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Thursday, May 19, 2011

"A Pre-Tribulational Rapture?"

Dr. Russell D. Moore writes:

Indeed, the pattern of God’s provision for his people, as he is pouring out judgment around them, is to bring them safely through such a disturbance—not to “rapture” them out of it. Thus, as the plagues fall on Egypt, for example—plagues that are repeated and intensified during the Apocalypse—God “makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel” (Exod. 11:7) by protecting Israel from the judgments, but he does not remove Israel until after the plagues are ended.
Moreover, the “salvation from wrath” argument is internally inconsistent. If even one redeemed person goes through the tribulation—and dispensationalists insist some will, Gentiles who turn to Christ after the rapture and the redeemed Jewish remnant—then this argument does not work. Someone who belongs to Christ is passing through the wrath of God in the tribulation.
The strongest argument for a pretribulational rapture is the case from imminence. The Scriptures call on believers always to be ready for the coming of Jesus, an unexpected event that will hit like a “thief in the night” (1 Thess. 5:2). A signless rapture certainly does preserve the unpredictability of an anytime coming of Christ. And yet this argument assumes that the tribulation is a time wholly and obviously incongruous with the present era.
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