WEBPAGE ADMINISTRATOR: This is an excellent and “TRUTHFUL” article, I agree with it in “Total”.
By Isaiah Anderson – https://christianityandpolitics.blog/2019/01/13/the-truth-of-the-pre-tribulation-rapture/
The denial of the pre-Tribulation Rapture by many has increased recently, some even going so far as calling it false teaching. Sadly, in some cases, I’ve witnessed teachers and pastors singling out those that believe this doctrine as being false teachers, even non-Christian in some extreme cases.
IS THE PRE-TRIBULATION DOCTRINE TRUE?
In this short article, I hope to demonstrate the validity of the Rapture, but specifically the pre-Tribulation rapture. I truly hope this helps bring peace to the Body of Christ on this topic.
What I’m about to say may be shocking to some, so please read to the end and don’t allow the initial statement to stop you from possibly looking at this topic with fresh eyes.
The doctrine of the pre-Tribulation Rapture is not only valid, but it’s really the only choice we as believers have. Otherwise, we’re endorsing, knowingly or unknowingly, the un-biblical act of works salvation. That’s right, if we hold to any other view, except a pre-Tribulation Rapture, we are by default, holding to a works based salvation.
The Bible clearly teaches salvation is by faith alone. It also correspondingly teaches, a Rapture event will take place for all Christians, just prior to the Tribulation period.
Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:51-53 NASB).
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NASB).
From reading the verses above, we can conclude the Rapture doctrine is valid. All we need to do now is determine the approximate timing, and who is being Raptured.
THE TRIBULATION SAINTS
The timing of the Rapture is where most of the confusion or debate occurs. So, this is where we’ll start…when will the Rapture happen?
Since we should be able to agree from the previous verses, that there is a Rapture event spoken of in the Bible, I will primarily focus on the groups being addressed and sequence of resurrections to hopefully answer the important who, why, and when.
The Bible, specifically the Book of Revelation, speaks about a unique group of people, who will come to faith in Jesus Christ during the Tribulation period. We commonly refer to this group as the Tribulation Saints. The distinction is no accident, a purposeful separation is made between the Bride or Church of Jesus Christ, and the Tribulation Saints. It should become clear why this is done in the following paragraphs. I will be focusing on this group, but I first need to clarify some of the Christian terminology, like what is the Tribulation, pre-Tribulation, etc.
The Tribulation is a seven-year period, which is often broken into two parts, the Tribulation is the first 3-1/2 years, and the great Tribulation making up the final 3-1/2 years.
The seven-year period comes from the Book of Daniel, Chapter 9, which speaks of a 70-weeks prophecy, or 483-years of time given to the human government’s reign upon the earth. The final week or 7-years are given to the reign of an enigmatic person, he is called by many names in the Bible, but for brevity, we will use the most well-known name, the Antichrist.
All of this precedes the promised coming of the final Messianic government and His endless global reign. Interestingly, this prophecy foretells the death of the Messiah and suggests a necessary resurrection for Him to have an eternal reign, which corresponds to Isaiah 53, the famous prophecy of the coming Messiah’s substitutionary death and resurrection.
It’s during this period, the Tribulation, that we are told of a coming time of judgement and wrath upon the entire world, one that ultimately ushers in the second coming of Jesus Christ.
THE PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE
The pre-Tribulation Rapture is the event, which teaches, all Christians living just before the Tribulation, will be snatched out of this world and having their mortal bodies, translated into immortal bodies. We are promised to eternally live with the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:1-3 NASB).
SO WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?
The Bible clearly says, the Antichrist will kill and overcome the Tribulation Saints. Also, we find no Rapture event depicted in the Book of Revelation for this group of people, the Tribulation Saints, which is very important.
The Bible, or Book of Revelation specifically, only speaks of two resurrections. The first resurrection being for the Tribulation Saints, who are martyred for Christ Jesus, and have not taken the mark of the beast.
The first resurrection has no mention of the Church, the Bride of Christ, the marriage supper of the Lamb, nothing. Only those living during the Tribulation and coming to faith in Jesus Christ will take part in the first resurrection.
We can also see this group of Tribulation Saints in Revelation 6:9-11; 7:9-17.
When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also. (Revelation 6:9-11 NASB).
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:9-17 NASB).
The Tribulation Saints will be separated out for their sacrifice during the Tribulation period. These people alone will participate in the first resurrection.
Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgement was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4-7).
THE DEFAULT PROBLEM.
Those that insist on the Church being in the Tribulation, they have a serious default problem. If only the Tribulation Saints are resurrected first, it means the entire non-Tribulation Church, everyone from Christ until the Tribulation, will have to be resurrected at the second resurrection.
The second resurrection is commonly called “The Great White Throne Judgment,” and no one is looking forward to that one. See Revelation 20:11-15 Below.
Besides the massive problem with the above scenario, we also must accept the Church being overcome by Satan, which is clearly shown to occur in Revelation 13:7. During this period , the Tribulation Saints, and the entire world are overcome by the Antichrist. Yet, Jesus said the Church would not be overcome by gates of hell (Matthew 16:18). Depending on how you interpret that promise, one could serious concluded an issue exists.
Secondly, by default, our justification is based upon our own good works. Everyone not included in the first resurrection will be raised in the second resurrection and judged according to their deeds.
It’s important to note, there is no separation, or special division for a Church spoken of in the second resurrection…it appears they are all thrown into the eternal lake of fire.
If we are judged by our deeds, my guess is none of us are going to pass the test, and thus the gates of hell will have prevailed. The promises of faith salvation are also meaningless. No, this is a serious problem!
(Revelation 13:7) It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.
Jesus said, I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. (Matthew 16:18 NASB).
The Bride and God’s Promises of Protection FROM the Wrath of God.
The Church or Bride is promised to be protected from the wrath or judgment to come. Please read, 1 Thess 1:10, 1 Thess 5:9, Luke 21:36 & Revelation 3:10.
The Bible is very clear on the above point, we are not protected through the coming Tribulation, we are protected from the Tribulation, which clearly demonstrates a removal before the Tribulation period. This perfectly harmonises with the Rapture verses that we read above, 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 & 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
Also, the Bride or Church, is situated in heaven before the first resurrection! Let me repeat this, “the Church is in heaven BEFORE the first resurrection!”
Why would we need a resurrection if we’re already in heaven?
The Tribulation Saints will still be waiting for the first resurrection to occur (Revelation 20:4-7), while the Bride or Church is in heaven at the promised marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7-9).
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”
It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he *said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'” And he *said to me, “These are true words of God.” (Revelation 19:7-9 NASB).
Accordingly, if there is no pre-Tribulation Rapture, the non-Tribulation Saints would have to wait for the second resurrection to occur. We have a massive problem with this belief, it means the Church would miss the millennial reign of Christ, which we are promised to be with Him, and even worse we’re to be judged according to our deeds or works!
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15 NASB).
SERIOUS THEOLOGICAL QUESTIONS.
Are we saved by the imputation of Jesus’ righteousness, God’s grace, and the free gift of salvation, or by our own righteous works?
Clearly, the Bible teaches our justification and salvation is a free gift, one based on Jesus’ substitutionary atonement, God’s amazing grace, and the imputed righteousness of Christ to all believers. We are not saved by our righteous works (Titus 3:5-7 & Romans 5:1-2).
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:5-7 NASB).
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2 NASB).
IF YOU BELIEVE THE CHURCH IS IN ANY PART OF THE TRIBULATION, YOU BY DEFAULT ARE HOLDING TO WORKS BASED SALVATION, WHICH IS UN-BIBLICAL AND FALSE TEACHING!
One can make little sense of the end times prophecies without a pre-Tribulation Rapture, which makes the two resurrections major obstacles to reconcile, as does the empty promises of our redemption, and ultimately it would make Jesus’ sacrifice upon the cross a needless act.
No, the pre-Tribulation doctrine plays a significant roll in the continuity and understanding of God’s eternal plan for mankind, the Church, and the judgement of the spiritual forces of darkness.
We can see the faithful Bride, the Church age believers throughout the ages that have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Lord’s promised salvation by faith in Christ. We cannot add any personal good works to the perfect work of Christ upon the cross.
It is through this perfect work of atonement by Jesus Christ, that we are justified before a Holy God. And we can trust His promised protection from the coming wrath, which will come upon the entire world. The timing is at His choosing, but in the Bible He gives us many signs to be looking for, the greatest is the return of the Jews to Israel and restoration of Jerusalem.
I DO BELIEVE THE TIME IS VERY NEAR, WHICH MEANS THE RAPTURE COULD OCCUR VERY SOON. REPENT OF YOUR SINS AND PLACE YOUR TRUST IN CHRIST TODAY BECAUSE WE ARE NOT PROMISED A TOMORROW. THE TIME IS QUICKLY RUNNING OUT.