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The Danger of Believing Jesus Will Rapture the Saints to Heaven Before Tribulation

The pre-tribulation rapture is the doctrine that 7 years before Jesus returns, Jesus will rapture or secretly snatch away the Church into Heaven. And as soon as He does that, the seven-year tribulation will happen and then the very worst things that ever happen in history on Earth will take place for those who are left behind. This is what the followers of Dispensationalism also known as Dispensational Premillennialism believe. I don't.

Maybe you have never heard the term "Dispensationalism" before, but if you believe the doctrine of a pre-tribulation rapture, it means you are a Dispensationalist and a follower of the 19th-century teachings of John Nelson Darby and 20th-century C.I. Scofield whether you know it or not. Darby is known as the father of Dispensationalism and Scofield was the promoter of it in his famous Scofield Reference Bible. The Dallas Theological Seminary was founded on the doctrines of Dispensationalism.

The Dallas Theological Seminary's website says:

A premillennial, dispensational understanding of Scripture and the training of students in the exposition of the Word became central to the foundation of the seminary.

Needless to say, The Dallas Theological Seminary has had a great influence on the eschatological beliefs of American evangelicals, and it's not been good.

Let's see what a famous preacher had to say about the Rapture:

“The Lord does not come to the world at the time of the Rapture but only reveals Himself to the members of His Body. At the time of His resurrection, He was only seen by those who believed on Him. Pilate and the High Priest, and those who crucified Him, did not know that He was risen. So it will be at the time of the Rapture. The world will not know that He has been here, and will have no knowledge of Him until He comes with the members of His Body, at the close of the Tribulation.” Billy Sunday

The renowned early 20th-century preacher Billy Sunday doesn't quote any Scripture to back up his statement of a secret rapture of the Church. What if he's wrong? And if so, if you believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, what will happen to your faith in the Lord Jesus and His Word if Christians are again persecuted like the early Church was?

Another doctrine that is part of Dispensational Premillennialism is the Church and the nation of Israel are two separate entities that God has managed via two distinct plans. This led to Christian Zionism, the doctrine that God is not through with physical Israel. Christian Zionists support Israel in its current battle with Hamas even if it means the total slaughter of all Palestinians in Gaza, including Palestinian Christians!

John Hagee, an evangelical pastor and influential founder of Christians United for Israel said that he hopes the Israeli Defense Force turns the Gaza Strip into a parking lot! He also said:

“God is getting ready to defend Israel in such a supernatural way it’s going to take the breath out of the lungs of the dictators on planet Earth but we are living on the cusp of the greatest most supernatural series of events the world has ever seen ready or not.”

But what if Israel is defeated in this war? What if Iran nukes Israel and wipes it off the face of the earth?

Dr Michael Brown, a Messianic Jewish scholar, says,

"This is not about ethnic superiority. It's not about the Jewish people being better than anyone else. It's not about the Jewish people being superior. It's about God's faithfulness. This is a matter of the integrity of God. If God cannot keep his promises to Israel you have no confidence that he can keep his promises to you, the Church.

But God has already kept all His promises to Israel! A quote from Steve Gregg on Are The Church and Israel Two Different Peoples of God?

The promises to Israel belong to you, the Church, and this also means that the future glory of Israel belongs to us. This means as well that the history of the Bible doesn’t have two different themes, God’s work in Israel and God’s work in the Church. It has one theme. That theme is redemption. It is God’s glory in Christ, the redemption of the true Israel. That’s the whole theme of the Bible. This means that the fulfillment of the Old Testament is not a future millennial Israelite kingdom. The fulfillment of the Old Testament as the New Testament teaches everywhere is Christ and His Church. And this means that the Church doesn’t share the dignity of being the people of God with another entity.

In one of Pastor Steve Gregg's videos, he says,

"I spoke with one of the guys in my Bible study group today. He is the most mature of the bunch and a solid understanding of the Word and is a great Bible teacher, but he told me, If Israel loses the war, he's done. Meaning God's promises to Israel did not come true and if that's false then it's all false. If people's understanding of eschatology can blow their faith out of the water, that's scary stuff!"

The entire point of this article is this: If current events go against what we believe the Bible says will happen, it's not because God is unfaithful and the Bible is wrong, it means our interpretation of Bible prophecy was wrong. When persecution against Bible-believing Christians comes, will your faith be shaken? It won't be if you realize pre-tribulation rapture is a doctrine of man, not the Bible. If Israel loses the war and gets destroyed by her enemies, will your faith be shaken? It won't be if you realize the Church is true Israel!

We must never doubt that God always keeps His promises!

1 Kings 8:56 Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.

One of God's promises to Israel was punishment through affliction by their enemies if they disobeyed!

Lamentations 2:17 The LORD hath done that which he had devised; he hath fulfilled his word that he had commanded in the days of old: he hath thrown down, and hath not pitied: and he hath caused thine enemy to rejoice over thee, he hath set up the horn of thine adversaries.

The prophet Jeremiah in the book of Lamentations was talking about the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Babylonians, and the resultant captivity of the Jews in 587 BC. The "horn" of their enemies represented their enemy's power over them. After 70 years King Cyrus let the Jews return to their homeland. This was in preparation for God's promise for the Messiah to be born in Bethlehem. The Jews had Jesus crucified and 40 years later God sent the armies of Rome to destroy Jerusalem and the Temple as His final judgment on the Jews for rejecting His Son their Messiah. Are the people in the modern state of Israel any better today? Judaism today is based on the Kabbalah which is based on witchcraft. Most Jews in Israel are secular and do not worship God. Tel Aviv is officially the gay capital of Israel and perhaps even the entire world. If Israel is defeated in this war with Hamas, my faith in God's promises will certainly not be shaken. God promised them punishment for disobedience. Moreover, the Bible tells me that the only true children of God today are those who hold faith in Jesus Christ.

John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him (both Jews and Gentiles), to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The influence of John Nelson Darby's doctrines in the evangelical world today is a deep subject and covered more fully in other articles on this website. If you don't agree with this article, it means you need to do more research.

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James Arendt
James Arendt

My name is James Arendt. I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom. My full bio.

On September 24, 2023, I had an accident and broke the bone of the tip of my left elbow. A boy ran in front of my motorbike less than 2 meters from me as I was leaving home. I stopped suddenly and my front tire slid on the sandy concrete road which caused me to fall. I did not hit the boy. On October 18th I had surgery done on my elbow. The doctor put in titanium rods to hold my bones together. The entire procedure including an entire week in the hospital was roughly $4000 USD. This was done in the Philippines where my wife and I have been living since June this year.


X-rays of bone before and after surgery that inserted titanium rods to reinforce my broken bone.

Before and after one week in the hospital.

Undergoing therapy to bend my arm again.
I'm now undergoing therapy to be able to bend my arm again.

It would be a super blessing to us if any of the visitors of this website can help us cover this expense!

You don't need a PayPay account to send me a donation! Just click on the donate button and you will see an option to send through your debit or credit card.


Or if you have a PayPal account, just log into it and send to my PayPal ID:
james.arendt@jamesjpn.net

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