Rapture and Tribulation

What is the rapture? Is it even in the bible? If so when does it happen? The Tribulation period is the last seven years before the messiah’s conquest of the earth, and during that time the Antichrist has power over part of the world. There are many different views on this but this is my attempt at making sense of it.

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Preterism vs A Future Revelation

There is a diverse set of Christian Eschatological views including Amillennialism, Premillennialism, Postmillennialism, Historicism, Preterism, Futurism, Idealism, and others. Here we are focusing on Preterism.

Preterism teaches that the events of the book of Revelation already happened in the 1st Century. They say Roman Emperor Nero (who reigned from 54 AD – 68 AD) was the Antichrist, and that all the supernatural events mentioned in Revelation are metaphors and allegory. The conquest of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70AD is the “end of the world” and there is no literal resurrection, or literal new heaven and earth. If the events of Revelation already happened then where is the Millennial reign of Christ, New Jerusalem, both Resurrections of the Dead, the White Throne Judgment, and the New Heaven and Earth? Shouldn’t Jesus be ruling the world from the new Jerusalem in Israel right now? He comes to defeat the antichrist and the false prophet in Rev 19:19-21. That hasn’t happened yet since anti-Christian nations and people still exist. Is Jesus never coming back because it was all hyperbole? Some 1st century Christians were saying that Jesus wasn’t actually coming back and Peter told them that was incorrect in 2 Peter 3. Was Peter mistaken? Paul denounced teachings that denied the literal resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15, and heretics that claimed it already happened in 2 Timothy 2, was he wrong as well?

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Resurrection in Matthew 27:51–53

Some people believe that the Matt 27:51-53 resurrection was a resurrection of old testament saints who were then raptured when Jesus ascended, but there are other scriptures that contradict that and I think it points to something else happening.

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Theistic Evolution

Theistic evolution attempts to reconcile the Biblical creation story with secular beliefs about human origins. Theological evolution denies the biblical concept of God being immutable, and the sufficiency of scripture. Naturalists use the concept of macro-evolution to obviate God, so including God is to them, both unnecessary and contradictive to their beliefs. Naturalism says that the Bible’s limited age for the earth is incorrect and that it took millions of years for everything to form from nothing. No naturalist would agree that the Bible is true but saying that the days of creation are allegories for millions of years would be seen as a cop-out for Christians from believing what the Bible teaches.

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Future Literal Resurrection of the Dead

The topic of a literal resurrection of the dead divided even the Jews in the 1st century. The Pharisees believed in it and Sadducees did not. Was it literal or figurative? Did it happen in the 1st century or is this something for the future?

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Eternity vs Afterlife in the Bible

I don’t know where the bible exactly says people go to heaven when they die, in fact, the bible doesn’t really focus on the “afterlife”, it focuses more on the resurrections. Some Christian object to the concept of going to heaven when we die it because doesn’t make sense for people to die and go to heaven and then get sent back to earth for the first resurrection only to get raptured back into heaven. This is a good question to ask ourselves, why would God have someone who is saved die and go to heaven, only to send them back to earth to get in their old bodies for the resurrection, so that they can be raptured back up to heaven? The bible teaches that eternal life starts at the resurrection of the righteous (the 1st resurrection). The 2nd resurrection is for condemnation of the unsaved and only they are thrown into the lake of fire afterward for the “second death”.

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