In debates over the end times, I’ve often been told that denouncing the pre-trib rapture doctrine takes away people’s hope. I always counter that it gives them the most dangerous, misleading false hope of all and prevents believers from fully embracing the Bible today.
We’ll discuss some of the arguments and counterarguments in a future post, but first it’s important to take a very close look at the reasoning behind the creation of a false doctrine like the pre-tribulation rapture. There is already a very blatant attack on the Biblical worldview taking place all around us. Most deceptions are designed to keep people from exploring faith in the first place, let alone embracing Yeshua as our Lord and Savior.
The adversary is not satisfied with deceiving most people. Those who fail to heed the call within their hearts to accept Christ are easy for the adversary to claim, but that’s not enough. He wants as many people as possible and the most satisfying souls for him to steal are those who were on the right path but who fell away at the last moment. He wants Christians. He wants Jews. He wants as many as he can take and the pre-trib rapture doctrine is designed specifically to go after those people.
What the Pre-Trib Rapture Doctrine Does to Christians
Very few people want to go through tribulation. It’s in our human nature to avoid pain, suffering, loss, and trial. This is the primary allure of the pre-trib rapture doctrine. It tells Christians that they will not be around when the real evil sweeps the planet. It makes them believe that they are not going to face the tribulations and trials set forth for the rest of the world. It makes them feel special, protected, and means that they have nothing to worry about.
First and foremost, the last portion is true: we have nothing to worry about. However, it’s for different reasons than what the pre-trib rapture doctrine teaches. With true faith, we have absolutely nothing to worry about in this life because we are not of this world. They can persecute us, torture us, and even kill us, but maintaining our faith to the end will assure us of salvation and eternal life. Technically speaking, we really have nothing to worry about at all as long as we’re prepared to face whatever evils are thrown at us, which is one of the reasons that the pre-trib rapture doctrine is so dangerous.
What happens to someone who is firm in their belief that they won’t face tribulation when the tribulation comes? When extreme hardship beyond anything they’ve experienced is put in front of them, they are much more likely to question their worldview. To make things worse, we can assume that alternate worldviews such as Panspermia, big bang evolution, unification of religion, and world governments will be promoted to Christians experiencing the tribulation when their pre-trib rapture beliefs are shattered.
If someone tells you to close your eyes and open your arms because they’re going to give you a wonderful hug, you’ll be shattered emotionally and physically if they punch you in the gut as hard as they can. If you know that the punch is coming and you’re prepared with your eyes open and your stomach muscles tensed, you’ll be able to recover from the punch more easily.
Regardless of what you’re expecting in the same situation, if it is an actual hug that comes, you’ll be fine. I’m not going to go down the road that many who oppose the pre-tribulation rapture go down by saying, “expect the worst and if the rapture really does come earlier, you’ll be good either way.” That’s leaving a sliver of a possibility of a pre-trib rapture open and that’s simply not the right way to see it.
What the Pre-Trib Rapture Doctrine Does to Jews
An argument can be made that the pre-trib rapture doctrine is designed specifically to keep as many Jews as possible away from the faith. Think about it from their worldview. They are the chosen people and many have been raised to believe that obeying the laws is their path to eternal life. Some have doubts; more Jews are coming over to belief in Yeshua as their Messiah every day.
Now, once the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine is introduced, they can see the situation as giving them the best of both worlds. If their Jewish faith is correct, they only need to keep doing what they’re doing. If the Christian faith is correct, the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine tells them that they will have time to convert once the tribulation starts.
In essence, it would make logical sense to a Jew who is living by Torah but who is considering the possibility of becoming a Messianic Jew to continue to deny that Yeshua is their Messiah. With the pre-trib rapture perspective, they’ll have time to correct their worldview and follow Yeshua once they see millions of Christians taken away.
The pre-trib rapture perspective allows them to hedge their bets. It tells them that if their Jewish teaching is correct, they win. If their Jewish teaching is incorrect, they’ll have the opportunity to switch sides and still win. The pre-tribulation rapture doctrine gives them a valid logical reason to deny the truth today and accept it tomorrow if things pan out. In their minds, the deception means that they can’t lose.
When tribulation comes and the Christians are not raptured, it will reaffirm their erroneous beliefs. Thankfully, they will be shown the truth and many will convert and accept Yeshua at the last hour, but the deception is made to keep them from seeing the truth now. We don’t know for certain what happens to Jews who die without the knowledge of the truth, but there’s a case that can be made that they will face the second death.
Now that we have an idea of why the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine is so dangerous, it’s time for further exploration. As part of the Compassion and Fear Series, we have produced a few articles on the subject:
- ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no man’ – Matthew 24 Study and the Implications for a Pre-Tribulation Rapture
- Open Your Mind About the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Deception
- They See a Pre-Trib Rapture Because They Want to See It
- The Biggest Threat to Christians is the Teaching of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture
We have also started talking about it in our video series. Here’s the first:
If the doctrine itself is a deception, Christians must inform others so that more people are prepared.