Rapture Confusion

Rapture Doctrine Explained

By

J.M. Beatty

We cannot examine the eschatology of the end times and Christís 2nd coming without encountering the rapture doctrine debate. The common doctrine taught in fundamentalist and conservative evangelical churches is the Pre-Tribulation (Futurist) Rapture doctrine. The popular "Left Behind" book series authored by Tim LaHaye reaffirms this popular theory. We also see this doctrine in vogue Christian movies like "A Thief in the Night", "Apocalypse", and "Tribulation". Even the "Omega Code" alluded to a pre-tribulation rapture doctrine. Before we put our confidence and trust in a doctrine that could influence our interpretation of current events and our walk with Christ, should we not verify the accuracy of the doctrine. I personally believe that the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine is partly responsible for the decadence found in our government and for a lack of civic involvement from the Christian church. I also believe the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine is a serious doctrinal threat to sound dogma due to its distorted application of scripture.

Four Theories

Church history has provided us with four primary millennial views/theories concerning end time prophecy. Let me list these views and briefly describe each theory.

Historic Premillennialism

This view is established on the belief that the church age will include the tribulation period, but not necessarily restricted to a seven year timeframe, that will culminate with Christís return. Many who adhere to this view today believe a rapture will accompany the second Coming. This view was first articulated in the early church.

Amillennialism

The view of Augustine and Roman Catholicism (and in most respects, mainline traditions like Presbyterian, Lutheran, etc.): The current age is the "Millennium" in that Christ rules in His church and the hearts of Christians, though the world becomes increasingly evil.

Dispensationalsim

The view of many modern fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals. The rapture plays a key role and occurs before the seven year Tribulation (or in the middle of the Tribulation Ė and for some at the end). The "church age" is really a "parentheses," in which Godís dealings with Israel are put on hold while he builds the Gentile church.

Postmillennialism

The view of most nineteenth century evangelicals and some Reformed people today: Christians with Godís help, will gradually convert and reform society into a blessed, though not perfect, state.

We should be able to see that eschatological opinion is very diverse and contradictory. Each Bible theologian has his or her own theory about end time events and the rapture. In todayís lesson the rapture doctrine will be under the spotlight.

What is the Rapture?

1Thes 4:15-17 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (KJV)

This reference in Thessalonians is the root of the rapture doctrine. What events are being described by these verses?

Will the rapture (transformation) occur? Absolutely yes, these events will happen. The question at hand is not the occurrence of the rapture, itís the timeframe established by doctrinal opinion. The pre-Tribulation rapture doctrine teaches that this event will occur at the beginning of a seven year period referred to as the tribulation and signal its initiation.

Pre-Tribulation Arguments

The pre-tribulation rapture doctrine is based on a jig-saw puzzle collection of unrelated Bible verses. Let me list some of the core theories.

These arguments do not stand up to biblical scrutiny. We will examine the scriptural context of these theories.

Pre-Tribulation Rapture History

The root of the pretribulation rapture comes from the Irvingite church in Glasgow, Scotland.

Reference: John T. Sharrit; Soon Coming World Shaking Events pages 216-217/215-234; Christian History magazine "The End" page 38

Edward Irving

Edward Irving (1792-1834) was a Scottish Presbyterian minister in London.

Reference: A History of the Christian Church/Wilston Walker page 500; History of the Christian Church - the Modern Church by Sheldon page 195

John Nelson Darby

Premillennialism came to the United Stated following the Civil War through the ministry of the Plymouth Brethren.

    1. Darby's Plan believed God's earthly people had been revealed though a series of covenants with Israel (Abraham, Moses, David, Messiah).
    2. The Gentile era would end at the coming of Messiah, 70 weeks after one of the Gentile rulers issues a decree allowing the Jews to return to Jerusalem. But when the Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah, God suspended the prophetic timetable at the end of Daniel's sixty-ninth week and began building a new and heavenly people-the church.
    3. Dispensationalism believed that God would not deal with the two peoples together, therefore it seemed necessary to remove the church before God's plan with Israel.

Bible Institutes

Some dispensationalists wanted to focus attention on prophetic themes. In 1878 in New York City, the First American Bible and Prophetic Conference was convened.

Reference: Christian History magazine "The End" pages 31-39

Rapture Doctrine Examined

Question #1 "Is the Rapture and the Second Coming the Same Event?"

Lets examine this question by comparing 1Thessalonias 4:15-17 with Matthew 24:29-31. Do these scriptural references describe the same event in Bible prophecy?

1Thes 4:15-17 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (KJV)

Matt 24:29-31 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: (30) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (31) And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (KJV)

1Thessalonians 4:15-17

Matthew 24:29-31

Lord Returning

Lord himself shall descend from heaven

Lord Returning

see the Son of man coming in the clouds

In Clouds

in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air

In Clouds

coming in the clouds of heaven

Angel/Trumpet

archangel, and with the trump of God

Angel/Trumpet

send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet

Gathering

we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together

Gathering

they shall gather together his elect

Resurrection

dead in Christ shall rise first

Resurrection

one end of heaven to the other

It is interesting to note that Thessalonians also clearly indicates that the dead in Christ will rise from their graves. This verse clearly indicates that the rapture is a universal resurrection.

Matthew's gospel also clearly states that this event will occur "Ö Immediately after the tribulation of those days Ö". What tribulation is Matthew referring to? Should we place the pre-trib rapture before the final seven-year tribulation, then what tribulation is Matthew writing about? It should be obvious from our brief comparison that Thessalonians and Matthew are describing the same event.

The Pre-Tribulation rapture doctrine teaches that Matthew 24 is descriptive of the seven-year tribulation and the second coming of Jesus. Is the Rapture and the Second Coming two different events? The answer must be no, the rapture and the second coming are the same event.

Question #2 "Is the Rapture a Resurrection?"

The Pre-Tribulation rapture doctrine concedes that the rapture is the resurrection of the dead in Christ. I agree also that the rapture is a resurrection. The question we should ask is simple. How many universal resurrections does the Bible teach will occur?

Two Resurrections

John 5:28-29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, (29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Jesus taught that the hour is coming when all in the graves shall hear His voice and come forth in a resurrection. Jesus taught that the human race will experience two different resurrections.

This point must be made clear, Jesus taught that two resurrections will bring forth ALL who are in their graves. The doctrine of Christ did not create a third resurrection call the "resurrection of those who are dead in Christ". In order to make the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine fit, a third resurrection must be created.

 

 

First Resurrection

Why must the pre-trib rapture doctrine need to create a third resurrection? Because the twentieth chapter of Revelation refutes their theory.

Rev 20:4-6 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (5) But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. (6) Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (KJV)

The first resurrection occurs near the end of the book of Revelation. How can the doctrine have the rapture and the first resurrection be the same event, when the doctrine teaches that the rapture occurs in Revelation chapter four? In order to solve the doctrinal paradox, the pre-tribulation theory needed to create a third resurrection, that Jesus did not teach.

Rev 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. (12) And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (13) And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. (14) And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (15) And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (KJV)

The twentieth chapter of Revelation also records the second resurrection spoken of by Jesus. The great white throne judgment of Jesus is the second resurrection, and all those who names were not found in the book of life were cast into the lake of fire.

No doubt the twentieth chapter of Revelation validates the teachings of Jesus that only two resurrections will occur. The third resurrection theory does not stand up to scriptural scrutiny. Since this is the case and we have established that the rapture is a resurrection, then we must conclude that the rapture is the first resurrection found in Revelation 20.

Consider with me another doctrinal paradox the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine has concerning the resurrection. Should we place the first resurrection, the resurrection of life, in chapter four of Revelation then what resurrection will the martyrs of Christ experience since the resurrection of life has past? Should we anticipate that these saints of God will come forth in the resurrection of damnation? We have a paradox, because we must get these saints out of the ground. In order to solve the obvious paradox the pre-tribulation doctrine was forced to create a third resurrection that is not found in the Bible.

Question #3 "Is the Rapture Part of Revelation 4?"

Rev 4:1-2 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. (2) And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. (KJV)

The pre-trib rapture doctrine teaches that the experience of John being caught up into heaven (in the spirit) is a record of the rapture of the church. The argument is based on the supposition that chapters one through three of Revelation (seven letters to the seven churches) are prophetic descriptions of the historic epochs of the church age. Any student of church history we see the error in this form of thinking. Should we accept this form of thinking we must acknowledge the possibility that we are the Laodicean church who is lukewarm, wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked who will be spewed out of Jesus' mouth (Rev 3:14-17). Is the Promise Keepers movement of God the work of a lukewarm church?

The doctrine teaches that the word "church" ceased to be used after the seven letters to the churches, therefore the church must not be on planet earth. Ponder for a moment the stupidity of this form of thinking.

Who Are the Saints?

The book of Revelation has thirteen references concerning the saints of God. The question concerning us is the identify of these saints. The pre-tribulation rapture doctrine teaches that these saints are believers who are attached to the tribes of Israel. This doctrine teaches that these saints are not part of the church, therefore they can not be born again in the same fashion as we are. The New Testament does not teach this concept. On sixty one (61) occasions reference is made concerning the saints of God, and these saints are part of the body of Christ and His church.

Reference: Rev 5:8; 8:3-4; 11:18; 13:7; 13:10; 14:12; 15:3; 16:6; 17:6; 18:24; 19:8; 20:9

The question before us is simple. Are the saints found in the book of Revelation also part of the body of Christ, His church? We will examine this question when we consider the argument of the Holy Spirit.

Question #4 "Are We Subject to Wrath?"

The pre-tribulation doctrine teaches that the seven year period referred to as the great tribulation is God's day of wrath.

1Thes 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, (KJV)

This scripture is the basis for the pre-trib belief that we will not be on planet earth when God pours out his wrath. When the doctrine includes the supposition that the seven year tribulation is the day of God's great wrath, then the doctrine assumes that the church is not on planet earth.

Rev 16:1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. (KJV)

Revelation chapter sixteen is descriptive of God's wrath being poured out upon the earth in punishment for the great whore becoming drunk on the blood of the saints (Rev 16:6). It is interesting to note that we read about the saints of God being martyred throughout the whole book of Revelation. We come to the point. Are the saints of God subject to the divine vial wrath judgments of God? When we read these verses in chapter sixteen we should ask ourselves who are the recipients of these judgements?

When we meditate these judgments it should be obvious that the judgments are not universal nor are they designed to judge the saints of God. The wrath vial judgments are poured out on the beast and his kingdom, and all who have received the mark of the beast. We read on two occasions in Revelation chapter Sixteen that the nations would not repent of their deeds (Rev 16:9, 11). Consider with me some thoughs.

Question #5 "Does Jesus Come as a Thief in the Night?"

1Thes 5:2-3 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. (3) For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. (KJV)

2 Pet 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (KJV)

The pre-tribulation theology teaches that Jesus coming as a thief in the night is the rapture. The students of this doctrine have even used this phrase as titles for movies and books. The doctrine teaches that during the events of Revelation chapter four Jesus comes as a thief in the night and raptures away his bride, the church. It is important to notice that this doctrine places this event at the beginning of the seven year tribulation.

Rev 16:13-16 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. (14) For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. (15) Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. (16) And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. (KJV)

The book of Revelation is not silent concerning Jesus coming as a thief in the night. The event is placed just prior to the battle of Armageddon, during the judgment of the sixth vial of God's wrath. The pre-trib doctrine teaches that verse fifteen will occur seven years prior to this event. Does this narrative support this line of thinking? No!

Second Coming in Three Events

We know that the rapture is the resurrection, and we know that this event will occur during the second coming of Jesus. How do I reconcile this fact with verse fifteen? The second coming of Jesus must encompass several events and span an unknown timeframe.

Matt 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (KJV)

Rev 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

We assume from our eschatology that the second coming of Jesus will occur in a few moments. Jesus is seen in the clouds and suddenly He is standing on the Mount of Olives. I do not believe the Bible teaches this concept. I think the second coming will encompass three main events.

    1. Jesus coming as a thief - Rapture (1Th 5:2-4; Rev 16:15)
    2. Tremendous Celestial Phenomena (Mt 24:29)

    1. Armageddon (Rev 16:16 Zeph 3:8)
    2. War with Lamb: Beast moves armies to make war (Rev 17:14 19:19)
    3. Religious people naked and ashamed (Rev 16:15)
    4. Babylon Destroyed (Rev 14:8; 16:19; 18:2, 10)
    5. Earthquakes (Rev 6:14; 16:18-20; Isa 2:21; 13:13)
    6. Sun/Moon Darkened (Rev 6:13; Isa 13:6-13)
    7. Gross Darkness (Amos 5:18; Zeph 1:14)
    8. Uncontrolled Fear (Luke 21:26)

    1. Lamb War With Beast (Rev 19:17; Zeph 14:1)
    2. Earth Smitten With Sword of Spirit (Rev 19:15, 21 2Th 2:8 Zeph 14:12)
    3. Earth Destroyed With Fire (Isa 24:1-6; 2Peter 3:12)
    4. Earth Shaking Earthquakes (Isa 24:19-20)
    5. Eyes/Tongues Consumed (Zech 14:12)

How long do you think it will take for these events to occur? How long does it take from a government to move armies? These type of events do not happen in a few moments. I personally believe the second coming of Jesus could be several week to several months in duration.

Luke 21:34-36 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. (35) For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. (36) Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (KJV)

During discussions with pre-trib rapturists inevitably this verse of scripture is quoted concerning the great escape of the saints of God. They usually wonder what they would escape from if their theory is wrong. My debate and response is simple. The saints of God - who are ready - will escape the horrors of the actual second coming of Jesus, and the will escape the earth being smitten with the sword coming from the mouth of Jesus.

Question #6 "Are We Immune to Tribulation Suffering?"

The pre-trib doctrine that reasons that a loving bridegroom would not allow is future bride to suffer such a terrifying time just prior to His wedding, marriage supper, and one thousand year honeymoon, is just plain foolish and inane. To see the one thousand year reign of Christ as a honeymoon is absurd and not scriptural.

Rev 6:9-10 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: (10) And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? (KJV)

Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (KJV)

Rev 16:6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. (KJV)

Rev 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. (KJV)

Rev 19:2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. (KJV)

The book of Revelation is drenched in the blood of the saints. Who are these holy souls under the altar of God? Who are the saints who cause the great whore to become drunk on their blood? These saints are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and let us never forget this simple truth.

I could have selected numerous scriptures in the Old and New Testament to support the fact that God never removed his children from seasons of persecution in order to keep them from suffering.

    1. Nero 67 AD
    2. Domitian 81 AD
    3. Trajan 108 AD
    4. Marcus Aurelius Antoninus 162 AD
    5. Severus 192 AD
    6. Maximus 235 AD
    7. Decius 249 AD
    8. Valerian 257 AD
    9. Aurelian 274 AD
    10. Diocletian 303 AD

How can we walk though the hallowed halls of church history and not notice the blood of the martyrs covering the walls. Should God rapture His church out of this world in order to keep them from suffering the pain of persecution, then He owes our bloodstained forefathers an apology. Why should we escape the terror of worldwide persecution when our spiritual ancestors purchased our faith with their blood.

Phil 2:5-11 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (9) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: (10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (KJV)

2 Tim 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Why should we think that we will escape pain and suffering when God did not even spare His own Son. The plan and purpose of God was for Jesus to endure the pain, suffering, and death of the cross. God always has a divine plan for persecution

"For what is the issue of persecution, what other result comes of it, but the approving and rejecting of faith, in regard to which the Lord will certainly sift His people? (Works of Tertullian page 240)"

"How beautiful is the spectacle to God when a Christian does battle with pain; when he is drawn up against threats, and punishments, and tortures; when, mocking the noise of death, he treads under foot the horror of the executioner; when he raises up his liberty against kings and princes, and yields to God alone, whose he is; when, triumphant and victorious, he tramples upon the very man who has pronounced sentence against him! (Works of Tertullian page 425)

Question #7 "Is the Holy Spirit Removed?"

II Th 2:3-8 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? (6) And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. (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: (KJV)

The pre-trib rapture doctrine teaches that the Holy Spirit will be removed from the earth when the church is raptured. The seven year tribulation will suffer the horrors of the antichrist without the aid of the Holy Spirit. The doctrine teaches that the saints of God who come to Christ during this tribulation period will not have an internal Holy Spirit, they will be experience the Holy Spirit in a similar fashion as the saints in the Old Testament. This doctrine also teaches that these saints of God will not be counted with the church, but will be recognized with the Israel of God.

This doctrine also teaches that the church and the Holy Spirit are the reasons the antichrist is being restrained. I have heard it taught that the simplest Christian could rebuke the antichrist and he would flee. Did blood of the saints stop flowing because the church rebuked the Roman emperors? Has the church restrained the spirit of antichrist? I think not, currently its political power is growing in our midst. Stop being so simple minded and foolish.

Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (KJV)

Will the saints of God found in the book of Revelation be led by the Spirit of God? Absolutely yes! These saints will overcome the dragon by the blood the Lamb, the word of their testimony, and they will not love their lives to the death. These saints of God have the blood of the Lamb, then how can we say that they are not our brothers and sisters in Christ? How can we say that these saints are not part of the body of Christ, the Church? They also are the sons of God. How can they be born again and become the sons of God without the Holy Spirit?

1 Cor 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (KJV)

1 Cor 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy host. (KJV)

1 Cor 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (KJV)

Remember what these scriptures teach. No man can say he is in union with God without an internal dwelling of the Holy Spirit. Without this encounter with Jesus and the Holy Spirit they are none of His. How can the two witnesses of Revelation do exploits without the Holy Spirit?

Will the saints found in Revelation be part of the church of Jesus Christ? I think we must conclude that these holy souls are part of the body of Christ. These saints also have equal part in God's holy church. They are not second class citizens in His kingdom. Oh how arrogant to think we are the only church that will experience the rapture. This doctrine considers the saints in Revelation to be second class citizens, while we are the true holy saints. How foolish we have become.

Conclusion

In my opinion the pre-trib rapture doctrine is a dangerous doctrine, because it causes good, faithful Christians to ignore the seriousness of the present hour. This doctrine causes lethargic mindset when we should be sober of mind. Why get spiritually ready for the horror of suffering and persecution when we are going in the rapture? Why care about the our civic duty or the condition of the government, because we are going in a rapture. I hope that what has been presented will cause us to rethink our position of the pre-trib rapture. It should be obvious from this essay that this doctrine has some serious errors. Are we ready to commit our prophetic future to a doctrine that has more theory than truth?