Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Nicene Nerd

For the First Time in Forever, Here's a Rapture Debate

Rapture Poll  

17 members have voted

  1. 1. What view of the Rapture do you hold?

    • Pre-tribulation
    • Mid-tribulation/pre-wrath
      0
    • Post-tribulation
    • No Rapture at all
    • Other
    • Aliens


Recommended Posts

Everyone is familiar with the Rapture, and the debate surrounding it. I'll sketch out the basic positions, and then let's get to debating.

 

Pre-tribulation Rapture - The Church will be quietly taken up at the start of the Tribulation. From this point there will be 7 years until Jesus returns.

 

Mid-tribulation/Pre-wrath Rapture - The Church will be taken up during the middle of the Tribulation, before God unleashes His full wrath on the world. At this point most agree there will be 3 1/2 more years until Jesus returns.

 

Post-tribulation Rapture - The Church will be taken up at the end of the Tribulation immediately before Jesus returns. The Tribulation can be, but doesn't have to be,  7 years long.

 

There are, of course, other positions as well, which shun the normal understanding of the Rapture. Some people would simply abandon the concept altogether. Others might revise or modify it, as I do. Feel free to share your opinions, and since this is the debate room, also come prepared to answer responses or objections.

 

-

 

My own view could fall under post-tribulation, but I would prefer to classify it as a modification of the entire Rapture concept. I follow N. T. Wright on seeing the Rapture as a gathering of God's people not to be taken into heaven, but to give Jesus a royal welcome and, for lack of a better analogy, escort Him into His kingdom. This would likely be the most natural understanding of Paul's teachings on parousia for a first-century audience familiar with the practices of a city visited by Caesar, which was also called parousia. The people would gather outside the gates to welcome their lord, and then give him a royal escort into the city. Given the nature of Jesus' return and the category mistaken of a translation to "heaven," this seems the best understanding of Rapture to me.

 

I am especially interested, though, in critiquing the pre-tribulation Rapture. As I continue to study the Bible, I have been astounded by the lack of evidence for this doctrine. I recently listened to the entire New Testament without noticing a single verse which works better for a pre-trib view than what I propose here, or for a post-trib view. I submit that a pre-tribulation Rapture should no more be accepted by sola Scriptura believers than should any of the unique Catholic teachings on Mary

which we so often criticize as mere "traditions of men."

 

To build a positive case against a pre-tribulation Rapture would be difficult. My suggestion is negative: there is no Biblical evidence to sustain a Rapture as an event separate from the parousia (Second Coming). A straightforward reading of the New Testament in historical and canonical context simply never gives any indication that there will be a snatching-up of believers before Jesus' final return.

 

To support my case, I await someone to provide some pre-trib proof texts. Then I will attempt to show that there is no need, and indeed would run afoul the original meaning of the texts, to interpret them with reference to an event before a 7 year Tribulation period.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What would it be considered if there is a belief everything will happen instantly and on the same day? XD

Blasphemy. (I kid)

 

Post-Tribulation. For reasons.

 

To be honest I kinda forget the Rapture is a thing. Like, I believe that I will go to Heaven and as long as I show the love to others and believe in Jesus and all that other jazz then it doesn't matter when. Same as creation. It doesn't matter how God created, only that He did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I suppose I believe that then.

 

I just kind of felt all the disasters will happen on the same day, Jesus will come, take his sheep, and put His wrath on the world and destroy it all at once.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What would it be considered if there is a belief everything will happen instantly and on the same day? XD

 

 

Well I suppose I believe that then.

 

I just kind of felt all the disasters will happen on the same day, Jesus will come, take his sheep, and put His wrath on the world and destroy it all at once.

 

I actually don't this qualifies as post-tribulation, because I don't think post-tribulationism allows for the entire Tribulation to occur in a single day. In fact, I don't think any known view does.

 

As a side note, "destroy it all at once" is probably somewhat misguided. But to tell for certain, what do you think happens after this destruction? 

 

Blasphemy. (I kid)

 

Post-Tribulation. For reasons.

 

To be honest I kinda forget the Rapture is a thing. Like, I believe that I will go to Heaven and as long as I show the love to others and believe in Jesus and all that other jazz then it doesn't matter when. Same as creation. It doesn't matter how God created, only that He did.

 

It's certainly a smaller issue, but I don't think it's entirely irrelevant. After all, going to heaven is only temporary. What happens in the end times is the beginnings of your forever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any particular reason? 

Well, in Revelation it's left out totally. You kind of have to fit it in between chapters. And most of the church throughout history hasn't believed in the Rapture as it's taught today. Much of what is taught to be about the Rapture in the gospels has been about the fall of Jerusalem, that's how the church had interpreted it for years. And if you look back at the fall of Jerusalem that's how the church took it. Almost no Christians were taken in the fall of Jerusalem.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, in Revelation it's left out totally. You kind of have to fit it in between chapters. And most of the church throughout history hasn't believed in the Rapture as it's taught today. Much of what is taught to be about the Rapture in the gospels has been about the fall of Jerusalem, that's how the church had interpreted it for years. And if you look back at the fall of Jerusalem that's how the church took it. Almost no Christians were taken in the fall of Jerusalem.   

 

I find more to agree with here than I expected. Your first sentence itself sums up one of my biggest issues with pre-tribulationism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find more to agree with here than I expected. Your first sentence itself sums up one of my biggest issues with pre-tribulationism.

Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My views are more this....

Jesus will come, and take His people. Once this is finished, He will apply the wrath upon the ones left, and then the earth will be destroyed. All we will have then is Heaven and Hell. Purgatory will no longer be either, all who are deserving will enter Heaven.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My views are more this....

Jesus will come, and take His people. Once this is finished, He will apply the wrath upon the ones left, and then the earth will be destroyed. All we will have then is Heaven and Hell. Purgatory will no longer be either, all who are deserving will enter Heaven.

 

So what about the new earth prophesied in Isaiah and Revelation, and anticipated in Romans 8? Is that included at all in this scheme?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So what about the new earth prophesied in Isaiah and Revelation, and anticipated in Romans 8? Is that included at all in this scheme?

I think 'Heaven' is our second earth. We will all be there with the angels and God himself again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think 'Heaven' is our second earth. We will all be there with the angels and God himself again.

 

That's not what it says. The Bible never says we'll spend eternity in heaven. It speaks of the universe being burned up and recreated. All the OT prophets and Revelation 21-22 clearly envision a physical earth for our eternal bliss.

 

I blogged about this here.

 

Also, if heaven is spiritual and isn't physical, where are our resurrected physical bodies supposed to go?

 

(What's funny is that I'm preaching about this exact topic Sunday.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always felt the resurrection referred more to the soul...

But I am not out of the question of being proven wrong. I will read this blog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always felt the resurrection referred more to the soul...

But I am not out of the question of being proven wrong. I will read this blog.

 

Bodily resurrection is essential to Christianity, nearly equal to Jesus' deity or the Trinity. Let me ask you: when Jesus rose from the dead, was He just a soul or did His nail-scarred body come back to life? The New Testament specifically teaches that our resurrection is the same as Jesus'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bodily resurrection is essential to Christianity, nearly equal to Jesus' deity or the Trinity. Let me ask you: when Jesus rose from the dead, was He just a soul or did His nail-scarred body come back to life? The New Testament specifically teaches that our resurrection is the same as Jesus'.

I felt it would more as, we would rise body and soul, but only our souls will end up entering Heaven.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I felt it would more as, we would rise body and soul, but only our souls will end up entering Heaven.

 

In that case, where would the bodies go? Besides, as I mentioned before the Bible never speaks of heaven as our eternal destiny. It does speak of a new earth this way, though.

 

Out of curiosity, what do you think heaven is like? If there aren't physical bodies there, then certainly we couldn't have the popular streets of gold or mansions, or anything we can see, hear, touch, taste, etc. All of these we use bodies for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think in Heaven we will really have material things. It will be a place where we moreless are like the angels. The angels don't really have a physical form either, but they can take upon one. We won't really know each other when we enter Heaven. It will have perfect peace. No more suffering will occur. And we will live perfectly as God servants.

 

I did finish reading your blog. It does give a certain insight. This certainly is another topic I have never felt 100% sure of, so feel free to fully educate me. XD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, it's your friendly neighborhood pre-tribber!

 

Contrary to popular belief, there is evidence in Scripture for a pre-tribulation rapture, and I will do my best to use it to reason why I believe pre-trib is the correct position. Before I start, let me first off say this: Be a Berean. Don't take what I say as truth: Search the Scriptures and see if what I relay to you is in fact true. With that, let's begin with a word study.

 

Firstly, there are people out there that don't believe in a rapture at all, namely because the English word 'rapture' is not in any of the English translations. That may be true, but the concept is there, and it starts with the Latin Vulgate:

 

1 Thessalonians 4:17: deinde nos qui vivimus qui relinquimur simul rapiemur c*um illis in nubibus obviam Domino in aera et sic semper cu*m Domino erimus 

 

 

Rapiemur is the proper tense of rapio. It is where we get our English words rapt and rapture. It means to be snatched up, caught up, carried out, etc. The Greek word harpazo is used in the same verse (1 Thess 4:17) and is also where we get rapture. It also means to be caught up, seized, etc. It is mentioned 14 times in the NT, sometimes in the context of dragging away, or moving by force, but in the current topic it is mentioned in 1 Thessalonians and 1 and 2 Corinthians thus affirming the concept of the rapture.

 

More to come when I have time to post. Blessings.

Edited by Diakonos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think in Heaven we will really have material things. It will be a place where we moreless are like the angels. The angels don't really have a physical form either, but they can take upon one. We won't really know each other when we enter Heaven. It will have perfect peace. No more suffering will occur. And we will live perfectly as God servants.

 

I did finish reading your blog. It does give a certain insight. This certainly is another topic I have never felt 100% sure of, so feel free to fully educate me. XD

Honestly, this view of heaven sounds a mostly Gnostic. It has nothing in common with the Biblical insistence in both testaments that creation itself, the same good creation God affirmed in the beginning, will be redeemed. But alas, you may need time to adjust to all these thoughts. So I'll quit derailing this thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

II. We Are Not Appointed to His Wrath

 

This one is quite straight forward: The church is not appointed to experience the wrath of God as noted in 1 Thess 5:9:

 

For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.     

  

Unless this is a separate kind of wrath mentioned, I don't understand how this can't be interpreted as the Bride not suffering judgement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, it's your friendly neighborhood pre-tribber!

 

Contrary to popular belief, there is evidence in Scripture for a pre-tribulation rapture, and I will do my best to use it to reason why I believe pre-trib is the correct position. Before I start, let me first off say this: Be a Berean. Don't take what I say as truth: Search the Scriptures and see if what I relay to you is in fact true. With that, let's begin with a word study.

 

Firstly, there are people out there that don't believe in a rapture at all, namely because the English word 'rapture' is not in any of the English translations. That may be true, but the concept is there, and it starts with the Latin Vulgate:

 

 

Rapiemur is the proper tense of rapio. It is where we get our English words rapt and rapture. It means to be snatched up, caught up, carried out, etc. The Greek word harpazo is used in the same verse (1 Thess 4:17) and is also where we get rapture. It also means to be caught up, seized, etc. It is mentioned 14 times in the NT, sometimes in the context of dragging away, or moving by force, but in the current topic it is mentioned in 1 Thessalonians and 1 and 2 Corinthians thus affirming the concept of the rapture.

 

More to come when I have time to post. Blessings.

Since we're not dealing with a positive argument, only a quick defense about the word "Rapture," I don't have much to say. I will, though, point out something about the verse you've mentioned. The entire passage it is found in is 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. This passage, I think, is best understood with reference to a single future resurrection.

The main reasons for thinking this are first that it is given as the hope awaiting believers who die. In a pre-tribulation framework, this only makes sense for believers who die before the Tribulation. Anyone who converts during the Tribulation or during the Millennium and dies would them seem to need another resurrection. Yet the New Testament clearly does not envisage multiple resurrections to eternal life. This passage itself seems to operate under the assumption that the event Paul is describing will be the one, singular resurrection for believers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

II. We Are Not Appointed to His Wrath

 

This one is quite straight forward: The church is not appointed to experience the wrath of God as noted in 1 Thess 5:9:

 

  

Unless this is a separate kind of wrath mentioned, I don't understand how this can't be interpreted as the Bride not suffering judgement.

Assuming that this "wrath" is meant eschatologically (which very well may be true), it does not follow that the Church is going to experience God's wrath if we live through the Tribulation. Indeed, Revelation frequently mentions that people who trust in Jesus or have His mark will be spared from the judgments which afflict those who have the mark of the beast. So even without a pre-tribulation Rapture, the Church can be spared God's eschatological wrath.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×