Showing posts from November, 2022

Did the Early Church Fathers Believe in a Pretribulational Rapture?

UPDATE: I look back at this old paper and find some good arguments but, as I concluded, there is no smoking gun for the belief in a pretribulation Rapture among the early church fathers. I am more compelled now to say why: No, the early church fathers did not believe in a pre-tribulation Rapture, at least in the way Darby and dispensationalists ever since the 1800s have held it. They didn't believe it because the Bible didn't teach it--and they were much closer in time and place to the biblical authors. They did expect the imminent return of Christ--with no hint of an idea that they expected to escape the Great Tribulation (indeed, for much of the early church, the Roman Empire certainly proved a source of great tribulation!). They also believed in a millennium. What Scripture actually says has always been the standard to which we evangelical Christians have always claimed to hold. I hope to write more soon, but I think the "Pre-Wrath" Rapture--the idea that the chur