The Pretrib Contradiction exposes the weakness of pretribulation rapture theology. I explained two aspects to this contradiction. First, I talked about how the fifth seal relates (or does not relate) to Paul’s promise in 1 Thess 5:9 about believers not having to experience the day of the Lord’s wrath. Second, I highlighted elements in the fifth seal passage showing how it points to a future wrath, not a wrath that is happening at that time.
So, what is “The Pretrib Contradiction”?
I’ll put it in syllogistic terms to highlight the unsound pretrib logic:
Premise 1: Pretribulationism claims that 1 Thessalonians 5:9 is a promise that exempts Christians from the future day of the Lord’s wrath: “For God did not destine us for wrath but for gaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess 5:9).
(So far so good)
Premise 2: Pretribulationism claims that all the seals in the book of Revelation depict the day of the Lord’s wrath, which includes the fifth seal.
(Not so good)
The Pretrib Contradiction: The fifth seal depicts the death of Christians; therefore, according to pretrib reasoning these Christians experience the condemnation of the wrath of God.
“Now when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been violently killed because of the word of God and because of the testimony they had given. They cried out with a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Master, holy and true, before you judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?” Each of them was given a long white robe and they were told to rest for a little longer, until the full number was reached of both their fellow servants and their brothers who were going to be killed just as they had been.” (Rev 6:9–11)
Some comments: The nature of this contradiction is why they will avoid dealing with this issue in their literature like the plague (no pun intended). They know that it is highly problematic to their theological system of thought.
And those that do try to address it will usually respond by saying that Christians during the so-called tribulation period are “not really part of the Church” because they did not participate in the rapture. In other words, they are inadvertently teaching that Christians in the tribulation period are some sub-class group that have not been redeemed by the blood of Jesus in the same way as “the Church,” so they can experience God’s condemnation in his wrath.
This is heresy, because it eviscerates the very heart of the Gospel by making God a liar claiming that there are certain Christians who have not truly “gained salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” That statement comes from the very verse that promises exemption from God’s wrath!: 1 Thessalonians 5:9.
Links mentioned in the episode: