Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Differing Views of the Rapture: Part 6 Partial


Premillennialists largely condemn this view but it should be mentioned in a paper of this nature. A small group of pretribulationists believe that only those who are most faithful to the church will be caught up at the beginning of the Tribulation period.[1] The worldlier will be caught up later in a series of raptures during or at the end of the Tribulation period as they are ready.[2] Scripture used to support this view generally include Matt. 14:40-51; 25:13; Mark 13:33-37; Luke 20:34-36; 21:36; Philippians 3:10-21; 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 2 Timothy 4:8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:24-28; Revelation 3:3; 12:1-6.[3] Pretribulationists eagerly point out that these passages of Scripture, as used by the partial Rapture view, make no distinction between Israel and the church.

The exegesis used to arrive at partial Rapture does seem questionable. While seemingly well supported by Scripture, the view has serious problems. Among these are the division of the body of Christ and the fact that Scripture clearly teaches that all of those who believe in Christ will be translated (1 Thess. 4:14-17; cf. 1 Thess. 1:9-10; 2:19, 5:4-11; Rev. 22:12).[4] Walvoord states that this view is not accepted by any evangelical Protestant group and is outside the bounds of Premillennialism.[5]

[1] Clouse, R. G., (Elwell, Walter A., ed.). Evangelical Dictionary of Theology 2nd Edition. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001), 985.

[2] Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology 2nd Edition. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1998), 1230.

[3] Walvoord, John F. The Rapture Question, Revised and Enlarged Edition. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1979), 99-112. Walvoord provides the most extensive critique of this position of the resources used for this project. He dedicates 16 pages of his book treating this subject whereas other sources merely mention the Partial Rapture view in passing.

[4] Ibid, 112-13.

[5] Ibid.

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