Q. In Jesus’ prayer for His disciples (John 17) He says He’s not asking the Father to take them out of the world but to protect them from the evil one (John 17:15). Those who disagree with the pre-trib position use this as evidence that the church will go through the tribulation. How would you respond to this?
A. This is another case of someone improperly taking a verse out of context to support a preconceived notion. In John 17:1-5 Jesus prayed for Himself. Then in John 17:6-19 he prayed for the disciples who were there with Him. He asked the Father to protect them because He was sending them into the world just as He had been sent. Finally, beginning in John 17:20 He began praying for all believers.
Were this not the case, Jesus would have been contradicting His own promise in Rev. 3:10 to keep us from (out of) the hour of trial that’s coming upon the whole world.