Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Nail #11

Rebuttal to Pre-Tribulation Rapture proof points

Revelation 3:10
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Every Pre-trib rapture teacher I know uses Revelation 3:10 as proof that the church will be kept from the “Tribulation Period” by the rapture. This is wrong on several counts. The first and simplest is that he was speaking to the church of Philadelphia. Are not the other Churches in Chapters 2 & 3 of Revelation also going to be raptured? The answer is of course, yes. There is only one rapture and it affects every Christian. A couple of churches are questionable (Sardis, Laodicea) but regardless, at the very least there are Christians in the other churches who will also be raptured. The point is ALL Christians will be raptured, the carnal Christians as well as the strong believers. So this promise for protection for the church in Philadelphia (and denied the other 6 churches) is not the rapture.

Second, the Greek Phrase “tereo ek” that is translated as “keep thee from” in Revelation 3:10 is the same Greek phrase the same author (John) uses in John 17:15 where Christ actually says the exact opposite in His high priestly prayer to the Father! My prayer is NOT that you take them out of the world but that you “protect them from” [tereo ek] the evil one. So the Pre-trib rapturists believe “keep thee from” in Revelation 3:10 means “to be taken out of the world” and when Jesus uses the same phrase it is in the context of asking the Father NOT to take them out of the world! Sorry, that is illogical.

I don’t want to belabor my point but in John 17:15 Jesus asks His Father NOT to take them out of the world but to protect (guard) them while still IN the world from Satan. Why would God need to guard or protect us if we WERE taken off the world? We need protection because we are still here...

The meaning of “protect them from” [tereo ek] in John 17:15 means the same thing as “keep thee from” in Revelation 3:10. Because you have been faithful to me, I will keep you from, protect you from, the hour of testing. With no Scriptural support Pre-trib rapturists simply assume that He will protect us from, or keep us from, the hour of testing by taking us off the planet. I don’t see how “guard” or “protect” can be used in John 17:15 (which is the clear context of the passage) and NOT be used in the same context in Revelation 3:10.

And as I wrote earlier, there ARE Christians in the other Churches who do not get this promise. They are NOT promised protection because they are carnal, or weak in faith, or that it is simply God’s purpose that they suffer - there’s nothing new there (Philippians 1:29), just as belief was given to us, so is suffering. When the rapture DOES occur, will they not also be raptured? YES, of course. But while going through the Great Tribulation BEFORE the rapture, they are NOT afforded Divine protection as the Church in Philadelphia is. There IS a difference between these Philadelphian Christians and their protection versus the Christians in the other churches, but the rapture will affect us ALL.

Bottom Line - Revelation 3:10 is NOT referring to the rapture as the method of “keeping us from” the hour of testing, it is assumed by some without any Biblical support whatsoever.

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