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Does the Bible support a pre-tribulation or post-tribulation rapture?

Caller:  I have a question concerning the tribulation, the rapture of the church a caller earlier had called you on?


Pastor Doug:  Yes sir.


Caller:  ...and there are three schools of thought that we're aware of, pre-trib, mid-trib and post-trib.  We were under assumption or persuasion of the pre-trib rapture, but the reading we've been doing lately and the Scripture we've been reading is beginning to point to either mid- or post-trib.  And I'd like to know in Revelation 7:14 - it says, 'and I said unto him, 'Sir, thou knowest'.  And he said to me, 'these are they which came out of great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb'.


Pastor Doug:  Right.


Caller:  Are you under the persuasion or the conviction of a pre-, mid- or post?


Pastor Doug:  Rick, I would love to believe that the Lord is going to rapture the church before the tribulation.  That would be so wonderful, but the Bible will not permit me to believe that.  It's a very convenient doctrine it's a dangerous doctrine, because some people are not preparing their faith - they're not fortifying themselves for the trial ahead.  That's why Peter says do not be amazed or surprised by the fiery trials that will try you as though some strange thing has happened.  Like 'this wasn't suppose to happen!'


Caller:  Right.


Pastor Doug:  But when you look at the examples in the Bible about how God works, let me just find a few quickly.  Did the Lord save Noah from the flood or through the flood?


Caller:  Through the flood.


Pastor Doug:  He was in the world during the flood wasn't he?


Caller:  Right.  Yes.


Pastor Doug:  Did God save the children of Israel from the Egypt plagues or were they in the world during the plagues?


Caller:  Oh they were in it.


Pastor Doug:  He protected them but they were there.  Did the Lord save Joseph from his trials or did He deliver him through his trials?


Caller:  Delivered him through.


Pastor Doug:  Were Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego saved from the furnace or through it?


Caller:  Through the furnace.


Pastor Doug:  Daniel in the lion's den, from it or through it?


Caller:  Through it.


Pastor Doug:  All right.  Christ says in Matthew 24 you will be hated of all nations for My name's sake, but he that endures to the middle? to the beginning? or to the end?


Caller:  To the end, yes.


Pastor Doug:  He that endures to the end, the same shall be saved.  Consistently all the way through the Bible, it's telling us that there's going to be a time of trouble.  For one thing, if you look in Revelation, you just quoted from Revelation?


Caller:  Yes.


Pastor Doug:  Look at chapter 18 verse 4.  And he says, 'I heard another voice from Heaven saying, 'Come out of her....'  God is speaking to His people saying come out of Babylon my people, 'lest you share in her sins and receive of her plagues, for her sins have reached to Heaven.' '  The seven last plagues that fall in chapters 15 and 16 are falling on Babylon and her daughters.   If God's people are in Babylon, they are destroyed by the plagues.  They are to come out of Babylon, but they're still in the world.  But He protects them, the same way He protected Israel in the Old Testament while they were in Egypt.


Caller:  Exactly.


Pastor Doug:  It was at the end of the plagues that God's people went out of Egypt.  It's at the end of the plagues in Revelation that Jesus comes.  The last of the seven plagues is a great earthquake and Christ comes.


So all through the Bible I'm compelled to believe that we better have a faith that can hang on because it's going to get tough.


Caller:  I'm also reading that some of the people believe in the post-trib rapture:  Alexander Reese, Andrew Fuller, C. Campbell Morgan, Riley, Charles Spurgeon, you know these are people that walked very closely with God and were Godly men, and they all believed that we would go through the tribulation.


Pastor Doug:  Exactly - yeah and that's just a fraction of them.  The idea of a pre-tribulation rapture is a new doctrine.  If you look at the great theologians like Spurgeon, like Wesley, like Whitfield, like Luther, I mean you can go right down the line.  Any of these great Bible scholars were unanimous that God's people - you know Revelation says He's coming for a church without spot or wrinkle right?  How do you get out the spots and wrinkles?  It's hot iron, it's hot water, it's the fiery trials that are going to purify the church.


Caller:  Exactly.  The caller before referred to a lady that started the doctrine, but the book that I had this evening that I was just looking through says it was a Jesuit priest.


Pastor Doug:  Was it Francisco Ribera?  That's probably the name.  There was a Jesuit named Francisco Ribera.


Caller:  Manuel Macazza.


Pastor Doug:  That's the second man.  There are a couple of them.  Hey Rick we've got some people standing by and the clock's ticking.  I've got an article I already wrote.  It's called Through the Tribulation.  It deals specifically with this it's filled with Scripture and I think it's very clear.  Anyone out there listening, if they want, they can get that.


Co-Host:  1-800-835-6747 Rick.


Caller:  Yes I will call that.  Thank you very much and God bless you.  You do an excellent job working for the Lord.


Pastor Doug and Co-Host:  Thank you.  Thanks for the call.



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