Q. I believe in the pretrib-rapture. But there are some who say Christians are setting ourselves up for a big disappointment. I know there’s different views and I have studied all of those. Can these Bible prophecy experts say for sure that this is the only way it can happen or is there a possibility that a pre trib may not be right. I honestly believe with all my heart that the pre trib is the only one that makes sense according to the scripture. However is there a chance that we could be interpreting Scripture wrong?
A. There are different views on when the rapture of the Church will take place relative to other end times events. Proponents of each view cite Scripture to support their positions. Some of these Scriptures are subject to interpretation. But there are three verses that in my opinion are crystal clear and require no interpretation. They all point to the rapture timing as being prior to the end times judgments.
First is Romans 5:9. “Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more will we be saved from God’s wrath through Him!”
The Greek word translated “justified” means “to render righteous”, in other words free from sin, and one purpose of the end times judgments is to punish the world for its sins. And the Greek word for “from” means “a separation of distance in terms of place and time.” In effect Paul was saying that our faith in the Lord’s death on our behalf has made us appear to Him as if we’ve never sinned. If it will protect us from eternal judgment, how much more will it protect us from temporal judgment.
Then there’s 1 Thes. 1:9-10. “They tell how you turned from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from Heaven, whom He raised from the dead- Jesus who rescues us from the coming wrath.”
The Greek word for rescue also means to deliver, and the one translated “from” is the same one that Paul used in Romans 5:9. Jesus will deliver us out of the time and place of the coming wrath.
And Rev. 3:10. “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the Earth.”
Jesus said this thousands of years after the Great Flood. The only other time when the Lord will test the whole world is during the end time judgments, and He has promised to keep us from (literally, out of) them.
There are lots of other reasons to believe that the rapture will precede all the end times judgments, and there are no verses that when read as written and viewed in their proper context can make a case this clear for any other rapture position.