The End Times Part VI: Rapture Anxiety

I have written before about suffering from salvation anxiety and demon anxiety. I was surprised how many others chimed in to say they had shared my experiences. There’s a third kind of anxiety to be discussed, though, and that is rapture anxiety.

Many Premillennialists believe that the rapture is imminent. As in, really imminent. When I was a child I asked my dad when he thought the rapture would take place. His answer? In the next five or ten years. This sort of thinking is not at all uncommon in these circles.

Fear 1: Being “Left Behind” 

If you’ve ever read the Left Behind books, you’ll learn that being a Christian isn’t a guarantee of being raptured. Rather, you have to be a real Christian, and not be just faking. But it’s really hard to tell the difference sometimes. In the first Left Behind book, one of the main characters was an evangelical pastor who was left behind. It just so happened that he thought too much of his own importance and didn’t trust Jesus as his savior enough. Take a look at my salvation anxiety post linked above to see how complicated being saved can sometimes be for an evangelical Christian.

As a result, I was very afraid the rapture might occur and I might be left behind. One morning when I was ten or twelve I woke up and couldn’t find anyone in the house. Before I realized that my mom and siblings had simply gone outside to enjoy the beautiful morning, I completely freaked, convinced that the rapture had occurred and I had been left behind. That fear was real and palpable.

Sometimes one of my siblings would change in the morning or later in the day and just leave a pile of clothes on the floor rather than putting them in the hamper. Sometimes I would come upon just such a pile of clothes and take fright, fearing that maybe my sibling had been raptured and I had been left.

I’m not the only one who felt this way, either, as a commenter on the first post in my end times series revealed:

Katherine Lorraine

I was pre-trib, pre-millenial, and it terrified me cause of my transgenderism and bisexuality that God would see through the veneer of myself closeting myself and judge me cause I still suffered the sin of being attracted to males and wanting to be a woman.

Woke up many nights when it was silent, thinking my family got raptured, to have to sneak down the hall to peek in on my sister to see if she was still in her bed. It was nightmarish and scary, and I hated it.

I don’t remember all the names, but there were also movies we watched about the end times, movies that portrayed people being left behind and suddenly realizing how they’d been wrong and misunderstood the gospel, etc. These sorts of things only only served to feed my anxiety. 

Fear 2: Never really getting the chance to live

The Bible says there will be no marrying in heaven, and no having children. Given that I was being raised to see being a wife and mother as my highest calling, and given that I was a bit of a little romantic, the idea that I might be raptured before marrying and having children, and thus never marry or have children, frightened me.

You know what’s weird? Because of the imminent nature of the rapture, I never pictured myself in old age. I didn’t think I would live that long. I only hoped to live long enough to marry and have a passel of children, and I felt that even that was pushing it.

I knew that the rapture was something we were to look forward to and embrace, as it would transport us directly to heavenly bliss, but this world we are in today is so much more tangible than the idea of heaven, especially for a child. I was just beginning to live life. I didn’t want to leave it so soon, even to be transported straight to heaven.

Tribulation Anxiety

I have learned since, though, that I was in some sense lucky. While I worried primarily about the rapture and very little about the Tribulation itself, those who are raised to believe in a Postribulationist rapture grow up having very different concerns and anxieties relating to the end times. To illustrate, I’ll quote from some comments on the first post in my end times series:

Jemand:

We were posttribulationists. I had plans, where would I run with my siblings, as the oldest, I figured my parents would maybe be able to stall the authorities long enough for me to get the rest of us gone.

We’d hide until we were finally caught and tortured until we either died or recanted faith and went to hell.

I would regularly cause myself minor amounts of various kinds of pain in order to “prepare” myself for withstanding said torture…

ARB:

I grew up Postribulationist as well and my parents (who loved the Terminator movies) took on a sort of Sarah Connor approach to training us for the end of days. Whenever we’d complain about having to walk to school in freezing rain it’d be “what are you gonna do when we’re hiding in the woods somewhere!”

As I described in part IV of this series, the Tribulation is to be a time of horror, plague, famine, death, and persecution. And kids growing up in families who believed in a Postribulation rapture had to deal with growing up believing that they would have to live through that time – and probably wouldn’t make it.

Conclusion

I wonder sometimes if parents realize what messages they send their children with these sorts of teachings. Do Premillennialist parents realize that their children may suffer from rapture anxiety or Tribulation anxiety? I’m really not sure. I know I never talked to my parents about my rapture anxiety, I just took it as a matter of course.

I also wonder about the short term thinking I had. Was I alone in not picturing myself growing old? Or do most kids not think very far ahead anyway? I do think that my belief that I had only ten or so years left to live seriously affected how I viewed the world and my future. I also know that this is the case for at least some adult Premillennialists. Why save for retirement, after all, if you’re not going to be around to retire anyway?

When I left my parents’ beliefs, my entire sense of time, history, and the future changed. As a result of my parents’ Young Earth Creationism and Premillennialism, I saw the entire history of the world as beginning in 4004 B.C.E. and ending, well, any year now. Six thousand concrete years, holding all of civilization and history within it. When I left these beliefs, though, this entire conception suddenly broadened, shooting out on both ends. Suddenly there was this whole history going back millions and even billions of years into the past, and this whole future stretching out thousands and thousands of years to come. My understanding of my place in space and time changed completely.

And yes, I’m saving for retirement. :-P

Also in this series: 

Part I – The Millennium, Tribulation, and Rapture

Part II – Social Justice, Dominionism, and the Culture Wars

Part III – Dispensationalism

Part IV – The Tribulation in Detail

Part V – Signs, Prophesies, and Current Events

Part VI: Rapture Anxiety

Part VII: Dispensational Premillennialism’s Recent Origins


About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Liriel

    I’ve seen similar tales from others who also had rapture-scares as children. I wonder how many of the adults around them think those scares are either cute or funny or just good for the child’s soul? I don’t know. I’m sure others would just be reassuring and comforting.

    BTW, did you mean “imminent”? I thought you did, but until Googling, I didn’t know “immanent” was a word. Learn something every day, I guess.

    • Libby Anne

      Stupid typos. Thanks!

  • John Morales

    [meta]

    Immanent → imminent.

    (Not that your meaning is not abundantly clear)

  • sithrazer

    The phrase ‘Left Behind’ immediately brought this song to mind Far Behind

    Those descriptions of tribulation/rapture anxiety almost remind me of nuclear apocalypse hysteria. My parents grew up in the 50′s/60′s and still recall the drills and having to duck under their desks at school. The big difference being that there’s no confusion about whether or not a nuclear weapon has detonated.

    and of course, nuclear apocalypse makes me think of this song.

    • Contrarian

      Of course, nuclear apocalypse was a very real threat in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s! Those “duck-and-cover” drills were important preparation in case of nuclear assault.

      The Rapture, not so real.

      • leftwingfox

        Those “duck-and-cover” drills were important preparation in case of nuclear assault.

        While the threat may be real, “Duck and Cover” was more of a psych-op than an actual survival tactic; a way for people to be less afraid of the nuclear threat. Unfortunately there was a fair bit of nuclear war propaganda in this vein.

        “The House in the Middle” was one such film, which explained that a clean and tidy home would save your life in a nuclear blast, because it wouldn’t catch fire. What they DIDN’T tell you was that if it was hot enough to ignite the newspaper on your living room table, then it was more than hot enough to instantly cook your lungs if you inhaled. You can see the video here:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGJcwaUWNZg

        At least with threats grounded in reality, skepticism and science can help understand the misinformation and assess the fears. It’s bad enough that fantasy and theology try to twist themselves in ways to resist rationality, but it’s even worse when the tools that can free you of this thinking are cast as quickest pass to damnation.

      • KG

        First, just a note on how informative, and enjoyably readable, this series is – thanks Libby Anne.

        I was going to make comparisons with non-religious end-of-the-world fears also. I was just too young to be afraid during the Cuban Missile Crisis – 8 – and remember repeating something I must have heard without understanding, that it was “time for a showdown” (I did “know” the Russians were the baddies, and you had to stand up to baddies), and my elder brother (all of 10) replying angrily and quite rightly “You know nothing about it!”. During the early 1980s I was shit scared (and right to be: google “Stanislav Petrov” and “Able Archer” for two near misses in 1983, while Reagan was burbling about the “Evil Empire”), and had quite a number of dreams of nuclear war breaking out. I’m not sure whether such fears, with a basis in reality, are easier to deal with than religiously-based ones: at least I did not feel a war was inevitable, let alone in any sense right, and did feel there were actions I could (and did) take to oppose those making it more likely – but I don’t know how children at that time felt – there wasn’t an overt crisis with an obviously imminent danger of war, as over Cuba. I’m also sorry I never asked my parents, who were 13 and 11 when Hitler came to power, whether they saw war coming and worried about it.

  • Ana

    I was raised in the Assembly of God, and firmly believed pre-tribulation rapture. I clearly remember praying that God would let me fall in love and have a baby before he raptured us, as ridiculous as that was. Sometimes I even thought maybe it would be best to be left behind, so I could have those 7 years more! The idea that I only had 5-10 years more to live was definitely the scariest. I used to spin stories of what would happen if I was left behind, living in hidden communities in the sewers, in a kind of Fallout fantasy, but sometimes I would panic and cry myself to sleep scared of being left alone.

  • Elise

    I teach English as a Second Language, and many of my students are from war-torn countries. The other day, I accidentally caused my students to flashback to their time in their home countries. (background: A student asked for a definition of ‘disturbing’, and on the fly, I said it was a sick feeling, like when you see body parts in a horror film) My poor poor students. We spent the next class talking about mental health (I suffer from PTSD, too, so it normalised their own feelings), resources, etc.

    My point: These people lived through a sort of tribulation. I would not wish it on anyone. And I think asking children to take part in it is criminal.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Anybody know what percentage of Christians truly believe this garbage?

    • Libby Anne

      This link has some info. It says 40% of Americans believe that Jesus will return before 2050.

      • grumpyoldfart

        Thanks for the link – I’m surprised, I thought it might have been closer to 4%. There is no underestimating the gullibility of the faithful.

      • Jay

        EVERY person I knew growing up, all the Christian in my family and school believes this. I heard it all the time – “when the rapture comes…”, or “if we stay on Earth that long…”. We left notes for non-Christians too, explaining where we were if many of us were gone. And I had similar fears as Libby Anne – seeing clothes and fearing the rapture, or finding the house empty and fearing the rapture. One of the movies had a scene where a woman enters the house and finds a pot left boiling on the stove and panics – but later finds out the family was outside, not raptured.

      • Pteryxx

        …*jawdrop*

  • Gordon

    You would think that after over 1000 years “any day now” would ring hollow, but apparently it doesn’t.

    • ScottInOH

      If God is eternal, then even a million years could seem like a day…

      • Gordon

        But that doesn’t explain the feeling of urgency. “Any million years now” wouldn’t have girls hoping that they lived long enough to have kids.

  • jeffengel

    I wonder sometimes if parents realize what messages they send their children with these sorts of teachings. Do Premillennialist parents realize that their children may suffer from rapture anxiety or Tribulation anxiety?

    I would think that parents who sincerely believe these teachings believe rapture and tribulation anxiety are at worst necessary evils and at best useful reminders for their children. Best to avoid the things that put you at risk for what scares you – be the best Christians you can be and Rapture won’t leave you behind, practice the skills and cultivate the attitudes that will see your faith through the Tribulations intact. (Your body now, it’s disposable, and don’t you forget it!)

    Given their beliefs, inflicting these anxieties wouldn’t seem a terrible thing. The problems are that their beliefs are wrong, their ways of forming and retaining beliefs are wrong, and that none of it is harmlessly wrong. (Well – it’s possible some of these parents would be abusive without their religion, or without these specific dogmas, but I have no reason to think it of them more than parents in general.)

  • http://madam-eglentyne.tumblr.com/ Clytia

    I loved the Left Behind books, and they seemed completely plausible, and I believed in a pre-trib rapture, though at the time the idea was new to me (I don’t think my parents had ever given it too much thought). I don’t recall any rapture or tribulation anxiety though. And I definitly recall thinking of myself as getting old one day, and having grandchildren.
    In many ways I think I got mixed messages from my parents. In some ways because my parents differ from each other in some aspects of their beliefs (for example, I think my dad is a feminist, whereas my mum isn’t), but also because though in some ways their heads are in the sky, they’re a bit realistic about life too. They see saving for retirement as important, even though they believe Jesus could return “any day now”. But, as dad would probably say, that “any day now” could be tomorrow, or it could be next century. Best to be on the safe side with that retirement fund.

  • Ray Moscow

    I wonder sometimes if parents realize what messages they send their children with these sorts of teachings.

    Yes, of course they realise. It’s just that they chose ‘pleasing God’ over being kind to their own children.

    Do they love their kids? Only as a distant echo of how much they love God, or at least can be seen to be ‘loving God’.

    Why? Because their kids aren’t going to send them to hell for failing to love them enough, are they?

  • http://www.misterwoodles.com Neal Edwards

    The minister at my family church once made the very dramatic statement: “99% sure is 100% lost”. What is that if not fear-inducing for a child?

  • http://loreleitracy.etsy.com LoreleiHI

    /sigh

    Please keep in mind, I was brought up in what is a Pentecostal fundamentalist cult. Let’s put it this way, Four Square and AG pastors spoke with my parents’ pastor, and they told me it was a cult, and not to worry about walking away.

    I grew up the scapegoat, not just of the family, but of the church. My father has a sick, nasty sense of humor. I loved to read, but was often grounded (no books except the bible and schoolwork), so I’d pore over Strong’s Concordance and my KJV, with a Scofield Reference at hand. By the time I was 15, I’d read the bible cover to cover at least 12 times.

    I believed in the Rapture. It was harped on constantly in church, and I was at the church AT LEAST 3 times a week.

    Something my father used to like to do was pick up my siblings from school (without telling me), and the rest of the family would go out. Movies, dinner, visits to relatives… and I’d get home and no one was there and there was no note. Most of the time we didn’t have a TV, and I wasn’t allowed to turn on the radio. There was no internet, and if there had been, I wouldn’t be allowed to use it.

    I’m bisexual, leaning towards lesbian. I’d been sexually abused, and was exorcised regularly for my ‘Demon of Bitterness’ (this involved being dragged to the front, ‘prayed’ over, and usually hit and pushed around until you fell, where you were kicked and stepped on).

    How could someone with a demon go in the rapture?

    And every time my father did this, I was home alone for hours, sometimes a day or so, with NO IDEA what was going on.

    I lived my life in so many different kinds of terror. :(

    Thank you, Libby.

    • KG

      How dreadful that you had to go through that – and how brave of you to relate it. It sounds as though your father would have been a thoroughly nasty piece of work whatever his beliefs, but fundamentalist religion does often seem to go with vicious scapegoating of the kind you suffered.

      • http://loreleitracy.etsy.com LoreleiHI

        LOL thanks.

        I’m used to it now, I’ve had to tell so many people. He went to jail, thankfully. Of course my mother is still with him. /shrug

        I’m doing pretty well. I’ve been in therapy since I became an adult. Thanks!

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      That…is one of the most horrible, disturbing things I’ve ever heard. I am so sorry all of this happened to you. And I hope that you have since been able to find some support and healing for the many, many layers of abuse and re-victimization that were heaped upon you when you were young.

      This stuff makes me so angry…

  • RickR

    Can’t all of this “Rapture Anxiety”, “Tribulation Anxiety” etc. be boiled down to a simple fear of (and denial of) the inevitable fact of death?

    The whole concept behind the Rapture- being sucked up to heaven without actually dying- when looked at in any kind of detail, makes it obvious that, as Fred Clark points out, there is no meaningful difference between “Raptured” and “Dead”.

  • Coph

    I clearly remember lying in bed when I was a young teen and hearing a far-off train whistle. A lot of the time, it was distorted by the distance, and every time, I’d freeze and start to panic, because to me, it sounded faintly like a trumpet– my family’s church taught that everyone would likely hear the angels’ trumpets signaling that it was TIME. I’d always get up and check my baby brother’s room, because I knew that if he was gone, I’d been left.

    I’m a lot better now, but every now and then, I’ll hear something trumpetlike and just freeze for a moment.

  • http://whoireallyaminside.blog.com/ Jenn

    Off this topic, but I missed your post on demon anxiety. This was my real worry. I was constantly afraid I was going to open myself up to demon possession by thinking the wrong thoughts. I read all of Frank Peretti’s books and was convinced Satan was working behind the scenes to thwart God’s plans, which usually meant leading people astray.

    Even though I was brought up believing the only way for salvation was accepting that Jesus had died for my sins, there was still anxiety that I would not be saved because I allowed the evil influences inside.

    I couldn’t watch horror movies for years after I left my church. My husband thought it was incredibly odd that I could ever believe that anything in a horror movie was real (at least an outrageous monster movie type), but I believed so strongly in demons that just the thought of them frightened me – even after I no longer believed.

  • Ace of Sevens

    Thankfully, my dad thought this was all bullshit and a recent invention from combing unrelated verses (even though he always went to churches that pushed it), so I didn’t have to worry about Jesus coming back when I was doing something embarrassing.

  • Merula

    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    I used to frequently beg God that he would “tarry a while longer” so I could get married and have children. But I wanted the rapture to come while they were still young so they would be saved and they wouldn’t have had time for the same desires for love and a family.

    My sister had frequent anxiety, when she was young, if we were all in the car or outside and she woke up from a nap she would start crying because she thought she had been left behind. This is at ages 4-8.

    I also had a secondary plan if I wasn’t a good enough christian to be raptured. I decided to get killed by being shot early for declaring my faith, I hated the idea of torture and was scared I would break down if I was tortured so I thought finding some angry atheist was the best was to go about getting to heaven if I missed the first bus so to speak.

    Damn I was a screwed up little kid!

    • Rosa

      did you get any corresponding education about what it would be like for those we were raptured?

      I didn’t get the end-of-the-world stuff in the mainline church I grew up in, but I remember being in 4th or 5th grade and being really disturbed by the idea that in heaven there were no families – that was how the part about no marriage in heaven, from Matthew, was explained to me, that in heaven everyone will love each other so much, the way we love our parents and siblings, but everyone, so it wouldn’t be like in the world with us loving our families more than everyone else.

      Anyway, the “please hold off, i want to have kids!” stuff seems almost Mormon to me, but I’m sure it’s not meant the same way at all.

  • http://www Marylouise Pigott

    Good description. I love see clearly IMDB

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Daniel Fincke

    Do you find this more cruel or funny, Libby Anne?

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0VYLFdhzZ8&w=420&h=315

  • Rebecca

    Great post, Libby Anne, powerfully evocative. I’ve come late to the discussion, but wow – so many chords have been struck in both your column and the comments, after a childhood spent in dread of both the rapture and the imminent nuclear holocaust. A story I wrote on the 40th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis was used by the CBC, and some readers here might find it interesting/amusing/similarly evocative. Here’s the link:
    http://www.scrollpress.com/bradley/1962Planning.pdf

  • http://anexerciseinfutility.blogspot.com tommykey

    Being interested in astronomy, upon becoming an atheist, I found it absurd to believe that some intelligent being would create a universe filled with billions of galaxies each filled with billions of planets, but somehow our little planet was the one critical battleground in a conflict between the forces of good and evil.

    Over time, I developed my human egocentrism argument, which basically posits that any manmade religion will depict a god whose primary concern is the behavior of human beings. Thus, if two bonobos of the same gender give each other sexual pleasure, it’s just bonobos being bonobos, but if Adam kisses Steve instead of Eve, it causes the creator of the universe to engage in a furniture smashing tantrum in his celestial living room.

    Many religious believers take it absolutely to heart that humanity is a special creation of god and that we have some special purpose, and without that belief, like seems bleak and hopeless. I, on the other hand, find it amazing that we are part of a process that stretches back billions of years and will roll on for billions of years more.

    There’s a line by James Earl Jones character in Field of Dreams that basically sums up Earth’s history, with a slight paraphrasing:

    “[Earth] has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again.”

    You look at plate tectonics and can see how the positions of the continents has changed radically over the eons, sometimes joining together and then breaking apart. During that enormous stretch of time, life forms arose and then became extinct, the climate has changed from very cold to very hot to in between.

    And now here we are, with the intelligence and ability to be able to contemplate it all, to understand the impact that we have on this planet, and to possess the ability to alter our destiny based on decisions we make. That to me is much more profound than believing we’re just pawns in some cosmic struggle between two supernatural beings. Of course, that’s just me.

    • a miasma of incandescent plasma

      Of course, that’s just me.

      Nah, you can count me in. That’s 2, at least…

  • Marshall

    One morning when I was ten or twelve I woke up and couldn’t find anyone in the house. Before I realized that my mom and siblings had simply gone outside to enjoy the beautiful morning, I completely freaked, convinced that the rapture had occurred and I had been left behind. That fear was real and palpable.

    Sometimes one of my siblings would change in the morning or later in the day and just leave a pile of clothes on the floor rather than putting them in the hamper. Sometimes I would come upon just such a pile of clothes and take fright, fearing that maybe my sibling had been raptured and I had been left.

    This mirrors my experience almost EXACTLY. Thanks for actually taking these topics on, I haven’t seen nearly enough of that, and it definitely helps to know that I’m not the only one to have experienced this sort of thing.

  • http://www.brooksandsparrow.com Angelia Sparrow

    I was 19 when I missed a time change. I forgot to sent my clock back an hour. So I was up an hour before everyone else in the small college town. I showered, dressed and walked to breakfast, thinking to be early in line and maybe get some bacon while it was still crispy (steam tables wilt it). The dining room was closed.

    No one was in the building. No one was on campus at all. No cars moved in the streets.

    I walked to church and it was closed and locked, when it should be open, with the pastor’s wife starting the coffee.

    It was 1987, so no cell phone. I was firmly convinced i had been left behind to endure famine and torture and death by giant hail stone.

    Because not everyone is saved, you know. There aer people who do miracles in the name of Jesus whom he won’t acknowledge, so what hope does an ordinary person have, let alone a closeted bisexual shammer like me?

    My boyfriend showed up at the right time and I BAWLED when i saw him. Because if he’d been left behind, there was no real hope at all. He reminded me it was Daylight savings.

    I felt like a complete idiot and that was when i started losing my premillennialist beliefs.

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  • LizSmith17

    I had completely forgotten until I read this, but I used to actually really hope the Rapture would happen in my lifetime. I could never *quite* convince myself I was saved, or that God was real, so I thought if the Rapture happened at least I’d know. I had forgotten how long ago I started having doubts.

  • Lori

    [Hi Love... Sharing what I spied not long ago on the surprising web.]

    PRETRIB RAPTURE SECRETS

    How can the “rapture” be “imminent”? Acts 3:21 says that Jesus “must” stay in heaven (He’s now there with the Father) “until the times of restitution of all things” which includes, says Scofield, “the restoration of the theocracy under David’s Son” which obviously can’t begin before or during Antichrist’s reign. (“The Rapture Question,” by the long time No. 1 pretrib authority John Walvoord, didn’t dare to even list, in its scripture index, the too-hot-to-handle Acts 3:21!) Since Jesus can’t even leave heaven before the tribulation ends (Acts 2:34,35 echo this), the rapture therefore can’t take place before the end of the trib! (The same Acts verses were also too hot for John Darby – the so-called “father of dispensationalism” – to list in the scripture index in his “Letters”!)
    Paul explains the “times and the seasons” (I Thess. 5:1) of the catching up (I Thess. 4:17) as the “day of the Lord” (5:2) which FOLLOWS the posttrib sun/moon darkening (Matt. 24:29; Acts 2:20) WHEN “sudden destruction” (5:3) of the wicked occurs! The “rest” for “all them that believe” is tied to such destruction in II Thess. 1:6-10! (If the wicked are destroyed before or during the trib, who’d be left alive to serve the Antichrist?) Paul also ties the change-into-immortality “rapture” (I Cor. 15:52) to the posttrib end of “death” (15:54). (Will death be ended before or during the trib? Of course not! And vs. 54 is also tied to Isa. 25:8 which is Israel’s posttrib resurrection!)
    Many are unaware that before 1830 all Christians had always viewed I Thess. 4’s “catching up” as an integral part of the final second coming to earth. In 1830 this “rapture” was stretched forward and turned into a separate coming of Christ. To further strengthen their novel view, which the mass of evangelical scholars rejected throughout the 1800s, pretrib teachers in the early 1900s began to stretch forward the “day of the Lord” (what Darby and Scofield never dared to do) and hook it up with their already-stretched-forward “rapture.” Many leading evangelical scholars still weren’t convinced of pretrib, so pretrib teachers then began teaching that the “falling away” of II Thess. 2:3 is really a pretrib rapture (the same as saying that the “rapture” in 2:3 must happen before the “rapture” ["gathering"] in 2:1 can happen – the height of desperation!).
    Other Google articles on the 182-year-old pretrib rapture view include “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” “Pretrib Rapture Scholar Wannabes,” “Famous Rapture Watchers,” “Pretrib Rapture Diehards,” “X-Raying Margaret,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Walvoord Melts Ice,” “Wily Jeffrey,” “The Rapture Index (Mad Theology),” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Roots of (Warlike) Christian Zionism,” “Scholars Weigh My Research,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Deceiving and Being Deceived,” and “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty” – all by the author of the bestselling book “The Rapture Plot” (see Armageddon Books).

  • Ember

    “I also know that this is the case for at least some adult Premillennialists. Why save for retirement, after all, if you’re not going to be around to retire anyway?”

    Also provides a rationale for not caring about the environment. 1.) Who cares about air polulution – God will be creating a new heaven and a new earth. 2.) Environmental degregation will help bring about the end times faster which is a good thing.

  • Ember

    I work for a large social services organization that is also a church. One day I was speaking to our director of Emergency Services. He made a comment about all of the training he was giving to the various people in the churches and how during the Tribulations things would be tougher because all the people he was training would be raptured. I agreed with him and suggested that he should have a training program for nonbelievers. Parents could get their nonchurch attendee kids to attend a free course called “Survival Skills: how you can prepare for natural disaters, Acts of God and the Tribulation.” The church could also sell “Tribulation Survival Kits” and parents could leave it for their kids in their Wills. Initially he seemed to think this was a good idea, but as I went on he realized I was joking. I’m usually more diplomatic, but I just remember being terrorized by the Tribulation as a child. I guess his comment triggered a rather passive-aggressive response. He doesn’t really talk to me anymore which is too bad ’cause he seems like a nice guy. But, I have to admit, thinking about it still makes me chuckle.

    • Rosie

      There is somebody out there selling “insurance”, in which he agrees to take care of your pets if you’re raptured. He’s an atheist, of course.

  • http://jiaekwaek.edu giawawjaeh

    I am not sure where you’re getting your information, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic info I was looking for this The End Times Part VI: Rapture Anxiety for my mission.


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