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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Why should I believe in bible prophecy if I do believe in a pre tribulation rapture

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deltadom
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Joined: 2005/1/6
Posts: 1787
Hemel Hempstead

 Why should I believe in bible prophecy if I do believe in a pre tribulation rapture

I have struggled with this question if you believe in a pre tribulation question is that if most of the book of revelation is not written to the church then why should I believe in it if I believe in a pre tribulation rapture
Shouldn't I cut that out my bible and any other passage to the Jews
Doesn't this cause a problem ?

As I do believe In a post tribulational rapture and that I will go through the tribulation and see the antichrist doesnt all bible prophecy become irrelevant if you don't experience it

It is also the same about a revival I long for a revival bit I would need to experience one my self

I wish god could remove all bitterness and unforgiveness out of my heart and a revival could start with me
As a christian i have been through 3 church splits and went to a church for ten years or more after the church split and then it split about the pre tribulation rapture and I have been going from church to church not feeling at home

I do not want to feel bitter or unforgiveness towards the churches I was previously in
Pray as i have always wanted to take a back seat in church and feel like the dead sea sometimes with no outlet and I am finding it hard to find mid week fellowship on a Tuesday as that's the only time I can get time of as I work till 9pm

I so want to feel part of a true body of the Messiah


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Dominic Shiells

 2019/6/7 7:21Profile
docs
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Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 1963


 Re: Why should I believe in bible prophecy if I do believe in a pre tribulation raptu

Hearts out to you bro. I'm thinking many have been where you are at.

One thing is for sure is that this teaching is beginning to be examined again by brethren in the church and it is dawning on many that the teaching comes up exegetically short and above all did not make its appearance in the church until the 1830s. In vain does one search for its supposed origins among the early church fathers.

Many are unaware that along with a pre-trib rapture it is taught by many of its leading proponents that tribulation saints will not be part of the church or be indwelt by the Holy Spirit after expressing faith in Christ during the tribulation. Go figure. I'm reading a book now about the early origins of the Brethren movement which Darby came to dominate. He was repeatedly warned by notable and leading men of God (including Tregelles and George Mueller) that he was opening a pandora's box of unorthodoxy but history shows he did not listen but instead unleased a torrent of disfellowship and excommunication against those who disagreed with him. That's not fanciful revisionist thinking but just plain historic fact.


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David Winter

 2019/6/7 8:43Profile
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Joined: 2005/6/6
Posts: 638
Campbell River, B.C.

 Re: Why should I believe in bible prophecy if I do believe in a pre tribulation raptu

"I wish god could remove all bitterness and unforgiveness out of my heart and a revival could start with me"

Dominic, forgiveness is something you must decide to do. I know it may not be easy. I have been hurt by people in the church as well. One person in particular I had to forgive literally hundreds of times, because the hurt he caused me kept coming back and plaguing my mind. Every time it did, I would consciously say "I forgive him" "I release him" etc. Now, even though he does not consider me a brother in Christ and has not talked to me in years, I still love him and expect to see him in heaven. There is no bitterness in my heart.

I have a feeling that there will be differences in doctrine on non essentials right up to the time when Jesus returns. The question is, are we going to let these things divide us? I believe in a pre tribulation rapture; do you still love me in Christ? Because I love you and anyone else who truly belongs to Jesus, regardless of their eschatological views.


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Nigel Holland

 2019/6/8 16:58Profile
deltadom
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Joined: 2005/1/6
Posts: 1787
Hemel Hempstead

 Re:

I have no problem with the salvation of someone who believes in the pre tribulational view but to me the view seems absurd
I believe that someone who believes in the pretribulation is 💯 percent saved

I love you in Christ Nigel

I have no problem in fellowship if I could personally go up to each person that I have hurt through my actions and say forgive me I would do it with the lords grace and courage

With these theories about the end times they are ok when they are layed on charts or in diagrams but when these events really happen as there is not going to be a sign we are now entering the tribulation or we are now entering the millennium


What breaks my heart is that I find it hard to fit in .
Is that the tribulational that I have personally been through with every day working in a hospital seeing the dead and the dying.

Yet my biggest struggle is finding believers that I can truly converse with on subjects that are close to my heart as there are some subjects that are completely lossed due to lack of biblical knowledge.

I feel like driftwood wanting to find a church home and also like the dead sea having so much knowledge but no outlet

As I love the first five books of moses and things like the minor prophets or books that are not normally preached on on church , I love the new testament but I love history

I know when I went into the Christian bookshop and was trying so desperately to find books to encourage and strengthen believers yet was discouraged when I found books that did not pass Walter Martin's basic idea of what a cult is. It broke my heart.

When one wants do recommend Christian books to encourage peoples faith

My problem is that because I have read so much it is like hard to find a church to not get viewed as judgemental or Pharisaic because you simply love god's word

When talking about things like the pre tribulation view I do not want to go to a church and be ostracized because of a belief in a non essential.

It is so hard to go to a church and watch when people engadge in movements such as the NAR movement or word of faith movement or the ecumenical movement it is like cancer in the church it gives you very few options left open

It is hard when you just want to go to church and discuss scripture actually after the service and not have sermon amnesia and then go to Sunday next week or meet with believes for one time till the next week

I want to discuss sermons and the bible over lunch and the whole day

I feel.like driftwood

I like listening to the bible and bible commentaries and am very tech savvy , it has been so hard as my dad formally being a pastor and having alot of responsability and for the last 10 years just taking a back seat

It seems we have more of a church that is not a body but more rather a business.

There seems to be know gatekeepers or people checking on sermons in church .

Where are the people who stand up in a sermon and say that is wrong on biblical grounds.

People follow like sheep even if pastors like Shepard's lead them to arsenic water they will drink it even if it kills them.

Where is the congregation who know are as biblically literature as the pastor.

I have had so many churches say they are berean until they are confronted with a truth they do not like and there views change

All I would like is somewhere in a church where I can actually discuss biblical things beyond the pulpit whilst the congregation has sermon amnesia

I have felt in the past few years gone from church to church and wish I know where god wanted me and I so want to forgive the path of destruction I have left in my wake

I know I am a sinner and I need Jesus but I wish time machines were a possibility

It sometimes annoys me with the biblical resources we have sermons that do not have the power of prayer and information

We can have access to multiple commentarys or biblical information and even Wikipedia or Google earth to find specific locations mentioned in scripture

With the scientific knowledge at our fingertips

I think one of the posts that saddened me was the death of the prayer meeting and I used to run a prayer meeting but with my work so overwhelming me with having to work till 9pm and then you have the average person who is unsaved having to work from Monday to Sunday just to make ends meet

In an endless cycle of getting back from work , eating , spending time in bible , sleeping then in a perpetual cycle of doom and having only one day of for a midweek meeting and having to fight for the weekend of at work


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Dominic Shiells

 2019/6/8 18:23Profile
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Joined: 2007/4/5
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 Re: Pretribulation rapture

You are not alone in your struggle. Please don't give up. The church is under attack. The wolves have crept in unaware with new methods and slick messages. Stay strong and you will encounter other true believers in your life. Stay at the feet of Jesus especially during this time just like the disciples. Ask and pray for truth alone.

Religious error is professionally pushed today and heresy is rampant. Come out of the heresy churches where you have been stifled and labeled. Years ago the congregation would hear a matter. Not so today. The songs, the prayers, the sermon have all been planned for you. You are just to come sing sit and pay.

Just what you need say those who write and sell the weekly sermons. Be careful in your day to day life and be sure to love all. The still small voice will lead you to your answers if you stay at the feet of Jesus. See Amos 5:4-6. Seek Jesus, Avoid Bethel, if Bethel is the problem.


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James R Barnes

 2019/6/8 18:46Profile
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Joined: 2005/6/6
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 Re:

Dominic, I have literally not one christian I can talk to in the city I live in. It's not for lack of trying, believe me. I've been to many churches and Bible studies. I share your concern when I see so much word of faith/prosperity and NAR teaching in churches, and the church members have no discernment.

I'll ask church members questions like "So what has God been speaking to you lately?" or say thing like "Isn't God's presence wonderful" and they look at me like I just walked out of the nearest insane asylum. (Not that I walk up to them and just start to say these things; generally these are people I know.) Or they've been sucked into some craziness like Bethel or some T.V. preacher.

But in spite of all that, I give thanks for what I do have.

I have the sweet presence of Jesus with me.

I have a good church, even though it is 3,000 miles away and I can only watch online.

I have true believers on this forum I can talk to and pray with (I'm very thankful for you all; your support and prayers have helped me through some very difficult times.)


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Nigel Holland

 2019/6/8 20:25Profile
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 Re: Why should I believe in bible prophecy if I do believe in a pre tribulation raptu

Hi Dom,

Thank you for your sincerity. I do think that many post-trib believers have a tendency to take an us versus them stance when it comes to those who believe in a "rapture."

Some seem to think that those who embrace the idea are simply led astray by either wanting it to be true or falling prey to false teachers.

This issue has been discussed at length since I joined SermonIndex as a college student back in 2003. Many of those discussions morph into divisive debates where people endlessly try to "prove" the preeminence of their position on the issue.

Unfortunately, people sometimes view the other side of a doctrinal dispute as they "enemy" or even "wolves in sheep's clothing." The term "blind" is often used to describe those who might not see things the way that someone else might see them.

Let me share something that might help: Most believers aren't trying to be deceived. Most are truly and sincerely seeking wholeheartedly after our Lord. So, how is it that people who truly have been born of the Spirit and wholeheartedly seek the Lord might arrive to a different view on a matter?

This goes beyond debates over eschatology. Think back to all of the debates in the SermonIndex forums over the past fifteen years. People have debated the precise timing or manner of the Lord's return, tithing, music, Bible versions, manifestations of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, head coverings, haircuts, the gifts of the Spirit, voting, Calvinism, etc. On and on the debates go!

Often, one person or group of people are so adamant that they are right on one of those issues that they are willing to spiritually and publicly eviscerate those with whom they disagree. I've seen "allies" on one issue later viciously go head-to-head in debate on a different issue.

I think that it is important to remember that, in reality, most of us are at different stages of learning and maturity when it comes to our walk with Christ. Think about it: You are not at the same stage that you were just a few years ago. You mature over time. You learn more through prayerful study.

This is not new. Paul and Barnabas squabbled. Paul and Peter squabbled. There was even deception at various stages of the early (first century) church! Think about the Council in Jerusalem in Acts chapter 15. This was just 15 chapters into the Book of Acts and there was already some disagreement over certain matters.

One thing that is important is to not see other believers as "the enemy." That is the reaction that lacks humility. It is still wrong if people deduce that they are not believers because of a disagreement over something that is non-essential.

I'm going to say this too: The issue of whether the Lord returns after the Tribulation (with believers forced to endure the wrath and judgments of God) or whether they are "raptured" is not really an "essential" doctrine of the Church.

Now, I do think that it is obviously important -- as is all doctrine. However, I think back to believers in the first few centuries of the Church. Who even had a "Bible?" Who had access to physical copies of all of the epistles of Paul? Who had a Bible dictionary, or Bible atlas, or Strong's Concordance?

My point is that we live in a time of which we have access to amazing resources that early believers never had. Yet, those believers were not "unbelievers" because they did not have the resources and, yes, uniform beliefs in EVERY aspect of doctrine.

That is one of the problems with denominationalism. It tends to separate the body of Christ by unnecessary creeds of "we believe." We are willing to disassociate and separate ourselves from believers who do not align to all of the various doctrines that we feel (at a given point of time) to be vital -- when many of them are anything but essential.

Some churches have a habit of becoming indoctrination centers -- with indoctrination that strays far from the essentials of the faith. They require (as a prerequisite of fellowship, ministry or leadership) certain things that might not be universally agreed upon by the Body of Christ. Worse: Some of them are willing to declare that someone is not actually in the Body of Christ if they do not agree on some of those issues.

In this particular issue, I remember mentioning how David Wilkerson said that he was "Pan-Tribulation" -- meaning that it would all "pan out" in the end if we simply keep our eyes upon Jesus. People on both sides of the issue were sincerely worried about (or for) me. There were private messages back then -- and there were pre-trib and post-trib people who were concerned that I would go to Hell because of deception.

The pre-trib people thought that I was in danger of deception if I "missed the rapture" and assumed that I was still right with God. The post-trib people thought that I was in danger of heresy or taking the mark of the beast by assuming that it couldn't be such a mark because the rapture hadn't taken place yet.

What made matters worse was when I insisted that I would be fine because my eyes were on the Lord. I told them that I didn't need to take a final position and that my salvation didn't depend upon whether or not I believed in a rapture or post-trib coming of the Lord. I was called "wishy-washy" and "unwilling to believe." One person insisted that I was some sort of universalist.

In the preface to the Banner of Truth's printing of William Gurnall's A Christian in Complete Armour, Leonard Ravenhill wrote about how Gurnall, in his day, was rejected by opposing groups because he didn't side with either. This is what often happens today too.

Even today, after years and years of earnest study, I have yet to draw a conclusion on the exact manner and timing of the Lord's return to the point that I am willing to declare it as indisputable. I am neither settled that there will be a rapture or that there will not be. This is despite the fact that I have studied this matter honestly, earnestly, carefully and, of course, prayerfully. This is despite being well-educated and well-read -- with access to enormous resources.

I prefer that churches don't teach a definitive position on issues that aren't beyond dispute too. Why can't church teachers introduce something and mention that there are different views on that matter? The important thing, of course, is to keep our eyes on the Lord -- and to love Him with everything in us. We must continue to study his Word. However, we cannot allow different views on inessential matters define how we approach our brothers and sisters in Christ.

It has come to the point that I stepped back from debating these issue over and over again (which became the norm here for years). I still read (and continue to read) the discussions on such issues. I am entirely open for correction or changing my mind. I even told this to one believer who then said that I needed to "change my heart first."

I think that some of the most important things that is missing in some of these discussions are humility and love. Without love, we are as effective as resounding brass and tinkling cymbals (I Corinthians 13). We are "nothing" without that charity.

Worse: Without love, we are not exhibiting to one another -- and unbelievers who venture into these forums who are searching for something -- that we are born of God (I John 4:7-8).


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Christopher

 2019/6/9 1:55Profile
docs
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Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 1963


 Re: A little history and context

"The great object of the enemy in denying the rapture of the saints before the appearing of the Lord, and in the consequent rejection of a distinct Jewish remnant, with Jewish hopes and Jewish piety, is to deny and destroy the proper faith of the church of God, and to set the church itself aside. Far be it from me to say, that all who have fallen into this system have any such purpose, or are even aware of the effect; but the effect is nothing the less produced, and the loss theirs, though the intention be not. They are deceived by the enemy, though far from intending to deceive with him."

(J. N. Darby - from "The Rapture of the Saints and the Character of the Jewish Remnant")

So according to Darby to deny a pre-tribulation rapture is:

1) To deny and destroy the proper faith of the church of God
2) To set the church itself aside.
3) To be deceived by the enemy, though far from intending to deceive with him."

"Those who believe in the rapture of the Church before the appearing of Christ hold that the Church has a special and peculiar character and connection with Christ....The Church's joining Christ has nothing to do with Christ's appearing or coming to earth. Her place is elsewhere. She sits in Him already in heavenly places. She has to be brought there as to bodily presence....The thing she has to expect for herself is not...Christ's appearing, but her being taken up where He is....It is this conviction, that the Church is properly heavenly, in its calling and relationship with Christ, forming no part of the course of events on the earth, which makes the rapture so simple and clear; and on the other hand, it shows how the denial of its rapture brings down the Church to an earthly position, and destroys its whole spiritual character and position." (J. N. Darby - "The Rapture of the Saints")}

Again, according to Darby, to deny a pre-tribulation rapture is:

1) To bring the Church down to an inferior earthly position and to destroy its whole spiritual character and position.

I can't say for sure but maybe many do not know that the early controversy was fraught with statements such as Darby made and it was these type of such statements that brought division between the brethren. Plus Darby's highly caustic denounciations and attacks upon the character of those he saw as his enemies. To disagree with Darby was a dangerous thing to do in his day but it's revealing to see how he characterized those who disagreed with his pre-trib theory. Perhaps this type of characterization of others has followed the movement at least to some degree and is part of the reason it has met such stern opposition from many quarters. How a movement starts and the spirit and temper of its founders sometimes follows into the coming years.

"It is obvious that, apart from the knowledge of dispensational truth, the believer will not be intelligently adjusted to the present purpose and will of God in the world. Such knowledge alone will save him from assuming the hopeless legality of the dispensation that is past or from undertaking the impossible world-transforming program belonging to the dispensation which is to come." (Lewis Chafer - from "Major Bible Themes")

And so according to Lewis Chafer a leading pre-trib proponent and advocate of dispensationalism one cannot be intelligently adjusted to the purpode and will of God in the present world without a knowledge and acceptance of dispensational truth. Well...these are mighty high statements to surround one's self with. I offer these comments because I do not think it is a lack of humility and nursing a divisive spirit to take a look at the origins of movements and what the fruit has been since the origins.


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David Winter

 2019/6/9 15:48Profile
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 Re:

Hi docs,

Please don't take this the wrong way, but I don't really care what Darby taught. I am not well versed in Darby's writings -- and I really don't care to read them either. I know many people who believe in a "rapture" and most of them are not familiar with the name "Darby."

When I became a believer, I was a teenager. However, I went from not really believing in God to coming to faith in Him. The writings, teachings and whims of various preachers didn't really mean much to me. The only thing that I understood was that there was a great deal of doctrinal division among Christians.

The one thing that I was aware of after my conversion was that I wasn't aware of much (in terms of the faith). I simply knew that I believed in Christ and had given my everything to the Lord.

After I met the Lord and gave my life back to Him, I set myself to begin reading the Bible. Whereas it was previously difficult for me to understand, I suddenly thirsted to read every word of it.

I found the Lord at the beginning of the summer. Immediately thereafter, I took some steps that I felt that I needed to do (without anyone really telling me or encouraging me to do them).

I got rid of the TV in my room. I threw away my video games. I tore up my comic book collection (which was worth quite a bit of money). I tossed out all of my music. I had a collection of movie posters all over my wall (and a few movie stands too). I got rid of them all.

I don't know what motivated or inspired me to do this at such a crucial point after coming to Christ. However, I didn't want anything to come between me and the Lord. I wanted to spend my time in prayer, worship and reading His Word. I didn't even spend time watching Christian TV or listening to Christian music/radio.

I began with the Gospel of Luke (upon the advice of someone) and then read the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation. I then went to Genesis and finished in Malachi. I read the entire Bible in a matter of days. I then started with Matthew and read it all over again. I did this over and over again during that summer.

Why am I saying this?

One of the interesting things is that I was aware of some doctrines taught by different churches and denominations. However, I wasn't sure what exactly I believed.

By the seventh time that I completed reading the entire Bible from cover-to-cover (not counting the time that I would focus on studying particular passages), I began to formulate some opinions on many issues. Granted: Some of these were mere thoughts and opinions while others were pretty solid based upon what is entirely clear from God's Word.

At the same time, I understood that some things -- including long-held beliefs -- just aren't quite so clear too.

I should offer one clarification. I think that it is a good thing to discuss these things. The humility necessary for believers doesn't prevent discussions. Obviously, debates are a part of this (because, like I said, Paul had squabbles with Peter and Barnabas). However, the guiding principle is the love of God and love for others.

If bitterness, fighting or even blood-raising anger is a result of such discussions, then something is likely missing.

More importantly, I think that the push to declare something that is, at best, only a conclusion arrived from much study, it is beneficial to avoid declaring such a thing as a "dispensational truth." This is true of anyone who is pre-trib and anyone who is post-trib (or any other view).

Moreover, I think that it helps to provide honesty with the context of our views. Many people read secondhand or third-hand sources that influence their views on many such matters. This is a very different thing from studying a source.

One can easily claim that "Darby invented the rapture" (or, otherwise, was the first person to push belief in it) and then say that early church leaders didn't write about it. However, many of the people that I've met who assert this claim are simply repeating a claim that they've heard, read or found elsewhere.

Once, I was engaged in a discussion where someone was making this claim. I introduced a few passages that seem (and, yes, I stress the word "seem") to point out that at least some believers wrote about the Lord taking His Bride prior to the wrath of God being poured out upon the Earth. That person said that, even if accurate, represent only a few people among the early Church.

So, I asked that person how many first-hand sources or translations from the first few centuries of Christianity that they've read. It turned out that their "study" of early church writings was primarily based upon books that mentioned a handful of significant statements attributing doctrinal belief to a few early church writers. It is not really "research" into early church writings. It is relying upon someone else's research that, perhaps, was also based upon someone else's research.

One of the important things in writing papers in college is the need for a bibliography or list of works cited. This helps the reader know the depth of the research that a person has undergone. In grad school, a person could not successfully defend their thesis or dissertation if they attributed their findings to what others had written on the subject (rather than going to firsthand sources).

Imagine that someone wants to write a biography of Thomas Jefferson. However, that sources that the writer uses for the biography is what others have written and published about him. Instead of going to source material (e.g., Jefferson's own letters, accounts, diaries, etc. and what contemporaries said about him), they rely upon books written in later years after he was already dead. This would be a bad biography. In fact, it is one of the great problems that contribute to history revisionism. Such a writer is placing faith of accuracy in what others have (supposedly) researched.

Years ago, there was a "King James Only" brother who argued vehemently in favor of the KJV as the only acceptable version of the Word of God. During long discussions, I discovered that he would copy and paste long claims from books and websites. I asked for him to cite his sources. Yet, I went to the very sources that he cited. It turned out that the books, magazines and websites that he was citing were a type of circular citation. They all cited one another or the same sources which, sadly, the merits of such circular research could not be proven.

At the same time, many of these sources were used to make claims about other versions of the Bible (particularly the NIV, NKJV and NASB). Again, all of his sources were citing the same primary sources (just a couple actually) or else they cited one another despite the actual claim coming from a single previous original source. During that discussion, one claim was made about a person who was on the NIV's committee. Many of those people are still alive. So, I actually contacted that person (and other individuals) by phone and email. They actually provided clarity and helped dispel the rumors, myths and claims made.

Interestingly, someone made a claim about David Wilkerson's views on eschatology. They stated that he had shifted toward post-trib ideology later. A quick Google search seemed to provide a few cites that said as much. I was puzzled. So, around that same time in 2006, I contacted via email one of his former co-pastors, Neil Rhodes (at Times Square Church). Pastor Rhodes responded and clarified that brother David Wilkerson still ascribed to a pre-trib "blessed hope."

Of course, this is also beside the point. It wasn't the issue about which preachers believed or did not believe in a rapture. The point was the somewhat shallow level of study and research by which people were willing to solidify their stands on different issues.

As I said back then, my view was that churches should not teach a definitive stand on non-essential and quarrelsome issues. When it came to eschatology, I thought that it was better to teach the importance of being PREPARED.

We should be prepared for anything that might happen that rapidly progressing journey toward the end. This includes the possibility of a pre-trib "catching away" of the Bride before the wrath of God. It also includes the possibility that the church will remain on this earth when the wrath of God is poured out upon it. What kind of preparation? Seeking and trusting in the Lord by prayer, fasting, worship and study of the Word of God.

Even then, this simple view was rebuked harshly in public and private messages. People told me that I was in danger of heresy. I was astonished that someone would think that sincere believers -- lovers of Christ -- would be in danger if they continued to seek God (and His Word) wholeheartedly.

Like I said, this issue can and should be discussed. However, it should never become so divisive that we look down at someone with a different view. I do not believe that it is an essential doctrine of the church (in the sense that your salvation will depend upon where you stand on such a matter). Consequently, I prefer churches to be a bit more graceful and less absolute when it comes to issues like it.

Given the length of this post, I suppose that I may have made my point even less clear than it might have been in my previous post. If so, I apologize.

In essence, I suppose that I am saying that it would be wrong of anyone -- pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib, pan-trib, etc. -- to adopt an "our way or the broad way" approach. The lack of humility isn't evidenced by a discussion of such a matter but by gravitating toward an attitude that such a person has arrived to an indisputable truth on the matter by which every true believer must comply if they love God.


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Christopher

 2019/6/9 23:44Profile
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5305
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 Re:

Folks get very jumpy and defensive when long held views are challenged. Its like having to give up a security blanket or teddy bear.

It certainly applies to eschatology, but also many other areas.

It would seem that the best attitude would be "I think I have this right, but there is certainly a possibility that I might be wrong."

For some reason people don't like to do this; like Chris said they either feel its being wishy-washy or weak in faith. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's just being honest.


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Todd

 2019/6/10 7:42Profile





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