Q. I’ve been encountering a new (to me) “twist” in the pretrib Rapture camp. As a pre-tribber myself, I was surprised and dismayed by this idea. It is the notion that–in order to take part in the pre-trib Rapture, a believer in Christ must believe in the Rapture itself. Proponents claim isn’t enough to simply believe in the shed blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sins, we must be pre-trib, and sufficiently “watchful” in order to be raptured or else we’ll be left behind. Have you encountered this?
A. Back in my younger days, I used to jokingly suggest that the Lord should give every believer the rapture timing they advocate. Pre-tribs first, then mid-tribs, followed by pre-wrath and post tribs. Of course people who don’t believe in a rapture at all would never go. They would remain in their natural states until they die and are resurrected. It was always good for a chuckle or two.
Seriously, I’ve had plenty of people ask me if belief in a pre-trib rapture is necessary for participation, but I’ve never heard of anyone teaching that it is. And like the false teaching that only the most worthy will be taken, this view is not Biblical. No matter what we believe about the rapture, every born again believer be taken at the same time. In 1 Thes. 4:16-17 Paul said there will be a resurrection for the dead in Christ followed by a rapture for the living believers. He said the same thing in 1 Cor. 15:51-52. These are the only two groupings he ever mentioned.