Does it Really matter?

Question:

Hello,

I read most of the information on your Post-Tribulation Rapture website with great interest. I, like most Christians, rarely give this topic much thought. However, with world events progressing as they are, it becomes much more thought-provoking.

While I enjoyed reading your information (and appreciate the effort you put into it), I do have one question that I did not see addressed. I do not mean this in any way to trivialize your or other people's efforts or interests, but does it really make a difference when the rapture occurs? I realize that if it is after the tribulation (as I tend to believe), then there will obviously be some tough times for those believers who are present on Earth for it.

Is there a danger in some believing that the rapture will be pre-tribulation? Is there a step or preparations that they may fail to take? It seems to me that if we live for Christ as we should (obviously easier said than done, at least in my case), then the issue of when this event occurs is irrelevant.

Please take this question in the manner it was intended... I only ask because I have not had much discussion regarding this issue and am curious about it. I am definitely not a Bible scholar and would appreciate any feedback you may be able to provide.

Again, thanks for your time and effort both in reading this message and providing the information on your website.

Response:

Good question! Does it really matter? Of course, anything in the Bible is worthy of our attention, but what are the practical differences between the positions? I began studying the Post- position because Pre-Tribulationism is so prevalent and so easily accepted as gospel truth yet I just did not see it Biblically. At first I was studying both positions, but after I started leaning towards the Post- position I quit reading anything which was Post- and would only read Pre-Trib authors and the Bible. I read and listened to the best Pre-Trib scholars I could find but found their position thoroughly unconvincing. I wanted to know why everyone believed this position when I could find so little Biblical support for it. Jesus own disciples asked him when he was coming back and his answer was "after the tribulation" (Matt. 24:3; 29-31). To me this was very clear. It seems that he told them this for a reason. I believe he wanted us to be prepared.

I guess the biggest worry I have about Pre-Tribulationism is this: Most of what I have heard preached on Pre-Trib (not by theologians, but on the popular level) is stuff like, "God wouldn't do that to us" or "God's not a wife-beater" and the simple fact that Pre-Tribulationists confuse the Tribulation with the wrath of God. The point is that when the Tribulation is here many people who have been taught Pre-Trib will feel like "God must not love me." We have no concept of persecution in North America in the twentieth century. This is going to be the worst time ever (Matt. 24:21). On the back of my book I have this statement:

Christians have suffered persecution since the church began. History shows that when the church was regularly being persecuted they were able to endure, but when persecution let off for a good period of time and then began again, every time without fail, multitudes would renounce their faith in Christ. If we are going to go through this time period, then it is of utmost importance that we are psychologically ready for it. There is no excuse for this to take us by surprise. Jesus said, "Behold, I have told you in advance" (Matt. 24:25).