Dayna’s Pre-Trib Rapture Post #1

I see overwhelming Biblical evidence for a Pre-Trib rapture of the church and I’ve been meaning to do this post for a long time. This is a time-consuming and multi-faceted issue, so this would be *way* too long if I tried to do it all in one post. Therefore, I’ve decided to tell the story of how I got to where I am and hit some foundational concepts in this post. Then, hopefully I’ll have the energy to do subsequent posts to cover the rest.

(Please pray for my mental stamina, and I pray that this post helps someone out there in Facebook-land)

I’m going to hit some hard topics, but know that I only do it because I love you all and I love the truth. In these last days, seminaries and churches are not teaching end times Bible prophecy and I believe that is part of Satan’s deception. Please feel free and open to state and defend your disagreements with my position, but please be logical and civil.

In 2004, Dan and I were living in Maine with our very sick daughter who was constantly in and out of the hospital with near-death experiences. I had a lot of time on my hands to study because I wasn’t able to work while taking care of Madison. My mom had told me to look into Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Church and The Purpose Drive Life because they were reading these books at her church (the church I grew up in). These books were sweeping through churches everywhere and were splitting the churches in two wherever they went. My mom told me she thought they were unbiblical and encouraged me to read them and look into it on my own. I ended up spending the better part of a year doing just that.

Basically, The Purpose Driven Church was for church leaders and The Purpose Driven Life was for the congregation. In a nutshell, it involved using business marketing principles to grow the church and watering down the message to make it more palatable for the “seekers” or those who are unsaved and seeking God. The main problem with this concept was that it is God’s job to grow the church and not man’s job. The church’s job is to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry, to disciple the believers and grow them from “baby Christians” into mature believers. It is completely unbiblical to water down the Word of God in the churches to be less offensive to unbelievers. Some will defend this action in the church by saying that the churches have “small groups” to disciple the believers. I will argue that most of these small groups in the big churches are more focused on “social justice” than they are learning the Word. As a result of the “Church Growth” movement or the “Seeker Sensitive” movement, we now have huge churches full of Christians who have no idea what their Bible says or means.

For this reason, Dan and I left the mainstream churches and sought out other like-minded people…

We eventually moved back to Texas after one year in Maine and tried many different small churches. By 2008, we found some people who were “reformed” otherwise known as Calvinist. They didn’t like what was going on in the churches and seemed like-minded. I had heard of Calvinism and knew the basic idea, but I had never studied it out on my own. In fact, I had never studied theology before that point (Although I had spent my *entire* childhood listening to my mom talk about theology and eschatology). I had been raised in a dispensational Bible church, but I couldn’t have defended with scripture why I believed what I believed.

Back to Calvinism… Calvinists are not dispensational.

**Now, I need to stop here for the definition of dispensational. Dispensational simply means that God’s dealings with man are different during different time periods. There are many different “flavors” of dispensationalism and many proponents and critics, but the word itself simply means that there are different time periods in the Bible in which God has different instructions for man.

So, there we were with these reformed Calvinists and we were studying out the 5 points of Calvinism: TULIP. I won’t explain them all here in depth. There are slightly different flavors of interpretations for these 5 points, I’ve heard them all, just trying to be brief.

Total Depravity – man is totally depraved and cannot choose God without God first taking action on that person. Because man is totally depraved, we are unable to choose God and must be chosen.

Unconditional Election – God chooses to give some people eternal life without looking for anything good in them as a condition (Predestination)

Limited Atonement – Christ did not die for all, only for the elect

Irresistable Grace – If God calls you, you cannot resist

Preservation of the Saints – Once saved, always saved

I had known about the concept of PREDESTINATION before I studied Calvinism, but like most Christians, I decided that it was something I could not understand completely and I ignored it.

For a while…

Predestination is a concept that means God created some and chose them unto salvation and God created others and did not choose them and therefore condemned them to eternity in hell.

You see, the Calvinists are really hung up on Predestination.

Calvinists are happy. They have been chosen.

This bothered me. I didn’t want to be “happy” to be “chosen” if that meant I also believed that God created others who never had a chance. So I studied…. All the scriptures the Calvinists used to defend their position seemed accurate at first.

This concept really began to bother me in my spirit. In all my life and all my traumatic experiences, my faith has never been shaken the way it was in my dealings with Calvinism. I had been a believer since I was a child, but now I didn’t think I wanted to believe in a God like that anymore. I literally got on my knees at night in my bedroom for I don’t know….weeks….months….. and prayed to God that he would show me the truth. I told him I would accept the truth whatever it was, I just wanted to truth.

My mom had been through the same journey and she kept telling me that a dispensational understanding of scripture would take away my confusion and it would make the Bible make sense. That I needed to study the scripture rightly divided and take into context to whom it is being spoken and to understand that God’s plan for the nation of Israel is not the same as God’s plan for the church – the Body of Christ. This took me on a journey for a while and I wrestled with it and prayed and studied until one day I felt like it clicked and I understood – I believe that God gave me the understanding that I asked him for.

I went back to those Calvinist teachings from a dispensational perspective and realized that they take everything out of context and that their position on predestination doesn’t hold water. I was so relieved that my God wasn’t one who created souls only to never give them a chance and condemn them to an eternity in hell. I mean… if he was going to do that, why ever create them in the first place?? The Calvinists will tell you that it’s because God is sovereign and that He does as He pleases….

Calvinists will use verses like Romans 9:13 “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” to defend their position on predestination. But this verse is a reference to Hebrews and is talking about people GROUPS, not individual people. Out of context.

Calvinists will “proof text” other verses that speak about “the elect” and think it’s talking about them, but “the elect” is the Nation of Israel. They will take verses that say “chosen” to defend predestination, when the verse isn’t even referring to salvation at all.

I can’t go into all the problems with Calvinism here, but I’m trying to point out that their lack of studying the word rightly divided (or dispensationally) leads them to an incorrect understanding of the concept of predestination (which I think is spiritually dangerous) and it also leads them down the wrong path in eschatology (or the study of the “last things”). I'd like to encourage all Calvinists to do a study on the character of God and see if it matches their theology. If it doesn't match, go back to the drawing board.

So, I know you must be wondering by now, what in the world does all of this have to do with a Pre-Tribulation rapture

I’m so glad you asked….

You can’t be a Pre-Trib believer if you don’t understand that the Church and Israel are NOT the same.

Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom during his earthly ministry. He came only to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” The Jews rejected Jesus as their messiah and crucified him and God set Israel aside and went to dealing with the Gentiles. He rose up Paul as the apostle to the gentiles. Paul’s letters (Romans through Philemon) are all to believers who are living during this current church age (or DISPENSATION, if you will). The entire Bible is meant for our learning, but it is not all written *TO* us during this dispensation.

We are between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel’s prophetic timetable and God will go back to dealing with Israel during the Tribulation. Which looks like it might be soon…

The tribulation is the time of “Jacob’s trouble” (Israel). It isn’t for The Church (Body of Christ) and the church will be harpazo’d or “snatched away” before that time the same way Enoch and Elijah were “harpazo’d”. Why? Because the restrainer (Holy Spirit) has to be removed first before the tribulation can begin and the Holy Spirit lives in each believer.

See Thessalonians 2:

Thessalonians 2 King James Version (KJV) Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 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. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away (FALLING AWAY IS MORE ACCURATELY TRANSLATED AS A “PHYSICAL DEPARTURE” or a “HARPAZO”) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 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, shewing himself that he is God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. (THE RESTRAINER - HOLY SPIRIT) 8 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:

This is WAY longer than I intended. Let the discussion begin.

Lord willing, I would like to cover the theological concepts of – Kingdom Now/Dominionism, Amillenialism, Replacement Theology, Christian Palestinianism, and Preterism.

Podcast link for post #1