When will the Rapture of the Church take place?
I BELIEVE THIS IS THE CORRECT TEACHING
PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE- Christians are raptured before the persecutions of the
Antichrist or the wrath of God upon the earth. This occurs
before the 7-year period of Daniel (Tribulation period).
INCORRECTMID -TRIBULATION RAPTURE
- The rapture occurs
at the midpoint of the 7-year period of Daniel (Tribulation
period). The elect undergo some persecutions but escape the
wrath of God.
INCORRECTPOST-TRIBULATION RAPTURE Christians undergo both the Antichrist's persecutions and
the wrath of God and become raptured at the end of the
7-year period of Daniel (Tribulation period).
INCORRECTPRE- WRATH RAPTURE -In
this view Christians will endure the persecutions of the
Antichrist but will be raptured before the wrath of God
begins some time in the second half of the 7-year period of
Daniel (Tribulation period).
CORRECT BIBLE TEACHING
ON THE RAPTURE
- The rapture will occur before the Tribulation Period
- The rapture will occur before the persecutions of the Antichrist
- The rapture will occur before the wrath of God falls upon the earth and its people.
Outline of supporting arguments for the Pre-Tribulation Rapture
1) No wrath of God on Christians
2) No wrath of Satan on Christians
3) Christ can return at any time
4) The prophecies in the Olivet Discourse apply to Israel only
5) The time of Christ's return is unknown
6) A multitude enter the Millennium
7) Jesus returns with the saints - No mention of going up raptured and then immediately returning
1) WRATH OF GOD - Christians will be saved from wrath
1 Thessalonians 5:9-10For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.
Romans 5:8-9 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
1 Thessalonians 1:10 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
Luke 21:34-3634 "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.
35 "For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."
Zephaniah 2:2-3 2 Before the decree is issued, Or the day passes like chaff, Before the LORD'S fierce anger comes upon you, Before the day of the LORD'S anger comes upon you!
3 Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, Who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden In the day of the LORD'S anger.
Luke 17:26-29 26 "And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:
27 "They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
28 "Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;
29 "but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
- From these two accounts of Noah and Lot, we see that God removes the righteous prior to his judgment on the wicked.
2) SATAN'S WRATH - Christians will be spared from the hour of testing
Revelation 3:10-1110 "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.
11 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
Isaiah 26:19-21 19 In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border.
20 And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them.
21 Then the LORD will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day, and will make sacrifice and offering; yes, they will make a vow to the LORD and perform it.
- The rapture of the dead occurs before the indignation or persecution of God's people followed by the wrath of God upon the Earth.
3) IMMINENCY - Christ can return at any moment
Matthew 24:42 42 "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
Matthew 24:44 44 "Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Mark 13:32 32 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
Mark 13:35-36 35 "Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming--in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning--
36 "lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping.
Revelation 12:6 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
- After the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel, Israel flees into the wilderness for 3 and 1/2 years before the return of the Messiah. In a post-trib rapture the rapture occurs at the second coming. Therefore, would know the day of His return which he clearly states we would not know.
The early church and apostles expected Christ to come at any time as seen in the following verses!
8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!
1 Peter 4:7 7 ¶ But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.
Romans 13:11-12 11 ¶ And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
Revelation 3:11 11 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
1 Thessalonians 5:2 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
2 Peter 3:10 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
4) OLIVET DISCOURSE - Refers to Israel only
Daniel 9:24 24 "Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy.
- Seventy weeks of punishment were given to Israel and Jerusalem for their sins. Scripture never mentions that this period is a time of testing for Christians
Daniel 9:27 27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."
- The 70th week of Daniel is the final week of punishment on Israel only. After the fall of Jerusalem and Israel in 70 AD, these areas continue barren until the weeks of punishment begin again in the end times.
5) RETURN OF CHRIST - The time of Christ's return is not predictable.
Matthew 24:37-39 37 "But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
38 "For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
39 "and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
- The Son of Man will return to the earth when people are going through life as always. If a peace agreement between the Antichrist and Israel was signed, I guarantee that multitudes of Christians would be counting down the days to the end. No surprise if Christ is coming at the midpoint or end of the tribulation.
Matthew 25:13 13 "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
3 For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.
- With the mid or post-tribulation rapture the time of Jesus' return can be predicted.
6) MILLENNIAL PEOPLE - A Multitude of Christians will enter the Millennial Kingdom after the second coming.
1 Corinthians 15:52-53 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
- In a post-tribulation rapture all Christians will be changed into imperishable bodies when Christ comes while the wicked are destroyed by God's wrath.
Isaiah 65:20 20 "No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.
- However, a multitude of mortal unchanged people will enter the millennium. If all Christians are raptured then who is left to populate the land?
- A pre-tribulation rapture solves this problem as a large number of people are saved during the 7-year period of Daniel. Then together with the 144,000 sealed of Israel and the now saved in Christ Jewish people they form the multitude to enter the millennium.
7) SECOND COMING - Jesus returns with the raptured saints
Revelation 19:7- 8, 7 "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready."
8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
- The Church dressed in righteousness, is the wife of the Lamb.
Revelation 19:11,14 11 ¶ Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.
12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.
13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
- When Christ returns he is accompanied by an army in fine white linen. The fine linen stands for the righteousness of the raptured saints.
- The saints of God are returning with Christ from the heavens. No mention of being raptured up into the air and then returning to earth with Christ as in a post-tribulation rapture.