darksunmoon3.jpg (19403 bytes)  The Post-Trib, Pre-Wrath Rapture
Will the Church face the Anti-Christ?

The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.                                                                  Joel 2:31


The Post-Trib Pre-Wrath Rapture


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Level 2. In Depth Study
    Step 1. The Doctrine of Imminency

Does the doctrine of Imminency hold water, or is it all wet?

Can Jesus come at any time?

    Imminency, simply stated, is the belief that Jesus could return at any time to Rapture the Church and, that no prophetic events must occur prior to Jesus' return. Let's first start by stating what pretribulationalist say about the doctrine of Imminency.
    Walvoord , in writing about imminency says, "
The central feature of pretribulationalism is the doctrine of imminency". He also states, "the doctrine of imminency is the heart of pretribulationalism". Pretribulationalism is a system of thought based upon several pillars. It is clear from these statements by Walvoord, that Imminency is one of the key pillars of pretribulationalism.

    Imagine pretribulationalism as a building, if one of the main support stuctures of a building is knocked down, then the whole building will collapse. Pretribulationalism cannot stand without immenency. The doctrine of imminency was not taught by Jesus nor the disciples.

What verses in the Bible declare Imminency?

    Pretribulationalists use the following verses to support their idea of imminency, notice that not one of these verses state that Jesus could return at anytime.

Matthew 24:42 "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come."

Matthew 24:44 "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."

Titus 2:13 "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;"

    These verses simply state that we, as believers, need to always be ready and be watchful of his coming. Never do these verses state that Jesus could return at anytime.
    A friend, and fellow co-worker of mine, recently got married. Prior to his wedding he was ready, eager, and looking forward to his wedding day. He knew that his wedding was not to occur until a certain day; never did he believe that his wedding day was imminent, that it could occur at any time. Just because he was expectant of his wedding, did not mean that it was imminent.

    Another verse that pretribulationalists love to use is I Thessalonians 5:2,3. "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."

    And this is where pretribulationalists stop. They never read the following verses, which states "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober."

    This verse clearly states that the "day of the Lord", which is God's wrath being poured out upon unbelievers, comes as a "thief in the night" to unbelievers, not to believers. Believers will not experience the wrath of God, the Church will be raptured prior to the day of the Lord. Remember the Day of Christ and the Day of the Lord are two different events. The Day of the Lord is God's wrath, the Day of Christ is the rapture.

Now that we know what verses pretibulationalists use to claim that Jesus' return is imminent, let's see if Jesus taught imminency. Are there any events which had to occur prior to his return to rapture the Church?

What events in the past had to occur prior to Jesus' return?

    I have heard several preachers claim that Jesus could have returned the very moment he left, and that there was nothing to prevent him from coming back right away. Pre-trib scholars claim that there are no events which must precede the day of Christ (rapture). Let's see what the Bible has to say about this idea. Are there any events in the past that had to occur prior to Jesus' return? Yes!

    1. Peter had to die an old man

In John 21:18,19,  Jesus tells Peter in what manner he would die.

"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he (Peter) should glorify God."

    Does Jesus ever lie? No, of course not, from this verse we can understand that Jesus is telling Peter that he will die an old man. Therefore, we can say for certain that Jesus could not come back prior to Peter dying an old man. If Jesus were to have returned to rapture the Church prior to Peters' death, that would make him a liar. Jesus could not return until Peter died; therefore, Jesus did not teach imminency!

   2. The Jewish Temple had to be destroyed

Matthew 24:1,2 "And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple.And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

    Jesus prophesied that the Temple would be destroyed, and it was! "Hostility to the Roman occupation of Judaea leads to a revolt. In 70 A.D., the emperor Vespasian dispatches his son Titus to crush the rebellion. Jerusalem is besieged and captured, and the Temple is destroyed." www.Metmuseum.org

Jesus prophesied that the temple would be destroyed, and it was in 70 A.D., many years after he ascended to heaven. Jesus could not have returned prior to the temple being destroyed; if he did that would make him a liar. Again, Jesus did not teach imminency.

    3. Israel must be reqathered

    The following verses show that the people of Israel, at some point, had to be gathered together again. 

Ezekial 34:13,14  "I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country."

Ezekial 37:21,22  "Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel"

Amos 9:14,15  "And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God."

These verses accurately prophesied the re-birth of Israel in 1948.  On May 14, 1948 - the Jews declared Israel an independent and sovereign nation for the first time in 2900 years.

    "During that same day, the United States issued a statement recognizing Israel's sovereignty. And, only hours beforehand, a United Nations mandate expired, ending British control of the land. During a 24-hour span of time, foreign control of the land of Israel had formally ceased, and Israel had declared its independence, and its independence was acknowledged by other nations. Modern Israel was literally was born in a single day...Within hours of the peaceful declaration of independence in 1948, Israel was attacked by the surrounding countries of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Israel prevailed in that war and expanded the size of the country by 50 percent."  George Konig and www.100prophecies.org

Are there any future events which must occur before Christs' return?

   Is there any future prophecy which must be fulfilled prior to Jesus' return? Yes! In II Thessalonians Chapter 2:1-4 we read the following, "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, (Rapture)That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God."

We will continue this study in II Thessalonians, in the following page:
The Day of Christ: Imminency Examined

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Last modified: February 07, 2004