The recent revival of Early Church Bible prophecy by Robert Van Kampen and Marv Rosenthal has been widely received by those who are looking for a Biblical alternative to the Pre-tribulation Rapture theory which is the position presently held by the majority of fundamental Bible believers in the USA.
During my undergraduate studies at one of the popular fundamental Christian universities my New Testament Prophecy professor quoted a notable prophecy scholar with this statement: "The Pre-tribulation rapture theory is not explicitly taught in Scripture" even though it was and still is the position that he holds! Not explicitly taught in Scripture is an understatement as the above mentioned writers prove in their books setting forth the Pre-wrath rapture doctrine.
Please notice, I did not say Pre-wrath rapture theory, no the Pre-wrath rapture is a doctrine of Scripture, although it was not formally given a title by the early church as New Testament Prophecy during that day was not systematized and labeled as it is today. However, the vast majority of the early church fathers believed that the end-times church would in fact experience the persecution of the Antichrist but not the wrath of God.
Here are just a few quotations from some of the notable Early Church Fathers:
"The man of apostasy...shall venture to do unlawful deeds on the earth against the Christian"--Justin Martyr
"And they (Antichrist's ten kings)...shall give their kingdom to the beast, and put the Church to flight."--Irenaeus
"That the beast Antichrist with his false prophet may wage war on the Church of God"--Tertullian
It is my belief, that the deliverance of the church by rapture will of necessity be Pre-wrath, yes, pre, or before God pours out His wrath upon an apostate Israel and an unbelieving rebellious Gentile world. This wrath of God is the focus of our study for we believe that we, the born-again Christians, 'shall be saved from (the) wrath' (Romans 5:9).
Therefore if "God hath not appointed us to wrath" (I Thessalonians 5:9) we must, of necessity, fully understand just what the wrath of God is, what it is not, when it will occur and other pertinent subjects concerning this climactic future judgment the world will face. But, praise the Lord, we the born-again Bible believers, will be miraculously delivered by the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, when He comes to raise in Christ and Rapture those saints who remain alive on earth!
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