Pre-Tribulational Rapture Questions
Boy, I’m having trouble understanding the pre-tribulational rapture. So, if you are a pre-tribber, I just have a few questions that maybe you can answer. I hope you won’t just let your mind gloss over these questions:
- How can Jesus come BEFORE the tribulation when Matthew 24:29-34 says the Second Coming (and the gathering of the elect and the trumpet call) all occur AFTER the tribulation (“immediately after the tribulation. . .” v. 29)? Doesn’t this clearly mean that the rapture would also happen AFTER the tribulation also, since the rapture and second coming happen together per 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18?
- How is it that the rapture means removal of living people from earth when nowhere in Scripture is there a promise that people would be removed from earth specifically TO AVOID TRIBULATION? If Jesus is going to rapture the church out of the world, why does He pray for the exact opposite—that the church would NOT be taken out of the world (John 17:15)? How can the rapture mean removal from earth when Jesus taught that his followers could avoid the tribulation by fleeing to mountains outside of Jerusalem (Matthew 24:16)?
- How can a 7-year tribulation be correct: (a) when “seven years” is not found in Revelation? (b) when you can’t find “the first 3.5 years” and “the second 3.5 years” either and have to ASSUME its appearance in Daniel or Revelation to make it fit the theory? (c) and the word “antichrist” is not found in Revelation, having to rely on your presuppositions to find it there?
- How can these things be thousands of year later (a) when Revelation is about things that “must shortly take place” (Revelation 1:1; 22:6) and the “time was near” (Revelation 1:3; 22:10)? (b) when Jesus said that the tribulation would fall upon those in his generation (Matthew 24:9, 21, 29, 34)? Isn’t every time the phrase “this generation” used in the New Testament outside of the Olivet Discourse, the meaning is clearly those living in the first century (Matthew 11:16; 12:38-45; 23:36; Mark 8:12; 8:38-9:1; Luke 7:31; 11:29-32, 49-51; 17:25). (c) when Jesus also told his disciples, “In the world you have tribulation” (John 16:33)? (d) when Paul said they had to go through tribulation in order to enter the kingdom of heaven (Acts 14:22), and (e) when John insisted that he was already in the tribulation (Revelation 1:9; 2:9)?
- How can Daniel’s 70 weeks be future when the 70 weeks ended with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple―and when the “power of the holy people would be shattered” and “the burnt offering taken away” (Daniel 9:26-27; 12:7, 11)? Didn’t this happen in AD 70?
- How do you get a 2,000-year gap between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel 9 when there is NO mention of a postponement of the 70th week? Aren’t you forcing your preconceptions into the text?
- How could the second coming be still future when Jesus said in numerous places that He would return while some living in the first century were still alive (Matthew 10:23; 16:27-28; 24:34; 26:64)?
- If the Great Tribulation was to be global, why do Jesus and Peter compare it to Sodom―which was clearly a local event (Luke 17:25-32; 2 Peter 2:5-9)?
- Do you believe that two-thirds of the Jews will be slaughtered in the tribulation? If so, how can you call yourself pro-Israel? Isn’t this teaching based almost entirely on one verse—Zechariah 13:8—yet the New Testament places the previous verse (13:7) squarely in the time of Christ? And the next chapter ties it to the destruction of Jerusalem, also in the first century (14:2, 11)
- Is eschatology so confusing that God would have us bounce around between places (hades, heaven, earth, new heaven and new earth, new Jerusalem, heaven again? Wouldn’t you want to stay in heaven when you get there?
More prophecy questions for dispensationalists: