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CHART OF THE PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE

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Chart of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture View

Definition: Christ will come for His saints.; afterward He will come with His saints. The first stage of Christ’s coming is called Rapture; the second stage is called Revelation.

Proponents: John MacArthur, Chuck Swindoll, Erwin Lutzer, David Jeremiah, Charles Ryrie, John Walvoord, Ron Rhodes, Darell Bock, Robert Saucy, Warren Wiersbe, Charles Stanley, Adrian Rogers, Joel Rosenberg, Tim LaHaye, Mark Hitchcock, Michael Vlach, Michael Rydelnik, Chuck Smith, Greg Laurie, Billy Graham, J. Dwight Pentecost.

Arguments For Pre-Tribulationilism Arguments Against Pre-Tribulation
The Bible says that Christians (the church) are exempt from divine wrath (1 Th. 1:10, “and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come). This exemption does not mean that the church does not experience trials, persecution or suffering. Christians are exempt from God’s wrath (orge), but the majority of passages dealing with the tribulation (thlipsis) refer to the tribulation that believers suffer. Exemption from wrath does not mean exemption from the wrath of the Tribulation, those who believe during the Tribulation would need to be raptured at conversion.
Believers are also exempt from the time of wrath recorded in Revelation 3:10, “Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.” This is supported by the Greek preposition ek used in this passage. Normative meaning of ek is “out from the midst of” and does not require a snatching from trial. It can mean being kept from tribulation without being taken from trial. The normal preposition for “keeping away from” is apo.
All the positions on the Tribulation Rapture predict a Millennial kingdom. The pre-tribulation position calls for living, non-glorified believers to enter the kingdom, thus to repopulate the kingdom Zechariah 12:10-13:1; Romans 11:26). The 144,000 of Revelation can populate the earth during the time of the Millennium.
A clear distinction is made between the Rapture and the Revelation, an interval of time. This is consistent with the various Scriptures that discuss both of these events. The Rapture: John 14:1-14; 1 Cor. 15:51-58; 1 Th. 4:13-18; The Revelation, or the Second Coming of Christ: Zech. 14; Mat. 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-27; Revelation 19. The “blessed hope” and “glorious appearing” are the same events (Rapture and Revelation). The NT speaks of one Second Coming, not two comings or a coming in two stages. The distinction may be in the nature of events, not in the time differences.
Christ’s return is imminent. Since Christ may return at any time, believers have an attitude of expectancy (Titus 2:13, “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”). There are no preparatory warnings of an impending tribulation for the church-age believers (Acts 20:29-30; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:1-3). Imminency for the apostles and the early church revolved around the second coming of Christ. Thus, the Rapture and the Revelation are coterminous, not separate (Matthew 24:3, 27, 37, 39; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; James 5:7-8; 1 John 2:28). Also, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10 may list events to be expected before the Rapture.
A literal Tribulation is given in Revelation 6-19. There is no mention of the church (argument from silence) in Revelation 4-18. Much language in Revelation 6-19 is figurative; the Tribulation may be as well. Argument from silence is inherently weak reasoning.
The Restrainer mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 is the Holy Spirit indwelling in the church. He must remove her (the church) before the Tribulation begins. The Holy Spirit’s indwelling ministry is not equivalent to his restraining work. Also, this passage does not clearly equate the Restrainer with the Holy Spirit, or the removal of the restraint with the rapture of the church.
RAPTURE/TRANSLATION 2ND COMING/KINGDOM ESTABLISHED
Translation of all believers No translation at all
Translated saints go to heaven Translated saints go to earth
Earth not judged Earth judged and righteousness established
Not in the Old Testament Predicted often in the Old Testament
Believers only Affects all people
Before the day of wrath Concluding the day of wrath
No reference to Satan Satan is bound
Christ comes for His own Christ comes with His own
Christ comes in the air Christ comes to the earth
Christ claims His bride Christ comes with His bride
Only those who are saved see Christ Every eye sees Christ
Tribulation begins Millennial Kingdom begins
Imminent, any-moment, signless Follows definite signs like the tribulation

*Charts adapted from: Charts of Bible Prophecy by H. Wayne House and Randall Price. Grand Rapids, MI.: Zondervan, 2003 & The Truth About Christ’s Second Coming by Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy. Eugene, OR.: Harvest House, 1998.

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