Is 1 Corinthians 11:26 Evidence for Pretribulation Imminence? – Ep. 99

I responded to another pretrib proof text for imminence that is supposed to prove the doctrine of an any-moment rapture.

“For every time you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).

Many pretribulationists think this verse indicates an imminent rapture since Paul does not mention any event that happens before Jesus’ coming. As with so many pretrib proof texts, this one is typical of a pretrib argument of silence. It ignores Paul’s purpose in his message, which is to teach that which he “received from the Lord what I also passed on to you” (1 Cor 11:23). He is concerned about the believer’s proper behavior and attitude behind the participation of Lord’s supper, where the eating the bread and drinking the cup functions to be an ongoing proclamation of the believer’s allegiance to the Lord for what he did for us on the cross. Believers are to examine their lives in light of who they are in Christ, and “in remembrance” of Jesus’ death they should look back to the cross and its meaning in their life continually until the Lord himself returns.

There is absolutely no hint of Paul being concerned about making some supposed imminence statement. That is a desperate attempt to maintain the tradition of imminence. To read imminence theology wholesale into Paul’s statement is first rank eisegesis (i.e. reading into the text). Paul’s purpose in this passage is not to discuss whether certain eschatological events will, or will not, happen in association with the Lord’s coming. To make this into an imminence proof text is to hijack Paul’s teaching and replace it with the theological tradition of a so-called any-moment rapture.

 

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