For those not familiar with the term “straw man,” it is a scheme of describing or defining someone else’s view incorrectly, often making the person’s belief an easy subject to ridicule. Time and time again the straw man device is used to discredit the Rapture.
A favorite approach is to depict those who believe in the return of Christ for His bride, the church, as those who believe they have a guaranteed ticket to Heaven and they therefore can live anyway they want to because they are all going to be with Christ at His return. Added to that is the idea that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture belief is simply an escapist belief that attempts to avoid the seven-year Tribulation. Certainly the “ticket” has been fully paid for by Jesus, providing eternal security for the believer, but the straw man misrepresents both the true view of a believer in the Rapture as well as what the Scriptures teach.
The straw man deception is quite often successful today because fewer and fewer Christians are Bereans. Too often Christians believe much of what they hear without checking it out by searching what the Bible actually says (Acts:17:11). If they would do that they would see the obvious con job by the straw man creators. For example, consider the following verses that destroy the “straw man” by underscoring the purifying aspect in the lives of those who eagerly look forward to the rapture.
And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. —1 John:2:28
[You] who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial [genuineness] of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. —1 Peter:1:5-7
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. —2 Timothy:4:7-8
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. —1 Thessalonians:5:23
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. —Titus:2:13
T. A. McMahon