The Case for a Post-Tribulation Rapture 3
2. THE POST TRIBULATION PERSPECTIVE
Unique to the post tribulation position is the literal interpretation of the phrase in the air from 1Thessalonians 4:17. The belief is that at the end of the tribulation, after discernable signs occur as setforth by Jesus and the apostles, Jesus will appear in the sky. The saints who have previosly died willcome with him, while the Christians who have survived the great tribulation will be caught up (raptured)to receive their resurrected bodies (all the saints will) and meet Jesus in the sky before he touches footon the earth. This will not be a secret event that unbelievers will be uninformed of, but ratherunmistakably public and very very loud (1 Thess. 4:16-17 is considered the noisiest passage in the bible).Saints will shoot up like roman candles to meet Jesus in the air as the earth watches and mourns.
2.1 ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF THE POST TRIBULATION PERSPECTIVE
The blessed hope of the early church in all known writings is the Second Coming of Jesus to the earth,not a pre-tribulation rapture into heaven. This is more fully developed in the following section usingBiblical texts, but for now the extra-biblical Christian writings of the first and second century will beobserved, that it might be made known what the belief was of the disciples of the apostles.The Didache is called the first Christian catechism by many and even considered canonical by some earlyChristian Fathers
. This compilation of Christian doctrine was written close to the end of the firstcentury
, and the sixteenth chapter included a call for the church to prepare themselves to go throughthe tribulation, that they might not succumb to the deception of the antichrist
. Furthermore, earlyChristians including Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, the Shepherd of Hermas, and Hippolytus, have writtendocuments which warn of the Antichrist and his kingdom persecuting the church during the greattribulation. Irenaeus even clearly states that the resurrection of the church takes place after the comingof the Antichrist
. Enoch, who walked with God and even prophesied the great flood of Genesisthrough his son named Methusalah (when he dies it will come), also may have understood eschatology
"Canon 85" (approved at the Orthodox Synod of Trullo in 692); Rufinus,
Commentary on Apostles Creed 37
(as Deuterocanonical) c. 380; John of Damascus
Exact Exposition of Orthodox Faith
4.17; and the81-book canon of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church
Draper, JA (2006),
The Apostolic Fathers: the Didache
, Expository Times, Vol.117, No.5, p.178
Kirkby, Peter (2001),
Didache: the teaching of the twelve apostles.
Retrieved Feb. 14, 2010 fromhttp://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/didache-lake.html
Kirkby, Peter (2001),
Irenaeus of Lyons: Book V.
Retrieved Feb. 14, 2010 fromhttp://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/irenaeus-book5.html