As a Calvary Chapel we hold to the Pre-tribulation view of the Rapture. This means that we believe that Jesus will come back before the seven year period of God’s judgment known as the Tribulation. While many are jumping on the bandwagon of a mid-Tribulation or Pre-Wrath view. They hold this view because they take a over literal interpretation of 1 Thess 5:9-11, which we will study this Sunday.
Now this point isn’t meant as an argument but instead a explanation. You are free to disagree with our position as long as you do it with an attitude that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ and this doctrine doesn’t affect salvation in any way shape or form.
Here are 5 reason for a Pre-Trib view of the Rapture
- The Tribulation mentioned in Revelation 6-18 doesn’t once mention the church. You would think that if the church is enduring at least half of the Tribulation John would’ve mentioned it in one of his visions. Never once is it mentioned and never once is the rapture, which is mentioned in 1 Thess 4:13-18, mentioned even though there are so many other super-natural events that are. Also if you look at Rev 12::10 mentions a loud voice that celebrates Satan’s removal from heaven and it refers to “the accuser of our brothers.” This voice can’t be the angels because there is never a time where humans (those being accused by Satan) and angels are being referred to as brothers. So obviously this is the church that is saying it.
- The Thessalonians were afraid the missed the Rapture. When Paul addresses the church in Thessalonica he is comforting them because of their fear that they were in the “Day of the Lord.” It is clear that Paul had already taught them about the Rapture and that they would be taken before the Tribulation. It is important to make sure that we don’t over-interpret the term “Day of the Lord.” In Jer 30:7 it refers to Jacob’s Trouble which is another term for the Tribulation. This is period of time when God will deal with the nation of Israel and it is necessary for the church to be removed for Him to do that.
- We are not “earth-dwellers,” we are sojourners. Several times in the book of Revelation it refer to those who dwell on the earth, or “earth dwellers.” (Rev 6:10, 8:13, 11:10) This is a reference to those who do not follow God. Christians are never referred to as earth-dwellers because they are sojourners. That means while we live on the earth we are residents of Christ’s kingdom.
- The Outline of Revelation. We also need to look at the divine outline laid out in Rev 1:19: “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.” We see three time periods laid out here. First is the things John has seen, the vision. Second is the things which are, chap 2 & 3 a message to the churches. Finally we see the things that take place after this, chap 4-22. If we hold a Pre-wrath postion then chap 4 & 5 should take place after chapter 11. Since it happens before the Tribulation then we can assume that the church will be taken then.
- The Tribulation is Unnecessary for the Church: In Jeremiah 30:7, the Tribulation is called Jacob’s trouble. It’s called this because it’s a unique time in which God awakens the Jews to embrace Jesus as their Messiah. In Deuteronomy 4, Moses made this remarkable statement – “29From there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the LORD your God and obey His voice 31(for the LORD your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.” All God’s promises to Israel will be fulfilled and it’s during the Tribulation that He will move decisively to make Himself known to her. But in order for God to make Israel the focus of His redemptive attention, He will need to switch that focus off the Church. The only way to do that, and not violate His promise to never leave nor forsake us is to take the church out of the earth and transport her to heaven
Thanks to Lance Ralston and John MacArthur for many sources included in this.