Common errors by popular teachers of the pretribulation rapture
I have found that these errors are usually taught together, and have a common source. They come from the Baptist group who believes in the heresy, or error, of "once saved always saved". The famous teachers among this group include the following: From the Dallas Theological Seminary, John Walvoord & J. Dwight Pentecost, also, Tim LaHaye, Hal Lindsey, and many others. The error of "once saved always saved" blinds these men to the fact that the rapture is taught best through the wedding and the Feast of Trumpets. They have extreme difficulty with seeing that because then, they would be forced to see the rapture taught in the parable of the ten virgins in Matt 25:1-13, which is thoroughly incompatible with, and soundly refutes the doctrine of "once saved always saved".
Error # 1. Once saved always saved (OSAS). I believe this is untrue. Some who reject the pretribulation rapture have told me directly that they reject the doctrine because they know OSAS is untrue. Well, they should teach against OSAS then, as I do, and not teach against the other topic of the pre tribulation rapture. People can and do fall away, which refutes OSAS:
Luke 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
James 5: 19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.
Read Once Saved Always Saved, not fitting with scripture, for more.alwayssaved.htm
Error # 2. All Christians of the Church everywhere will be raptured up at once in the pre trib rapture. I believe this is untrue. Many lukewarm foolish & unready Christians will be left behind and they will weep and wail and gnash their teeth when they find they missed it and are in the tribulation. I hope and pray that does not include me. I fully recognize I could "fall away" (see error number one) and be spewed forth from Christ's mouth to be sent into the tribulation. My position, ironically, is discounted as a "partial rapture" because I believe only the "worthy" will "escape". It seems a rather strange accusation and semantic game, since those who teach OSAS do not believe every professing Catholic, nor do they believe every professing Christian, will be raptured. They say only "true Christians" will be raptured, which I would agree with. I suppose our difference lies in defining "true Christian". They say that anyone who is "truly born again" will be raptured.
Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
TO THE CHURCH in Laodicea, Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
It is this false notion that none in the Church will see tribulation that has caused many to reject the truth of pre trib rapture. In truth, only one of the seven Churches in Rev 2-3, Philadelphia, is promised the open door of the rapture.
See my collection of scriptures Who goes in the rapture? for more.
Error # 3. The rapture is imminent and can come "at any moment" or any day of the year at any time. I believe this is untrue. I have never read the words "imminent" nor "imminency" in scripture, and I have never read the words or concept "at any moment" rapture or return of Christ, nor have I read that we must remain in ignorance regarding the timing. This idea is a poor summary of many other verses which have better, more accurate and more literal explanations. In contrast to the "at any moment" idea, I believe there is a "time and season" (1 Thess 5:1) a "fixed time", (Acts 1:6-7) for the rapture. I believe...
[Amos 3:7] Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."
I believe that we are not to be ignorant, (not in darkness),
[1Thess 5:4] "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief."
I believe that ignorance, surprise, and not knowing the hour is a punishment of not watching, and does not apply to faithful believers who repent and watch:
[Revelation 3:3] "Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee."
[Luke 12:39] "And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through."
Mat 24:48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
Mat 24:49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
Mat 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
Mat 24:51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The doctrine of "imminency" is primarily based on verses that are similar to:
Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
The concept of "imminency" or "at any time", distorts the word of God and nullifies meaning. There is a better interpretation and explanation for the meaning of the phrase "ye know neither the day nor the hour" than the concept that "we will never know", which is incorrect and is a punishment that does not apply to us as Rev 3:3, Luke 12:39, and Matt 24:48-51 indicate. The best meaning is as follows:
The Feast of Trumpets happens on the "new moon", which is 29.5 days after the last one, meaning it might occur
on the 29th or 30th day, nobody knows for sure. The phrase, "Of that day or hour no man knows" is an expression referring to this feast, and thus, the rapture.
The phrase, "Of that day or hour no man knows, but my Father only" is an expression said by a groom when asked when his wedding will be. He says this because it is his Father that will tell him when his preparations on the bridal chamber are completed and it is time. So the wedding pictures the rapture.
At the 9th Annual Pre Trib Conference, Tim LaHaye gave a 10 page presentation on imminency. His paper said that imminency was primarily based on the verses which say "no man knows the day or hour". After his presentation, I said that others believe that those verses are best explained as referring to the Feast of Trumpets, and that the rapture will happen on the Feast of Trumpets. I asked if that was the case, then it would mean that imminency is wrong, and how would he explain or refute such ideas. He was left speechless and had no answer, and tried to divert the question saying I should ask the co-author of the paper that contained the statement about how imminency rested primarily upon their understanding of the verses which say, "no man knows the day or hour".
See Chapter 11 of the Wedding Study for more.
I believe the verses which teach the Lord "cometh quickly", Revelation 3:11, Revelation 22:7, 12, 20, teach the manner of the pretribulation return (it happens quickly) as opposed to the post tribulation return (it happens over time during the battles leading up to Armageddon). The rapture happens quickly, "in a moment", at the specific time of the last trump, not "at any moment".
1 Cor 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
Error # 4. The Festivals of the Lord have nothing to do with the rapture. I believe this is untrue. The Festivals and the marriage have everything to do with explaining the rapture. The Festivals and the marriage tell a beautiful love story, the greatest love story ever told. I believe that at the rapture, Christ is coming for those who are really burning in their love for him, and that these marriage parallels are really important for explaining the context, meaning, and significance of the rapture, in addition to understanding the actual idioms like "coming as a thief" and "not know the day or the hour".
[Col 2:16] Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
[Col 2:17] Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
[Pss 81:3] Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. KJV
One of the ways the Feasts are ignored is that the false accusation, "they are for the Jews, or were fulfilled for the Jews, or will be fulfilled for the Jews." That is wrong. They are the "feasts of the LORD," and "the LORD spake...even these are my feasts" (Lev 23:1-2). And if the death of Jesus was for "Jews only", (since the death and resurrection fulfilled the three spring feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits), and those fulfillments were only for the Jews, then Christians are not saved. Pentecost, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit wasn't just for the Jews either. If there is a pattern of fulfillment at all, then these feasts will be fulfilled for all who believe, not just for the Jews.
See Feast of Trumpets in Scripture for more.
Error # 5. The pre trib doctrine was not revealed in the Old Testament, because the first time God revealed it was to Paul. I believe this is untrue. Paul explained and revealed what was in the Old Testament regarding the rapture, just as Jesus explained and revealed what was in the Old Testament regarding his resurrection. The mystery revealed to Paul "Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men" was "that the Gentiles should be fellowheirs", (Ephesians 3:3-6). Although men in other ages did not know or anticipate this idea, the concept of salvation coming to gentiles is taught both in Old Testament prophecy and within the Law itself which contained rules for adopting gentiles into the Jewish nation. Likewise, the rapture is contained in Old Testament prophecy, parallels, and within the feasts of the Lord, but men did not know it because it was concealed in scripture. "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing!" (Prov 25:2)
See both "Feast of Trumpets" and "Wedding Study in Scripture" for more.
Hosea 12:10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.
1Cor 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Feast of Trumpets in Scripture
Wedding Study in Scripture
Error # 6. Anticipating a certain time and/or date for the Lord's return is forbidden by scripture. I believe this is untrue. We are to watch and anticipate his return and we should be able to know, because we are not in darkness. An anticipation and expectation is not the same as a prophecy. Thus, we can and may have an expectation that the Rapture will occur on a certain Feast of the Lord, and we are neither "date setting" or "prophesying" or contradicting the verses which repeatedly exclaim "no man knows the day or hour".
[1Thess 5:4] But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
[Dan 12:9] And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
[Dan 12:10] Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
[Amos 3:7] Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
See my article on "date setting" for more.
27 verses; Is "Date Setting" BIBLICAL? 20 verses say the wise will know!
30 verses; Does God do things on Appointed Times?
Error #7. Matt 24 says nothing about the pre trib rapture, and is written to the Jews. I believe this is untrue. This idea is put forth to counter the post trib rapture view of Matt 24:29-31 which says "After the tribulation..." and describes what looks like the rapture. I will not address Matt 24:29 here, but there are many rapture references in Matt 24. Here are a few:
Matt 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Matt 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Matt 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
The unknown day and hour is another key reference to the Wedding and the Feast of Trumpets.
At the 9th Annual pretrib conference, I asked Dr. John Walvoord about Matt 24:40-41, because many see that those verses teach the rapture. He gave a response which I refute quite easily in my Commentary on Matthew 24
Error #8. The Church is not mentioned in Revelation Chapter 4 to 18, therefore the rapture must happen in Rev 4:1. This one is tricky. I agree, the word "church" is not used in Revelation. However, the church is strongly pictured in Revelation 12 as the "man child" or (the body of Christ) which John Darby recognized and taught. A weak argument for saying that Rev 4:1 pictures the rapture is the "absence of the word Church" in the subsequent chapters. The strong, and more correct argument for Rev 4:1 to be seen as an example of the rapture of the Church is because of the parallels of the trumpet, the command to "come up here" to heaven, and the open door. The "door" is also a symbol in Matt 25:1-13, and so they don't emphasize the "open door" as a valid comparison, because the parable of the ten virgins refutes the doctrine of "once saved always saved."
See the article at the following link for more:
Rev. 4:1 shows the pre tribulation rapture
Sometimes, those who would attack pre-trib, are really stumbled by the false teachings of the rapture put forth by the "once saved always saved" group of teachers, or are stumbled by the errors above. They say pre trib is false, because of the above false ideas AND/OR SEVERAL OTHER common false attacks. I think that the less a person has honestly tried to understand WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT THE PRE TRIBULATION RAPTURE, then the less they are able to understand it. I believe God has hidden the pre tribulation rapture from eyes that cannot see and ears that cannot hear.
Isaiah 44:18 They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.
Matthew 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
However, attaching lies to the truth is how Satan deceives. He takes what is good, and warps and twists it into evil things. The pre-trib rapture doctrine is what is good, the above ideas that Satan has somehow been able to attach to some people who believe in pre trib are what is evil. Just as sex in marriage is good, but prostitution is bad. In truth, sex in marriage is a very strong parallel that we, on earth, have in order to get a glimpse of the beauty and rewards that await us. The honeymoon in the bridal chamber is a strong earthly picture, or similitude, for humans regarding being in heaven with Jesus. Don't twist or misunderstand, there is no sex in heaven... But, we will come to know him intimately, face to face, and it will be beautiful.
1 Cor 2:9 "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
People who attack the false ideas surrounding the pre trib rapture, and conclude that the pre trib rapture itself is wrong are falling into error themselves. Don't throw out the baby with the bath water!
Rules of debate teach that such tactics are known as "straw man" arguments. They erect a false approximation of what they desire to destroy, and destroy the false image instead of the real thing. They knock down the "straw man", not the real teachings.
Rules of law show that certain things are inadmissible as evidence or irrelevant since they do not apply to the case at hand.
As men, we each are able, and responsible to read the Bible for ourselves, and understand it and act on it by faith through the power of the Holy Spirit. If one of my fellow believers and/or teachers of the pre tribulation rapture, or any other Bible doctrine, has a personal sin or other false teaching, that alone is not proof that any other such Bible teaching are in error. Men are the dirty bath water, and the Bible's words are pure and true.
The following scripture gets the point across:
1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
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