Therefore, get your minds ready for action by being fully sober, and set your hope completely on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Pet 1:13)
Pretrib interpreters read this verse and assume that since Peter says “set your hope” on the grace that they will received at Christ’s revelation, this must mean there are no prophesied events that will intervene. They do this with many passages, not just this one. We have dealt with this flawed handling of Scripture many times. Just a basic analogy destroys their flawed logic: I can set my hope on the joys of Christmas, but there are events and holidays that I will need to experience before Christmas arrives. That certain events must happen before Christmas does not diminish my hope, it enhances it.
What is ironic is that Peter is making this exhortation in 1 Pet 1:13 for the very opposite pretrib reason, for he knows that persecution and suffering will intervene before the revelation:
Dear friends, do not be astonished that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in the degree that you have shared in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice and be glad. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory, who is the Spirit of God, rests on you. (1 Pet 4:12–14)
Peter does not want Christians to lose hope in the midst of adversity, which is the reason he exhorts them to keep perspective and look ahead and even rejoice of that future day when Christ’s glory is revealed.
Moreover, here is a biblical example that contradicts the imminence interpretation. In his second epistle, Peter teaches that even though prophesied events such as the day of the Lord must first intervene, we are told that we should be “waiting for new heavens and a new earth.”
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; when it comes, the heavens will disappear with a horrific noise, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze, and the earth and every deed done on it will be laid bare. Since all these things are to melt away in this manner, what sort of people must we be, conducting our lives in holiness and godliness, while waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God? Because of this day, the heavens will be burned up and dissolve, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze! But, according to his promise, we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness truly resides. Therefore, dear friends, since you are waiting for these things, strive to be found at peace, without spot or blemish, when you come into his presence. (2 Pet 3:10–14)
So according to pretrib logic, there should not be any prophesied events before the new heavens and new earth, but of course, pretribs would admit that there are in fact many prophesied events that must happen before the new heavens and new earth. This inconsistency is completely missed by them (or just ignored for the greater good of “imminence”).
In short, pretrib interpreters need to maintain their holy grail presupposition of an imminent rapture. And when they come to passages such as 1 Peter 1:13 they give it no thought by reading into it their theological preconceived belief that no prophesied events will intervene before the return of Christ for his church.
So this verse, once again, fails miserably as a proof text for imminence, and ironically shows that Peter teaches just the opposite.