(continued from Part 2…)
3- “Rapture is imminent and can occur any moment without any sign. Only Pre-Tribulation fits.“
Pre-Tribulationists tell us Rapture is imminent and cannot take place after Tribulation because that will somehow make it “un-imminent”.
But does the Bible indeed teach the imminence of Rapture? And does imminence necessarily mean it cannot happen after Tribulation or any other prophetic sign?
The following verses are cited by some of the Pre-Trib advocates as scriptural “proof” for the imminence of Rapture. Let us take a look…
You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
… we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
But… where is Rapture mentioned?
Unless one assumes a Pre-Trib position and reads it into the texts, you will not see Rapture in them. If these verses prove anything at all, it actually proves the imminence of the Second Coming and not the Rapture!
Since the Second Coming is obviously not a signless event, it put paid to the notion that imminence must mean no preceding sign.
In addition, contrary to the Pre-Trib view that Jesus Christ will appear once before the Tribulation to rapture the church, the Bible says that He will only appear once… at the Second Coming.
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
I have checked all the relevant verses and there is none that speaks of a separate appearance aside from the Second Coming.
So if Jesus Christ will only return (once) at the Second Coming, the only logical conclusion is that the Rapture will take place at that time and not before Tribulation.
In any case, it is clear from 1 Thessalonians 5 that believers will see the Tribulation or the Day of the Lord.
For you yourselves (believers) know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they (non-believers) shall not escape.
(1 Thessalonians 5:2-3)
But you, brethren (believers), are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.
(1 Thessalonians 5:4-8)
Check out also 2 Peter 3:10/ 2 Thessalonians 2:2/ Acts 2:20.
to be continued…