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These are three different positions that believers take towards the Rapture and the Tribulation, and they are all sadly mistaken. There is a common view among some Christians that there will be a time in the future called the Tribulation when the peoples of the earth will go through a terrible time of distress and that Christians will escape this distressful time by being raptured away from the earth. There are those who believe this rapture happens before the tribulation (pre-trib), some who believe it happens after (post-trib) and those who believe it happens during (mid-trib). Unfortunately all of these views are mistaken and are based on a misunderstanding of Matt 24. This chapter in Matthew is set out to explain the difference between two separate events; 1) the time of the temple being destroyed Matt 24:2 and 2) the return of the Lord Jesus Matt 24:3. These happen at two different times but unfortunately the disciples confused the two and Jesus sets out to explain that difference in this discourse. The first happened in AD 70 during the lifetime of the disciples. The second has not yet happened. Here Jesus explains how we can avoid confusing these two. The first event will come slowly and you will see signs of it happening (like a pregnancy, you know the signs when the baby is due) The second will come without warning (like a thief in the night). You can easily distinguish between the two events in this chapter simply by noticing that some events are things the disciples will see for themselves (you will see this, you will see that) while other events they will not see (they will see this - not 'you', but 'they') If you track the way these things are spoken about you will easily distinguish which events are to happen in AD70 with the coming of the Roman army destroying the temple and desecrating it, and the events of the Lords return. They are very different events. The first comes with signs and warnings. The second doesn't come with any signs or any warnings. Not one. Once you see this you can understand that the tribulation took place in AD 70 and is not an event still to come. That is why all three views pre, post and mid are all misunderstandings and all incorrect. It is difficult for many people to accept this because the views about the Tribulation are so very widespread and many have been taught these things for a long time. And that makes it hard to look at another view objectively and calmly, but if you are able to do that, and put aside pre-conceptions you will be rewarded with a much clearer and simpler view of the last days. All that is left is for the Lord Jesus to return, that can happen at any moment and there are no signs or warnings to alert you. There is no tribulation, no pre, post, mid rapture; only the return of the Lord. Regards Phil
Nowhere in the Bible we can find any reference to “Pre-Trib or Mid-Trib rapture”. Actually, the word “rapture” is not in the Bible – it’s a word coined by "dispensationalist" theologians. This doctrine is based on the belief that Christ's return will happen in two stages: first He will come secretly to take the Church to heaven, then seven years later, He will return in glory. In between these two events, the Antichrist will establish his power and a seven years tribulation will take place. Some believe that Christ will rapture His Church before the tribulation; others believe the rapture will take place during and some believe it will take place after. The Scriptures say that Christ's coming, the resurrection of the dead in Christ and catching up of the saved to meet Jesus in the air will take place at the end of the world (1 Thess 4:17) - meaning that this event will be after the tribulation, or time of trouble. Jesus said that a time of trouble would come upon the world just before His return and it would be more intense than any other in the world's history (Matt 24:21). However, the seven years period is not mentioned in relation with the tribulation - Christ assured us that for the sake of the saved this time will be short (Matt 24:22). Revelation 18:8 tells that the plagues will come in one day. We know that a "day" in Bible prophecy represents one literal year. So when Revelation says that the plagues will come in one day, it means within, less than, or in one year's time. The nature of the seven last plagues - the rivers and seas turning to blood and the planet being scorched with great heat - would make it impossible for anyone to survive more than a few months. This time will be so difficult because it will take place after probation closes for the lost (Daniel 12:1). When the tribulation begins, the cases of all people have been forever decided. Just as the door on the ark closed seven days before the Flood began, the door of salvation and grace will also close for the lost (Rev 22:11, 12). God's Spirit will be completely withdrawn from the lost. The unsaved will be given wholly over to demonic control. The saved will be sealed and the lost forever lost. No more changing teams! The Pre-Trib or Mid-Trib rapture theology is based on an interesting interpretation of several Bible texts; mainly Matthew 24:37-41 and 2 Peter 3:10. In Matthew Jesus is drawing a parallel between the second coming and the days of Noah. So it will be when Christ returns at the end of the world. One will be taken to heaven with Jesus, and the other will be left for destruction - no secret event. In the other text, Peter is saying that the second coming will be a surprise; just like a thief break-in. No thief will ever announce ahead of time his arrival, but once he arrives, you will know for sure. In addition, Peter says that “heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. Finally, the dispensationalist doctrine comes in conflict with God’s modus operandi: God did not save His people from tribulations, but through tribulations. For example, Israel endured 400 years of tribulation before the Exodus (Acts 7:6). The early Christians also suffered a time of trouble after Stephen's stoning (Acts 8:1). From A.D. 303-313, the era represented by the Smyrna church (Rev 2:10), God's people suffered a 10-year period of tribulation. And the most notable time of trouble was the 1,260 years of persecution against true Christians during the Dark Ages (Rev 12:6, 13). Was Noah saved from the Flood or through the Flood? Was Daniel saved from the lion’s den or through? Did God saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace or through the furnace? God’s Promised Land and eternity with Him is on the other side of a great time of trouble; however, just like Caleb, with God’s help and protection we should be well able to overcome it (Num 13:30).
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