The concept of a pre-tribulation rapture is a modern interpretation of parts of the New Testament designed to assure believers that they will not have to endure any part of the tribulation written about in the book of “Revelation” This viewpoint is espoused and promulgated mainly by TV evangelist types. In addition, they have recently begun espousing the idea that “God” is warning America of judgment soon to come and that a great harvest time of souls will soon take place. They put all of this together with no certain theological foundation for so doing.
That said, contrary to those who espouse this viewpoint, the pre-tribulation rapture actually makes no sense theologically and MUST be wrong for ONE main reason. That reason is that there actually is no reason that we should know about the tribulation written about mainly in the Apocalypse of John, commonly known as “Revelation“, if we are not going to have any part in it (It’s really that easy to destroy this concept). I say “we” because I include everyone, including Christians in this.
These TV evangelist types believe that CHRISTIANS will be taken out via rapture BEFORE the tribulation, leaving everyone else. As practically everyone knows, I am a Pagan, not a Christian. But I was theologically trained as a Christian and am very well able to speak to issues of biblical interpretation. I, for one, would be profoundly happy if Christians (and other monotheists since the concept of the rapture is as old as the Zoroastrian religion of ancient times) were suddenly raptured out of this world, leaving the rest of us to work things out. But, believe me, that is simply NOT going to happen.
If this isn’t enough, one has to ask the Christian who believes that they will be raptured out of this world just what it is that makes them think that the church is to escape suffering during the time of the tribulation since suffering in the name of their lord is a hallmark of the church in the first place. Frankly, the rapture and the tribulation don’t even go together theologically. They were differing viewpoints from different teachers in ancient times that modern Christians are trying to put together. And, as even Constantine I knew, if they are right then the entire book of “Revelation” is of no value for us today because it has all already happened.
The rapture makes no sense. ALL must die! How can Christians say that SOME somehow deserve to escape death by being raptured? How can they claim that the church deserves to avoid a tribulation to come upon the whole earth when suffering is part of what the church is supposed to do? All of it is complete nonsense!
Finally, it is clear that passages such as Matthew 24 and Luke 21 were written AFTER the book of “Revelation” was written and that the authors of these passages relied on this book for what they wrote in these passages. Only blind pseudo-interpretation would lead anyone to conclude anything else. As I make clear in my first book “Apocalypse and Armageddon. The Secret Origins of Christianity: The First Shall be Last and the Last Shall be First“, “Revelation” was written BEFORE the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE and the gospels were written AFTER the destruction.
The so-called “rapture” and the tribulation written about in “Revelation” and the passages cited in the New Testament are simply NOT going to take place at all. We are going to have to learn to respect one another religiously and work together for the betterment of THIS world, not look forward to some future spiritual world that will never come into being. That said, the pre-tribulation rapture viewpoint is especially dangerous because it allows the fanatics to continue to say that “God” is warning us of judgment and that we all must repent and fall in line to their way of thinking before the world comes to an end! DON’T BELIEVE THEM! If there are false prophets that are to be avoided, then these are the ones.