Anti-PreTrib Rapture Conundrums
Anti-PreTrib Rapture Conundrums – Dr. Mike Johnston
[Excerpted from my book, The Tribulation Trilogy in its Jewish Setting]
“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:12-13)
There is a relatively new interest in a teaching today claiming the Body of Christ shares in the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7). If this is true – and there is no evidence from Scripture that it is – there are several conundrums that anti-PreTrib proponents seem eager to explain away without ever solv-ing.
1. If the church must be here for the tribulation in order to prove ourselves worthy, then it stands to reason that our salvation wasn’t completed at Calvary.
2. Why do the judgments of Revelation, which they maintain are intended to purify the church, appear to do just the opposite to people (Rev 16:8-9)?
3. If Paul had taught the Thessalonian Church that they were to go through the tribulation, why did they become so frantic when they had been told they were in it (2 Thess. 2:2)?
4. Why is the Greek word ekklesia mentioned 19 times in the first three chapters of Revelation, and never again until the 22nd Chapter?
5. If the church were to be here during the tribulation, what was the purpose of Paul changing the use of pronouns from we in (1 Thess. 4:13-17) , to they, them, and others (1 Thess. 5:3-7)?
6. Posttribbers agree that Rev 3:10 is intended for the tribulation church. However they teach that He will protect us through it. If the tribulation is intended to perfect us as they tell us, then why would the Lord even attempt to shield us from it (Rev 3:10)? This is inconsistent.
7. If the rapture and the revelation are the same, how does the church get to Heaven prior to re-turning with Christ at His revelation (1 Thess. 2:19; Jude 14; Rev 19:11)?
8. Anti-PreTrib rapturists tell us that since the blessed hope is after the tribulation, we are to be looking forward with great hope, for Antichrist and the horrors of the tribulation. Then, if we survive martyrdom, we’ll experience the rapture. Therefore comfort one another with these words? This is utter nonsense.
9. If the church is to be here for the tribulation, why does God only select and seal 144,000 Jews for protection (Rev 7:1-8; 9:4 ; 14:1)?
10. Anti-PreTrib rapturists agree that the rapture raises both sleeping and living Christians in new immortal bodies (1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 4:13-18). How did the Elders get their bodies when they appeared in Heaven prior to the tribulation (Rev 4:1-5)?
11. The crown of righteousness (2 Tim 4:8) is a special reward given to all who long for His appearing. If the rapture is not PreTrib, wouldn’t the persecution make virtually everyone ea-ger for His appearing?
12. Why do the writings of Paul focus upon the obedient walk of the Christian on earth, yet not one word is provided for their behavior during the trials and horrors of tribulation? He never even mentioned refusing the mark of the beast (Rev 13:18) which meant missing eternal life (14:9-12). Is this mere coincidence or oversight on Paul’s part?
13. If the church is here, why is Israel protected in the tribulation, but not the bride (Rev 12:13-17)? Remember the posttrib use of Rev 3:10.
14. If we are here during the tribulation and receive our transformed, immortal bodies at a posttrib rapture with everybody else who has survived the holocaust, who will populate the millennial earth?
15. Why is the term “mystery” used to describe the rapture resurrection, when the 2nd coming and the future resurrection were clearly taught in prophetic Scripture?
16. How can the saints of the 2nd coming meet the Lord in the air to be taken directly to the Fa-ther’s House (Jn 14:2-3; 1 Thess. 4:17) while at the same time returning with Christ to the earth (1 Thess. 2:19)?
17. If the church is to be here battling the forces of evil during the tribulation, where are the Scrip-ture(s) that teach that?
18. How can you place the church here during the tribulation, which is from the beginning a time of the wrath of the Lamb and of God (6:16-17), when we have been delivered from wrath (Rom 5:9) and have not been appointed to wrath (1 Thess. 5:9)?
19. If every living saint is to be raptured up at the 2nd coming, why would the Lord Jesus need to have a sheep and goat judgment to divide His people (Matt 25:31-33)?
20. Post-trib Anti-PreTrib rapturists stand alone in their belief of just one coming. While attempting to place the last trump of the rapture (1 Cor. 15:51) with the seventh trumpet in Revelation (Rev 11:15), they fail to explain that the 7th trumpet is blown before the end of the tribulation, before the seven bowl judgments (Rev 16), and way before the revelation of Christ that they claim they’re part of (Rev 19:11). All other positions would agree that while posttribbers are zealous in their attempt to use this trumpet in their favor, it actually stands as a bold witness against their erroneous interpretations.
21. If the rapture is at the end of the tribulation, what is the purpose of the saints leaving the earth at all to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess. 4:17)?
22. If the rapture is posttrib, why did Paul encourage the Thessalonians to comfort one another rather than insisting they begin stockpiling food, clothing, and water, in preparation for possible martyrdom like McKeever and other post-tribbers do? Does McKeever know something Paul didn’t? Hmmm!
23. If there is only one coming of Christ, how can 1 Thess. 2:19 and Jude 1:14 be harmonized with 1 Cor. 15:51-53 and 1 Thess. 4:13-18? How can we come with Him when He comes for us?
24. If the posttrib rapture position is scriptural, why then do the passages that should have included it remain silent (Mt 24; Rev 19)? Not one word about a transformation of saints, catching up in the air, going to be with Christ at the Father’s home. Not one word!
25. How can the church which is said to be permanently seated in the heavenlies in Christ (Eph 2:6; Phil 3:20; Col. 3:1-3) possibly be on earth experiencing the wrath of God’s judgment?
26. Without relying on changing the contextual definitions of saints and elect as they appear in Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, and the Revelation of Jesus Christ, there isn’t a verse anywhere in Scripture clearly placing the Body of Christ on earth even for one moment during the time of Jacob’s trouble.