Why is “Imminence” an argument for pre-tribulational Rapture?

By: Dr. Earl Radmacher; ©1996
Bible Prophecy Questions Answered by Leading Christian Scholars.


Why is “Imminence” an argument for pre-tribulational Rapture?

Dr. Earl Radmacher: Well, if I were to narrow it down to one thing that is most convincing to me in the Scripture for the pre-tribulational Rapture, as a theologian who speaks on doctrine regularly, it would be the doctrine of the imminent return of the Lord; that is, the fact that there is no prophecy that needs to be fulfilled before Jesus Christ returns for His Church.
Now, it’s interesting to me that this has been believed as the teaching of the Scripture, both by those who don’t believe the Scripture, and by those who do. For example, I could go to a liberal commentary like C. K. Barrett’s Commentary on John, and he says, “There is no question about the fact that all of the apostles believed in the imminent return of the Lord.” Now, he said they were wrong, and, of course, that’s often a liberal argument to say that they believed that and they were wrong. But we need to start with: What did they believe? What does the text teach?

So, when you come to a passage like James Chapter 5, and he is warning the Christians concerning their attitudes towards those who work for them and he says, “Remember, the judge stands at the door.” That is, it can happen immediately. It may not happen for a long time, but it can happen immediately. So, there is no prophesied sign that needs to take place before the Lord Jesus comes.

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