The Greatest Tragedy of the Rapture Prediction

Predictably – and appropriately, conservative Bible teachers, theologians and pastors have uniformly condemned Harold Camping’s adamant declarations that the Rapture would occur before the end of the day on Saturday, May 21, 2011. It is now being widely reported that Mr. Camping has since admitted that he is neither infallible nor a “genius”, while inexplicably insisting that God’s judgment, did in fact begin on May 21:

On May 21, this last weekend, this is where the spiritual aspect of it really comes through,” said Camping. “God again brought judgment on the world. We didn’t see any difference but God brought Judgment Day to bear upon the whole world. The whole world is under Judgment Day and it will continue right up until Oct. 21, 2011 and by that time the whole world will be destroyed.” (source)

There is little that I can add to what has already been said by many others about knowing the timing of the Lord’s return and false prophets, so the focus of this article is what I consider to be the greatest tragedy to come out of this whole matter – the wholesale dismissal of the idea of Christ’s return and the coming judgment of God. Many others are expressing the same concern.

Of course, there are many tragic stories in connection with Family Radio’s world-wide campaign to proclaim Camping’s apocalyptic message. Some faithful followers quit their jobs, sold their possessions, and emptied savings and retirement accounts in order to provide Family Radio with the funds needed to warn the world of impending judgment. The Guardian’s sister newspaper, The Observer cited a figure of more than $100 million that went into advertising around the world in countries from Israel to Iraq, from the Philippines to Viet Nam. When I was in Hungary last week, I heard reports of Camping’s followers handing out pamphlets on the streets of Budapest.

Some churches have even prepared to counsel those who might be contemplating suicide under the duress of staggering losses. [source]

On Friday, a mother in California slit the wrist and throat of her two daughters before slitting her own in order to keep them from having to endure the post-Rapture judgments. This double-murder / suicide attempt was averted at the last minute by a neighbor who discovered them in time to get the authorities and emergency crews to the home in time to save them. [source]

The Christian Post has reported that a teenage girl in Central Russia did commit suicide by hanging herself on Saturday. According to her diary entries, she did not consider herself to be one of the righteous whom God would take to heaven.

We are not righteous people, only they will go to heaven, the others will stay here on Earth to go through terrible sufferings. “I don’t want to die like the others. That’s why I’ll die now.”

Others who did not take such drastic measures, are still trying to cope with the ongoing realities of life with little of their lives left intact. Emotions among Camping’s followers have ranged from bewilderment to delusion, from despair to anger, from depression to outrage. It will probably be months before a clear picture emerges of the magnitude of the personal devastation.

However, as terrible and heart-wrenching as all these things are, I believe the greatest tragedy of Camping’s failed predictions began to quickly unfold on Saturday and Sunday across social networks and internet forums. One social media analytics company noted that on Twitter, 67% were joking about the “event,” 10% were criticizing Camping and 9% were planning “end-of-the-world parties.” [source]

All Facebook has published a “Top 10 Rapture Facebook Status Updates” list, which includes, among others.

Craig Gunnet: Rapture… brb

William J. Tjaden: …I think the rapture is starting! Ten minutes ago there was a bunch of people waiting at the bus stop down the street, and now they’re all *gone*!!!

Philip Lemoine: If you can’t think of a rapture joke, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world.

Sally Stevens: I’m setting the date for the Rapture to really happen on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 and am taking donations as of now…

Many got in on the act by posting pictures such as these:

The whole story has spawned innumerable headlines, articles, and media reports, as well as countless blogs. And of course, the late-night comedians have had a field day with this. On an unprecedented scale, we are witnessing the open and unashamed mocking of the Rapture and the entire notion of the outpouring of God’s wrath in connection with Christ’s second-coming.

This, I believe, is the greatest tragedy – that fewer than ever before will take seriously the issue of the return of Christ and the coming judgment; that it will be more difficult than ever to persuade people of the need to be spiritually prepared for an event which they believe has no basis in reality – being promoted by a small army of unbiblical and unbalanced religious zealots with an escapist and elitist mentality.

The skepticism, mockery, jokes and even anger and disdain by some for all things Christian was inevitable. And yet, the Apostle Peter warned that exactly these kinds of responses would intensify even as the time of the return of Christ actually draws closer.

2 Peter 3:1–13 (NKJV)

(1) Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), (2) that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, (3) knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, (4) and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (5) For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, (6) by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. (7) But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

(8) But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (9) The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

(10) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. (11) Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, (12) looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? (13) Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

As Peter notes, God’s merciful restraint in withholding judgment will be misinterpreted as being proof-positive that all such prophecies are nothing more than the rants of a long line of deluded doomsayers (like Harold Camping, for example). To add to the tragedy, a growing number of those who continue to insist they are “evangelical” are joining the scoffers’ chorus.

However, be certain of this: The Lord is coming. During the first phase of His return, the Lord will come as the Bridegroom, to meet His Bride, the Church, in the air. Then, after seven years of increasingly severe judgments, Christ will come to the earth as the Lion of Judah, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords – accompanied by the armies of heaven. At that time He will execute swift and sure justice against the enemies of God and establish His kingdom on the earth. This is not a fantasy or wild speculation.

1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 (NKJV)

(13) But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. (15) For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. (16) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. (17) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. (18) Therefore comfort one another with these words.

And because no more biblical prophecies are left to be fulfilled before the trumpet of God sounds, the Rapture could happen at any moment (meaning its timing cannot be predicted).

Revelation 19:11-16 (NKJV)

(11) Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. (12) His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. (13) He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. (14) And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. (15) Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. (16) And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Revelation 22:20 (NKJV)

He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’

Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

22 Comments
  1. Tremendous article Dr. James and masterfully presented through the authority of Scripture. Thank you for the ministry of ABI and the encouragement your labor of study provides. Blessings and Maranatha!

    Pastor Jeff LaBorg

  2. So is that what it’s being called now two phases of His coming? It’s interesting to me that Jesus Himself never spoke of two separate comings … as much as I’d like to believe it, I can’t find that in scripture and I was taught that as well but after studying what Jesus said about His coming I concluded that there is indeed only one second coming, not a partial arrival. I believe as the end draws near understanding will be clearer to those who desire truth. I believe that the more we watch, as Jesus admonished us to do, the more the Holy Spirit will reveal to us. Understanding of the end times is for the end time believer that’s why I stay open to the Holy Spirit for His truth to be revealed. I don’t believe anyone has full understanding yet.

    • Hi Tina,

      Thank you for your comments.

      Yes, there is one second coming. The Rapture, when we meet the Lord in the air is not the Second Coming when he comes to earth on the Mount of Olives. Jesus does mention both of these separately. It is clearly in Scripture in a number of places. I’ve been studying and teaching this for almost 30 years and my conclusion is obviously different – so we just may need to agree to disagree on this. I agree, there are many things that we don’t understand yet because we see through a glass darkly – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some things we can know with certainty. We definitely can know some things with absolute certainty. The Holy Spirit is given to guide us into all truth which he has revealed in the Word he inspired. The truth is there whether we completely comprehend it is a different matter. As we learn and grow in our relationship to him and our knowledge of the Scriptures things do become more clear.

      I trust the Lord will bless you as you continue to seek the wonderful truths of his Word.

      Blessings,
      Dave

  3. Tina,

    Surely you don’t believe that understanding of the end times is just for the “end time believer”. Paul expected Jesus’ return imminently. And no there is no way to understand all the Bible says, but most of it God has made plainly clear. I used to take one line of scripture and then be done and think my world view was correct. WRONG. I couldn’t be more wrong. God speaks to us everyday through His Word, that is why we are to be in the Word daily. I also don’t subscribe to the teaching going around since I was old enough to hear about Jesus, that a scripture may have a different meaning for you then it does for me. That is a lie from the pit of hell, a great teacher has said.

    Scripture is the same for you as it is for me. The interpretation of scripture is unnecessary because God’s Word is plain and simple. I at times do not understand what exactly it is saying, but I believe it is like that so that we keep studying. Jesus said a good tree doesn’t bear bad fruit, and a bad tress doesn’t bear good fruit. Well to me it means that you can’t get good from bad, and you can’t get good from bad. Simply put, if we are sinners, we are under the judgement and that we cannot possibly do good on our own. But a good tree, us, Christians cannot do bad because we are not under the judgment. Now I don’t see where it could possibly mean anything else to you, but the same. We tend to focus on one scripture to make us feel better or to prove something. That is no what scripture is for. Since scripture is the inspired Word of God breathed into those who wrote it, it is in fact direct communication from God. Jesus said he told us before time. In the days of the Apostles, they did not have the Word of God like we do now, but they used the Old Testament. See Acts where Phillip encountered the Ethiopian who was reading Isaiah.

    You say scripture only mentions one coming of Christ, but you’re grouping everything together. Jesus meeting His Bride, the Church in the air isn’t a coming it’s an escort. One I wait anxiously for everyday no matter what is happening in my life. When he descends onto the Mount of Olives is isn’t to meet the church, it is to take on the evil in this world and I for one is thankful that I will get to see justice finally done, even it my own family is involved. If they reject Christ, so be it, I choose Christ above all even if no one likes me for it. God speaks to us everyday through His Word. Why cut the conversation short by reading one scripture when the conversation can go on for as long as you like. May God bless you and put a fire in you to seek Him in constant conversation through His Word. Best conversation I ever have. And circumstances as they are for me these days, we are going to have some very long conversations. Can’t wait to hear from Him.

    God Bless, and even so Come Lord Jesus
    Cherie C. trying to be an over-comer.

  4. Hi Cherie,

    Yes I do believe that understanding the end times is for the end time believer because Jesus told us to watch, I don’t believe that means stare at the sky but to watch the current events unfold, no one else can see that but end time believers, those living during that time. I’m not saying that the Christians in Jesus day after his resurrection wasn’t watching for Him, they probably were but since it wasn’t time yet, they couldn’t possibly have the same level of understanding that we have now as we are watching events unfold. I do not believe that Paul expected that Jesus return was immenent because he told the Thessalonians that the Antichrist had to be revealed before Jesus second coming and Jesus Himself spoke of several things that would take place before He returned. (read Matt. 24)

    Yes scripture is the same but unfortunately it is intrepreted differently, we all don’t see through the same eyes and there are also false prophets who are spreading error. I know that I once believed that there was a rapture before Jesus second coming but I studied what Jesus Himself said about His second coming and He never mentions two separate arrivals, He only speaks of one event. What I hold to is that eventually we will definately see! But I don’t put anyone down for not believing as I do, I still like to hear what others think and believe. Either way my life is in His hands and I pray for truth everyday and I believe that He unveils His truth. God Bless!

    • It is from the combined teachings of Jesus, Paul and John that we know there are two future events – the rapture and the second coming. You have Daniel’s 70th week to contend with, Matthew 24-25, 1 Thess 4, 1 Corinthians 15, 1 Thess 2, Revelation 1-3, 4, 5-19. There are clearly two events – and yes, Jesus speaks of both of them if you carefully examine his words to his disciples.

  5. Hi Tina,

    The end times are foretold in the Old Testament. So there is no such thing is an end time believer. We are believers living at the end times, but the true end times are after the rapture of the church. The last days are the days during the 7 year Tribulation. My sister, who I love very dearly believes as you do so I can say with all correctness that your view was not obtained strictly by reading the Bible. Someone told you their interpretation of the scriptures and you could agree with them based upon the scripture they used. Peter said that there is no private interpretation of prophecy. I learned that that means that all prophecy fits together. If you believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, then you have to study it as a whole.

    I was attending a church once where the pastor said that the Old Testament is Jesus concealed, and that the New Testament is Jesus revealed. He couldn’t have been more wrong. Because of that I thought I did not have to study the entire Word of God and I missed so much knowledge doing that. Since meeting very Godly men in ministry, I have had the eyes of my understanding (of which only a saved person can understand the Word of God because of the Holy Spirit) opened very wide.

    God’s Word is whole and useful to us Spirituality and in some instances practically as well.

    Like reading Proverbs, never did that. I was trying to live by what Paul wrote about a Godly wife, but missed key character traits. A wonderful pastor from The Berean Call, Pastor Ed introduced me to Proverbs 31. Now that is the woman I am striving to be. Read it. It is wonderful. Gloria Steinman should have read that before she started women’s lib.

    Jesus is not concealed in the Old Testament, He is throughout the Bible. If we focus on just one scripture we are missing the bigger picture. The prophets of the Old Testament spoke of the end times even thought they are not living in it now. They were still end time believers.

    Don’t get tripped up by others who only focus on one or two scriptures. The Word of God has necessary information, in detail for us throughout. There isn’t two comings of Jesus. There is the Rapture where He will meet us in the air. His second coming is when He steps down on the Mount of Olives to end this world and confront the Anti-Christ. We will be with Him then, but first we must be prepared for that day by meeting Him in the air and standing before His judgement seat.

    No matter what, you are right that we are living in the end times, and Jesus told us, “afore time” He said, that one of the signs of His soon coming were signs, wonders, and miracles, and the proliferation of false doctrine and teachers.

    I hope the Lord puts a desire in your heart to read His entire Word and hear Him. God speaks to us through His Word, not our interpretations, but His Word. You know how I know that? Proverbs 31 is all I need as evidence to believe He speaks to us all the same way. Proverbs 31 is us Christian women today. I want to be that woman God describes in that last chapter of Proverbs. So the Bible is for us today and tomorrow. No different then yesterday. No interpretation needed, just obedience to the Word of God.

    I encourage you to read it. It put a smile on my face because God wrote that before the career women of today. God is so cool, He covers every aspect of Life it blows the mind. We are single minded, proud humans that need to yield to His Word, not dissect it to make it work for us. It already does if we let it.

    I look forward to meeting you in the air with Christ at the Rapture. Be ready because it is any moment now, any moment. Even so, come Lord Jesus.

    Have a Blessed day

    your sister in Christ Jesus
    Cherie

  6. Well God bless you Cherie, I won’t go any further since we really see eye to eye, all I can say is keep looking up!

    Dave,

    All of the scriptures that you listed I have read but I think that if you read it with the premise that there is two separate “phases” to Jesus second coming, you tend to see what you want to see but when you read the text as is it really is not mentioned there. What I see is that we are caught up to be with the Lord at His second coming, not raptured up, taken to heaven then returning with Him for the second coming, if that’s the case who is raptured at His second coming, because it clearly states that when He comes He will gather His elect from the four corners of the Earth and that’s at the “last trump” not next the last. I know we disagree on that and I’m not pressing the issue. I just think it is interesting. God Bless and I enjoy reading your blog.

    • Thanks, Tina.

      I very much aware of this viewpoint and the arguments for it, as well as the questions surrounding it. All of these questions have been answered very well by many people.

      Suffice it to say here that there is no view that doesn’t have difficulties that need to be resolved – and although as you’ve stated it, it would give the impression that yours is the simplest at first glance there are a number of very significant problems that your view doesn’t handle well.

      I’ve been studying and teaching this subject overall (including all views) in depth for almost 30 years. The longer I study this, the more I become persuaded that despite charges to the contrary, the pre-trib view is the most simple, most clear, most consistent and has far fewer problems that any other view.

      Just to very briefly answer the matter of the last trump. There are a number of reasons that this is not the last trumpet judgment. It is the last trump of the church age, which is not the same thing. If the rapture is at the last trumpet judgment, no place or time for the wedding supper of the lamb which mirrors the Jewish wedding feast – which takes place in heaven during the tribulation, then we return with Christ as the triumphant groom and his bride.

      There have been many entire books written on this subject, so we’re not going to solve it here – and there is no need for us to try to do that.

      I appreciate your input and the encouragement on reading the blog.

      Dave

  7. Dave,

    Is it a doctrinal issue to have a post-trib belief? If we are to take God’s Word literally, then we have to understand that God has a reason on why His complete design for the end times is written in a few areas. I don’t pretend to know a lot about this topic or issue. But what I do know is that God leads me to those who are Faithful in keeping His Word, and defending it. Tina shares her end time views with my sister, and I worry it might affect their salvation. Is there a reason to be concerned? By the way, Dave Hunt turned 86 on Saturday September 29th and he has written about a per-trib rapture. I read a lot of articles and see many videos from the Berean Call website. They seem to line up with what you write here. Keep up the work God has called you to do. Your ministry is a blessing to anyone who reads it. God Bless
    Cherie C.

    • Cherie,

      It is a doctrinal issue because it involves eschatology, which is one of the areas of systematic theology.

      That is different, however, from saying that it is a salvation issue, which it is not.

      Most who hold the post-trib view would also say that they, too, take the Bible literally.

      As I often say, fortunately, one doesn’t have to be a theologian to be saved. We do need to hear, understand and appropriate the gospel for salvation. The timing of the rapture, as important as it is, does not fall into this category.

      Dave

  8. I’m curious to know the exact texts you find the word ‘rapture’? No place in the Bible does it say anything about a ‘3rd coming’…Jesus came the first time as a baby, the 2nd coming is when he will rise up the dead and those of us still here will meet up with Him in the clouds of glory. How can anyone derive anything else from that?

    • This is a very common mistake made by those who try to argue against the rapture on this basis. However, it is the weakest of all the arguments and simply demonstrates that someone doesn’t understand the issue very well at all.

      “Rapture” is merely an English translation / transliteration of a Latin translation of the Greek text. However, the English Bible versions don’t rely on the Latin translation as an intermediate so, the Greek phrase that is translated by “rapture” in Latin, is translated as “caught up.” So, it is a bit of linguistic sleight-of-hand to try to say that “rapture” isn’t in the Bible – because the concept is stated clearly – and could be translated rapture and exactly catch the meaning of 1 Thess 4:17.

  9. the rapture and jesus’ second coming are one event. paul even mae it very clear when he said (15) For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the COMING OF THE LORD will by no means precede those who are asleep. (16) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. (17) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. (18) Therefore comfort one another with these words.
    1 thes 4
    if you are going to insist that the rapture and the second coming are not the same why does Paul say they are?
    in Mat 24 Jesus tells us in great detail the unfolding of the end times. he said we wll see the great tribulation & abomination that causes desolation v15, he talks about the false christs v27 and he says in v 29 IMMEDIATELY after those days the sun will be darkened…the son of man will come n the clouds and he will gather his elect from the 4 corners of the earth.
    this exact time scale is clearly laid out in Mat 13.
    if this is not a rature, then what is it?
    why didnt Jesus mention the pre trib rapture when he had no problem mentioning clearly the post trib?

    1 thes 4 says its at the coming of the lord. it also says the ddead in christ rise first. in rev 20:4 John says he saw the souls of the martyrs n those who didnt accept the mark of the beast come to life and reign w Christ n in V 5 he says clearly “this is the FIRST resurrection”. the dead in christ rise FIRST in rev 20 AFTER the tribulation. unless John just didnt know that the dead in Christ actually rose during the secrete rature that was so secrete that even he didnt know about it.

    Paul also says in 2 thes 2:1-4

    “now brothers concerning the COMING OF THE LORD & our GATHERING togeher with him, do not be shaken or troubled. let no one deceive you by ANY means for that day WILL NOT come (coming n our gathering) unless the falling away comes first (prob by ppl who believed in pre trib n r now faced w acceting the mark or starving) and the man of sin the son of perdition (anti christ) is revealed”

    is paul confused? does he not know that christians will b raptured b4 the anti christ is revealed? why does he link the coming and the gathering together? doesnt he know they r 2 separate events?

    paul knew end times better than us he clearly speaks of ONE EVENT, AFTER the tribulation. to get 2 events you must split the event into 2 based on personal desire rather than letting scripture spek for itself. jesus has already done the first part of the jewwish marriage ceremony. the only thing left is for him to collect his bride. there isnt a middle step needed here. he has gone to prepare a place for us n he will come back to gather us. a pre trib rapture is not reuired for the jewish marriage ceremony. especially since Jesus himself didnt say so, neither did Paul or John. i think they r trust worthy sources.

    • Larry,

      I appreciate your comments, but disagree with your conclusions regarding the relevant texts.

      Jesus must still take his bride away with him for the consummation and then bring her back as his wife. So, yes, the Pre-trib rapture is necessary for the marriage picture. This is also the conclusion of a number of Jewish believers I know / am aware of – as well as a foremost evangelical theologian who is involved Friends of Israel, with many Jews on staff – and which deals frequently with end-times issues.

      Bottom line is that your position is not nearly as cut-and-dried as you try to make it sound. There are lots of things that you have glossed over.

      Dave

  10. dave,

    would you like to clarify exactly what Jesus was talking about when he said he would gather his elect AFTER the tribulation? r there going to be 2 or 3 raptures? when paul says that we will be transformed at the coming of our lord? when John says the FIRST resurrection is after the tribulation. when paul says the anti chrits will b revealed first? when jesus says we will see the abomination of Dan 9 which hapens in the middle of the trib week? it takes more than “i disagree with you, and scholars agree with me” to suport ur position. i disagre with you and scholars agre with me too, so we can only turn to the text. these are things spoken by Jesus Paul and John. are they wrong? how am i interpreting them wrongly ?

    • Larry,

      Yes, you are interpreting them wrongly in many ways. There are many books available that you can read that demonstrate this very clearly from the biblical text. I agree completely that it does not matter who or how many agree with a particular view – it only depends upon the text. I have been teaching this principle for 25 years – and teaching people how to correctly understand the text to interpret it for themselves. So, I was not intending to engage in a “he said – she said” argument – but only to point out that there are godly, excellent Bible teachers who disagree with you interpretation of the text, because yours is not the only interpretation that can come from the text, and in fact it is the least likely possible interpretation of the text.

      I and others who disagree with you have already dealt with your objections 100’s of times over the years. But because my time is limited to respond to every blog comment, the best thing I can do is to direct you to some others who will say the same thing that I would so that there is no point for me to reinvent the wheel here. I would suggest you look at Things to Come by Dwight Pentecost. There is also a short book on the rapture by Charles Ryrie in which he makes it very clear.

      In closing, I will just comment on one small point – even though the rapture occurs before the tribulation, there will be many others who will be saved during the tribulation who would necessarily also be of the elect or they couldn’t be saved. So, this objection does nothing to argue against a pretribulational rapture of the church. That the first resurrection is made up of multiple parts is very clear even if one holds to a post-tribulational rapture. Jesus is the firstborn from the dead and the first fruit of the resurrection – so Jesus himself, was part of the first resurrection 2000 years ago – as are all who will be resurrected to life. So the Bible makes it clear that the first resurrection is more than just a single event but encompasses the resurrection to life that all believers will experience.

  11. would you mind clarifying how im interpreting them wrong? its one thing to say i am, its another to sho how.

    • Larry,

      I don’t plan on getting into a debate about this in the comment section of this blog.

      I did explain how you were misinterpreting the matter of the rapture having to be after the tribulation because of the elect.

      I could do so for each one – but whole books have been written on the subject, so given your responses, you and I both know I’m not going to change your mind with a couple of sentences.

      This is why I suggested the two books. If you’re really interested in learning rather than teaching, then please, get those two books, read and study them and how they demonstrate that your interpretations are incorrect – then if you still have questions, you can certainly come back here or email me personally, and we can go from there.

      Or if you still disagree after reading those two books, then there is nothing I can say that will change your mind. On the other hand, I have been studying and teaching this for over 25 years and I have arrived at my settled convictions – already knowing all of the arguments for your position – and probably even some of which you aren’t aware. So, although I wish to remain teachable at all times, I don’t think a couple of sentences from your position is going to change my views either. It is not as if I haven’t already considered all of your arguments many times over the years and find them lacking.

      Please understand – I’m not trying to be condescending, just realistic about the value of investing the time it would take to go through this in detail.

      I trust you understand.

      Again, if after reading those two books you still have some questions – you are more than welcome to contact me and I will be as open and honest as I can.

      May the Lord bless you and me both as we strive to understand His Word as accurately as possible.

      Dave

  12. so let me get this straight, instead of simply answering 6 measley questions from a 3 year christian, you, having 30 years studying this, just ignore and deny my questions? wow. and ur website is called biblical integrity ? wheres the integrity of that? its people like you that i am talking about when i say “no one will answer my questions.” you have just joined the ranks of all the “teachers” ho refuse to teach. thats not integrity. thats cowardice masked in intellectualism.

  13. Larry, I suggest you read Renald Showers’ two books “Maranatha Our Lord Come” and his critique of the prewrath view “The PreWrath Rapture View”. The gathering at Mat 24:31 is completely in line with several OT prophecies regarding Israel’s final gathering after they repent. All the verses and back up are supplied in Showers’ books. Do some homework.


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