The vaunted pre-tribulation rapture as taught in the Left Behind eschatology (Dispensational Premillennialism) has no basis in scripture. There is no passage in the Old Testament that teaches of a pre-tribulation (or for that matter a mid-tribulation, or post-tribulation) rapture. There is no passage in the New Testament that teaches of a pre-tribulation rapture. None. Zero. Zilch.
Millions of Christians take it on faith that the pre-tribulation rapture must be easily defended by an appeal to scripture, because their pastor tells them it's true and their church elevates it to a standard of orthodoxy. But nothing could be further from the truth: there is no scriptural basis for the doctrine.
This is all part of rather strange truth: the Left Behinders pride themselves on a literal interpretation of scripture. The problem: they are in fact not very literal. Not very literal at all.
For example, the Left Behind series begins with a Russian attack on
, thwarted by super-natural intervention. This is supposed to be a *cough* “literal” interpretation of the attack by the enemies of Israel as related in Ezekiel 38 and 39. That attack describes bows and arrows, and concerns livestock and gold and is made possible by un-walled Jewish cities. Well the un-walled cities fits—but seems hardly worth mentioning given that in the 21st century (surely the prophecy will be fulfilled soon! In our lifetime! Promise!) no cities are walled. But bows and arrows? These are "literally" jets and missiles? Gimme a break. Israel
Not to mention that the fabricated connection to
comes from “the Prince of Rosh” of Ezekiel 38:2. But the Rosh does not even refer to a people let alone the Russians. It means head or chief—and it is used that way many times in the Old Testament. It is the same Rosh that we find in Rosh Hashanah, meaning the head of the year. Russia
Also, the prophesy indicates only that the attack comes from the northerly direction—not necessarily that the aggressors come from a nation to the north.
What is the attack described in Ezekiel 38 and 39? We can’t be as sure about what it is as we can be about what it isn’t (a Russian attack on
.) The best fit would be the Jews withstanding attacks from Persian aggressors as described in the book of Esther. There bows and arrows would mean (I know it's not very sexy)—bows and arrows. Not what they “lterally” mean to the Left Behinders: modern jet aircraft, artillery, and missiles. Israel