Gone?

Rapture, Antichrist, and Tribulation are words Josiah Hesse associates with his apocalyptic upbringing—an upbringing he says was built on “the urgency of avoiding hell.” In his article “Apocalyptic upbringing: how I recovered from...
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4 thoughts on “Gone?

  1. Chris, I recently published a book, “The Second Coming of Jesus Christ” that shows why the pre-trib timing of the rapture cannot possibly be correct. As many pastors apparently are finding, there is only one coming of Jesus, not two, where the imagined pre-trib coming for the church doesn’t count as his coming because His feet do not touch the ground. If the pastors under the age of 45 are rejecting the pre-trib position, it is not because they have abandoned the truth. It is because the church has made serious mistakes in its “detective work” in constructing the second coming timeline. Pre-trib doesn’t make sense and requires taking serious liberties with the Word of God to make things fit. The big mistake everyone makes is assuming that Matthew 24:29-31 at the end of the Olivet Discourse occurs at the end of the 7-year period. Its does not… It perfectly matches the 6th seal in the book of Revelation, which occurs before the 7th seal, which occurs before the trumpets, and we know that the 5th trumpet lasts for 5 months. Armageddon happens at the 7th trumpet, so the second coming in Matthew 24:29-31 occurs some unknown time after the great tribulation (which begins at the abomination of desolation – the midpoint of the 7-year time period) but at least 5 months before Armageddon (which occurs at the end of the 7-year period). With this understanding, Jesus returns, raptures His church, saves all of the Jews, and then the wrath of God is poured out during “The Day of the Lord” for at least 5 months. The rapture is really the “rescue” event that saves believers and Jews from (1) persecution by Antichrist, and (2) The Day of the Lord wrath of God that follows. With this timeline, every end-times prophetic passage falls into place and all of the inconsistencies with pre-trib go away. For example, if the pre-trib position were true, then do new believers saved after the rapture experience God’s wrath? The answer is of course not. But, then why did we need a pre-trib rapture in the first place. Was it God just saying, “Surprise, I came when you least expected – I caught you red-handed doing something bad!” Of course not; that’s kind of silly. Jesus comes and raptures His church for an important reason; He needs to rescue Christians and Jews from great persecution by Antichrist. He tells us that nobody would survive if He waited any longer. He cuts the tribulation short and returns for the sake of the elect. Jesus also tells us in Mathew 24 that he delays coming until the gospel is preached to all the (gentile) nations fulfilling the great commission. The “end of the age” in Matthew 28 (and repeated in Matthew 24, prompting the Olivet Discourse) is the second coming and rapture (notice how Jesus keeps telling us as He describes events leading to His second coming that it is not the end yet). He waits as long as He can for people to get saved, but not so long that every believer is slaughtered from the persecution of Antichrist. My book goes into much more detail on all of this. I hope you will take the opportunity to read my book and I would love to talk with you personally. It is important, especially if we are living in the last days, for the church to get this right.

  2. I was raised in Darby’s movement, the so-called “Plymouth Brethren.” I was taught Premillenialism from an early age and I still accept it. I believe in a literal tribulation and literal millenium. Christ’s return is indeed a blessed hope. But I have changed my mind about the timing of the rapture. I have gone from pre-trib to post-trib based on my own private study of the Scriptures.

  3. Not a statement of my own personal opinion
    Just wanted to say that we were given a copy of this article on church this morning and I found it to be fascinating. I felt compelled to locate the full article online. This is a great read, and very thought provoking. Thank you for this great piece.

  4. Through personal Bible study, and some excellent online writers and their articles, I also came to reject the so-called ‘Pre-Trib’ teaching I was raised with. However, as we can see from this very article, the term ‘Rapture’ itself is nuanced. Do I still believe that “Jesus will snatch His church to heaven in an instant”? Yes. Do I believe that only “true believers will see Him”? No. So do I believe in the Rapture? Does William Lane Craig? We reject the Pre-Trib spin on this, but still accept the concept of being ‘taken’ i.e. timing and context is everything! Is the doctrine itself being ‘left behind’ as the intro to this article states? Not necessarily — for some like myself, it is being ‘corrected’.

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