What have God's people today historically believed about the “catching away” of the church, or the “rapture” by way of the lots of ages of the Church? Has it constantly been like nowadays, with two important opposing views, drawing people today into 1 group or an additional? A single group believing in a raptute just before the coming tribulation, and 1 advocating that it will be immediately after? No, completely, no.
A warning right here just before we proceed. Just after the Bible, which is apostolic and inspired, there is no excellent book. There is no excellent teacher. In the years that followed the death of the apostles, lots of guys started to create, some constructing as closely as they could on the revelation in existence, from the apostles and prophets, but other people veering off from time to time. This “veering off” has left us with a excellent selection of teachings published in the name of the Lord, producing it uncomplicated for the promulgator of most any new doctrine down to this day, to establish his trigger someplace in the chaos of these early writers. An appeal to the “church fathers” is frequently a settlement to an otherwise shaky point.
In spite of person complications in person teachers, and it appears even the very best of guys missed it from time to time, there had been streams of believed that continued down to us, each in our Scriptures and in the collected performs of the excellent writers. The Deity of Christ, the Second Coming, salvation by grace by way of faith, it all was picked up and passed on. God had faithful witnesses who had been in a position to see and communicate vital truth to the subsequent generations.
Getting stated that, we now ask, what about the theory of a pre-tribulation rapture historically? Properly, it falls far brief of verification. It is located only after from the fourth century all the way to the eighteenth century, and not in any substantial physique of literature till the nineteenth. This view-point is a newcomer to the planet of theology.
The teachers of this doctrine think they have Scriptural grounds for their beliefs. In an additional write-up I will examine Scripture, but for now let's trace the doctrine by way of history, and I should say, it will be a brief journey, for there is not a great deal there.
We go initial to the Persia of the Roman Empire days. It is the fourth century. The teacher is a devoted deacon named Ephraem who appears to have been a most holy man, to the point exactly where he is stated to have been a hermit for the final ten years of his life. The record shows he was tremendously revered by Syrian, Orthodox, and Nestorian believers, the “denominations” of his day. His writings, evidently pretty many had been study just immediately after the
Scriptures in some churches. A single of these writings includes a passage that may well certainly be a preview of what will come lots of hundreds of years later in its fulness.
Now recall, 3 hundred years have passed considering the fact that the apostles wrote, and this is the initial hint of a pretribulation rapture. Ephraem believed the finish of the planet was close to, and that the Holy Spirit confirmed this to him. In his pondering, there was only 1 sign which remained, “the advent of the wicked 1 in the completion of the Roman Kingdom.” That in fact sounds like a posttribulation view, but numerous sentences later he adds:
“For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the planet simply because of our sins…”
Ephraem right here appeals to logic rather than to revelation. No authority is provided for his conclusion, even though his statement “tends to make a lot of sense” . This kind of reasoning is the fuel of pre-tribulation pondering. There is a great deal “sense” to it, but no strong Scriptural backing.
There are a couple a lot more historical incidents concerning “pre-trib” that I will share at a later time. Today's point: Even though an appeal to history can aid make a case for a doctrine, this distinct doctrine has such tiny history that it wants to be re-examined and probably rejected.