I have been away from my computer for a few days to speak at a conference, so here is a revised and updated version of an article that I wrote several years ago.
It is a list of 45 reasons why I believe the Pre-Trib Rapture is right (save it so you can give it to Mid-Trib believers, Post-Trib believers, unsure believers, etc.).
1) There are no passages in either the Old Testament or the New Testament that say the Church will go through the Tribulation Period.
2) The Tribulation Period is called the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” [The time of unbelieving Israel’s Trouble], but it is never called the time of the Church’s Trouble (Jer. 30:7).
3) Gabriel told Daniel, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people [Daniel’s people are the Jews] and upon thy holy city” [The Holy City is Jerusalem] (Dan. 9:24). There is no mention of the Church.
4) The Church had no part in the first sixty-nine weeks, and it will have no part in the seventieth week [the Tribulation Period] (Dan. 9:24).
5) In the Book of Revelation, the Rapture occurs at Rev. 4:1, which is before the Tribulation Period described in Rev. 6:1-19:21. In the sequence of events, the Rapture is before the seal, trumpet and bowl judgments.
6) The Church is mentioned more than twenty times in the first three chapters of Revelation, but the Church is never mentioned in the description of the Tribulation Period between Rev. 4:1 and Rev. 19:1.
7) The Tribulation Period is called a Day of Wrath in the Bible (Zeph 1:15), but the Bible says, “God hath not appointed us [the Church] to wrath” (I Thess. 5:9).
8) The Tribulation Period is called a Day of Wrath in the Bible (Zeph. 1:15), but the Bible says, Jesus has “delivered us from the wrath to come” [delivered the Church from the Tribulation Period] (I Thess. 1:10; also see Rom. 5:9, Eph. 5:6)).
9) The Tribulation Period is called the Day of the Lord in the Bible (Zeph. 1:14). The Bible says, “the day of the Lord [the Tribulation Period] so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they [the unbelievers] shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them [upon the unbelievers], as travail upon a woman with child; and they [the unbelievers] shall not escape” (I Thess. 5:2-3). It clearly teaches that the Tribulation Period will come upon unbelievers, but it does not include believers.
10) Concerning the Rapture, the Bible says, “Comfort one another with these words” (I Thess. 4:18). There’s no comfort in the teaching that the Church will go through part or all of the Tribulation Period.
11) Jesus told the Church at Philadelphia, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation [the Tribulation Period], which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Rev. 3:10). God promised to keep the obedient Church members out of the Tribulation Period (not through the Tribulation Period).
12) According to the Bible, the marriage of the Lamb will take place in heaven before Jesus comes back to fight the Battle of Armageddon at the end of the Tribulation Period (Rev. 19:7-21). This means the Church will go to heaven [be Raptured] for the marriage of the Lamb before the Second Coming.
13) The end of the age will be like the days of Noah (Matt. 24:37). Noah and his family were removed from the earth [got on the ark] before the flood. Some believe this means that the Church will be removed from the earth before the judgment of God [Raptured before the Tribulation Period] (Gen. 7:23).
14) The end of the age will be like the days of Lot (Luke 17:28). Lot and his family were removed from Sodom before the judgment of God [before the fire and brimstone fell] (Gen. 19:16). Some believe this means that the Church will be removed from the earth before the judgment of God [Raptured before the Tribulation Period].
15) Jesus was talking about the Tribulation Period when He said, “Pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass” (Luke 21:36). It seems unreasonable to believe Jesus would tell the Church to pray for something He is unwilling to grant.
16) The Bible says, “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming” (II Thess. 2:7-8). The most common interpretation of this is that the Antichrist can’t be revealed until the Restrainer [who most commentators say is both the Holy Spirit and the Church] is removed. If the Restrainer is the Church only, this means the Church will be removed before the Antichrist is revealed [that’s the Pre-Trib. Rapture]. If the Restrainer is the Holy Spirit only so that the Holy Spirit is removed without the Church, this means believers will cease to be indwelt with the Holy Spirit.
It also means the Church will be left behind to go through the worst time the earth has ever seen [the Tribulation Period] without the help of the Holy Spirit. This would contradict the teaching of Jesus when He said, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever” (John 14:16). And, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5).
17) Isaiah wrote that God said, “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain” (Isa. 26:19-21).
Notice that the dead rise first [that’s the Rapture]; next, God’s people are summoned to enter into His chambers for a short while until the indignation [a name of the Tribulation Period] is past. God will raise the dead and summon His people because He intends to punish the inhabitants of the earth [send the Tribulation Period].
18) Malachi wrote that God said, “They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not” (Malachi 3:17-18). Pre-Tribulation teachers believe God is saying He will come for His Church [the Rapture], and then He will return with His Church [the Second Coming] to judge between the righteous and wicked.
19) In the Rapture, Jesus comes for His Church (I Thess. 4:16-17; John 14:3). When He comes at the end of the Tribulation Period, He will come with His Church (I Thess. 3:13; Rev. 19:14).
20) Concerning the Second Coming, Jesus said, “But of the day and the hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matt. 24:36). But if the Church goes through the Tribulation Period, some will know the day because it will be seven years from the signing of the seven-year covenant. Some will know the day because it will be 1,260 days from the day the Antichrist defiles the Temple (Rev. 12:6).
21) Concerning the Antichrist, many scholars believe the Bible teaches he won’t be revealed until after the Church is gone (II Thess. 2:6-8), but if the Church goes through the Tribulation Period, some will know who he is because he will sign the seven-year covenant (Dan. 9:24-27), he will head up the world government (Rev. 13:1-10), and he will try to force multitudes to worship him and to receive his mark, receive his name or his number (Rev. 13:15-17). Many of those who are here and being forced to worship him and take his name or die will know who he is.
22) The Antichrist is not supposed to be revealed until after the Church is gone (II Thess. 2:6-8), but if the Church goes through the Tribulation Period, the Church will know who the Antichrist is because he will put a statue of himself in the rebuilt Temple (Dan. 11:31; Dan. 12:11; Matt. 24:15).
23) If the Church goes through the Tribulation Period, the Church will know who the Antichrist is because he will head up the world government and receive a deadly wound to his head that will be healed (Rev. 13:3). Some think he will be raised from the dead or at least fake the resurrection.
24) If the Church goes through the Tribulation Period, the Church will know who the Antichrist is because he will head up the world government and be supported by the head of the world religion called the False Prophet (Rev. 13:11-18).
25) If the Church goes through the Tribulation Period, the Church will know who the Antichrist is because he’s the one that will kill the Two Witnesses (Rev. 11:7).
26) Many people don’t think the Church will go through the Tribulation Period because of verses of Scripture that say things like, “The Lord preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked he will destroy” (Psa. 145:18-20). Many believe God will preserve the Church from the Tribulation Period or keep the Church out of the Tribulation Period, not destroy the Church in the Tribulation Period.
27) There are verses of Scripture that say things like, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it” (Deut. 4:2; Prov. 30:5-6; Rev. 22:18-19). Some believe people have to throw away verses of Scripture to believe the Church will go through the Tribulation Period.
28) In the seven letters to the seven churches, Jesus said, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” seven times (Rev. 2:7,11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). When we get to the Tribulation Period, Jesus said, “If any man have an ear, let him hear” (Rev. 13:9). He left out, “what the Spirit saith unto the churches” because there are no churches on earth to go through the Tribulation Period. The Church will be in heaven.
29) When the Rapture happens, the Church goes up to meet Jesus in the air (I Thess. 4:13-18), but at the end of the Tribulation Period, the Church will come down to the earth with Jesus to witness what He does at the Battle of Armageddon (Rev. 19:14-21).
30) The Pre-Tribulation Rapture is more consistent with God’s grace, love, mercy, compassion, etc. The Mid and Post-Tribulation Rapture is more consistent with God’s wrath. If husbands are to love their wives the way Jesus loves the Church, why would we believe He will let the Church go through the Tribulation Period (Eph. 5:25).
31) If the Rapture takes place at the end of the Tribulation Period, and all the wicked are removed from the earth at that time (Matt. 13:24-30, 47-50; 25:41), no one will be left to re-populate the earth during the Millennium. If all of the saved are Raptured and all the lost are removed from the earth at the end of the Tribulation Period, no one will be left to re-populate the earth.
32) The Antichrist will prevail against the saints during the Tribulation Period, but the gates of hell won’t prevail against the Church (Rev. 13:7; Matt. 16:18). Therefore, the Church won’t go through the Tribulation Period.
33) The twenty-four elders [representatives of the Church] will be in heaven before the seven-sealed scroll is broken (Rev. 4:4; 6:1-17).
34) Jesus was talking about the Tribulation Period when He said, “Pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass” (Luke 21:36). He didn’t say, “Pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to endure some or all of these things that shall come to pass.”
35) There are no signs of the Rapture, but if the Rapture takes place during the Tribulation Period, it would have to be after the seven-year covenant is signed by the Antichrist and perhaps after several other things, depending upon what a person believes about Mid-Trib, Post-Trib, etc.
36) Jesus said, “When these things [the signs] begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28). He didn’t say, “After all these things have happened, your redemption draweth nigh.” He said, “When these things begin to come to pass, it’s close.”
37) The Church won’t go through the Tribulation Period because God intends to use the 144,000 children of Israel, the Two Witnesses, and an angel to preach the gospel during the Tribulation Period. He wouldn’t need or use Jews or an angel to preach the gospel if the Church was here.
38) We are ambassadors for Christ (II Cor. 5:20), and ambassadors are called home before war breaks out (before the Tribulation Period).
39) Daniel was a type of the Church and not present when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Jews; types of Israel) are in the fiery furnace (type of Tribulation Period).
40) If Jesus is already headed down to earth at the end of the Tribulation Period, there is no reason why we would need to be caught up to meet Him in the air.
41) If the post-Trib Rapture is true, those that are left behind after the Rapture will not need to hear the gospel from the 144,000, etc., because they will immediately be removed from the earth and cast into outer darkness.
42) If the post-Trib Rapture is true, and the Church is on earth during the Tribulation Period, but God uses the 144,000 Jewish evangelists, etc., instead of the Church, then the Church has rejected Jesus, or He has rejected the Church.
43) The Tribulation Period is meant for the redemption of Israel (Dan. 9:24), not for the redemption of the Church (Jesus redeemed the Church by His death on the cross (I Pet. 1:18-19).
44) There is nothing unusual about Jesus keeping the Church out of the Tribulation Period. He has a history of protecting His people from tribulation on special occasions. He protected the Hebrews from the Ten Plagues, Noah and his family from the Flood, and Lot from Sodom and Gomorrah. He will seal and protect the 144,000 during the Tribulation Period, and He will protect the Jews in Judea that flee into the wilderness during the last half of the Tribulation Period. There is no reason to believe He won’t protect the Church.
45) The timing of the Rapture should be based on Scripture, not what others believed many years ago unless they backed it up with Scripture.