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End Times: Why The Pre-Tribulation Rapture Makes Sense


Revelation-4-Views
Geisler-Church-Last-ThingsGeisler 4-1
We just finished 1 & 2 Thessalonians and are heading into the book of Revelation today. There is a reason that I ordered the One Year Bible Reading Plan this way. I wanted the great mystery of the Rapture to be in your mind as you head into Revelation. Just in case you are new to reading the bible, you should be aware that Revelation is not the only book of the bible to speak of the end times. In fact Jesus Christ and His first and Second coming are themes throughout the bible.
It surely is a blessing reading the Word of God, but the book of Revelation is the only book in the bible where we are told that we are going to be blessed by reading it and taking its teaching to heart.
Revelation 1:3 “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.”
There are typically four views on eschatology, a fancy theological word for end times theology. These four views and a brief synopsis are:
(1) The Preterist view: This view maintains that the events in the book of Revelation belong to the past and thus fall within the Roman empire and the persecution of Nero.
(2) The Historicist view: This view maintains a prophetic ambiguity by maintaining that Revelation is a panoramic view of history from the first century to the second coming of Christ.
(3) The symbolic/spiritual view: A spiritualized the book as a conflict between good and evil throughout history.
(4) The Futurist view: This view maintains that from chapter 4 until the end of Revelation deal with the end times events in the future. This view takes literally and seriously the predictive elements of this amazing book.
Above I have links to books that will help you on your journey of understanding the important teaching in this book. The parallel commentary listed above goes through the entire book of revelation verse by verse and provides how all four views approach these passages.
Dr. Norman Geisler is one of the best writers on this topic and many more! He invigorated my faith at a conference 16 years ago that led to me attending Southern Evangelical Seminary (www.ses.edu). I personally consider him a hero in the faith. I highly recommend his four volume systematic theology set for every library of people who want to do some serious study. He has also placed all four volumes in a summarized one volume set that I have pictured above. Click on any of the pictures, and just like every post I do, you will be directed to amazon.com for purchase. Remember every Christian should budget money every year for growth!
Norman Geisler
Below is a list of 6 of the 21 points defending the Pre-tribulation Rapture that Dr. Geisler makes in volume four of his Systematic Theology set called “The Church and Last Things”. Now as to the Rapture and its timing, you should know that I hold the pre-tribulation view. This view falls within the Futurist view of eschatology and maintains that an event called the Rapture where God takes His saints imminently; i.e., quickly will occur before the seven-year Tribulation where God’s wrath and judgement on earth will occur in a dreadful series of events. After the seven-year Tribulation Jesus Christ will return with His saints to reign for 1,000 years. This is only one part of eschatology, but a very important one.
Here is where we find the Rapture mentioned:
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…”
A quick note on two of the Greek words used in verse 17 and translated in the english as “caught up”. The Greek word used here is is the verb harpazo which literally means “to seize upon with force”. This is where we get the word Rapture from. How? The Latin Vulgate translated this Greek word to the Latin rapturo. The Greek word apantesin translated “to meet” from the preposition apo and antao which, like modern Greek, means to leave and “go meet” one who is coming toward you. Pretty cool eh?
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Ok, here are six reasons why the Pre-Tribulation Rapture makes good biblical sense:
(1) There is a Divine pattern of not judging the Righteous with the wicked when the judgment is directly from God Himself: (Remember we are righteous for embracing Jesus Christ as Lord; thus HIS righteousness is a covering for us)
– Genesis 7-9 – God destroyed the world yet saved Noah and His righteous family
– Numbers 14 – God preserved Joshua, Caleb and younger generation who entered the Holy land while the rebellious generation died in the desert
– Numbers 16 – Moses and the faithful were saved but Korah and his followers were swallowed up in judgment
(2) The church is never mentioned on earth during the Tribulation
– The Greek word for church is used 19 times in the first 3 chapters of Revelation and not once during the entire Tribulation period recorded in Rev 6-18! To me this is very very significant
(3) The Church (Bride) is mentioned in Heaven during the Tribulation
– Revelation 13:6 “those who dwell in heaven”. The verb for ‘dwell’ is the same word used for Jesus’ human body (John 1:14) and believers’ body (2Cor 5:1,4)
(4) The Church is saved from God’s wrath
– Right before the Rapture verses: 1Thess 1:10 “…wait for His Son from Heaven, whom He raised from the dead—Jesus who saves us from the coming wrath.”
– Right after the Rapture verses: 1 Thess 5:9 “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(5)The Church’s Rapture explains the sudden Apostasy
– 2 Thess 7 “For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out-of-the-way.” The one who now holds it back is the Holy Spirit and His influence. True Christians are all temples of the Holy Spirit and in this epoch God the Holy Spirit makes His ministry known through believers. When we are all gone, where is His influence?
(6)The Tribulation is Israel’s 70th week in Daniel 9:27 and is “determined” upon them (v.24) so there is no reason that the church should be included
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In Short, Christ will return personally and bodily to remove His church from the earth. His second coming will be before the seven-year tribulation. There are several prophesies that must happen before the Rapture, and some of them already have occurred. We may see another in our lifetime should the Jews rebuild the third temple!!! More on that another time.
If you would like to keep up-to-date on current events by someone who is in touch with this topic and may I boldly say not a nut ball! He is a friend and a great resource.

Joels BookHis name is Joel Rosenberg and here is his website: www.joelrosenberg.com You know that there are some nuts out there and it is ok to say it for they make a mockery of our Lord! Jesus says you will know the seasons, but never the “day or the hour”. But here comes the fool “I know the day and the hour it is ________. Do not be misled on that extreme, but do not be misled on the other extreme a miss the “signs of the seasons”.

When He returns He will reward believers according to their works.
Revelation 22:12 “Behold, I am coming quickly and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done”
Your works; i.e., what you do with what God gave you matter immensly!
Though we do not work for grace, we must certainly work from grace.
Are you Ready? Do you want to be? Click here and be sure–I am!
Until He Returns,
Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

www.MansUltimateChallenge.com

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