Once Upon A Pre-tribber Part I
Just the other evening the LORD sent a trucker to our Mobile Chapel at the Truck-stop. He had seen my PROPHECY banner on the side window of the extended Ford Van that serves as our meeting place. When he came up to the window he immediately asked: “Just what do you believe concerning the rapture” and I knew we were in for a heated discussion because he was like the majority of drivers/believers in the USA, he believed in the Pre-tribulation Rapture Theory [PTRT]. (Can the Second Coming of the Lord really be based upon a mere theory and not Bible doctrine?)
So, after some introductory chat I asked him a few questions that left him somewhat bewildered, but, nevertheless, very argumentative because if you drive a big rig most times you are a know-it all on any subject, just ask me I drove a big rig for seven years, therefore, along with the young people of every generation, ask me any question you want WHILE I STILL KNOW EVERYTHING!! HAHAHAAAAAA!! Only kidding!!
Back to the trucker at my window, the first question I asked him was: “Did Peter write anywhere that Jesus could come at any moment? To which I replied after his blank stare, “No, he did not, because the Lord Jesus told him that he would live to be an old man when he would die as a martyr. (John 21:18)
Then I asked him: “Did the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ expect Him to come at any moment? Again, the blank stare and my reply: “No, of course not, they were told by Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8) that they must evangelize the entire known world so they did not expect the Lord to come at any moment!
I asked him another question: “Did Peter, James or John write anywhere in the New Testament that Jesus could come at any moment?” Once again Scripture tells us the Lord told them that the Temple would be destroyed and they knew that until that occurred Jesus would not come. This along with numerous other signs would precede the Lord’s Second Coming (Matthew 24:3-31)
Next question: “Did Paul the Apostle write anywhere in his epistles that the Lord could come at any moment?” Once again, same result and my answer was: “Paul was told on numerous occasions when and where the Lord would send him. He knew there was much people to evangelize in Corinth, he knew he had to go to Jerusalem and Rome because the Lord told him. Also, in the beginning of his ministry the Lord told him that he must suffer many things for His Name sake!
Although most New Testament writers did have an attitude of expectancy and an urgency in their writings they never said that the Lord could come at any moment! As a matter of Biblical fact, John wrote all of his books AFTER Jerusalem was destroyed, and his writings do NOT have the same expectancy/urgency that the other writers portrayed while all of the necessary Second Coming “things” were still in place.
The Jews were in the land, they controlled their holy city (Daniel 9:24) the Temple was on Mt. Zion, the sacrifices were being offered, the Sabbath was kept etc. when the majority of the New Testament was written. But, when John wrote his books all of these things were gone and he did not display the same expectancy/urgency as the other writers of the New Testament! This is significant for John knew the Jews must be a people, in the land, occupying their holy city with the Temple on Mt. Zion and the priests offering sacrifices etc. before the 70th Week of Daniel could begin. So, he did not write with the same urgency/expectancy mentioning the Second Coming only once in his Gospel and three Epistles!
My trucker friend left with a somewhat different view of the end times even though he would not readily admit it. Our brief encounter left him with some things to consider, because the PTRT is just that, a THEORY that has NO Biblical basis, no TEXTS to prove it, and many that disprove…meditate on this one verse: “Seventy Weeks are determined upon thy PEOPLE, and thy HOLY CITY” (Daniel 9:24)…In order for every week of the seventy weeks to come to pass, there must be a people who occupy their holy city Jerusalem…1948 A PEOPLE…1967 OCCUPATION OF THEIR ENTIRE HOLY CITY…Daniel and John knew these truths!! This one verse alone refutes the PTRT!