HAS THE PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE BEEN PROVEN WRONG --- NOPE!
by Alan Yusko
I keep getting the same question over and over again. It comes from people who are hell-bent on attacking the pre-tribulation rapture. Don't get me wrong. I believe it is possible to still be saved and be totally WRONG about Bible prophecy. It certainly happens quite often in these days of confusion and heresy.
I am presented with several verses from 2 Thessalonians as proof that the pre-tribulation rapture is false. The only problem with this is all of the dissenters fail to read the verses in context with the chapter. They read a few verses... make their false conclusions and ignore the verses right after their 'proof'. Unfortunately the verses that follow their claim also add additional information which they miss. To do such a thing shows bad Biblical stewardship as one never takes verses out of context to try to prove a point.
Here is the 'proof' that I have been presented several times:
THE SECOND COMING OF THE LORD JESUS
1: Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2: That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3: Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4: Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5: Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
Above verses 3 and 4 state that the return of the Lord will not come except first there be a falling away and the man of sin be revealed. I'm told by the people attacking the pre-tribulation rapture that here is my proof that the pre-tribulation rapture is false. See above as it clearly states the Antichrist will come before the return of the Lord. That clearly disproves the pre-tribulation rapture according to many who wish to reject the concept.
However there is a major problem as I mentioned at the beginning of this tract. A person NEVER draws a conclusion without looking at context of the verses in the chapter. The people who subscribe to this form of pre-tribulation rapture attacking can't read past verse 5. If they were to do so then a more complete picture is presented.
Before we go on I want to say that I agree with verses 3 and 4 above. Yes the Antichrist will rule and reign before the second coming of the Lord Jesus at the climax of the battle of Armageddon. I see no problem at all with that fact and with the fact of the pre-tribulation rapture. At the rapture the Lord comes to remove His Church. He does not return to earth to rule and reign but merely to meet His beloved Church in the clouds and to take her home to heaven. At the second advent the Lord will return physically and His feet will touch down on the mount of Olives at the climax of the battle of Armageddon. This event will be seen and understood by everyone on planet earth. Quite a contrast because at the rapture only God's people will see the Lord Jesus as they are caught up to the clouds.
So verses 3 and 4 above do not prove anything against the pre-tribulation rapture. These verses are talking about the second coming of Jesus at the end of the rule and reign of the Antichrist. Of course the falling away and the rising of the Antichrist occurs BEFORE the second coming of Jesus to earth. Those events do NOT occur before the Rapture, but they do occur before the return of Jesus at the climax of Armageddon as described in Revelation chapter 19.
Next, lets do what all the anti pre-tribulation rapture people fail to do. Lets continue on in Scripture and see if it tells us any additional information.
6: And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his
7: For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8: And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Very interesting set of verses above. First notice the word 'And'
beginning at verse 6. The 'and' is there to continue the thoughts
previously mentioned (in verses 1-5). These verses are clearly
talking about the Antichrist. But there is a problem. He cannot be
revealed because he is being restrained by someone. Who is the
restrainer? Is it Adam? or Moses? or Noah? No I certainly don't
think so. Well, could it be Michael the Archangel, or Gabriel? Again
I do not think so as the angels are:
1) weaker than Satan
2) not omnipresent on earth to restrain evil
3) they are finite beings with definite limitations.
The only logical person to restrain evil and the Antichrist is the Holy Spirit. Verse 7 is interesting as it says that the restrainer will be taken out of the way. This means he will be removed. But there is a problem with that. The Holy Spirit is omnipresent. This means He is everywhere present in God's creation. There is no place the Holy Spirit is not found. It is impossible to remove an omnipresent being from earth. However, there is a unique group of people on earth since that first Pentecost who are infilled with God's Spirit. Spirit reborn Christians are the 'salt of the earth' and they are kings and priests unto God as they pray and serve the Lord in this evil world. It certainly makes sense that the restrainer mentioned above is the Holy Spirit working in and through the Church. At the rapture the restrainer (Spirit filled Church) can be easily removed and of course the Holy Spirit will still be present as He is an omnipresent being. Then the Antichrist will be free to rise to power to do his evil BEFORE the Second Advent as mentioned above in verses 3 and 4.
After the restrainer (Spirit filled Church) is removed here is what the devil will be free to do:
9: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all
power and signs and lying wonders,
10: And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11: And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
So to conclude, verses 1-5 do not disprove the pre-tribulation rapture. Verses 3 and 4 mentions that the falling away and the Antichrist will rise before the return of Jesus. I have no problem with that at all. We are not talking about the rapture here but we are talking about the return of Jesus in power and glory. In addition to that fact verses 6-8 describe what is currently restraining the Antichrist from being revealed and rising to power. It is a person and I believe the only person who can restrain evil is God's Holy Spirit. However, the Holy Spirit cannot be removed from earth as He is omnipresent. But the Spirit filled Church certainly can be removed and the removal of the restrainer is a clear picture of the rapture of the Church. Verses 1-5 does not disprove the pre-tribluation rapture as these verses are describing the physical return of Jesus to earth. Verses 6-8 describe the restrainer and the removal of the restrainer which will allow the Antichrist to rise to power. This is a description of the rapture.
So the pre-tribulation rapture still stands against all those who wish to attack. Like I've mentioned several times before, the post tribulation rapture and other views are really waiting for the Antichrist and not the Lord Jesus Christ. They have lost their blessed hope which is very sad indeed. For others there is still the blessed hope of the soon return of the Lord Jesus to rapture His Church and take her home to heaven. This event can happen at any time and will happen sometime BEFORE the Antichrist rises to power. The indwelling Holy Spirit in the Church is currently restraining the devil but soon that restrainer will be removed. Perhaps the rapture will be today! At any rate as we see the events of the world line up just as the Bible says they will, we know the rapture must be very soon. The timing of the rapture cannot be known and no one can set the specific date. But God knows when it will happen and His people are simply told to be READY. It could happen today! Be ready to stand before the Lord Jesus and don't let anyone steal your blessed hope with groundless and foolish arguments.
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