As we enter into a time of the culmination of events sometimes referred to as the end times, one doctrine is espoused within the Christian Church which continues to spark controversy, and this is the doctrine of the pretribulation rapture. The debate between the rapturists is qualified over four predilections:
1) Pre - this group adheres to the idea that just before the Great Tribulation, the true "church" will be raptured into heaven to view the events of the tribulation from the "mezzanine";
2) Mid - this group agrees with the doctrine concerning being "raptured" and the view from the "mezzanine" but they disagree with the timing, believing that the book of Revelation tells us that the "church" will be "raptured" in the middle of the tribulation;
3) Post - this group adheres to the criteria of the rapture, but believes that it will occur following the tribulation; and finally
4) Pan - this group sits on the fence of the argument and claims that however it goes down, it will all "pan out" in the end.
The question at the outset is: Is there any such doctrine found within the tenets of scripture, or is this all a misread by Scofield? To best understand this, we will be digging into the ideas of "dispensationalism" and the proposals and verses which justify the "rapture" - reviewing them in context and comparing them with ideas concerning the resurrection. How do they differ? Equally important, how do they compare with the teaching of Mashiach?