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“15 Reasons Why We Believe in the Pre - Tribulation, Pre-millennial Rapture of the Church”
by Art Sadlier   
May 1st, 2009

Reason #1 The Rapture and the Second Coming are two separate events

At the Rapture

At the Second Coming

Saints go up and the unsaved are left behind. John 14:2, 3, 1 Thess 4:16, 17

Unbelievers are caught away to judgment. Rev. 19: 11-15, Jude 14 & 15, Mt. 25:34, 41

Saints meet Christ in the air and go to heaven. 1 Thess. 4:17

Christ returns with the Church.  Rev. 19:14, Jude 14

The world remains un-judged for sin. Rev. 9: 20,21

The world is judged for sin.   Matthew 25:31-33, 41

Concerns only the saved (in Christ).   

1 Thess. 4:16

Concerns saved and unsaved. Matthew 25:31-34,41

All hindrances to Satan are removed. 2 Thess.  2: 6, 7

Satan is bound for 1,000 years. Rev. 20: 2, 3


 Reason #2 There must be an interval between the Rapture and the Second Coming

After the rapture the believers must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ to make ready for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb which takes place on earth.  In Rev. 19:7-9 we see the church in heaven prepared for the marriage supper and ready to come with Christ to the earth.

If the tribulation saints and the church saints were translated at the Second Coming, there would not be any believers left in their natural bodies to populate the earth during the Millennial kingdom, as promised so many times in the O.T. Therefore there is no rapture at the Second Coming; the rapture cannot be after the tribulation.

Reason #3 The contrast of the beginning signs of the Rapture and the signs of the Second Coming

The Second Coming cannot take place until the signs are 'all fulfilled'. Luke 21:27 is refering to the signs in the preceding verses. This verse tells us that Christ's second coming will take place after all of the signs are completely fulfilled.

The Rapture will take place as the "signs begin to appear" on the scene. In Luke 21:28 we see the rapture as in Heb. 10:25 and 1 Thess. 5:4. These verses tell us that there will be a generation of believers who recognize the beginning signs and know that the rapture is near at hand, even at the doors. Conclusion: The rapture and the second are two separate events.

Reason #4 The purpose of the Tribulation period excludes the presence of the Church

  • Purpose # 1 The restoration of Israel to the Lord.  Zech. 13: 8, 9;  Dan. 9: 24,27; Rom. 11: 26, 27;  Zech. 12:10; Zech 13:1, 8, 9;  Jer. 31:31-34;  Mt. 24: 15, 21 
  • Purpose # 2 To judge the gentile nations and the world system which has been in rebellion against God over the long centuries. Isa. 13:9, 11, 13;  Joel 3:2
  • Purpose # 3 To judge and destroy apostate religion.  Rev. 17:15,16,17 
  • Purpose # 4 To unveil Christ to an unbelieving world.  The world has no idea of the true character of Christ. Throughout the book of Revelation Christ is revealed in the fierceness of His anger in bringing judgment on a rebellious world. (Rev. 1:1a; Rev. 6: 15-17)
  • Purpose #5 The church is not involved in any of these things. God's purpose for Israel has never been fulfilled. Israel has never lived in unbroken fellowship with the Lord.  Israel has never fully enjoyed salvation as a people or a nation, scripture promises that they will some day (Jer. 31:31-34).   God has a program to bring that about.  In Daniel 9:24 we see God's program, notice the things He will accomplish.
  • "To make an end to sins"
  • "To make reconciliation for iniquity"
  • "To bring everlasting righteousness"
  • "To seal up the vision and prophecy"
  • "To anoint the most Holy (Christ) as Israel's eternal King"

Seventy weeks of years are appointed to finish this purpose, sixty nine weeks of years are already past (see Daniel 9:25). One week still remains to be fulfilled (7 years).  That week will be the tribulation period.

During that time the Lord will finish His purposes for Israel, (Rom. 11:2, 26).   At Pentecost the Lord's purposes for the Church began, at that time Israel was set aside as far as God's dealing with her as a nation. The Church and Israel do not exist side by side in the world, at least as concerning God's dealings with them. Before God resumes His dealing with Israel, the church will be removed from the world. God is today preparing to work upon Israel again, before that begins  the church will be raptured.


Reason #5 The Church is not revealed on Earth but in Heaven during the Tribulation period

The Church is shown to be on earth in Revelation 2-3 prior to the tribulation period.

The Church is seen to be raptured in Rev. 4:1.  John, as a member of the church, sees into the future and sees himself taking part in the rapture.

The Church is shown to be in heaven from Revelation 4 to 19:10.  Although the Church is mentioned 25 times in the book of Revelation, it is not mentioned from Revelation 4 to 18.

The Church is seen returning to the earth in Revelation 19:11-14. The Church is to be delivered from the tribulation period, Revelation 3:10, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Contrast this with the apostate church of Thyatira in Revelation 2:22 where it is threatened with being cast into the tribulation period.  Revelation 3:10 is therefore talking about the promise of deliverance from the wrath of God during the tribulation period. The key verse is Revelation 7:4 where Israel is seen on the earth during the tribulation period. "And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel."

Reason #6 The Twenty-four Elders in Heaven Represent the Church in Heaven during the Tribulation

Revelation 4:4 says "And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold."  This verse is proof that the 24 elders represent the Church.  "Clothed in white raiment," this is a reference to the Church; see Rev. 19: 7 & 8.  This is a term and a concept used only of the Church, never of Israel.     

"They had on their heads crowns of gold", again this is a promise given only to the Church saints, in Revelation 2:10 and Revelation 3:11.
"Four and twenty elders," in the Old Testament the twenty-four courses of the priesthood represented the complete priesthood or the whole nation of Israel.  The twenty-four elders speak of the complete church.  The elders cannot represent Israel because the Old Testament saints are not raised from the dead until the close of the tribulation period.  The timing in Daniel 12:11 is the end of the days, the end of the tribulation period.  In verse 13, the Lord is speaking to Daniel as an Israelite. He clearly states that Daniel will be raised from the dead at the end of the tribulation period, "at the end of the days".

Therefore the elders cannot represent Israel because the Old Testament saints are not in heaven; they are not raised until after the tribulation period. 

 The church is then found to be in heaven while the tribulation period is taking place on the earth.

Reason #7 The Day of the Lord (Tribulation period) will not begin until Anti-Christ is revealed and he will not be revealed until the Church is Raptured

"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" (2 Thess. 2: 3).  In verse 1, the Rapture is the subject and is referred to in verse 3. The "falling away" refers to the Rapture; the catching away is a proper translation. "The son of perdition," is clearly the antichrist. Before the anti-christ can come the church must be raptured, therefore the rapture is pre-tribulation. We believe that the "falling away" refers to both the rapture and the last days apostasy, however in this verse, the  interpretation does not depend on the meaning of the term, "falling away". The interpretation of verse 3 is predicated on verse 1, where the subject is the rapture.   

Reason #8 Post-Tribulation Rapture has no proof texts

One of the purposes of the book of Revelation is to describe the events of the last seven years of the age in which we live. If the post tribulation rapture is correct, why is there no mention of it in the book of Revelation as it describes the events of the close of the tribulation period? This is because it is not the correct Biblical teaching.

Reason #9 Paul teaches the Thessalonians that Post-Tribulation theology is not Biblical

"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. and by our gathering together unto him," 2 Thess. 2:1. Paul says about the rapture of the church, I want to set you straight about it. . Verse 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." The Thessalonians were troubled about the rapture. They were more than troubled about it; they were shaken in their minds. 

Some one had put words in Paul's mouth!  Paul had been misrepresented!  Not only had he been verbally misrepresented but someone had sent a letter and forged Paul's signature on it. What were these misrepresentations about?  What were these false teachers saying?  They were saying that the tribulation period had begun and the church was going to go through the tribulation period. Even back in Paul's day there were false teachers who said that the church would go through the tribulation period.  Notice Paul's answer to this false teaching. Verse 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;"   Deceive = To thoroughly delude.  Paul says, don't be deluded!  Don't be confused!  The statements attributed to me are not true. The letter supposedly from me does not contain the truth. We are not in the tribulation period!  And he goes on to show that the church will not go through the tribulation period. "For that day shall not come," until the rapture takes place.  The rapture is referred to in verse one.   Remember that the subject of the rest of the chapter is the tribulation period and the subject of verses 1-3 is the rapture.

Before the tribulation period can come two significant things must take place.

  • One: "The falling away," in Greek is "Apostasia" meaning the departure or rebellion. This refers to both the  last days apostasy of the false church and the rapture of the true church.
  • Two: "And that man of sin be revealed," Before the tribulation period begins the anti-christ must be revealed. Therefore the rapture cannot be post tribulation period.

Reason #10 The Pre-Tribulation Rapture is a comfort to the Saints.

1 Thess. 4:16 "Wherefore comfort one another with these words."   If we, the church, are looking for the tribulation period and the coming of antichrist then this would not be a message of comfort but one of fear trepidation. We would mostly all be martyred and there would be no comfort until the tribulation was over. The message would be faith and trust and endurance, but not comfort.

Reason #11 The Church is not appointed to wrath, but to be delivered from wrath 

"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth"  (Rev. 3:10). This refers to the tribulation period; compare this with the apostate church of Thyatira which is threatened with being cast into the tribulation period, Rev. 2:22, "Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds." We see that the true body of Christ is delivered from the tribulation while the false church is cast into the tribulation.

We have the same thing taught in 1 Thess. 5:9, here the subject is again clearly the tribulation period.


“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience,
I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation” Rev. 3:10


Reason #12 The wrath of God begins to be poured out upon the earth at the beginning of the Tribulation period, not the mid-point.

We have the promise of deliverance from the wrath of God prior fo the tribulation period, as found in Rev. 3:10 and 1 Thess. 5:9.   The wrath of God begins to be poured out at the beginning of the tribulation period, not at the midpoint.  The first 4 seals of Rev. 6 involve the outpouring of God's wrath very early in the tribulation period. Therefore the rapture must occur prior to the beginning of the tribulation. The rapture is therefore pre-tribulation and not midtribulation.        .


Reason #13 The Seventy-Week prophecy of Daniel 

Read Daniel 9:24, God told Daniel that He had determined 70 weeks of  years to finish His purposes for Israel.  A careful study of these verses reveals that up until the death of Christ, 69 weeks had been fulfilled and that one week of years remained to be fulfilled. That week of years will begin after the rapture and the appearance of anti-christ, as he signs the 7 year peace treaty. During the time gap between the 69th and 70th week, the church is being called out of the world as the body of Christ.  When God begins to deal with Israel again, the church will have been completed (Rom. 11:25) and removed from the earth.  God does not intend the church to be present as He returns to dealing with Israel again. God began His work with the church 50 days after the 69th week ended. We believe that it logically follows that God will return to dealing with Israel after the church is removed to heaven.

Reason #14 The references to the Church and to Israel.

Although the church is referred to 25 times in the book of Revelation, not one reference is made to the church in chapters 4-18.  These are the chapters which cover the tribulation period. By contrast, during that period Israel is mentioned 26 times


Reason #15 The circumstances prior to the Rapture in contrast to the circumstances prior to the Second Coming

We are told that prior to the coming of Christ they will be marrying and partying. We are also given a picture of war and terrific chaos with men's hearts being filled with fear prior to Christ's coming.  Which is it?  We have two different scenarios because we have two separate comings of Christ. One is the rapture and the other is the second coming. 

We are told that no man knows the day or the hour of Christ's coming. We are also informed that the Second coming of Christ will be the most recognizable date in history; it will be 2520 days after the peace treaty is signed. We are also told that it will be 1260 days after the abomination of desolations at the mid-tribulation point. You can't know -  you can know, which is it? The answer is that scripture is referring to two separate comings, the rapture and the second coming.     

In the Old Testament we have the same scenario. Nowhere is it stated in the O.T. that there will be two separate comings of Messiah, it is just taught, so we need not be surprised that the same situation occurs in the N.T.  We simply have in one verse, in the O.T. the teaching that there will be two separate comings of Christ, with both comings foretold in the same verse without any commentary. We see in Isaiah 61: 2, both comings without commentary. "To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, (First Coming) and the day of vengeance of our God; (Second Coming).  It teaches that Messiah will come to die, and it teaches that Messiah comes to rule on the throne of David. Which is it? The answer is again there are two separate comings of Christ.

The religious leaders of Christ's day failed to recognize that the O.T. taught two comings of Christ; one coming to die and one coming rule and reign. This failure on their part brought disaster to them. Today there yet remain two comings of Christ, the Rapture and the Second Coming to the earth. Those today who do not understand this will be confused as to what God is doing in this hour.    

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