Friday, October 19, 2012

The Church and The Tribulation

For the past century and a half there has been a debate in the Church as to whether Jesus will come for His Church after the Tribulation, when He inaugurates His millennial reign, or whether He will take His Church out of the world prior to the Tribulation and then after the Tribulation will return with His Church to reign a thousand years. The former position, called “post-Tribulation” or “post-trib” and is the position held by the Church, Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant alike, from the earliest know records. The latter position, called “pre-Tribulation” or “pre-trib,” began amongst the Plymouth Brethren in the 19th century. The teaching has become wide spread in Evangelical and Pentecostal circles, popularized by things like Scofield Reference Bible and the popular Left Behind novel series.

So popular is the “pre-trib” position that many of its adherents know little of other positions. Some don’t even know there are other positions and are surprised when I tell them I am “post-trib.” Why would I want to believe that? Others have asked me to help them counter “pre-trib” arguments and that’s what I want to do with this new series of blog posts. Because of both time restraints and my work habits, I am going to do this in a piecemeal fashion, blogging on given points as I have time. Later I hope to rewrite the whole thing as a single article. As I go I will update this post with links to it all. And I’ll create a link to this post under Quick References.

Of course, the answer to the question, “Why would I want to believe that?” is simple. I believe it, because that’s what the Bible teaches. But I also believe that this is not a salvation doctrine. Whenever I’ve taught on the End Times I always start with the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). All were waiting for the Bridegroom, but only five had oil in their lamps. When the Bridegroom’s approach was announced the other five had to go find oil and missed His arrival. The point of the parable is to be ready. If we keep ourselves ready for His arrival, it won’t matter when He comes. The important thing is to be ready.

Right now I have the first three blog posts, dealing with proof texts and the origins of the idea of a secret Rapture, thought through, and to some extent on paper (well, on MSWord). I hope to have them posted soon.

How Firm A Foundation? A look at proof texts offered in support of the Pre-Tribulation position.

"After the Tribulation." The Post-Tribulation argument.

"One Church Complete" Does God have a 'spiritual' and an 'earthly' people?

Myth of the Missing Church Is it true that the Church is missing from much of the Book of Revelation?

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