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Christianity Under Fire

Pantribulationism: Should I Stay or Should I Go?
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The Moral of the Story; Don't waste your Life debating the timing of the rapture. Just know that it is coming and we need to be ready for His coming or our going, whatever comes first.

Should I Stay or Should I go now?

REMAIN:

As I promised I will refute arguments from both the pre and posttrib camp.

The purpose is to show the futility of arguing the timing of the rapture when there are much more important things to discuss.

I pray NOT that thou shouldest take them out of the world (ek tou kosmou), but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. (Evil One) 16 They are not OF THE WORLD, even as I am not OF THE WORLD. (ek tou kosmou),

17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (John 17)

These verses are used by posttribbers to prove (at least in their minds), that we will not be removed before the Tribulation.

Posttribbers like to accuse Pretribbers of escapism, but the question is not whether they want to escape The Tribulation, reasonable people do.

I think that if in the Tribulation folks were given the choice of
whether to stay or to go, most of them would go and they wouldn't be
condemned for it.

Presently Katrina, a category five hurricane is hitting the coast.

Certainly no one could be faulted for wanting to get away from that.

The real question is whether God wants us to spend most of our LIVES figuring out whether we are going to or not.

The obvious problems with using the scriptures above (John 17) to prove posttribulationism is:

1) He was talking to the disciples because he goes on to continue to pray for the oneness of those that would believe on christ through their (the disciples) word.

2) Obviously both post and pretribbers agree that eventually we will be taken OUT OF THE WORLD, (ek tou kosmou) so these verses cannot be an argument for never taking them out of the world. In fact Christ in the same chapter goes on to say:

 

"Father, I WILL THAT THEY ALSO, whom thou hast given me, be with me WHERE I AM; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. "

So he eventually wants us to be where he is in his glory, the glory our preexistent Lord had with the Father belore the world began.

Next verses say:

 

But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and TOOK THEM ALL AWAY; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. (Matthew 24)

In the past pretribbers have used these verses to teach a rapture of saints while the rest were left behind.

Larry Norman wrote a song called, "I wish we'd all been ready' , where he used these scriptures.

However, this chapter is really dealing with the second coming of Christ after the tribulation, so this is really what happens during or after the tribulation not before.

But rather than being an argument for a posttribulation rapture, it really brings into question whether it is speaking of a rapture at all.

Reading the context of this verse, it compares the ones that are 'taken away' to those that were 'taken away' in the flood.

If we read these verses closely we see that the ones TAKEN AWAY in Noah's flood were the wicked ones.

So rather than a rapture this looks like judgment.

So really pre and posttribbers have alternated through time in thinking that these verses support their particular views.

Revelation says:

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall CAST SOME OF YOU IN PRISON, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have TRIBULATION TEN DAYS: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. (Revelation 2)

Used by Posttribbers, still there are potential problems with this verse as well:

1) Why are only SOME of them cast into prison to be tried if this is THE Tribulation

2) How does TEN DAYS translate to seven years.

In this present dispensation those that are his will be faithful unto death, in this scenario only when they have been faithful unto death will they receive a crown of life.

Presently, we will endure to the end. (Philippians 1:6;2:12,13; Romans 5)

In the Tribulation, only those that endure to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24)

However, if you do not see a distinction between what is spoken to Tribulation saints and what is spoken to the body of Christ OR what is spoken of Tribulation versus The Tribulation, then you will not accept the distinctions being made here.

Often Posttribbers do not want to distinguish between Tribulation and The Tribulation. Again, the importance of the definite article (the), in the greek and english is important here.

REMOVE:

10 BECAUSE THOU HAS KEPT the word of my patience, I also will KEEP THEE FROM THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION, which SHALL COME UPON ALL THE WORLD, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (Revelation 3)

This particular temptation/trial shall come upon the whole world and I don't think that the Roman Empire of that day qualifies as 'ALL THE WORLD.'

Pretribbers have used this verse but this has problems as well.

1) This makes keeping the word of my patience as a requirement to being kept from the hour of temptation.

2) We don't clearly know whether the Philadelphian church is the church that will be present right before THE tribulation or not.

Notice, many have endured much tribulation but only in the end will there be THE Tribulation.

Next verses:

After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a TRUMPET talking with me; which said, COME UP HITHER, and I will shew thee things which must be HEREAFTER. (Revelation 4)

This verse is used by pretribbers to show the rapture of the church and its disappearance from the earth.

Pretribbers believe that the Tribulation (Jacob's Trouble) mainly deals with Israel not the body of Christ.

These verses are circumstantial at best and cannot solely be used to prove a pretrib rapture.

The first three chapters are about the church and the church is not mentioned after that until the end of the book of Revelation.

However, this is mostly an argument from silence, and this kind of argument will not convince the unconvinceable.

The Term 'Come Up Hither' Was speaking of John, though some would argue that it has a wider application.

Also it says come up hither and I will shew thee things which must be HEREAFTER.

It could be:

after the church, which doesn't necessarily after the church is removed.

These scriptures are circumstantial at best and argue from silence.

This verse also speaks of a trumpet but this is a 'voice as a trumpet' and it is talking to John.

This doesn't sound exactly like the Trumpet at the Rapture.

We now know that the coming of Christ was prophesied in the OT, and that it was really two comings, one as a suffering servant and a future one as a reigning king. We only know that by looking back.

Many OT prophecies spoke of both comings together.

The rejection of Messiah by Israel played a role in this.

In his future coming, there may be two aspects to his Second Coming as well, we will have to stay tuned.

Here is the reason that you cannot argue eschatology over doctrine and Christian behaviour.

The Pretribber typically believes that there are two programs in the NT and the Posttribber believes there is mainly one.

The Pretribbin Dispie believes that there is a program for believing Israel and it is mainly in prophecy, and then there is a program for the body of Christ and is related to the mysteries that Paul speaks of.

The Posttribber, if he is consistent believes that these two groups are intertwined right through the tribulation.

If a two program person argues with a one program person on the end times, it will be futile because one is applying verses to both groups while another may be applying them to only one of the groups.

For more on this go to:

Dispensationalism and Stuff in the CUF Group.

The Moral of the Story; Don't waste your Life debating the timing of the rapture. Just know that it is coming and we need to be ready for His coming or our going, whatever comes first.

The Question is not whether you know when He is coming but do you know to be ready for his coming.

The hope of a future coming purifies us, not the hope of HIS exact timing. (1 John 3:2)

If you want to know what some of what to watch out for as his coming or your going draws near read First Timothy Four.

The Apostasy is happening even now, are you defending the faith or just shining your armour and fighting those that disagree with you on the timing of the rapture.

First Timothy talks about those departing from THE Faith and going after the doctrines of demons and seducing spirits which:

1) Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron

2) Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats

This is only part of what to watch out for. 

Also read: Philippians 4; Romans 4;

Nothing about those the didn't know the exact timing of the Lord's coming.

BJ Maxwell

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