were caught unprepared for the bridegroom's unannounced return (Matthew 25:1-12).
Key Right after that, He warns them a second time, "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." - Matthew 25:13
Key Right after that, He tells them of the parable of the talents, and a servant who was caught unprepared for his master's return (Matthew 25:14-30).
Key Here, in one sitting, Jesus Christ plainly explains the pattern of His return to a group of fishermen, and to make absolutely sure that they understand what He is saying, He lays out 2 biographical patterns, 2 pattern parables, and 2 explicit warnings about these pattern (with additional implied warnings woven throughout); the fact that He repeated something they needed to know six times in one sitting should tell us that He wants us to be absolutely clear about it!
Any teaching that ignores, contradicts, or reverses this clearly spelled-out pattern will end up ignoring and contradicting other Scripture as well, leading to confusion and deception. Do not hold to any prophetic pattern that goes against Christ's given pattern. The very first words out of Christ's mouth when He sat down to tell His disciples these things was this warning: "Take heed that no man deceive you." (Matthew 24:4).
The church is not appointed to wrath (Romans 5:9, I Thess.1:9-10; I Thess. 5:9). The church cannot enter "the great day of his wrath" (Rev. 6:17). Thirteen times in Revelation, the time of the Tribulation is described as a time of wrath (Rev. 6:16, Rev. 6:17, Rev. 11:18, Rev. 12:12, Rev. 14:8, Rev. 14:10, Rev. 14:19, Rev. 15:1, Rev. 15:7, Rev. 16:1, Rev. 16:19, Rev. 18:3, Rev. 19:15).
Church No NT tribulation passage mentions the church (Matthew 13:30, 39-42,48-50; 24:15-31; I Thess. 1:9-10; 5:4-9; II Thess. 2:1-11, Rev. 4-18). Nor is the translation (rapture) of the church ever mentioned in any passage dealing with the second coming after the tribulation.
Watch Historical concept of imminency surrounding Christ's return. From a historical concept, the doctrine is not new, just more clearly classified and understood.
Bible Pre-Trib allows literal interpretation of OT & NT. Post-trib must use some symbols or analogies.
IsraelvChurch Pre-Trib has a clear distinguishing between Israel and the church. Post-Trib has "replacement theology"
Key Pre-Trib gives distinction between Great Tribulation and tribulation in general. Acts 14:22 - the word tribulation is afflictions, not the time of God's wrath. Two different greek words.
Israel Great Tribulation is for Israel's restoration, not to prepare the church for Glory (Deut. 4:29-30, Jeremiah 30:4-11 - "...even in the latter days..." "correct thee")
Cross Pre-trib is founded on the definite teaching of Scripture that the death of Christ frees from all condemnation.
Trumpet The Great Tribulation begins long before the seventh trumpet of Rev. 11. Pre-trib teaches that it starts in ch. 6.
Trumpets Mid-trib teaches that the seventh trumpet of Rev. 11, the last of trumpet I Cor. 15:52, and the trumpet of Matt. 24:31 are the same event; but, they are three distinct events. They are not connected.
Not applied to church Pre-trib maintains the unity of the 70 weeks. Post & mid destroy the unity of the 70 weeks and confuse Israel's program with that of the church.
Not applied to church The church will not be overtaken by the day of the Lord (I Thess. 5:1-9).
People The possibility of a believer escaping the Tribulation is mentioned in Luke 21:36.
Church The church of Philadelphia was promised deliverance from "the hour of temptation." Rev. 3:10
Church After translation, believers go to the Father's House in heaven (John 14:3).
People Pre-trib does not divide the Body of Christ at the Rapture on a work principle (partial rapture). It is the final climatic aspect of salvation by grace.
Church All, not part, of the church will be raptured. (I Cor. 15:51-52, I Thess. 4:17).
Israel The remnant of the Tribulation are Israelites, not members of the church.
Church Pre-trib does not confuse terms like 'elect' and 'saints' (saved of all ages). "Church" & "those in Christ" are those saved before Rapture. The "elect" and "saints" after the Rapture are not part of the Bride of Christ, the church.
Signs The church is to look for signs of His coming. Believers in Tribulation are to look for signs.
Dove Holy Spirit, as a restrainer, is removed before the lawless one dominates the Tribulation. II Thess. 2:6-8. The Tribulation cannot begin until this restraint (Holy Spirit) is lifted. Believers (Spirit-in dwelt) are translated.
People II Cor. 5:10 records all believers before the judgment seat of Christ in Heaven - an event never mentioned in the detailed accounts connected with the Second Coming of Christ to earth.
Church The 24 elders (Rev. 4:4-11) as reps of the church would necessitate the rapture and reward of the church before the Tribulation. They cannot be in three spots at the same time if post-trib.
Church The wedding feast takes place before the Second Coming. Rev. 19:7-10.
Church Tribulations saints are not raptured at the second coming, but remain and have children (Isa. 65:20-25) and enter into the Millennium Kingdom.
People The judgment of the Gentiles following the second coming (Matt. 25:31-46) is on natural bodies - which would have been impossible if they were translated at the Second Coming.
People If the Rapture took place at the Second Coming, there would be no need to separate the sheep from the goats. (Matt. 25:31)
Watch The coming of Christ is imminent. If it waited on the Tribulation, it would not be imminent.
Comfort The exhortation to be comforted (I Thess. 4:18) is very significant in the pre-tribulational view (contradicted by most post-tribulation). There is no comfort in having to suffer through the Tribulation and its horrors.
Signs Believers are to look for signs of His coming, not signs of the Tribulation. Titus 2:13.
Prayer The exhortation to purify yourself in light of His coming has most significance if His coming is imminent. I John 3:2-3.
   
Differences between the Rapture and the Second Coming
Rapture Second Coming
• Church meeting Christ in the air. • Christ on Mount Olive to meet saints on earth.
• Mt. Olives unchanged. • Mt. Olives divides, forms valley east of Jerusalem. Zech. 14:4-5.
• Saints translated. • No saints translated.
• Saints go to heaven. • Saints remain on earth.
• World is unjudged; continues in sin. • World is judged; righteousness established.
• Deliverance before Day of Wrath. • Deliverance of those who believed in Christ during the Tribulation.
• Described as imminent. • Preceded by definite signs (Matt. 24:4-33)
• Revealed only in NT. • Doctrine prominent in both testaments. The Rapture is not in the OT because it has nothing to do with the remnant of Israel.
• Only the saved. • Deals with saved and unsaved.
• Satan is not bound. • Satan bound and cast into the abyss.
• No unfilled prophecy stands between the church and the rapture. • Many signs must be fulfilled.

 

This is a compilation of notes by Daniel Valles, a concise, abridged compilation of notes from Dr. John F. Walvoord's book, "The Rapture Question", and notes by Wendy B. Howard, .

 

 

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