Ok, so I am going to begin look at all the reasons I believe in the rapture and especially a pretribulation rapture.
- As previously taught, Paul and the Church of Thessalonica and indeed all the Churches that were planted before the book of Revelation was written, all of them had an imminent expectation that Christ would return in their day and deliver them from the persecutions and troubles that were brewing up and which they probably saw as tribulations and trials [mainly through the teachings of Paul] on His missionary journey’s. [However, we must remember that at this point John’s teaching on the tribulation period had not been developed!] All they knew was that there would be days of tribulation ahead that Jesus and Paul had taught about! The teaching about “The Great Tribulation” had not been revealed in its fullness! There were intimations in the writings of the Prophets especially in the books of Isaiah and Daniel and what jesus taught of corse in His Olivet discourse. So the point is as expressed before, the imminent pretribulation rapture teaching is not a new idea developed especially by John Nelson Darby in 1830!
- Even though the word HAPAZO [a forceful snatching away] isn’t in Revelation 4:1 I strongly believe the implication that John represents the raptured Church being taken up into heaven after the Church age ends is seen here! WHY? Simply because Jesus introduced the Church doctrine whilst He was the on earth! He revealed to His Apostles that something different was about to be conceived! A group of called out ones, a new elect people of God, a different branch on the olive tree which would be His body on earth whilst He the head returned to the Father! This Ecclesia was conceived on the day of Pentecost, and grew exponentially. Paul developed the present and future doctrine of the Church, Jesus the glorified King spoke through John [a present and future message] to and through these Churches and now, suddenly in chapter 4 onwards it’s gone! Disappeared FOREVER never to be seen [in that form again!] Why is the word Ecclesia not seen in Revelation 4 and 5? I believe it is because the Church has been received unto Christ and the Church has now been transformed metamorphosed, or been born again into His bride to be! Then from Chapter 6-19 the Church [Ecclesia] is not seen! WHY? Because the True Church is not on earth during the tribulation period of Jacob’s trouble. And the Church is not seen in Chapter 20 because she has returned as His Queen to rule and reign with Him on earth during the Millennial Kingdom period. And the Church is not seen in chapter 21-22 because she’s entered into eternity with Him to dwell in the New Jerusalem in the New heaven’s and New earth.
- The incomplete body/Bride: So, if we [the True Church] remain on the earth during the tribulation period to bring about a wonderful world for Christ to return to as some teach, then what is Christ, the Lamb of God going to be wed to in heaven? If we are the BODY of Christ which we are according to Paul [1 Corinthians 12:12-31] and the Bride of Christ:
The Bride of Christ
The first person to picture Christ as a groom was John the Baptist (John 3:29). As the forerunner of Christ, John knew that he must decrease while Jesus must increase. In his understanding, Christ is a groom and His bride is the messianic community. As the groom’s friend, John rejoiced to attend the heavenly wedding feast where Jesus and His bride are united. Every marriage should be cause for celebration, but the marriage between Christ and His church is something for the entire universe to celebrate for all eternity.
The apostle Paul also used the metaphor of the church as Christ’s bride. In Ephesians 5:22-33, Paul compared the relationship between Christ and the church to that of a husband and wife. In this most perfect of relationships, Jesus Christ is the “head of the church,” while the church submits humbly to Him. He loves the church and sacrifices His own life for her (25). He sanctifies and cleanses the church through His Word (26). Jesus Christ presents her to Himself “in splendor,” unmarred by any imperfection (27).1
Then the bride in heaven will be incomplete! Some body parts will be missing because according to some,they are on earth going through the great tribulation. Now I know we can’t be exact in the chronology of Revelation 6-19, however, if some of the Church are on earth during the tribulation and Christ returns with His Queen at the parousia, then she is still incomplete! It makes no logical or theological sense, therefore to have the Church [ecclesia] in the tribulation period!