”See, I have told you ahead of time.” –Jesus, Matthew 24:25 (NIV)

Recently, a “brother” shared his objection to my positive attempts at uncovering truth: “Why do you believe Pre-tribulation rapture teachers are leading people astray?” he asked. “What if you’re wrong and they’re right?” In other words, who am I to say another Christian has it wrong with respect to prophecy?

Basically, I was accused of intolerance. How ironic. When did tolerance become a virtue to our “Pre-Trib” brothers?

Why are some who declare, “If God said it, I believe it!” so accepting of flimsy explanations? Jesus’ instruction on the last days serves as an example. “Immediately after the distress of those days ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn.” (Matthew 24:29-30 NIV)

What is going on immediately prior to God’s celestial sign appearing in the sky? The distress of those days (24:29). This is an obvious reference by Jesus to the fore-mentioned time of great distress (24:21-22).

According to Christ, what happens almost simultaneously (“at that time”) with the sign of the sun, moon and stars? We will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds. The Lord will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds… (Matt. 24:30-31)

Our Lord told us ahead of time. Many dismiss the above by saying Jesus’ prophecy does not apply to today? Students then conclude there are more relevant subjects to consider. “What Jesus said ahead of time, therefore, does not really matter.”

Pre-tribulation rapture (PTR) teachers are guilty of no less a crime. They dismiss Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21another way. “Christians are taken up before all this,” they say. “Jesus is speaking to Jews. The Church is in heaven with Jesus.” Really?? Is that what Matthew 24:31 states?

Literal interpretations and logic go out the window. The PTR bottom-line is this: Why care about truth and accuracy if believers vanish before the Tribulation?

This is how Jesus’ prophecy is reduced to a curiosity. As far as our Lord preparing his saints ahead of time for what soon takes place: “They’ve gone up, so what’s it matter?” God help us.

(For a thoroughly Biblical and rational treatment of this subject, we offer Lifesaver: Rescuing God’s People from the PTR Ship.)

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