This is a quote from THE RAPTURE QUESTION by John Walvoord.
"The fact is that neither pretribulationism and posttribulationism is an explicit teaching of Scripture. The Bible does not in so many words state either."

And this is a quote from an article by Walvoord in the 1985 journal from Grace Seminary.
"Both pretribulationists and posttribulationists are confronted with the fact that the Scripture does not expressly state either view."

That statement itself is only partially true.
It is A FACT that pretribulationism is not an EXPLICIT teaching of Scripture.
However, it is a FACT that the Scripture teaches a rapture AFTER the tribulation.

Explicit, adjective: fully revealed or expressed without vagueness, implication, or ambiguity.

What language is required for something to be considered EXPLICIT?
Are either of the following two statements required to fulfill the condition of explicit?
"The rapture will occur before the tribulation."
"The rapture will occur after the tribulation."

However, the word "rapture" does not occur in Scripture, so of course the two statements cannot be found.
The word, rapture, is a theological designation based on the Greek of 1Thes. 4:17.
Here we have an EXPLICIT statement of a FACT.
"Then we who are alive, who remain, will be caught up together with them in the clouds for a meeting with the Lord IN THE AIR, and so we will always be with the Lord." 1Thes. 4:17. (A meeting is a gathering, 2Thes. 2:1).
THE FACT of a future gathering of believers to meet Jesus in the sky, that was taught by Paul cannot be denied.

Where did Paul learn this explicitly stated truth?
In general: 1Cor. 11:23, "for I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you."
Gal. 1:12, "but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ."
Eph. 2:3, "that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief."
Eph. 3:5, "as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit."
When Paul wrote the first letter to Timothy (c. 65 AD), there was a body of revealed truth that was circulated among the churches and was designated as "sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1Tim. 6:3.

So whether in the form of the written gospels of Matthew and Mark, or simply the verbal communication from the teaching by the disciples, WHAT Jesus had taught to the disciples and to Paul had been and was being taught to the churches.

What Paul learned is what Jesus taught, and what He taught is recorded in the gospels.
Jesus taught the very same explicit promise of a sky-gathering on at least two occasions.
Once in the lengthy Olivet discourse of Matthew 24-25 and Mark 13.
And once in the upper room at John 14:1-3.

In Mat. 24:29-42 Jesus made some explicit statements.
1. AFTER the tribulation of those days. That is an EXPLICIT time period. V. 24:29.
2. They will see the Son of Man (Jesus) coming on the clouds of the sky. V. 24:30
This is a specific coming of Jesus that is explicitly prophesied.
This prophecy goes hand in hand with the explicit promise of Acts 1:11 given by the angels.
"Jesus will come in just the same way as you watched him go up."
This is an EXPLICIT observable event. On a cloud.

3. He (Jesus) will send forth His angels and they will gather HIS (Jesus') elect.
These "elect ones" are NOT the elect of Israel. They are not even the elect of God in general.
This is an explicit group designation. It is CHRIST'S elect.
That is, those who are in a specific relationship with Jesus Christ. It refers to all who are in a salvation relationship with Jesus and with God the Father through faith in the salvation promise; both Old Testament and New Testament believers.
The adjective, eklektos (elect), is used 10 times in the gospels.
It is used one time for Christ as the chosen one of God (Luke 23:35).
And it is used 9 times for someone who is in a salvation-relationship with God.
Mat. 22:14, many are called but few are chosen (elect) ones.
Luke 18:7, shall not God bring about justice for His chosen (elect) ones.

4. "Out from (ek) the 4 winds; from (apo) the farthest end of the earth UNTO the farthest end of heaven."  (Mark 13:27).
This is an EXPLICIT type and location of gathering. It is a sky-gathering.
It is not a gathering from one location on the earth to some other location on the earth.
This is what Paul referred to at 1Thes. 4:17, "for a meeting with the Lord in the sky."

5. It will occur at an unknown day and hour (v. 36) - BUT - after the tribulation has been cut short (v. 22).
This is an EXPLICIT imminence in an EXPLICIT context (after the tribulation).

6. Mat. 24:40-41, This is an explicit statement IN THE GREEK.
"one will be taken to the side (paralambano, received) and one will be left."
The Greek readers would understand the meaning of the verb, paralambano, and also see the connection at John 14:3 where Jesus used the same verb to indicate the gathering to Himself.

WHERE is there implication or assumption in the above explicit statements? There is neither.

There is only ONE second coming of Jesus.
Mat. 24:3, the disciples ask, "what will be the sign of Your COMING?"

Jesus mentioned several times that He would come again.
All of the passages taken together indicate that He always had ONE and ONLY ONE second coming in view.

Mathew 10:23; Matthew 16:27; Mark 8:34-38 and Luke 9:26;
Matthew 16:28, Mark 9:1 and Luke 9:27 indicate that there will be a second coming of Jesus.
The term, "coming in His kingdom," refers to the second advent presence of Jesus in resurrection glory along with His Holy, mighty angels, when He comes to administrate the authority of the kingdom of God on the earth. Luke records it as, "see the kingdom of God," and Mark records it as, "see the kingdom of God after it has come with power." These are not contradictions, but all refer to the glorious revelation of Jesus at the Day of the Lord.
We know that Jesus was talking about His one and only second coming because Peter tells us at 2 Peter 1:16-18.
"For we did not follow cleverly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His magnificence."

Peter knows of only ONE second coming. He mentioned it again at 2Pet. 3:4, in the complaint from the mockers, "where is the promise of His coming?"
And then he directly relates that ONE second coming to the term, "day of the Lord" at verse 3:10-14.
He clearly indicates that it is that ONE and ONLY second coming that we believers should be looking for and be READY for.

Luke 12:40, "You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming
at an hour that you do not expect."

Other references for the ONE second coming in the gospels.
Matthew 24:29-30, "they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory."

Luke 17:24-26.
Just as lightning is visible and spectacular, "so shall the Son of Man be in His day (Luke 17:24)." Furthermore, the term, "days of the Son of Man" (Luke 17:26), must refer to the general time period surrounding His visible return.

Luke 18:8, "I tell you that He will bring about justice for them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find THE faith on the earth?"

Matt. 23:39, "For I say to you, you shall not see Me from now until you say, 'PRAISED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!'"

Mat. 24:37-39, "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. . . so shall the coming of the Son of Man be."

25:31, "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne."

John 14:1-3
This is a specific promise that Jesus will come again and gather His people to Himself where they will live forever and ever with Him.

Matthew 26:64, "Nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN."

This refers to the very same coming that is described at Matthew 24:29-31; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:7; 1Thes. 4:14-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; and Revelation 1:7.

Acts 1:9-11, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven."

Jesus mentioned only ONE second coming. And it is the very same one and only second coming that is taught in the rest of the New Testament.
And Paul calls it "the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of the great God and our Savior, Christ Jesus" (Titus 2:13).

WHAT MUST BE REMOVED to deny an explicit rapture after the tribulation.
In order to deny that this is EXPLICITLY teaching that CHRIST'S elect will be gathered to meet Him in the sky, AT the specific time that He stated, certain things have to be removed from the passage.

1. Remove the fact that Jesus is teaching His disciples privately on the Mount of Olives.
The disciples will live and minister as the foundation builders of the church and representatives of believers of all future generations of the church. They are not representatives of the nation of Israel.

2. Remove the fact that the ones gathered are CHRIST'S elect. Ie. believers of the church.
3. Remove the fact that it is a sky-gathering. (not a gathering to a location on the earth).
4. Remove the fact that paralambanō is a "gathering" type of word and not a word of judgment.
5. Remove the fact that Jesus taught about only ONE second coming.

WHAT MUST BE added to deny an explicit rapture after the tribulation.
And in order to deny the explicit teaching of Jesus several ideas need to be inserted.
1. It must be claimed that Jesus taught the disciples as representatives of the nation of Israel, and what He taught is FOR Israel and nor for the church.
2. It must be claimed that "Christ's" elect refers to the Jews who are scattered throughout the world and not to believers in Jesus.
3. It must deny the literal language of Mark 13:27, and claim that the gathering is an earth-gathering; a gathering of Jews from one earthly location to another earthly location (the land of Palestine).
4. The usual meaning of paralambanō must be ignored, and changed to mean taken in judgment.
5. A dispensational factor must be imagined into the text that claims the church cannot be on the earth during the 70th week of Daniel.


The event that Paul calls "our gathering together to Him," is explicitly taught in the Bible.
This then, "our gathering together to Him" (or perhaps, simply "the gathering), is the official and Biblical term to designate what Paul described at 1Thes. 4:14-17.
It is based on what Jesus explicitly taught at Mark 13:27. "He will gather together HIS elect" out from earthly locations UNTO a heavenly location.
The theological and accepted term is the rapture.
Jesus explicitly stated that this "gathering" event will occur "after the tribulation."
There is really no explicit teaching in the Bible that indicates otherwise.
The fact remains that the rapture event is clearly a POST TRIBULATION event.
Traditionally, prior to the late 1800's this was the common understanding.
But the official postrib view has many obstacles when correlating all the pertinent end-times passages.
The prewrath view overcomes those obstacles and presents a clear harmony of all the passages.

Once the explicit teaching of a post-trib rapture is established, the discussion then should not involve pretrib vs. prewrath, BUT prewrath vs. posttrib.




Questions and comments are always welcome

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