The Instigator
Jellon
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
Truth_seeker
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The Bible does not favor a pre-tribulation rapture

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Jellon
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 10/11/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,320 times Debate No: 63078
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

Jellon

Pro

For this debate, the Bible contains the standard 66 books used by most Protestants. Pre-tribulation rapture is the belief that Messiah will remove all His followers from the earth just before the prophetic time of tribulation. This interpretation is portrayed in the "Left Behind" series of books, some of which became movies.
2000 Elo is required to vote using the "select winner" system.

Con will contend that the Bible clearly teaches a pre-tribulation rapture. As Pro, I will contend that this interpretation is not as well supported as contrary interpretations.
Truth_seeker

Con

I'm probably going to lose, nevertheless i look forward to an interesting debate :)
Debate Round No. 1
Jellon

Pro

INTRODUCTION


TS and I agree on the terms, but I failed to define them for the voters. TS and I have agreed to the following definitions:
Tribulation is the last 7 years before Messiah will bodily return to earth and reign over it in power. During these 7 years, the wrath of G-d is poured out on the earth.
Pre-tribulation believes that Christians will be raptured just before the 7 year tribulation begins.

I thank TS for having this debate with me. It's always a pleasure to have a friendly debate with close friends. :)

QUICK SIDE-NOTE


This debate is on what the Bible teaches, but it is interesting to note that a pre-tribulation rapture was not historically taught by Christians. There is a claim that a document as far back as the third century teaches pre-tribulation, but there is no substantial evidence that it was a commonly held view before the 1800's. Rather, there are extremely early documents such as Didache that teach a post-tribulation rapture, which is my personal belief.

ARGUMENTS


It would be impossible given the limits of space to prove that no where in the Bible does it support a pre-tribulation rapture. This is why the phraseology in the subject is "favors". Voters are encouraged to vote based on who they believe makes stronger arguments for their interpretation.

To keep this argument short and to the point, I have provided full quotations of all the Bible verses I use. No external reading will be required by voters. For fact checking, I provided a link to a website where these verses can be looked up and rendered in other translations (see Bible References section)

One of the most popular passages used by those who support pre-tribulationism is 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 [a]. However, this scripture appears to occur after the tribulation according to Matthew 24:15-33 [b]. Furthermore, when the Thessalonians were afraid they had been left behind, the Apostle Paul wrote to them that such a thing could not have occurred (in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 [c]) until after the anti-Christ has been revealed and worshiped as G-d in the temple, which doesn't take place at the very beginning of the tribulation. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 [d] shows that the dead will be raised at the last trumpet. This was also emphasized in my first reference [a]. But what is the last trumpet if not the seventh (last) trumpet described in Revelation 11:15 [e]. But the last trumpet is blown AFTER the tribulation just before the 1000 year reign of Messiah on earth [e].

Good luck TS.

BIBLE REFERENCES


Emphasis will be added in some verses by bold letters. All references are New King James Version (NKJV) and can be found in many other translations at the following:
https://www.biblegateway.com...

a) 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

b) Matthew 24:15-33
15 "Therefore when you see the "abomination of desolation," spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect"s sake those days will be shortened.
23 "Then if anyone says to you, "Look, here is the Christ!" or "There!" do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.
26 "Therefore if they say to you, "Look, He is in the desert!" do not go out; or "Look, He is in the inner rooms!" do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32 "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near"at the doors!

c) 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
2 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

d) 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed" 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

e) Revelation 11:15 (added text in italics)
15 Then the seventh angel sounded [the last trumpet]: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"
Truth_seeker

Con

Thanks Jellon. One way to resolve these discrepancies is to suggest that 2 Thessalonians speaks of the pre-tribulation rapture of the Gentiles while the one in Matthew is directed to Jews living among saints during the tribulation period.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

2 "Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God."

Matthew 24:15-33
15 "Therefore when you see the "abomination of desolation," spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect"s sake those days will be shortened.
23 "Then if anyone says to you, "Look, here is the Christ!" or "There!" do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.
26 "Therefore if they say to you, "Look, He is in the desert!" do not go out; or "Look, He is in the inner rooms!" do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32 "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near"at the doors!"

Verse 1 speaks of Jesus and the Temple and explains it's significance.

There are two judgements 1) The Christians which will rise first and 2) For the rest of the world

1 Thessalonians 4:16

"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves."

Note that God himself came down from heaven in this judgement.

Here is the 2nd and final judgement.

Rev. 20:11-15

"11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

As we can see, the pre-tribulation rapture is clearly supported
Debate Round No. 2
Jellon

Pro

PROLOGUE


Pro is to show that the Bible favors a pre-tribulation rapture, but Pro's concluding statement was that the pre-tribulation rapture is supported. Pro must be able to say that a pre-tribulation rapture is the most likely interpretation of the scriptures (favored over other interpretations). So far, Pro has followed a fairly standard debate structure and not addressed reasons we should not believe in post-tribulation rapture. To win this debate, he should convince the voters that pre-tribulation is more likely than post-tribulation.

REBUTTAL


Correct me if I'm wrong, Pro, but you appear to be advancing the idea that there are two raptures: one before the tribulation and one after it just before a time of great judgment. It appears to me that it is challenging to the pre-tribulation view that there is a post-tribulation rapture. This challenge is so strong, it forces many pre-tribulation teachers to accept a two rapture hypothesis by which they do not have to reject the post-tribulation rapture outright. Of course this belief could arise from evidence, so it is reasonable to consider the evidence for and against this belief and how weighty it is. On the other hand, Christians and others who value the scriptures have reason to want to skip the tribulation. To those who are particularly fearful, it may be comforting to believe that they won't endure such an unpleasant time. This serves as a motive for some to find a reason to believe what they already want to believe. The issue may be complicated by this ulterior motive. Therefore, it is all the more important to believers who seek the truth of this matter to examine the evidence closely to determine if the evidence is based in emotion or reason.

So far, Pro and I have both used two key verses in our arguments. Pro claimed that one was written for Jewish believers living among Gentile believers during the tribulation, and the other referred to the pre-tribulation rapture of the Gentiles. This assertion of fact came as an unsupported opinion. It is not clear from the text that this assertion is the case. For example, one might expect contextual clues that the verse from the Gospel of Matthew did not apply to Gentiles. In my opening arguments, I correlated several verses together, including the two used by Pro, to create a big picture argument favoring a post-tribulation interpretation.

PROACTIVE REBUTTAL


Pro did not advance the classic pre-tribulation arguments as I expected, so I will proactively address some of the more common ones I have come across in my personal study of the topic at hand. I will use a writing by Donovan Neufeldt as my primary source [1] and following several of his objections in section 4.3 of his writing.

1) Protection from Wrath
1 Thessalonians 5:9 and Romans 5:9 are used as scriptural evidence that believers will not endure the wrath of G-d. It is on this premise that pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, and pre-warth eschatologies agree. It is on the identification of what parts of the tribulation are considered the wrath of G-d that they disagree. However, three verses all say that believers are sealed during the "Great Tribulation" (considered by many to be the later half of the tribulation distinguished by super-natural wrath, as opposed to natural sources of wrath, such as war and famine, in the first half) thus avoiding the effects of the wrath poured out: Rev. 7:3 [f], 9:4 [g], Ezek. 9:4-6 [h].
I like that Pro has claimed that the second rapture is for the Jewish people, because it weakens his position scripturally. Revelation 7:9-17 recalls the countless multitudes from every nation on Earth who endured the Great Tribulation [i]. There is no scripture that supports the idea of mass-conversion after the rapture, except maybe from among the Jewish people. This is pure speculation based on the events that a pre-tribulation rapture might cause.

2) Believers are not mentioned on Earth in Revelation during the tribulation
"The church is mentioned in Revelation 5:8, 8:3, 8:4, 11:18, 12:17, 13:7, 13:10, 14:12, 15:3, 16:6, 17:6,18:24 (usually called saints, or the elect, who are in considered members of the church throughout the New Testament)."

3) The Scriptures discuss people being left behind on Earth in Matthew 24:40-42 [j] and Luke 17:34-36 [k]
The references here actually indicate that the people taken will be those taken away to be judged, not rescued.
From context, Matthew 24:37-39 says the coming of the Son of Man will be like the days of Noah where people were eating and drinking until the day Noah got on the ark. The flood that came took the unrighteous, not the righteous. The scriptures are full of admonitions to believers to live righteous lives in order to avoid judgement. The admonition in Matthew 24:42 to "keep watch" appears to be another one of these. If the people in the days of Noah had kept watch, they would have been on the boat with Noah. In the story of Noah, only the righteous were "left behind" on earth. It was the wicked who were "taken" to be judged.
Luke 17:37 refers to vultures. Vultures were a sign of evil, similar to western culture. Kosher laws specifically forbid Jewish people from eating vultures, so vultures came with a certain taboo. The verse discusses how dead bodies attract vultures. Dead bodies are not usually an attractive thought (unless you're a cannibal). The imagery being used here is that of death and evil. In all other parables in the Gospels, such imagery is only used when discussing evil or evil people. This is an indication that the passage is referring to judgement of evil people, similar to the passage in Matthew.

SOURCES


1) https://www.scribd.com...

f) Rev. 7:3 https://www.biblegateway.com...
g) Rev. 9:4 https://www.biblegateway.com...
h) Ezek. 9:4-6 https://www.biblegateway.com...
i) Rev. 7:9-17 https://www.biblegateway.com...
j) Matthew 24:40-42 https://www.biblegateway.com...
k) Luke 17:34-36 NLT https://www.biblegateway.com...
Truth_seeker

Con

My opponent has brought many considerations that must be taken into account before i can make an informative decision on the subject, for that i concede. Perhaps we can debate another time lol.
Debate Round No. 3
Jellon

Pro

Aww TS. You can do better. Even if I convinced you to change your mind, you can still find arguments to support your side. Thanks for the debate anyway. Study up and let me know in the future.
Truth_seeker

Con

Indeed :)
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Jellon 3 years ago
Jellon
Thanks for posting my definitions that you agreed to, but I used the amended ones we agreed to after I fixed my original mistake. I don't believe the anti-Christ reigns all 7 years.
Posted by Truth_seeker 3 years ago
Truth_seeker
Definitions:

Pre-tribulation believes that Christians will be raptured before any of G-ds judgements on earth which take place over 7 years and coincide with the 7 years the anti-Christ reigns.

The tribulation is the 7 years where the Anti-Christ reigns on earth.
Posted by Jellon 3 years ago
Jellon
I just like debating you and found something we could debate via our Facebook discussion. ;) I haven't actually formulated an argument. I've never seen this debate done, here on DDO or elsewhere. This should be interesting to me too.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Jzyehoshua 3 years ago
Jzyehoshua
JellonTruth_seeker
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Matthew 24 and Revelations clearly indicate a tribulation after the great tribulation of the Beast, but before the plagues on the Beast's Empire. I thought Pro did a decent job of pointing this out with relevant verses, and Con did not do a good job of refuting this.