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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


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My own mother starts talking about the mark of the beast every time someone mentions microchipping soomeone or talks about how small technology is getting.

Me? I have no real idea on the matter, though I'd be liable  to shy from anything with "one world" or "universal" and "currency" in the name.,

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Here's the real question: can anyone provide a possible verse in support of a pre-trib rapture which in context cannot be about either the fall of Jerusalem or the final resurrection?

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Here's the real question: can anyone provide a possible verse in support of a pre-trib rapture which in context cannot be about either the fall of Jerusalem or the final resurrection?

Umm--er--hmm--nope.

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I am honestly amazed at how few people are supporting pre-Tribulation. I am so amazed in fact that I am going to revive a 10 month dead topic. Everything mid/post Tribulationers use to support their stance is either tieing it in to another event or the excuse that it is not discussion much in Revelations (Revelations isn't the only book with prophecy in it you know)

 

Anyway, I literally just reread the whole book of Revelations. One reason is to find something to use against the post-trib argument, and other reason is that Revelations is just downright fascinating to read. And then I realized that Revelations doesn’t actually say much regarding Jesus’ Second Coming and the Rapture.

 

But I finally got some viable info for my argument in the Gospels, during the multiple times Jesus told the disciples of his eventual return. And in Jesus’ typical fashion, he explains it by referencing Old Testament events.

 

Jesus in Matthew 24:37-40 uses the story of Noah to symbolize his return. Christians symbolize Noah, the Ark symbolizes Heaven, the Flood symbolizes the Tribulation, and the World still symbolizes the world. When sin becomes rampant in World, God saved Noah by putting him on the Ark before the Flood occurs.

 

Jesus in Luke 17:27-30 tells basically the same story. Lot was brought out of Sodom immediately before the city was destroyed. It pretty clearly says that the destruction was after the deliverance. And thus the Coming of the Lord will be after this.

 

And to basically sum it up is this excerpt from 2 Peter 2:5-9

 

And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

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A pre-tribulation Rapture, while it might make sense with the verses you cite, is completely absent from Biblical teaching. There is no basis to start with for a Rapture event that is separate in any way from the Second Coming.

But to specifically address the verses you've cited, your interpretation relies on the unlikely assumption that these rescues directly prefigure a Rapture event and that the destructions prefigure the Tribulation (and, for that matter, that the Tribulation means one literal 7 year period, which seems unlikely). Can you show why these assumptions should be accepted?

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Okay, so you're saying that these Biblical verses are outside of Biblical teachings? That's odd and seems rather narrow minded.
 
  In both of these verses, Jesus says very clearly that this is how the end times will be. Unless I completely missed something in Revelations, there seems to be one main destruction in the end. The Tribulation period. One could also suggest it refers to God's destruction of the Earth, but everybody would be off the Earth by then, so the story of Noah/Lot doesn't work that well in that scenario.

As for it being a rapture event, I really don't see any other alternative. It also wouldn't really make sense for this to be an Earthly event. Why would God rescue Christians by protecting them in a safeplace on Earth and then take them to Heaven only a few years in the future? Seems a lot easier to just take them up to Heaven in the first place.

 

 

As for the Tribulation being literally seven years, while not wildly important for the argument, I will nevertheless state my opinion. I believe that the Tribulation will begin when God abandons Earth to allow the anti-Christ rise to power. The anti-Christ will remain for 7 years, as suggested in Daniel 9. However, it will be divided in two parts of 3.5 years. The first half will be the anti-Christ securing power and signing the peace treaty with Israel, a time of assumed peace.

However, the last half will have the anti-Christ showing his true face, God's return, and the devil beginning his reign of terror. This two 3.5 year idea works with both the 7 year and 3.5 year argument suggested in the Bible. The 3.5 years also align perfectly with the length of time the Two Witnesses would be on the Earth and the reign of the anti-Christ.

 

 And one more point to keep the discussion from going stale. At Jesus' return, he will separate the Sheep (believers) from the Goats (non-believers.) He will then cast the Goats into the Lake of Fire while the Sheep will reign with him on Earth. If Jesus' return correlates with the Rapture, then there wouldn't be any Sheep to separate from the Goats. 

Edited by PlasmaHam

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Okay, so you're saying that these Biblical verses are outside of Biblical teachings? That's odd and seems rather narrow minded.

Not quite what I mean. I'm saying that these verses can only be interpreted the way you use them by using pre-trib Rapture theology as a lens, but the lens itself has no Biblical support.

 

In both of these verses, Jesus says very clearly that this is how the end times will be. Unless I completely missed something in Revelations, there seems to be one main destruction in the end. The Tribulation period.

What about final judgment?

One could also suggest it refers to God's destruction of the Earth, but everybody would be off the Earth by then, so the story of Noah/Lot doesn't work that well in that scenario.

The earth will not be permanently destroyed, but recreated, according to the New Testament including Revelation.

As for it being a rapture event, I really don't see any other alternative. It also wouldn't really make sense for this to be an Earthly event. Why would God rescue Christians by protecting them in a safeplace on Earth and then take them to Heaven only a few years in the future? Seems a lot easier to just take them up to Heaven in the first place.

We will not be taken up to Heaven. That's not what happens. We will meet Jesus in the air to royally escort Him to earth, and the earth will be made new, thus the New Earth of Revelation 21-22. Heaven and earth become one in the new creation; we will not be spirited away to an ethereal heaven.

 

 

As for the Tribulation being literally seven years, while not wildly important for the argument, I will nevertheless state my opinion. I believe that the Tribulation will begin when God abandons Earth to allow the anti-Christ rise to power. The anti-Christ will remain for 7 years, as suggested in Daniel 9. However, it will be divided in two parts of 3.5 years. The first half will be the anti-Christ securing power and signing the peace treaty with Israel, a time of assumed peace.

However, the last half will have the anti-Christ showing his true face, God's return, and the devil beginning his reign of terror. This two 3.5 year idea works with both the 7 year and 3.5 year argument suggested in the Bible. The 3.5 years also align perfectly with the length of time the Two Witnesses would be on the Earth and the reign of the anti-Christ.

One of the biggest problems with this is that Revelation explicitly teaches that the kingdom of the beast is Rome, not a future kingdom.

 

And one more point to keep the discussion from going stale. At Jesus' return, he will separate the Sheep (believers) from the Goats (non-believers.) He will then cast the Goats into the Lake of Fire while the Sheep will reign with him on Earth. If Jesus' return correlates with the Rapture, then there wouldn't be any Sheep to separate from the Goats.

It works if, as I suggest above, the Rapture involves our ascent to meet Jesus and escort Him to earth, instead of the unbiblical idea of us being taken away to heaven and leaving earth behind.

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    I had a nice, long argument on how you are wrong, but while eating dinner, my computer decided to auto-update. 75% on my work was deleted, and I am annoyed, so I’m just going to be short and sweet with this post.

Your argument is based mainly on the idea that the second coming and the rapture are one single event. That would make sense if there were uniform descriptions of it, which there isn't.

Numerous times the Rapture was referred to as a quick, silent event. In the Second Coming, everybody would see Christ’s coming. I Thessalonians 4 says that in the Rapture, we are separated and called up by Jesus, numerous verses in the Bible cite angels as separating people in the Second Coming. The Rapture has Jesus meeting us in the air, while the Second Coming has Jesus on Earth. The Rapture lists the dead as rising, yet no mention of it in the Second Coming. There was a lot of other reasons I listed but this should do for now.

As for not being brought to Heaven, why will we be called up only to be called down immediately? Also, Colossians 3:4 says that when Christ appears, so shall we be brought up to glory with him. If what you’re saying is true, then we Jesus will appear in the clouds to call us up, and then appear back in Heaven to be with us, and then heads right back down with the armies of Heaven. Actually, this sounds like almost a pre-trib argument if you think about it.

The only real link to Rome is the statement of it being on seven hills. And while it could just refer to another place of seven hills, let’s just go with the Rome. Daniel had a vision of four beasts, representing the great kingdoms that will rule in the future. The fourth is often thought of as Rome, as it is the strongest one there is and would swallow the rest. But not all the prophecy about the fourth beast came to be. Some people say that the anti-Christ will rule in Rome. This would complete the prophecy and would make since for a world ruling power to rule where the last one did.

Another point, to counter the post-trib argument. Different people are removed by Different beings at Different times. The Rapture has Jesus coming to the clouds to call forth Christians to Heaven, leaving the wicked on Earth. The Second Coming has Jesus sending angels to collect and cast the wicked to Hell, leaving the Christians on Earth to reign with Christ. These are total opposites and would not work together at all.

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God comes back. Takes up the bodies of the already dead. Then he comes back for us. I believe in Pretrib

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Numerous times the Rapture was referred to as a quick, silent event.

Can you demonstrate this?

I Thessalonians 4 says that in the Rapture, we are separated and called up by Jesus, numerous verses in the Bible cite angels as separating people in the Second Coming.

The biggest problem with this argument is that you assume something cannot be the work of both Jesus and His angels. Jesus speaks of His return as something which happens with His angels in which they act as His servants (Matt. 13:41, 16:27, 25:31, Mark 8:38). Everything Jesus said together paints a picture of His single return with His angels, in which He sends His angels to do the gathering/separating. Also, 1 Thessalonians 4:15 specifies this happening as at the "Lord's coming." Verse 16 also specifies that this event involves the angelic shout and last trumpet, which of course is associated with the Second Coming and not with a "silent" Rapture.

The Rapture has Jesus meeting us in the air, while the Second Coming has Jesus on Earth.

You must assume to begin with that these are two separate things; the Bible gives no such indication. It would be more correct to say that we meet Jesus in the air, and then we royally escort Him to reign on the earth. The Greek word parousia, translated as "coming" and which is used to refer to Christ's Second Coming/Rapture, was used in its time to refer to the visit of the Roman emperor to a Roman colony. The loyal citizens would all come out of the city to meet Him, and then they would lead Him in a royal procession into the city. This appears to be the Biblical teaching on what the Rapture is.

The Rapture lists the dead as rising, yet no mention of it in the Second Coming.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. That's completely wrong. The defining moment of the Second Coming is the resurrection. In fact, the best evidence against a pre-tribulation Rapture is that there is only one resurrection taught in Scripture, and it comes with Christ's return. Proof of this is all over Scripture:

John 5:27-29 — Jesus teaches that the resurrection of all people happens along with final judgment.

Daniel 12:2-3 — The prophecy says that the general resurrection of the righteous and the wicked happens immediately preceding their eternal state.

1 Corinthians 15:51-57 — In this defining chapter on resurrection theology, the only resurrection is associated with the final defeat of death. This is incompatible with a pre-tribulation Rapture, since if what these verses describe were to happen at the beginning of the Tribulation then a great deal of death would still be coming both for believers and unbelievers.

As for not being brought to Heaven, why will we be called up only to be called down immediately?

See what I said about the parousia above. It's a royal escort.

Also, Colossians 3:4 says that when Christ appears, so shall we be brought up to glory with him.

That's not what Colossians 3:4 says in any translation. Here are a few examples:

"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." KJV

"When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory." HCSB

"When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." NIV

"When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory." NRSV

"When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." ESV

Colossians 3:4 teaches that we will be glorified with Christ when He returns, not anything about being taken away with Him.

The only real link to Rome is the statement of it being on seven hills.

This is not true, though the seven hills is already proof. "Babylon" was also used in Second Temple Jewish texts to refer to Rome, and that's probably what it meant in another of John's writings. Moreover, the number of kings ruling the kingdom of the beast correspond to a list of Roman emperors. The description given of the false prophet for the beast also parallels the emperor cult and its priests. In fact, the whole thing about bringing images to life was something which Roman priests would set up in those days to get worshippers to believe in their gods.

And while it could just refer to another place of seven hills, let’s just go with the Rome.

No, it could not. Remember, John was written in the first century under Roman rule to a Jewish-based religion which suffered persecution by Rome, and Rome was popularly known by its seven hills. There is every chance in the world that the original audience would hear "Rome" when they heard "seven hills," and if that's not what John meant then using that description would be tantamount to deception.

Another point, to counter the post-trib argument. Different people are removed by Different beings at Different times. The Rapture has Jesus coming to the clouds to call forth Christians to Heaven, leaving the wicked on Earth. The Second Coming has Jesus sending angels to collect and cast the wicked to Hell, leaving the Christians on Earth to reign with Christ. These are total opposites and would not work together at all.

They work together quite perfectly. Jesus returns to call His people together to meet Him in the air, and they are brought to Him by angels. They escort Him to earth where He judges the wicked, also gathered by the angels, and sets up His kingdom in new creation.

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