Pretribulationism (the Rapture occurs before (pre) the Tribulation) is the view held by most evangelical Believers.
~ Pretribulationism is the only view that allows a literal interpretation of all Biblical passages regarding the Tribulation.
~ This is the only aspect of tribulation theology that teaches the imminence of Christ’s return.
~ The incentive to live holy lives has more relevance because His arrival is without warning.
~ The pretribulation rapture is affirmed by Paul in the middle of the first century (II Thess. 2).
~ The early Church looked forward to the Rapture as a reality by which they could govern their lives.
~ Jesus is coming when He is least expected…as a thief in the night (Lk. 12:39; I Thess. 5:4, & Rev. 3:3).
~ In anticipation of the Rapture, Believers are exhorted to keep themselves pure ( I Jn. 3:2-3).
~ Sensing the time is short before His return, Pretribulationists tend to take a more aggressive approach to winning the lost.
~ The Rapture is characterized by immediacy and expectancy, whereas the Second Coming is characterized by multiple predicted and definitive signs.
~ The Rapture can occur anytime; no prophecies need to be fulfilled before it takes place.
~ If the Tribulation was next on God’s calendar, we’d have been warned. Instead, Paul tells Believers to “COMFORT one another” with thoughts concerning the Rapture (I Thess. 4:18).
~ The ‘Blessed Hope’ (the Rapture) is the next major event in the prophetic timeline (Titus 2:13).
~ No Biblical passage suggests the Church is present during the Tribulation (Dan 4; Jer. 30; Mt. 13; I Thess 1; & Rev. 4).
~ If the doctrine of Pretribulationism is erroneous, the Church must endure either half or all of the Tribulation.
~ The Rapture takes place just prior to the Tribulation to remove the Church before this period.
~ Pretribulationists view the Rapture itself as a judgment, for unbelievers are left behind.
~ No sinner will see the Rapture because the saints will be caught up with Christ “in the twinkling of an eye” (I Cor. 15:52).
~ God has not destined His Church to experience His wrath during the Tribulation (I Thess. 5:9). We are therefore ABSENT on earth because we are PRESENT in heaven during during the Tribulation.
~ It would make no sense for Paul to ask the Church to “watch for His glorious appearing” if Believers must undergo the Tribulation.
~ During the Tribulation, it is estimated that over a billion people will be killed (Rev. 9:15-18). Those who are raptured will not be among those who are slain (Rev. 6:8).
~ God is prone to deliver His people before a specific divine judgment. This is shown in His interaction with Lot prior to Sodom’s destruction, with Rahab before the decimation of Jericho, and with Noah early in the deluge narrative (II Pet. 2).
~ Because the Lord so faithfully and consistently cautions His people ahead of time, the logic of a pretribulation Rapture is in perfect harmony with His gracious character.
~ At the Rapture, those humans left on earth will continue to sin. At the Second Coming, sinners are judged and righteousness is established at the Millennium commences.
~ The Church was inaugurated on the Day of Pentecost by the ARRIVAL of the Holy Spirit. It is logical the Holy Spirit must DEPART earth – with the Church – in advance of the hellish, pervasive atmosphere which Satan and his associates inaugurate.
~ The Holy Spirit, who restrains sin, must first be “taken out of the world” prior to the manifestation of the Antichrist (II Thess. 2:3-8).
~ Jesus comes FOR His saints at the Rapture and returns WITH His saints at the end of the Tribulation (Rev. 19:14).
~ “The Lord’s arrival WITH 10,000 of His saints” must refer to His Second Coming because we are WITH Him. (Jude 14).
~ This begs the question….How could we return WITH Him unless we were ALREADY with Him?
~ The 24 elders represent the raptured Church and are ALWAYS pictured as being in heaven after Revelation 4:1.
~ The ‘open door’ in Revelation 4:1 is the Church entering heaven at the Rapture. Heaven is again opened seven years later so the Church can follow Jesus (the white horse Rider) back down to earth at His Second Coming to “reign with Him 1,000 years” (Rev. 19:11 & 20:6).
~ After the Tribulation, Jesus returns with His bride (the Second Coming), when we will join Him to partake of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7-10).
~ A thousand years (the Millennium) will transpire between the first resurrection and the final resurrection (Rev. 20:4-6).
~ The clear distinction between Israel and the Church is a strong aspect of Pretribulationism, for the Jewish aspects of eschatology are recognized and respected.
~ The godly remnant (referred to as ‘the elect’) throughout the Tribulation are Israelites – not the Church.
~ The Rapture begins a transitional period: He deals with His Church on earth up to the time of the Rapture. He then deals with the Israelites on earth after the Rapture.
~ The Tribulation is a time of chastening for Israel as well as a period of preparation for their restoration through repentance (Isa. 63; Ez. 38; Jer. 30; & Zech. 12).
~ Those who claim to know the date of the Rapture DO NOT, because they CANNOT. Only the Father knows the exact instant it will occur (Acts 1:7).
~ The Rapture also serves to separate, as Jesus allegorizes on three occasions, “the wheat from the weeds” (Mt. 13:29-30), “the good fish from the bad” (Mt. 13:48-50, and “the sheep from the goats” (Mt. 25:31-32).
~ Any and all tribulationist and millennialists theology ultimately centers on the return of Christ. Two thousand years of speculation, theories, and argumentation have not altered the time of the arrival of the Lord Jesus one millisecond: He has His own personal and perfect agenda.