Originally posted by louisXIV
Originally posted by masscat
[b]I favor pre-Trib rapture:
So how do you defend pre-rapture? Which passages of scripture do you use? In my opinion, it's impossible to defend this point of view, how popular it might be today...
Agreed there is not a Scripture that specifically states the rapture happens before the Trib. However, I believe there is a distinction between God’s purpose for the Church and the nation of Israel. During the Tribulation the emphasis is on the Jewish people and events are designed to get them to accept Jesus as their Messiah. In Rev. 7:4 they are the ones evangelizing the world. The first chapters of Rev. are written to the Church and chapters 4 & 5 describe what is going on in heaven.
Revelation 19:11-21 doesn't mention a resurrection and is a description of the second coming of Christ. The rapture isn't mentioned because it doesn't happen at this time. The armies are the redeemed saints of all ages.
When speaking of the return of Jesus, the Bible speaks of two days: one known & one we can’t know. Matthew 25:13 says Jesus will return at an unknown time but Revelation 12:6 says the Jews will have to wait 1,260 days for the Lord to return (as pointed out previously). The Antichrist has authority to rule for 42 months then will be destroyed by Jesus at His second coming (Rev. 19:20, 2 Thess. 2:8). These happen at different times, meaning they are two separate events.
In Revelation 19:11 heaven is opened to let the armies which are already there out. This is the Church, which has been raptured at a previous time, following Jesus at the second coming. These are not angels because Rev. 19:8 says the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. In order to come out of heaven the saints had to get there some time earlier which would indicate an earlier rapture.
After John is called up into heaven, he saw 24 elders with their crowns (Rev. 4:4-10) which is when Christians receive their rewards (or crowns) (2 Tim. 4:8, 1 Pet. 5:4). We will receive them at the resurrection of the righteous (Luke 14:14). The elders couldn't receive their crowns unless the resurrection (rapture) has taken place. I do not think these elders are the Church however.
Revelation 3:10 says the saints will be kept from the hour of temptation which will come upon the whole earth (the Tribulation). The Church will be called home before that time.
First Thessalonians 4:13-17 says the righteous are taken and the wicked are left behind.
Jesus said He would prepare a place for the Church in heaven, then He would come again to receive us to Himself. I believe this is at the rapture. If the rapture occurred at the same time as the second coming, we would go up to the clouds and then immediately come back to earth.
In 2 Thess. 2:6-7, Paul says "the one who restrains will be taken out of the way" before the Antichrist can be revealed. I believe this is talking about the Holy Spirit which presently indwells believers.
If the rapture occurred at the second coming, why would the sheep and the goats need to be separated immediately after the second coming? A rapture at the second coming would have already separated the sheep and the goats. With a Pre-Tribulation rapture, the people saved after the rapture will need to be separated after the second coming.
Why do you not believe the Rapture will take place before the Tribulation? I would be interested in hearing your views.