LEFT BEHIND: A Study in Matthew Chapter 24
We continue our study of Matthew 24 and we look further into imminence. Pre-tribbers insist on an "imminent" or "any moment" pre-trib rapture of the church because Jesus said:
In scripture, Jesus said His coming is after the tribulation. But since Jesus doesn't know the hour or day of His coming, but the Father alone, pre-tribbers insist this is His "Pre-trib" coming. In the main article, Jesus never said His coming "for His own" was before or during the tribulation. He warned His disciples to flee when the Abomination of Desolation takes place (when the Great Tribulation starts). And He told them after the tribulation, a sign will appear in the sky of His coming.
In previous articles on this website, various scriptures are used to examine and refute the pre-trib position. Pre-tribbers persistently ignore key scripture and come up with the same spin to support their view. One of their key arguments is imminence, an any-moment rapture for the church. Even though there is nowhere in scripture that says Jesus will come before the tribulation.
Most of what Jesus said to His disciples about His coming was on the Mount of Olives just a few days before He died on the cross. The focus of this article is what Jesus said to His disciples earlier in in the Gospel of Luke.
Jesus instructed His disciples to be "dressed in readiness" and be "like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast so that they immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks." In Revelation, John describes the wedding which occurs after the tribulation at Jesus' coming:
This parable is in direct contradiction to the pre-trib view that:
But before we close this article, we must look at the remaining verses in order to come to an overall conclusion.
In this parable, Jesus calls the slaves who are on the alert when the master comes blessed because they will be able to receive their master. But since they are ready to receive their master, the master will then serve his slaves.
Another part of the imminence view is "the thief in the night." Pre-tribbers insist that this relates to His alleged pre-trib coming. Again in the context of this parable, Jesus describes the masters coming after the wedding feast. Jesus instructed His disciples that if the head of the house would have known when the thief was coming, then he wouldn't have allowed the thief to break into his house. He instructed them to be ready because Jesus will come at an hour they do not expect. This is not in an indication of an any moment "pre-trib" rapture.
Another part of the pre-trib maze is they insist that some parts of scripture are for the "tribulation saints" or the "unsaved Jews" when Jesus is clearly speaking directly to His disciples, especially in verses 39-40. In the above verse, Peter asks the precise question: "Lord, are you addressing this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?" Peter did not ask the Lord if He was addressing this parable to the "tribulation saints." (And Jesus repeats this parable in Luke further in Matthew 24 verses 42 through 51 while speaking to his disciples privately!)
Jesus answered Peter:
Jesus referred these verses to the faithful and sensible stewards whom the master puts in charge of his servants. At the time when the Lord comes, if the steward is properly in charge and care for the servants, the steward will be blessed and the Lord will put the steward in charge in all his possessions. But if the slaves says in his heart the master won't come for a long time and beats the other slaves, and eats and gets drunk, then the master will come on the day the slave doesn't expect him. THEN the slave will be cut into pieces and be assigned a place with the unbelievers! This happens after the tribulation! As we've seen, the master will come unexpectedly to kill the unfaithful slave. He will not come to rapture the faithful servants into heaven as pre-tribbers like us to believe.
To continue further, Jesus gave this discription of a thief.
Jesus gave a job description of thief. The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. So the thief's discription is narrowed down by Jesus' own words. You won't find anything in scripture that says a thief comes to "take Christians out of the earth before the tribulation." And you won't find this in Jesus' job description of a thief either. And Jesus said in His parable in Luke that the master will come on a day when the slave does not expect him and will "cut him into pieces"...(i.e. kill and destroy him)! This is the same thing that will happen when Jesus comes:
"And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it shall also be in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating they were drinking, they were marrying, they were given in marriage, until that day the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were planting, they were building; but on that day Lot went out from Sodom and it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on that day the Son of Man is Revealed."
As we examined the above scriptures to test imminence, Jesus doesn't come "at any moment" to rapture the church into heaven as pre-tribbers allege. Jesus said these things must happens before He comes:
Since it is fact the church will see the abomination that causes desolation, Jesus will not come "at any moment" to rapture His church into heaven. To believe otherwise, as pre-tribbers insists, contradicts what Jesus said in Matthew 24:15.
As Jesus' coming is put into context, He specifically said His coming is "after the tribulation of those days." And even though He doesn't know the day or hour and only the father knows, one thing we do know, the church is going through the tribulation. And Jesus gives us the signs that lead up to His coming. We must be on the alert and sober to see these signs, or else we will be like unbelievers who will be unaware and that day of His coming will overtake us "like a thief." As Jesus says:
Given these facts, imminence, as defined by pre-tribbers, fails the test of scripture and must be entirely rejected along with the pre-trib rapture.
Articles in this study