As we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ today on December 25 I want to share a few thoughts about the future return of Christ that could occur at any moment.
I am a dispensationalist who believes in the pretribulational rapture and premillennial reign of Christ. Yet, I hold these views lite and loose. They are not points worth arguing and causing disunity within the body of believers. Lots of people smarter than me hold contrary views and I respect those who do.
Often we hear people say, “Christ could come at any moment” or “I’m ready for Christ to come back.” Yet, what does that mean about our beliefs about Christ’s return and the end times? Doesn’t the book of Revelation describe seven years of tribulation of plagues, sores, earthquakes, hail, fires, and other events that indicate judgement which all occur before Christ returns in Rev 19:11?
While there are various views on the return of Christ, here are six reasons I believe Christ will return for his people before the seven years of tribulation begins.
Photo Credit: “Waiting for the Word”
I. THE CHURCH IS ABSENT IN REVELATION 4-19[ref]These reasons for the pre-trib rapture is adapted from Mark Hitchcock’s book, The End, which is a great reference book for end-times events.[/ref]
First, the church seems to be absent from the narrative of Rev 4-19. The Greek word for church, ἐκκλεσια, is used nineteen times in Rev 1-3, zero times in Rev 4-19, and one time in Rev 20-22. While it is not good to argue from an “absence of evidence” it does strike me that if the church was on the earth during the time of the Tribulation (Rev 4-19) there would be mentions of it. But, there are none in Rev 4-19.