It seems as though Bible prophecy has a bad name these days. When believers in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture espouse this position, there are numerous “Christians” who ridicule the notion that Jesus will come back for His church in a timely manner. Why is this such a strange and unpopular notion?
If these scoffers were to look more deeply into Scripture, they would see that Pre-Trib is heavily supported through numerous passages. There are two contrasting Bible study techniques. One is called exegesis, while the other is called eisegesis. One is a valid way to understand God’s Word, the other is not.
Exegesis says that we should take Biblical text and read out of it what is there and apply that to our understanding through careful analysis. In other words, the text says what it says. Eisegesis takes the opposite approach, whereby someone reads into the text his preconceived notions and biases.
Just this simple description should make it clear what the most profitable means is of understanding God’s Word. Eisegesis is like math. Remember the saying: Figures don’t lie, but liars figure. So it is with how we treat the Bible. The Bible doesn’t lie, but liars lie about the Bible.
This particular blog post is not the point at which I’ll lay down the case for the Pre-Trib Rapture. Hopefully, over time I’ll expound on that. The point of all this is that Bible prophecy is rampant throughout the Bible, and it’s all true. Either it’s been fulfilled or it will be in the future. Prophecy comprises up to one-third of the Bible. It’s important, and God wants us to know that and to take it seriously. He also wants us to know His plans for the ages.
A famous statistic in this regard is that there are about 318 Biblical references to the first coming of Jesus. Each and every one of them was fulfilled. The odds against such a thing are beyond astronomical.
So, how do we read Bible prophecy and learn from God what He intends? Simple. We follow the Golden Rule of Interpretation. We take what the Bible says literally. A condensed version of this Golden Rule reads:
“When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense. Therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, visual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate text…clearly indicate otherwise.”
And that’s the problem with those who mock the Pre-Trib Rapture. They allegorize verses pertaining to it or make them them symbolic. They do the same with much of the Bible, particularly anything having to do with prophecy. In other words, they apply eisegesis to the Scriptures and read into them whatever they think in their fallible, human, sinful minds those passages should mean rather than taking the plain, literal sense of them.
The Apostle John—John the Revelator—warns us in the final chapter of the last book of the Bible against such folly. He writes in Revelation 22:18:
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll.
Isn’t someone who makes up things about what the Bible says adding to the words of this book? I certainly wouldn’t want to be those who stand before God at judgment with that mark against me, particularly after having been so succinctly warned.
Bible prophecy is for our benefit. It is to know God’s ultimate design for this world and beyond. More than anything, it is to both show His love to those who willingly follow Him and to warn of His wrath upon those who choose otherwise.