Explaining The Rapture And The Tribulation

The biggest questions many Christians have during these times is: “When are the end-times coming” and “When are we going to be raptured?”  Nowhere in the Bible is the term “Rapture” found.  It is a Latin word that describes being taken away in a state of joy, caught up or plucked up.  Scripture tells us that Enoch and Elijah went to Heaven without dieing.  Christ went up into the clouds and it was witnessed by many.  Phillip was taken away and reappeared at a new location.  (Acts 8:39)  The Apostle John, author of Revelation was taken to heaven but he did not know whether he was in the body or his spirit.  The term rapture is used referring to the church rising from earth to Heaven.  Practically every theologian agrees this will occur.  They just can’t agree on when it will happen.  I Thessalonians 4:13 – 16 – “For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.  According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” I Corinthians 15:35 – “But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?”  52 to 55 – “in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.  When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’”

John 14:1 – 3 – “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

This is not Christ’s second coming.  That is believed to come after the Tribulation when the Antichrist is sitting in the Temple saying he is god.  But as Christians meet Christ in the air we will have resurrected bodies and will go to be with Him forever.  Jesus warns that those who are unsaved believers will end up in the Tribulation period.  When the church meets Christ in the clouds, could be at different times.  It could be prior to the Tribulation, after 3½ years or at the end of the Tribulation.

We are told the beast described in Revelation or the “Antichrist” will rise to power.   He will be killed and come back to life and form a one-world government.  After a time he will negotiate a peace with Israel and an agreement to protect them.  He will be given unusual supernatural powers and many will be convinced that he is the messiah.  The Antichrist will rule as the Jews believed Christ should have done if He was truly God’s Messiah.  Another beast rises that we call the false prophet heading a one-world religion.  The false prophet requires that everyone must worship the Antichrist who rules over every nation, race and tongue.  There will be millions who have gone to church for years who were never saved and were not raptured.

II Thessalonians 2:8 – 12 – And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.  The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”

Revelation 3:10 – “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”  Many believe this means those who are saved will be raptured prior to the Tribulation.  However, there are many who believe that Christians will go through part or all of the Tribulation.  I believe that the Antichrist will be held back until the Holy Spirit is withdrawn at the time the church is raptured.  I Thessalonians 1:10 – “and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.”  I believe Christians will be rewarded for being faithful and will not have to endure the atrocities of the Tribulation.  However, Scripture tells us that God wishes that no one will perish.  It would be highly unlikely many would be saved if the church was removed and the Holy Spirit was gone and the great deceiver had control of everyone.

During the Tribulation there will never have been a time like it.  There will be gigantic earthquakes, volcanoes erupting, stars falling from the sky.  There will be the most evil people ever to have lived.  There will be starvation, sickness and no hope.  One-third of the population, over two billion people, will die during this seven year period.  We believe there will be 144,000 Jewish evangelists that will convince many Jews that they had been deceived by the Antichrist.  They will accept Christ and many will be martyred.  Do you want to hang around or meet Christ?

One thing we are sure of knowing.  The true Messiah, Christ, will come to rapture the church and we will meet Him in the air.  He will not come as a ruler until after the Tribulation.  Anyone else will be from Satan and he was capable of deceiving 1/3 of the angels.  Don’t allow him to sway you if you are left behind.  If the church is gone and the Holy Spirit is in heaven it may be tough to repent and be saved.  What’s the BIGGEST gamble in LIFE?  To deny Christ!

Matthew 10:28 – “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”  (Fear God!)

Matthew 8:26 – “He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”  You must have faith!

We are in the end times.  We just do not know when that day will come.  If you have repented and have been saved there is absolutely nothing to be worried about.  Live each day with peace in your heart and love for God.  If you fear, as a saved believer, that you may be missed in the rapture, pray for faith.  Rely on God’s promise!  (We are saved by grace and not by works.)

 

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4 Comments

  1. Sound Biblical teaching! God bless you!

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  2. Thanks, its usefully for me.

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  3. That is great that you understand that we are not saved by works but by grace. Works or our worthiness has nothing to do with salvation. Then what do you say about Luke 21:36 where Jesus commands us to “Pray always that we me be counted worthy, to escape all that is coming upon the earth?” If you actually believe that you will be raptured out prior to “all that is coming…” then what is the need to be praying always concerning this matter? And what does worthiness have to do with being raptured or saved? If you believe in the false teaching of the pre-trib rapture then what do you do about the “praying always” for salvation so you’ll have your rapture ticket of escape? Extremely messed up!

    However, if you understand that the rapture is at the end as Rev. 16:15, and 2 Peter 3:10 declares it for those who are watching and waiting then you know that there is a great deal coming upon the earth that considers our need to pray to be counted worthy to escape. Just like the church of Philadelphia in Rev. 3:10 there is a contingency to escape. Rev. 3:10 is not a blanket promise to all Christians. NO, the fulfilled the criteria necessary to receive the promise.

    Of that day, no one knows the day or the hour….Matthew 24:36… What day? not a pre-trib rapture, but the day just described in the previous verses… Matthew 24:29-35… Immediately AFTER the tribulation… you will see the Son of man coming in the clouds…gathering the elect from the four winds…. THAT day. Understand, that is the day that no one knows the day or the hour! Pretribbers call it the second coming. It is the day that is “like a thief in the night” 2 Peter 3:10, Rev. 16:15. If a rapture takes place 7 years prior, it would declare the timing of the second coming, and EVERYONE would know the day or the hour! One is incorrect…. Jesus, or the pre-trib rapture…hmmm… no brainer there. The pretrib rapture would make Jesus into a liar!

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  4. Everyone thinks their view is correct, but how can you really tell, and how important is it really?
    Both Jesus and Paul tell us to be careful that no man deceive you concerning this issue… Matt. 24:4, 2 Thess. 2:3. Peter tells us that those who don’t get it correct, “..twist the scriptures as the always do…” 2 Pet. 3:16. So obviously the warning stipulates that there is a lot of deception and twisting of the Word.
    If you are interested in the truth, you must be willing to set aside all opinion, assumption, conjecture and speculation. If you can do this the truth will become available to you. This is not an easy task, especially if you have studied a lot of man’s opinion, and therefore see through those lenses. If you, however, are new to the study, let the Bible be your guide. Otherwise, you must be able to set aside all the movies, lectures, and ideas that may have bombarded you with man’s opinion over the years.
    One certain way to understand that the Word of God has been tampered with is that certain ideas or doctrines create loose ends that must be tied up and therefore must be explained only by man. Like a child who has told a lie and must tell others to cover for the first on. These ideas create sub-doctrines that cannot be substantiated by the Word and must be explained by someone in order to be understood. You will not be able to find any explanation from the Word, because they are super-scriptural, and therefore added to the Word. For the truth to be found the idea must flow with the whole of Scripture and all “loose end” must be dealt with by Scripture, leaving no room for man to interfere.
    Here is an example of a loose end or sub-doctrine: The pre-tribulation rapture view tells us that the bride is raptured seven years prior to the second coming. That is the initial idea. However it creates many loose ends that must be explained and must be addressed solely by man. One loose end is the sub-doctrine of the tribulation saints. The tribulation saint cannot be the bride, because the bride is in heaven (according to the view). This causes many problems with the whole of Scripture; “we are one body in Christ Jesus”, the promises that apply to the bride, don’t apply to the tribulation saints, etc. How can the saints be one body as a bride, and another as separate from the bride, and remain one body? Man’s explanation of this view, tells us that the tribulation saints must become eternal heavenly servants of the bride. This in effect makes the tribulation saints greater than the bride, because, “He who wishes to be greatest in the kingdom of heaven must become a servant of all.” If that is the case, it would be more desirable to be a tribulation saint than a member of the bride. There are a lot of other complications that this the concept of tribulation saints bring, and those who carry this particular view cannot agree exactly on how this all plays out. Here in lies the problem. It is super-scriptural in nature. Not explained by the Word and therefore the end result must be conjured to make sense of it all. As a result there will be many views concerning the sub-doctrines. This is a loose end that creates a sub-doctrine that is derived and conjured by man. Be careful that no man deceive you! This sub-doctrine is a secondary lie to cover the initial.
    So in light of both Jesus and Paul’s warning to be careful that no man deceive you, how is it that so many buy into a doctrine that can only be taught by man– the pretrib doctrine. So many of its different facets simply cannot be understood without man’s intervention. If people are told that they will not have to experience the end times, why would they bother to study it in the first place. In the end they are just content to hear the preacher spout the rose colored doctrine, and walk away feeling like the good ole boys. Not realizing that they are fulfilling the definition of stony soil that Jesus warned about…Mark 4:18. The pretrib view is a study of assumption and opinion. The post-trib doctrine is a study of God’s Word.

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