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The Four Views Of The Rapture-Pre-Tribulation View, Part 2

Day of the Lord Series  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:24:56
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The Day of the Lord: The Four Views Of The Rapture-The Pre-Tribulation View, Part 2-Lesson # 27

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Wenstrom Bible Ministries

Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom

Sunday July 5, 2009

The Day of the Lord: The Four Views Of The Rapture-The Pre-Tribulation View, Part 2

Lesson # 27

Please turn in your Bibles to Revelation 3:7.

As part of our ongoing study of the prophetic subject, known as the “day of the Lord,” last month we began a study of the four views of the rapture with a study of the “pre-tribulation” view of the rapture.

The Bible teaches that the rapture will take place prior to the Tribulation period since it teaches that the church is delivered from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of {the} archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.”

1 Thessalonians 1:10, “and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.”

1 Thessalonians 5:9, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The four views of the rapture: (1) “Pre-tribulation”: The rapture will take place “before” the Tribulation. (2) “Partial”: Only those believers who are worthy will be taken off the earth at the rapture. (3) “Mid-tribulation”: The rapture will take place during the “midway” point of the Tribulation. (4) “Post-tribulation: The rapture will take place “after” the Tribulation.

The first view of the rapture is the “pre-tribulation” view, which contends that the rapture of the church will take place prior to the Tribulation period and will deliver every church age believer from this awful period.

Revelation 3:10 teaches that the church will not go through the Tribulation.

Revelation 3:7-8, “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this: ‘I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name.’”

Revelation 3:9, “Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie -- I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you.”

Revelation 3:10, “Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”

“Because you have kept the word of my perseverance” refers to the believer in Jesus Christ in the sense that he or she has trusted in His person and work on the cross and who now sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for the believer.

The statement “I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth” is a promise from the Lord Jesus Christ to all church age believers that because they have trusted in Him as Savior, He will deliver them from the Tribulation period.

In support of the “pre-tribulation” view is Revelation 6-18, which describes the events that will take place during Daniel’s Seventieth Week and the church is conspicuously not mentioned once in these chapters, thus implying that it will not go through this period because it has already been removed from the earth.

Also, in support of the “pre-tribulation” view of the rapture is that the New Testament epistles are silent on the church going through the Tribulation, which would leave the church unprepared if they were to go through the Tribulation.

Revelation 12 teaches that the object of Satan’s attack during the Tribulation period is Israel, which is significant since the church is the body of Christ and why not attack the church!

Also supporting the “pre-tribulation” view is the fact that the Holy Spirit permanently indwells each and every church age believer and 2 Thessalonians 2:7 teaches that the Antichrist cannot appear until the Spirit who indwells the church is taken away from the earth.

2 Thessalonians 2:1, “Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him.”

2 Thessalonians 2:2, “that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.”

2 Thessalonians 2:3, “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.”

2 Thessalonians 2:4, “who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”

2 Thessalonians 2:5, “Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?”

2 Thessalonians 2:6, “And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed.”

2 Thessalonians 2:7, “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.”

2 Thessalonians 2:8, “Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming.”

2 Thessalonians 2:9, “that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders.”

2 Thessalonians 2:10, “and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.”

“He who now restrains” refers to the Holy Spirit since He is the only one who has the power to restrain evil.

The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit permanently indwells the church age believer’s body (John 14:16-17; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:18-20).

A comparison of these passages with 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 teaches that Antichrist cannot be revealed until the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way.

For the Holy Spirit to be taken out of the way, every church age believer would have to be removed as well since the Spirit permanently indwells every church age believer.

The “immanency” of the rapture further supports the “pre-tribulation” view since 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 teaches that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night meaning that it will take place unexpectedly.

The only way the day of the Lord could break unexpectedly upon the world is to have it begin immediately after the rapture of the church, which is imminent.

The term “imminent” means that the rapture could happen at any time.

Supporting the “imminent” return of Christ for His bride is that the Lord Jesus in John 14:1-3 first speaks of the rapture and does not mention any intervening events between preparing a place for His disciples in His Father’s house and receiving them to Himself.

John 14:1-3, Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, {there} you may be also.”

There are several Scriptures, which teach the church to expect Christ to come back at any moment (Rom. 13:12; James 5:7-9; Phlp. 4:5; Heb.10:25; Rev. 22:7, 20).

The “imminent” return of Christ at the rapture of the church is also supported by the fact that there are no signs preceding the rapture whereas there are many signs prior to the Second Advent of Christ, which terminates the Tribulation period.

Those who don’t believe in a “pre-tribulation” rapture of the church also fail to see the distinctions between the Second Advent of Christ and the rapture and thus attribute passages dealing with the latter to the former.

Further support of the “pre-tribulation” view is that this position recognizes that there is an interval of time between the rapture and the Second Advent of Christ.

There will be three major events following the Rapture for the church in heaven: (1) Bema Seat Evaluation: Involving all believers (2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10). (2) Overcomer believers are presented to the Father by the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 3:5). (3) Marriage of the Lamb: Involving all believers (Rev. 19:7).

Also, the events of Daniel’s Seventieth Week have to take place between the rapture and the Second Advent of Christ.

The “pre-tribulation” view unlike the “mid-tribulation” and “post-tribulation” views do not take this into consideration.

Therefore, the “pre-tribulation” view is the correct biblical view because it interprets the bible literally and does not allegorize or spiritualize Scripture and thus respects the authority of Scripture.

Secondly, this view is the biblical view because it recognizes the distinctions between Israel and the church and the rapture and the Second Advent.

It also is correct since it supports the immanency of the rapture, which is designed to motivate the Christian to grow to spiritual maturity.

Finally, it magnifies the faithfulness of the Lord to the church in that it corresponds with the Lord’s explicit promise to deliver His bride from the Tribulation.

This leads us to the communion service and so therefore, could we have our ushers pass out the communion elements and let us take a few minutes to meditate upon the Lord and prepare ourselves for the Lord’s Supper.

1 Corinthians 11:23, “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread.”

1 Corinthians 11:24, “and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’”

1 Corinthians 11:25, “In the same way {He took} the cup also after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink {it} in remembrance of Me.’”

1 Corinthians 11:26, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.”

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