Monday, December 19, 2005

Pre-trib is supposed to comfort us?

I recently received an e-mail by a reader that says there is no comfort in believing that the rapture will take place after the persecution of the Antichrist, and that there is only comfort in a pre-trib rapture. This is a very common complaint that I receive on a fairly regular basis so I thought I would address it today.

Yes, in 1 Thessalonians 4:18 Paul says that we are to comfort (NASB) or encourage (NIV) one another with the words of Christ’s return and the fact that we will be with Him forever. But what does this really mean, and is there really no comfort in this belief for the believer if Christ is not to return until after the great persecution?

Let’s back up to the very beginning of Paul’s rapture teaching in 1 Thessalonians 4:13 to get a bigger picture of what he is saying. He states:

“Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.”

Paul gives us our answer as plain as day. Men that do not believe in Christ have no hope in life after death for their friends, their family, or for themselves. They have nothing to look forward to after they die because in their hearts and minds, when life ends, it’s all over. But it ain’t over for us!

“We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him…and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage (comfort, NASB) each other with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:14,17-18).

So yes, there is a great comfort in knowing that Christ will return, even if it is after the Abomination of Desolation. We will be together forever with Him! The “comfort” spoken of in this verse has nothing to do with the timing of the rapture. We are to be comforted and not worry because of the fact that our departed brothers and sisters in Christ are not lost into oblivion. Their bodies will rise, as will ours, to meet Christ. And we will share eternity together!

But in reality the “doctrine of comfort” that our pre-trib friends believe is really no argument at all. Let me ask you this:

If we are told that good news will take place, but that bad news will take place first, does the good news vanish and become bad news?

That’s what this pre-trib argument is telling us. If we apply the pre-trib comfort thought process evenly across the board, we can’t find comfort in going to heaven at all, because aside from the rapture I must die first in order to get to heaven. How is the thought of heaven a comfort if I know I must die, maybe even a horrible death, first? See the correlation and the contradiction?

If one cannot see comfort in Christ's return, no matter what may come first, one’s comfort rests on circumstances rather than on God and an eternal existence with Him. True spiritual comfort, along with faith, hope, love, peace, and joy have nothing to do with circumstances.

4 comments:

Gal 6:9-10 said...

I agreed with you all up until you get philisophical about comfort. I do not believe in pre-trib. Even if I did it wouldn't keep me out of heaven. The day I have to face death because of Christ will be a glorious day for me even if it's in a way I don't want it. I will not die I will sleep. God's wrath will come during the latter half of the tribulation, we are not subject to God's wrath, (if we are alive and not hit by some planet that was supposed to hit us 2 years ago HA HA LOL) we probably will see the anti-Christ, then up up and away, see ya. PREACH THE GOOD NEWS! JESUS IS ALIVE AND WELL, THE TRUMPET WILL SOUND AND CALL US HOME, IF WE'RE STILL AROUND.

Dave Bussard said...

You may have misunderstood my point. I was not saying that those who believe in pre-trib won't go to heaven. Far from it. Pleas re-read the post carefully and I think you will understand my point. If not, I'd be glad to clarify.

DBULL said...

“We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him…and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage (comfort, NASB) each other with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:14,17-18).


I don't know, to say that "Therefore encourage each other with these words" is referring to the godless not having any hope is a stretch. 110 out of the 161 words here speak expressly about the rapture followed up immediately by "Therefore encourage each other with these words" Which position is a bigger stretch???

Dave Bussard said...

I said no such thing. Again you're having trouble with plain English. I said:

So yes, there is a great comfort in knowing that Christ will return, even if it is after the Abomination of Desolation. We will be together forever with Him! The “comfort” spoken of in this verse has nothing to do with the timing of the rapture. We are to be comforted and not worry because of the fact that our departed brothers and sisters in Christ are not lost into oblivion. Their bodies will rise, as will ours, to meet Christ. And we will share eternity together!