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Tribulation Confession

I've held to the Pre-Tribulation position for as long as I've known what that meant. Every church I've gone to, and every pastor I've had has held firmly to the doctrine that the church (Christians) will be raptured before the Great Tribulation. Every book and commentary I own that deals with this subject takes the "Pre-Trib" position.

While I can find plenty of books and sermons on the Pre-Trib rapture, there's just one problem: I can't find it in the Bible.

That we should be looking for "that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" is certain, and that there will be a rapture of the church is without question. However, I simply cannot find reason to believe that this happens before the 7 year "week" of Daniel 9, or before the 42 month period starting halfway through the 7 years (Revelation 11:2; 13:5).

I have flipped from a Pre-Tribulation rapture position to a Post-Tribulation rapture position. I don't have the time right now to write an article of the necessary length to fully unpack this eschatological viewpoint (it's quite an extensive study), but I will likely make some posts in the future dealing with specific verses.

For now, I want to just look at the primary passage on the rapture, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

For starters, this doesn't seem to be a "secret" rapture as described in books like "Left Behind." There will be a shout and God's trumpet to announce His glorious return! Now let's compare this with Zephaniah 1:14-16.

14 The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.

15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,

16 A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.

Look at the similarities of the two passages above. We have a trumpet and a voice to announce the second coming of the Lord. Nobody on earth will miss this event. This is just one example of many that has caused me to believe in a "Post-Trib" rapture, and while a Pre-Tribulation rapture is possible (and preferable!), I just don't find that doctrine supported in Scripture.

I believe the Day of the Lord will either include, or come moments after the rapture of the church.

If he is about to descend, on what account shall we be caught up? For the sake of honor. For when a king drives into a city, those who are in honor go out to meet him; but the condemned await the judge within. And upon the coming of an affectionate father, his children indeed, and those who are worthy to be his children, are taken out in a chariot, that they may see and kiss him; but the housekeepers who have offended him remain within. We are carried upon the chariot of our Father. For he received him up in the clouds, and “we shall be caught up in the clouds.” Do you see how great is the honor? And as he descends, we go forth to meet him, and, what is more blessed than all, so shall we be with him. - John Chrysostom


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Joe Dokes
Joe Dokes

"For THE GREAT DAY OF HIS WRATH is come; and who shall be able to stand?"

Again, it is a fact that His wrath doesn't begin with the last seal, but with the first.

For the saved to be here for any part of His wrath makes Him a liar -- since husbands are told to treasure wives as we would our own bodies, for we are one flesh, we're to believe that Christ will pour out wrath upon His own Body, which is His flesh? No...the very thought is blasphemous but that's the inescapable conclusion of those who say the Body will be here for it, whether they realize it or not.

Remember: the saved are 100% justified, sanctified,…


Joe Dokes
Joe Dokes

Let me help.

Fact 1. The Body of Christ is not appointed to wrath.

Fact 2. The wrath of the Lamb begins with the breaking of the first seal.

Conclusion: the saved must be removed before His wrath begins to be poured out.

Thus, pre-trib.


Thanks for the comment! However, I don’t see the necessity of God’s wrath being synonymous with the Great Tribulation.

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