I was recently talking with someone about the Pre-Wrath view. The way I understand it, it seems so close to Post-trib with maybe a few minor distinctions. And it’s all up to the interpreter as well, but what scriptures can we use to defend Post-trib, or does it even matter that much?
I think it matters, not just for the practicalities of the dangers that may surface if the truth is not clear when the time arrives, but even more for the harmony of scripture to the greater glory of God.
There are so many in and outs of the pre-wrath position. On the one hand, they surrender the principal pillar of pre-tribulationism, namely, the doctrine of imminence, while retaining the really ridiculous pre-trib concept that for the church to be exempted from divine wrath, she must be removed from the earth. Tell that to the Jews who aren’t even saved till Jesus’ return to destroy the AC and establish His millennial rule, not to mention those of the nations that are not translated with the church but remain and are engaged in helping the scattered Jews back to their Land after the tribulation (Isa 14:2; 49:22; 60:9, 14; 61:5; 66:20; Zech 8:23)
To support a pre-wrath removal of the body, there are many things that must be done with the timing of the day of the Lord that cannot be exegetically justified, with a number of things that just don’t add up.
For example, how obnoxious the notion that Jesus has returned, lifted out the church while the Jews continue to suffer under the fury of a still kicking Antichrist?
No, when Jesus shows up, everyone sees Him and it’s over in an instant. Scripture says “one day”. In one day, an instant, the AC is toast (Isa 9:14; 10:17; 11:4; 2Thes 2:8; Rev 19:15, 19-21 with Dan 7:11); the church is translated (Mt 24:31 with 2Thes 2:1, 1Cor 15:51-52),as Israel is delivered and transformed at the believing sight of Him whom they pierced (Isa 59:16-21; 63:3-7; Eze 39:22; Dan 12:1; Zech 3:9; 12:10; Mt 23:39; 24:29-30; Acts 3:21; Ro 11:26-27; Rev 1:7). The harlot is judged. The mystery of God is finished, as the veil cast over all nations is destroyed (Isa 25:7 with Rev 10:7) and Satan is bound. The righteous are raised at the “last day” (Job 19:25-26; Isa 25:7 -9; 26:19; Dan 12:2, 13; Jn 6:39-40; 44, 54; 11:24: 12:48). The marriage feast begins ‘in this mountain’ (Isa 25:5-8), and so on we could go.
The same sound of the trumpet that gathers the bride (Mat 24:29-31; 2Thes 2:1) also sets in motion the long return home by land of the newly repentant Jewish survivors of the tribulation (Isa 27:12-13). Clearly, the surviving remnant of Israel is NOT translated with the body. Why? It is because they are only now receiving repentance and the Spirit, as Jesus is revealed, not only visibly in the clouds, but in their hearts as the transforming gift of revelation and repentance is happening at once, in one day (Isa 59:18-21; 66:8; Eze 39:22; Zech 3:9, 12:10 with Mt 24:39; 24:30; Acts 3:21; Ro 11:26; Rev 1:7)
It all lines up with the same comprehensive and inclusive transformative event. The end of this age and the break of day happens instantly, as every eye sees Him and we may be sure, no AC survives that brightness, not even for a moment, let alone a number of days.
The day of the Lord that comes as a thief is also the Day of God Almighty” (compare 2Pet 3:10, 12 with Rev 16:15-17; also see Eze 39:8). Peter shows that that day does not come until AFTER the darkness that is “immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days (Mt 24:29 with Acts 2:20).
Very significantly in Rev 16:15, Jesus announces His now truly ‘imminent’ coming. That announcement / warning comes AFTER the 6th bowl and just BEFORE the 7th bowl and final outpouring of wrath and destruction of mystery Babylon at the Great Day of God Almighty. This is the same day of the Lord that comes as a thief in 2Pet 3:10, 12.
Jacob’s trouble may be the exception of speaking of “that day” (Jer 30:7; Joel 2:2-3; 1Thes 5:3) as the Day of the LORD, which would give the impression that the day is the last half of Daniel’s week, but it was the occasional habit of the prophets to speak of the Day of the LORD as inclusive of the events that lead most immediately up to the climax of that great day.
This was a kind of ‘short-hand’ way of referring to the great transition between this age and the kingdom come on earth, but to speak in these very few instances of an inclusive, transitional period does not cancel out what the far greater number scriptures pin point much more precisely as the very climax of the tribulation, as Jesus’, Peter’s, and John’s above cited references make clear. For them, and for all believing Jews of that time, the Day of the LORD was ‘one day’ Zach 3:9; 14:7), known only to the Lord, i.e., ‘the last day’.
There’s no denying that the Day of the LORD that comes as a thief is the same as the Day of God Almighty that also comes as a thief (compare Mt 24:43; 2Pet 3:10, 12; Rev 16:15-17). Clearly, it comes AFTER the 6th bowl (Rev 16:15), which is obviously very late in the tribulation. Even more precisely, it comes AFTER the darkness that is AFTER the tribulation (Mt 24:29 with Acts 2:20).
That’s only some of my reasons, and I don’t push it to the unnecessary distraction of brethren who differ, but I do think it matters, particularly when the primary defense of the pre-trib error depends entirely on an extended Day of the LORD. Also, it may prove to matter even more when the saints may be unnecessarily distracted at a time when endurance to go the distance may be extremely difficult. So there is some of my thinking on the question.
Yours in the Beloved, Reggie