The pre-tribulational rapture theory, popularized by John Nelson Darby in the nineteenth century, contends that God has two distinct people and two distinct plans for their two distinct destinies. The church will be raptured seven years prior to the second coming of Christ, and Jews will suffer tribulation. Beginning with Darby, rapture theorists held that, due to the murder of Messiah, Jews were in for a time of unprecedented suffering referred to as the “Great Tribulation.” Dr. Tim LaHaye, author of the Left Behind series, describes the coming Jewish holocaust as “Antichrist’s ‘final solution’ to the ‘Jewish problem.’” According to LaHaye, “the mind-boggling terror and turmoil of the Tribulation” will be a nightmarish reality far exceeding “even the Holocaust of Adolf Hitler in the twentieth century.” Concurrent with the carnage, a “soul harvest” will emerge due to the proselytizing prowess of 144,000 Jewish virgins. Multiplied millions today hold firmly to this belief. But is it biblical?
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