Echo Zoe Radio with Andy Olson

Hosted ByAndy Olson

Monthly interviews with knowledgable guests on a variety of topics dealing with theology, apologetics, errant teaching, and cultural issues.

Alan Kurschner: Problems with Pretrib

Alan Kurschner is a scholar and author, and joins me this month to discuss problems with the Pretrib Rapture view, with the basis of the discussion being the film that came out recently that he coproduced called “7 Pretrib Problems,” which is free to view and available on Youtube.

Outline of the Discussion
  • The Precursor Problem
    • The Scripture describes events that will happen before the Rapture of the Church and the Day of the Lord.
  • The Olivet Discourse Problem
    • Pre-Trib teaches that the Church is not found in Matthew 24, and that vv.29-30 are not referring to the Rapture.
    • Paul draws parallels to the Olivet Discourse for his own teachings on the church.
    • Many parables support the view that Matthew 24 actually is for the Church, and vv.29-31 do speak of Jesus’ return and the Rapture of the Church.
    • [Circling back, 37:15] A plain reading of Matthew 24 in full, not chopping it into parts, leads quickly away from any pretense of a Pre-Trib rapture.
    • Some Pre-Tribulationists will look at Matthew 24:30 and say that it can’t be the Rapture (it’s Armageddon.) The, a few verses later in v.36, they’ll say has to be the Rapture. The flow of the narrative is clear that they are referring to the same event.
  • The 2 Thessalonians Problem
    • Arguably the biggest problem for the Pre-Trib view.
    • Chapter 2 describes two events that must happen before the Day of the Lord’s Wrath — and by extension, the Rapture. These are the Great Apostasy, and the Revelation of the Man of Lawlessness (the Antichrist.)
    • In order to adjust to Pre-Wrath objections, Pre-Trib has created a “gap theory.”
  • The Revelation Problem
    • Traditional Pre-Trib says that the Seven Seals of Revelation are expressions of God’s Wrath. They occur during the Day of the Lord’s Wrath.
    • 1 Thessalonians 5:9 promises that believers are exempt from God’s Wrath. This creates a problem because the 5th seal describes martyrs killed during this period of time crying out for God’s vengeance.
    • This is also a problem because the martyrs ask God when He will pour out His wrath. How could this be part of His wrath, and have people wondering when His wrath will begin at the same time?
    • The sixth seal is a celestial disturbance event that lines up perfectly with the events described in Matthew 24 & Luke 21.
    • The fifth seal promises God’s Wrath, the sixth seal portends God’s Wrath, and the seventh seal pronounces God’s Wrath.
  • The Imminence Problem
    • This is linked to the Precursor Problem. Pre-Trib teaches that there are no prophesied events that must happen before the Rapture.
    • The proof-texts don’t actually work to prove Pre-Trib teaching because they exhort Christians to be watchful.
    • There are no Greek terms that mean “Imminent” in the sense that Pre-Trib uses the word.
  • The Same Time Problem
    • A.K.A. The Church & Israel Problem.
    • Because most Pre-Tribulationists are traditional Dispensationalists, they don’t believe that God deals with Israel and the Church at the same time.
  • The Early Church Problem
    • Writers in the early church don’t seem to know anything about a Pre-Tribulational Rapture.
    • The early church writers all believed that the Church would face the Antichrist.
    • Even John Calvin made statements about the Church would face the Antichrist (he thought the Antichrist was the Pope and the he (Calvin) was living under Antichrist.)
  • The Equivocation Problem (discussed, but not in the film)
    • Pre-Trib equivocates the periods of time colloquially known as Daniel’s 70th Week, “The Tribulation,” and The Day of the Lord (Day of the Lord’s Wrath.)
    • We know that they cannot be the same because Jesus gives the sign to look for to know we are in Daniel’s 70th week as being the “Abomination that causes desolation,” which marks the midpoint of the 70th week. The Great Tribulation starts immediately after this. The celestial disturbances follow, along with the Rapture and the beginning of the Day of the Lord.
  • Circling back to a comment made about traditional Dispensationalists under “The Same Time Problem,” we address how Dispensationalism creates a problem that nonPre-Millennial views rightly see in that they make too fine of a distinction between Israel and the Church.
Scriptures Referenced
  • Matthew 24, 24:29-31, 24:15
  • Mark 13
  • Luke 21
  • Revelation 6-7
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:9
  • Joel 2, 2:29-31
  • Acts 2
Additional Resources
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