Thursday, July 30, 2015
A Pre-Tribulation Rapture? That's NOT what Jesus said!
Pre-tribulation Rapture? NOPE.
How do we know?
Because JESUS said it! Clearly and plainly!
Do you want to know what JESUS says about this very topic?
By Pastor Carl Gallups
26 "Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man.
27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.
28 "It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building.
29 But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.
30 "It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
Jesus could not have been more concise and more clear in telling us "how it would be" in the very last days. He tells us that just before He returns, the world will be JUST LIKE the days of Noah and the days of Lot. And how were "those days?"
Several striking features of "the days of Noah and the days of Lot:"
1. They both lived in the MIDST of "great tribulation." In both cases it was the worst their world or culture had ever seen. The Bible says that Noah's day was the most evil it had ever been - right up to the flood.
2. They both were "preserved in the midst of" the great tribulation in which they lived. They both were used as witnesses, salt and light, ambassadors, prophets - for "such a time as this," right up until God poured out His wrath. Sound familiar to Jesus' teaching?
3. They both lived in cultures where the lost people around them thought that the wickedness in which they lived was "normal, natural, lawful, and politically correct." (They went about eating and drinking and given in "MARRIAGE" right up until the judgment of God was delivered.) Sound familiar?
4. They both were "raptured out" of their wicked generation - but only just before God poured out His wrath. Noah and his family were "taken up" in the ark - they were lifted "out" of the flood of God's wrath.
Lot and his family were "taken out" of Sodom by angels who were sent for that purpose. (Compare Matthew 24:31) Lot was taken out just before God's wrath was poured out. See the pattern?
5. In the account of Noah and the account of Lot - there is no room for a "secret rapture" scenario.
6. The clear pattern: (Jesus said it would be - JUST LIKE THIS)
a. They lived in times of GREAT TRIBULATION.
b. They were there to be witnesses of God's coming wrath.
c. They were preserved in the midst of the tribulation because they were faithful witnesses of God's Word.
d. They were "raptured" out just before God's Wrath was poured out.
e. God's wrath came and destroyed the unbelievers....but God's people were gone!
THE PRETRIB ARGUMENT:
Yes, but Jesus said that the "great tribulation" of the very last days will be worse than ANYTHING the world has ever seen, even the days of Noah and Lot ... so He couldn't have meant we will be left in the midst of those days!
MY BIBLICAL ANSWER:
Jesus meant EXACTLY what He said! "It will be JUST LIKE THAT." Jesus was not speaking to the "intensity" of the tribulation (a relative matter for the ones going through it!). Rather - he was speaking to the eschatological "pattern" we can expect before His return! Of course the last days "tribulation" will be the worst the world has ever seen. But, that was not the point of Jesus' statement. He was purposely giving us the PATTERN of events before His return. I have clearly demonstrated that pattern above. the intensity of tribulation had nothing to do with what Jesus said in Luke 17.
Also, it is important to note that both Noah and Lot obviously represent "the people of God" throughout all ages. Before a pretribber accuses me of "spritualizing" the text - remember it was Jesus who gave the pattern - not me.
There is not a SINGLE hint or picture of a "pretrib rapture" or a "secret rapture" in either account. Noah and Lot lived in tribulation right up until the time God poured out His wrath - and then, and only then, did God rapture out His people.
WHAT ABOUT NOAH ENTERING THE ARK 'SEVEN DAYS' BEFORE THE FLOOD?
Most pretrib teachers will claim that this (Genesis 10) is a 'picture' of the rapture. With each 'day' Noah was "in" the ark representing a year in the New Testament "rapture." There are three HUGE things wrong with this false pretrib teaching.
1. This pretrib rendering of Genesis 10 is a blatant "spiritualization" and "eisegetical" interpretation.
2. The text in Genesis 10 actually said that this was the time period that God brought the animals to Noah to enter the ark - therefore Noah and his family had to be "in" and/or "near" the ark to receive the animals and prepare them aboard the ship. Noah and his family were not "hiding out" inside the ark!
3. There is no mention of a "seven day" period in the account of Lot. Jesus said His return would be just like Noah and Lot. It is a horrible interpretation process to try and make Noah's seven days of onboard preparation fit a rapture event before the tribulation period.
A SECRET RAPTURE?
The pretribbers speak continually about a "secret rapture." They often claim that those who "don't believe in a secret rapture" are somehow a theologically illiterate person. However, the problems with the false teaching of a secret rapture are immense.
The Word of God was given to the people of God. The New Testament was given to the church and for the church - and it is about the church. There is not a single place in the New Testament where it is plainly stated, taught, or laid out - that there will be a "secret rapture." Not a single place.
Jesus did not speak of a secret rapture in any direct and clear way. Paul did not either. Neither did Peter, James, John, Jude, Matthew, Mark, Luke, or the writer of Hebrews. It just is not there - other than using a "spiritualization" technique on "cherry picked" verses and an eisegetical (reading into ....) approach to the interpretation of scripture.
Now, I have to ask ... if a secret rapture was such a CENTRAL theme to New Testament eschatology (as the pretribbers claim) then WHY did NO ONE who wrote or spoke scripture - clearly, directly and "by name or description" mention it? Why? Because it is NOT a New Testament teaching - plain and simple. That doesn't even make sense.
If this doctrine really was such a central theme to New Testament understanding of last days unfolding, why keep it such a ... "secret?" Why on earth would ALL of the New Testament writers want to be so "secretive" about something as amazing as a secret rapture? And...who in the world would Jesus and the writers be keeping this a secret from?
On the other hand - Jesus DID say something VERY direct about eschatology and its clear, historically demonstrated pattern - Jesus said "IT WILL BE JUST LIKE THAT." There was no "secret rapture" in the days of Noah or the days of Lot. In fact, there is not even a hint of it in those accounts.
No, I will stick to what Jesus plainly said, and not what the fanciful "theologians" of only the last 200 years (do some research on John Darby and Clarence Scofield) have said.
The vast majority of the first 1800 years of Christian scholars understood a clear historic premillenial approach to eschatology laid out in the scriptures. That approach takes the words of Jesus in Luke 17 in a very literal fashion. They took that pattern literally - because Jesus spoke it and meant it to be taken as such. That is what those scholars believed. That is what I believe. That is what Jesus taught.
Even some of our modern pretrib "experts" - like David Reagan have had to admit, in writing, that historic premillenialism was the majority view of the early church (you know ... many of who actually walked with Jesus, and/or knew the first disciples of Jesus!).
Here is what Reagan says in his book WRATH AND GLORY (pp. 112-113)
" [Historic Premillennialism] was the historic position of the early church. This view is based on a literal interpretation of what the Bible says will happen in the end times ... [We] have to admit that [this] viewpoint presents a plain sense summary of the Bible's teachings about the end times."
Of course the historic premillenial view has no "secret rapture" teaching. Why? Because the plain sense, literal summary of the Bible's teaching about end times does not allow for a pretrib rapture or for a "secret rapture." THIS was the historical position of the church for the first 1800 years. And - still is for many millions of Christians around the world - myself included.
So - there you have it. According to Reagan's analysis, what I believe and teach is "historic," "literal," "what the Bible says," and a "plain sense summary of the Bible's teaching."
Forgive my "naivety" (as some pretribbers accuse). But, I take Jesus at his plain word. I don't have to try and "invent" clever doctrines that tickle the, largely American, ears of people who don't want to go through "tribulation."
I know what Jesus said about the last days. I know he said it would be JUST LIKE the days of Noah and the days of Lot. I know where to find out from God's Word about the days of Noah and the days of Lot. I also know that there is no pattern of a "secret rapture" before the days of "great tribulation" in either of those accounts. So, I am standing where Jesus stands.
If the trumpet sounds and we are raptured out before the antichrist appears and the tribulation begins - wonderful! I will shout for glory with you. But if it doesn't happen that way - then God's people and the Church of Jesus had better be prepared.
The convergences of last days prophecies that are now before our eyes are astounding. Please don't be like the Pharisees of Jesus' day and miss the fulfilled prophecies right in front of you! - Thus missing the interpretation of the "days in which you live."
Not that this "proves" anything regarding this issue - but it is interesting to note that both Dr. Kent Hovind and Jim Bakker (both were some of the world's premier pretrib teachers for many decades) are now on record as saying that while in prison, they had the opportunity to do a careful, literal, contextual study of the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation on the topic of eschatology. They both have now renounced their pretribulation beliefs proclaiming - "It is not in the Bible!" Dr. Hovind made this declaration live on my radio show and Jim Bakker said it live on his television show on one of the times he interviewed me about my book - Final Warning.
I pray that this brief study has helped some of God's people. May the Lord bless you and keep you - until He comes! Maranatha!