Premillennialism and the Tribulation Part IX: Conclusion -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 113:451 (Jul 1956)
Article: Premillennialism and the Tribulation Part IX: Conclusion
Author: John F. Walvoord


Premillennialism and the Tribulation
Part IX:
Conclusion

John F. Walvoord

Conclusion: Fifty Arguments for Pretribulationism

In previous discussion of premillennialism in relation to the tribulation, the respective arguments for pretribulationism, partial rapture, posttribulationism, and midtribulationism have been examined, and the pretribulational position in general sustained. By way of conclusion and summary, some fifty arguments for pretribulationism can now be proposed. It is not presumed that the statement of these arguments in themselves establishes their validity, but rather that the previous discussion supports and justifies this summary of reasons for the pretribulational view.

For the sake of brevity, the term rapture or translation

is used for the coming of Christ for His church, while the term second coming is uniformly used as a reference to His coming to the earth to establish His millennial kingdom, an event which all consider posttribulational. While the words rapture and translation are not quite identical, they refer to the same event. By the term rapture reference is made to the fact that the church is “caught up” from the earth and taken to heaven. By the term translation the thought is conveyed that those who are thus raptured are transformed in their physical bodies from natural and corruptible bodies to spiritual, incorruptible, and immortal bodies. Strictly speaking, the dead are raised while the living are translated.

In common usage, however, this distinction is not normally maintained.

In the discussion the posttribulational view is considered the principal contender against pretribulationism and is primarily in mind in the restatement of the arguments. The other positions, however, are also mentioned in so far as they oppose pretribulationism on some special point. The preceding discussion has pointed to the preponderance of argument in support of the pretribulational position, and the following restatement should serve to clarify the issues involved.

I. Historical Argument

1. The early church believed in the imminency of the Lord’s return, which is an essential doctrine of pretribulationism.

2. The detailed development of pretribulational truth during the past few centuries does not prove that the doctrine is new or novel. Its development is similar to that of other major doctrines in the history of the church.

II. Hermeneutics

3. Pretribulationism is the only view which allows a literal interpretation of all Old and New Testament passages on the great tribulation.

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