Many, perhaps most, modern Christians believe that in the context of “End Times” there’ll be three and a half years of “tribulation” during which the Anti-Christ will torment, torture and kill many, perhaps most, of the people on Earth.
Many, perhaps most, modern Christians believe that just before the Tribulation begins, all true Christians will be “raptured” up into the air to meet with Christ and be thereby spared the torments of the Tribulation. This is the “Pre-Tribulation Rapture” that is expected to take place before the Tribulation begins. The rest of the world–who are not true, sincere Christians (despite some of their claims to the contrary)–will be “left behind” to be tormented/tortured/killed by the Anti-Christ.
I’ve never doubted the existence of a coming “rapture,” but I’ve never felt as if I were one of the “good and true Christians” who would be shielded from the Tribulation by the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. For year, I’ve “felt” (in a way that I attribute to God) that I would be “left behind” to struggle through the 3.5 years of Tribulation but also to survive as a witness to sins committed by the Anti-Christ. I have more or less expected to grimly survive the Tribulation by eating rats in the rubble of our former civilization.
I’ve envied people who I’ve regarded as good and true Christians who absolutely, confidently, and truly believed they they would be raptured before the Tribulation began. I’ve wished that I could have that bright, wholesome face that seems to mark all who truly believe that they’ll be raptured and spared the Tribulation. I’ve been glad that they’d be spared the Tribulation, even though I knew I was not among them.
In my heart, I’ve known, I’ve been sure, that I was not destined for the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Although I’ve been doing about as well as I could hope to become a true Christian, I knew I was not good enough for the Pre-Tribulation Rapture and I was secretly embarrassed by my standing as a “second-class” Christian–one who talked the talk, but wasn’t “good enough” for the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.
• Yesterday, a friend of mine sent me a link to a YouTube video that’s almost two hours long. This video (“After the Tribulation: The Pre-Tribulation Rapture Fraud Exposed”) denies that there’ll be any Pre-Tribulation Rapture.
I’ve watched the video once. I intend to listen to it at least once more (and this time I’ll take notes). It resonates with me as true. It “resonates” in part because I’m somewhat pleased to think that, under this interpretation, I’m no longer a “second-class” Christian who won’t experience a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. But it resonates even more because the two young preachers who present this video, do so based on much support from the Bible. They explain that the earliest presentation for the Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine was in A.D. 1830. Thus, the Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine isn’t truly found in the Bible but is, instead, the relatively recent creation of man.
As I understand the video, the End Times timeline will run something like this:
1. There will be no Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Christ will not return before the onset of the Tribulation. No Christian will be spared the Tribulation by means of a “rapture”.
2. There will be three and a half years of “Tribulation” during which time only the Christians will be subjected to torment, torture or murder. This Tribulation will not be the pure result of Satan and his demons acting against Christians, but will be largely committed by the people of the world who worship Satan in a one-world religion. Such people will despise and torment any alternative religion such as Christianity. Most of the world will take the mark of the beast. Those who take the mark will hate and torment those Christians who do not take the mark. As Christians, we will be treated like Jews in Nazi Germany. Our torment may be perpetrated against us by our “Nazi” (“marked”) neighbors at least as much as by our “Nazi” government officials and/or demons. I infer that the Tribulation is intended to test each Christian’s faith to see who is for real and who is just talk.
3. The end of the 3.5 years of Tribulation/testing will be marked by: a) the 2nd Coming of Christ; and b) the Post-Tribulation Rapture. At that time, those Christians whose faith has survived the Tribulation will be raptured up into the air to meet with the Christ and be spared the coming “Wrath of God“. No Christian will be spared the Tribulation (torment by Satan and earthly neighbors), but all Christians who’ve kept their faith despite the Tribulation will be raptured and spared from the subsequent Wrath of God.
4. The Wrath of God and of the Christ. In essence the Tribulation will be a very bad time. But it will be nothing compared to the Wrath of God executed against those who were not true Christians and who subjected the true Christians to Tribulation. I presume that those Christians who kept their faith despite the Tribulation will be called upon to witness against those responsible for subjecting Christians to Tribulation. It should be an horrific moment when those billions who helped cause or supported the Tribulation find themselves exposed to the witness and charges of their victims. Those remaining on Earth will be astonished to be judged (damned) by our Father YHWH ha Elohiym and condemned.
• I see nothing man-made that I regard as perfectly true–and that includes this video. There are elements of this video that I might quibble over. But I think this video is essentially true.
The video makes or implies a compelling case–supported by many Bible verses–that:
1) There will be no Pre-Tribulation Rapture;
2) Most Christians like and are psychologically dependent on the Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine. Such Christians refuse to abandon that man-made doctrine because it makes them feel safe from Tribulation;
3) Many (perhaps most) ministers and preachers know that there’ll be no Pre-Tribulation Rapture but refuse to tell that truth for fear of offending and losing their “audience” on Sunday church services; and
4) Those professing Christians who fear the Tribulation and whose current faith depends on belief in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture will be so shocked and dismayed to find that they’ve seeming been “left behind” and are subject to the Tribulation, that they will quite possibly (probably?) lose whatever faith they have during the Tribulation. Result? Those who merely “talk the (happy) talk” may wind up being subject to the Wrath of God and damnation.
This strikes me as particularly ironic because, as I’ve already written, I’ve seen “Christians” whose faces beamed with faith based in part on their belief that they’d be spared from by Pre-Tribulation Rapture from the torment of the Tribulation. There weren’t a lot of them. Maybe three or four that I’ve seen who impressed me as “true Christians”. Now, I’m beginning to wonder if their faith–which I deemed to real–isn’t at least imperfect and perhaps even false.
I don’t know who the real Christians are. I don’t know how to absolutely identify the “real” Christians. But if this video is roughly correct, then it may follow that your ability and determination to hold your faith intact, despite 3.5 years of Tribulation may be the key to your salvation.
I’m not suggesting that you can be saved by your “works”. But I am suggesting that the Tribulation might be seen as the final test of faith. If your faith survives the test, it will be proven true and you may then be rewarded with salvation.
If that were true, then it follows that a faith in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture may be hazardous to your spiritual health.
Why? Because, if you’re convinced that, thanks to the Pre-Trib Rapture, you won’t have to face any trouble in the Tribulation, you probably won’t be mentally or even spiritually prepared to deal with trouble if your belief in the Pre-Trib Rapture turns out to be false.
On the other hand, if you abandoned your belief in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture now, and instead began to steel your mind and your faith against the torment you might have to endure during the Tribulation, then you might be better able to endure that torment and prove your faith real and deserving of salvation.
• The following video is lengthy (almost two hours) but also important and worth your time and study.