Rapture Debates #1

I have had the opportunity to debate the rapture issue with those who hold differing viewpoints from myself.  About 7 years back, this was a little bit bigger deal for me since someone had labeled my view of the PreWrath rapture as "heresy".  This made me go back over the scriptures again and again to be sure that I was not caught up in any heresy.  When I learned of a rapture neutral message board, I saw the opportunity to compare my views with the views of others and see how they measured up.  Which views were rooted in scripture?  Which were taking scriptures out of context?
 
Sad to say, the results were always the same.  The conclusions that I had come to regarding the PreWrath rapture proved themselves to be superior over PreTrib, MidTrib, and even PostTrib.  After a while, it got to be pretty routine since I saw everything that the other positions had to offer and had provided adequate scripture to show the superiority of the PreWrath view.  Many folks on that board changed their view and the owner of the board eventually came out as no longer being rapture neutral, but said his position was now PreWrath.  I’d like to think I had something to do with that.
 
So the following posts which will be titled as Rapture Debates are some of the more stimulating conversations that I have had with other viewpoints.  The most adamant in their views are usually the PreTribbers, which is ironic because they are the easiest to prove as inferior.  These debates are not meant to be virulent, but simply comparing scripture with scripture, comparing viewpoints with viewpoints, in order to see which ones measure up, and which ones should be discarded.  Hopefully I have a mature audience that can handle the examination of the rapture debate without getting hot under the collar.  Here is just a basic example to get warmed up.  My next examples will get into the heart of the matter.
 
The down side to reading this is that I only saved to my files what my responses were.  So the other side may not be fairly represented.  To preface this debate, the poster who is PreTrib had just mentioned that Matthew 24 cannot be applied to the church since it gives instructions for Israelites living in Jerusalem at the time of the abomination of desolation.

Because there is reference to those Jews who will need instruction during the time of the abomination of desolation/destruction of Jerusalem, we throw out the entire Olivet Discourse as being inapplicable to the church? You have yet to clearly demonstrate that the "secret rapture" will precede the events of the Olivet Discourse. You assume it. You don’t prove it. If the disciples asked for the signs/events before Christ’s return, why didn’t our LORD include the "secret rapture" in those events?

>>Matthew 24:15 The abomination of desolation. (Jesus points to this as the key to all end-time prophecy)<<

Now why would Jesus do this, if the secret rapture will be the item that kicks it all off? The fact is, the beginning of Daniel’s seventieth week is started off by nothing more than a confirmation of a covenant. Anything else is adding to scripture.

Hey, how about that Noah model anyway? The very day that Noah entered the ark was the day that God poured out His wrath. Luke 17:22-37. It was the same with Lot. The very day that angels carried him out of sin city, the wrath of God was poured out. Lot endured persecution, II Peter 2:7-8. But after the persecution, just as God was about to pour out His wrath, He carried out His elect. Was Lot an Israelite? Did Noah know what was coming ahead of time? Did it overtake him like a "thief in the night"? Or was he prepared like Christians will be? Did it only take the unbelievers like a thief in the night?

Let’s bring this together.

>>Short interjection here, you cannot be post-trib/pre-wrath. It’s an oxymoron. The trib IS the wrath (Second half of tribulation deals with God’s wrath, so pre-wrath is raptured BEFORE this, while post-trib has the rapture synonymous with the second coming).<<

Revelation has a clear chronological progression. The first five seals are clearly under the jurisdiction of the antichrist. Even Pre-Tribbers admit this. See Jack Van Impe’s Revelation Revealed Verse by Verse. At the sixth seal we have a line drawn in the sand. Now those who have been persecuting the church are scared for their lives. They know that it is now the LORD’s day. Then we have God’s wrath contained in the trumpets.

Then in the second telling, Rev. 12-16, we have the progression again. The rise of the antichrist, his persecution of the church, but then in chapter 14, a line in the sand. We have the two reapings in verses 14-20. The Son of Man comes upon a cloud just like He said He would. He reaps those who belong to Him to Himself, then what is left is reaped for wrath. Then in chapter 15 we have the church in heaven. In chapter 16 we have the wrath of God poured out, contained within the bowls. Cross reference Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 to show that this reaping is the time of our glorification, rapture, and no other.

You are being ambiguous about God’s wrath when scripture is clear about it. Scripture is clear that the tribulation is Satan’s wrath, Revelation 12:12, not God’s wrath. The trumpets and the bowls are clearly defined as God’s wrath, the killing of Christians for their belief in Christ is not. Revelation 6:17 is the harbinger for the trumpets, denoting that they are God’s wrath. Revelation 15:1 show the vials/bowls as God’s wrath.

The burden of proof is on you to show that the great tribulation is God’s wrath.

The days being shortened only refers to the ending of the killing of Christians. The phrase "there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened" gives the clear interpretation that in order to preserve a remnant alive to the coming of Christ, the days of the tribulation will be shortened. The "axis" thing is a clear violation of exegesis.

>>Do you honestly think that, when we (Body of Christ) are in Heaven, we will wish/desire vengeance? Is that what our Christian walk is about? <<

Have you read Revelation 6:9-11? Cross referenced with 8:1-6? How about II Corinthians 10:3-6?

 
For clarification here, I had pointed out the gathering in Isaiah 26 to be the Old Testament equivalent of the rapture.  Read my views here.  The poster conceded but insisted the timing for Isaiah 26 was before Daniel’s seventieth week even begins.

>>You see, it is not post-trib at all…<<

Have you read Isaiah 24-27? You are saying that 24:20-23, 25:6-9, 26:16-21, and especially 27:1 are all pre-Daniel’s seventieth week?

>>2 Thessalonians 2:3 tells us that there will be an apostacia, THEN the man of sin will be revealed. Now look at verse 4.
It describes this man a bit, it DOESN’T SAY that this will happen before the "gathering", it just tells us who the son of perdition is. It doesn’t even state that we will be here to see it. It describes the passage in Daniel that talks about it (Remember, Jesus quoted this when He gave the key to understanding end-time prophecy)<<

This is not what the plain reading of the text states. It says, "This day (coming and gathering) will not come except there come a falling away first, AND the man of sin be revealed". The passage goes on to explain what will happen as the man of sin is revealed, the abomination of desolation, the working of Satan with power, signs, lying wonders, deceivableness, strong delusion, all contained in the revealing of the man of sin.

 
Here the poster insisted that there was no resurrection that accompanied the rapture.
>>Coincidence is not a kosher word. Paul doesn’t place the Rapture of the church at the resurrection, again you are confusing the two.<<

You do not see a resurrection in the phrase "the dead in Christ shall rise first"? What do you see that as?
I Thessalonians 4 is clear that the rapture will happen at the same time as the resurrection of the righteous dead and at the same time as the coming of Christ with a shout (not secret). All scriptures put the resurrection of the righteous dead and coming of Christ well into the second half of Daniel’s seventieth week. This puts the rapture of the church there as well. Can you give me clear scripture putting the resurrection of the righteous dead or the coming of Christ with a shout before Daniel’s seventieth week?

 
Following this exchange, the poster stated that he was open to the PreWrath view.  My next example will be a little more involved.  I know this isn’t everybody’s cup of tea.  But I feel it is worth our while to search the scriptures out to see what the positions are, how they measure up to scripture, and even how they measure up to each other.
 
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
 
-The Orange Mailman
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