Diving Into Scripture: The Pre-Tribulation Paradox
Proverbs 10:30, “The righteous will never be removed, But the wicked will not inhabit the earth.”
The Apostle Paul was very careful to explain to us that at Christ’s return those who have died in Him are resurrected first, and then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them. The obvious question that we must therefore ask is, “When does the resurrection of the dead in Christ happen?” The answer, which many refuse to acknowledge, is given to us by John in Revelation 20:4-5: The dead in Christ who rise first are caught up in the First Resurrection … after the tribulation. The logical implications of the plain and straightforward teaching of the text are therefore undeniable: If the First Resurrection is after the tribulation then there can be no resurrection before the end of the tribulation, and if there is no resurrection before the end of the tribulation then there is therefore no rapture before the end of the tribulation. It is impossible. Many teachers try to get around this dilemma by somehow imposing “phases” to the First Resurrection, an eisegetical addition which does not even exist in the text and a teaching that — when drawn out to its logical conclusion — essentially contradicts Scripture itself by implying that the rapture takes place before the First Resurrection is even completed, despite the fact that Paul explicitly writes that we who are alive and remain will by no means precede those who are asleep in Christ (1 Thess. 4:15). Obviously, many die in Christ during great tribulation. According to Scripture, the rapture of those who are alive and remain can only happen after tribulation. We will be present upon the earth right up until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, often referred to in Scripture as The Day of the Lord …
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