Sun, Dec 31, 2017

Defending the Pre-Trib Rapture

Defending The Pre-Trib Rapture

Rapture –

  • One of the central teachings of Calvary Chapel
    • Believing in this doctrine has no affect on your salvation
    • NOT believing in this doctrine has no affect on your salvation
  • the Biblical Truth of God preserving His saints in a time of Great Wrath


Popularity of Pre-Trib Rapture among Evangelical Theologians:

  • Of course, measuring something’s validity based upon popularity is never a good thing to do.


  1. Pre-Trib: The church is removed prior to the revealing of the Antichrist.
  2. Post-Trib: The church is removed AFTER the 7 years of Tribulation, just prior to Jesus’ bodily return (advent).
  3. Mid-Trib: The church is removed at the exact mid-point of the 7 years of tribulation.
  4. Pre-Wrath: The church is removed prior to the 7 trumpet judgments, prior to the AntiChrist declaring himself to be god.
    1. Pre-wrath proponents say that the Seventh Trumpet blown in Rev 11:15-18is the same last trump Paul spoke of in 1 Cor. 15:52. However, they fail to take into account the fact that John wrote Revelation 40 years after Paul wrote his first epistle to the Corinthians. How could Paul refer to something that was not yet revealed?
  5. Preterism: The entire tribulation happened prior to 70 AD, Nero was the Antichrist, Jesus has already returned, stop hoping in something future.



1 Thessalonians 4:16–18

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.


  • I don’t see the word “rapture” here?
    • “For the record, the word “rapture” comes from the Latin word “rapturo,” which in turn was a translation of the Greek verb “caught up” found in 1 Thes 4:17. You can call it the pre-trib rapture, the pre-trib rapturo, or the pre-trib caught up–it’s all the same thing.” [1]


The Margaret MacDonald Origin
One of the most widely circulated attacks against the pre-trib rapture is the notion that a girl named Margaret MacDonald started this theological view back in 1830.

  • The claim is typically made that MacDonald received a demonic vision, passed it on to John Darby, who in turn popularized it.
  • Disproving this assertion proves rather easy. Pre-trib scholars have discovered a host of rapture writings that predate Margaret MacDonald.


  • Epharaem the Syrian said, in 373 AD, “For all the saints and Elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins.”[2]

Revelation 4:1    After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after these things.


  • After these things”: (meta tauta, in the nasb, “after these things”) [3]
  • This statement both begins and ends this verse.
  • Obviously, Jesus wants to draw our attention to the future events which must take place.

Chuck Smith:  “It is interesting that this fourth chapter begins with the Greek words, “meta tauta.”  It shows us that we are coming into the third section of the book, the things that will take place after the things of the church. So we’re entering in now to the future. The church’s history is complete and now we move in to what is going to happen after the church has finished her ministry. After these things. You see, it’s very logical. After what things? The things that He’s previously talked about. What is that? The church and the history of the church.”   [4]


  • Shows a direct connection to Rev 1:19:

Revelation 1:19   “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.

  • Three divisions of the Book of Revelation
  • Past – “the things which you have seen” (Chapter 1)
  • Present: “the things which are”  (Chapters 2-3)
  • Jesus will now show John what things must happen after the “Church Age” – or the “things which are.”
  • Future: “the things which will take place after this.”  (Chapters 4-22)
  • There is then no mention of the “church” in the next 18 chapters.
  • What happened to the church? – She’s gone from the earth!


Here’s the basic idea behind the Post-Trib Rapture:



God has demonstrated His care for His saints in preserving them from His wrath in the past:

  • Noah and his family of 8
  • Lot and his family of 4
  • 3 faithful men in the fiery furnace – Daniel 3
  • Daniel in the Lion’s den – Daniel 6


1 Thessalonians 5:9–11

9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.


Revelation 6:17  For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”


God’s Promise to His faithful church:

Revelation 3:10–13   Church of Philadelphia

10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.

12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’



  • Partial or “Secret” Rapture
    • Bad Theology

Luke 21:34–36

34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.

35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.

36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”


The Great Restrainer:

2 Thessalonians 2:6–8

6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.

7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.

8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.


Matthew 24:44

44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.






[3] Walvoord, John F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc.) 1983, 1985.

[4] Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #8243