In these studies I won't stoop to finger pointing and name calling, or look to the writings of men over the centuries for justification. I will do what most seem to forget, or avoid, when supporting one view or another of the Rapture, I will look to the Word of God. And plenty of it.
The popular view is that "true" Christians will be "raptured" away at any moment and leave their "luke-warm" brothers and sisters to fend for themselves during the reign of the Antichrist. This view of the Rapture often holds that the Holy Spirit will be "removed" from the earth yet people will still be getting saved. That God has two sets of Chosen People. That the terms "saints", "remnant", and "overcomers" throughout Revelation are not referring to Christians at all but to Jews; and the warnings in Matthew 24 are for Jews only as well. Somehow we will meet The Lord in the air, but He hasn't yet returned. The list goes on and on. There are many contradictions and problems with the Pre-Tribulation view of the rapture, I will address as many as possible throughout this study.
It is understandable that Christians might expect to escape the worst time ever experienced on the face of the earth, but the reality is that Christians have always suffered for their faith. Look to Sudan, China, Egypt, India, and other countries to see violent oppression, murder and outright hatred for Christians to this day. Look at the thousands of Christians persecuted by Nero in 70AD, look at the tens of thousands who were murdered and tortured during the various Inquistions, look at the Apostles, look at our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
So are we to believe that in a culture and era so morally degraded and numb to truth - yet so arrogant - that we somehow deserve to be swept away in a rapture prior to any suffering, refinement, and testing of our faith?! Come on folks, if you are sleeping it is time to wake out of your slumber! There is plenty of Scriptual evidence that shows we will go through the Great Tribulation or die trying. But if God be for us then who can be against us? (Romans 8:31). Nothing can seperate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, surely not death or tribulation.
- Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
- As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
- Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
- For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
- Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The first study in this series, while not specifically focused on the Rapture, addresses the issue of whether or not there is a distinction between Israel and the Church throughout Scripture. It is in three parts. Part I is titled Finding The Church in the Old Testament. Part II, Who is Israel? A Brief Biblical History of Israel. And Part III, The Lost Tribes of Israel, Scattered Among the Nations.
Go to Part I, Finding The Church in the Old Testament