The Pre Tribulation Rapture

The greatest controversy in the church today - the timing of the Second Coming - is critical to her future.

At the gathering of the Church all believers will be changed in the Resurrection. Believers who have died before the Second Coming will be resurrected from the dead. Believers who are still alive at that time will be resurrected when they are caught-up (raptured). Both the living and the dead in Christ will be changed at the Second Coming.

The most popular theory, today, about timing of this gathering is called The Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Pre-Tribbers say Christ will return and Rapture the Church before the Great Tribulation. The Great Tribulation is the time of distress, persecution, and death which will take place during the last 3 1/2 years of this present age.

Because, the Pre-Tribulation Rapture theory is very popular, should we accept it as true?

What does the Bible say?

It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.  It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes (Psalm 118:8-9).

What does the Bible say?

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true (Acts 17:11).

Test everything. Hold on to the good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

What does the Bible say?

They say, "The LORD declares," when the LORD has not sent them; yet they expect their words to be fulfilled. Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, "The LORD declares," though I have not spoken? (Ezekiel 13:6-7)

What does the Bible say?

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book (Revelation 22:18-19).

God's instructions:

1.      Do not trust in man.

2.      Examine the Scripture to see what is true.

3.      Do not add or take away from what the Lord has said.

Now, let's apply what we have learned.

In his popular book, "End Times", John Walvoord wrote, "The major passage on the Rapture is, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18." 

Lets examine the passage.

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 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 own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till 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. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up (Rapture) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Can you tell from this passage when the Rapture will be - before or after the Great Tribulation?

In his popular book, "Rapture Under Attack", Tim LaHaye wrote, One of the most amazing aspects of the mystery revealed in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 is the promise that the church of Jesus Christ will not pass through the Tribulation period. 

Now, lets examine 1 Corinthians 15:51-54.

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all [die] sleep, but we will all be changed-- 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" (1 Corinthians 15:51-54).

Can you tell from this passage when the Rapture will be - before or after the Great Tribulation?

In the, "Rapture Under Attack", Tim LaHaye also wrote, Since we are deriving our position from the Word of God, one reference alone would be sufficient. But there are several.  We already have considered the three main Rapture passages: John 14:1-2; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58. 

Now, lets examine John 14:1-3.

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 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 (John 14:1-3).

Can you tell from this passage when the Rapture will be - before or after the Great Tribulation?

You have examined for yourself the three main passages that, the popular scholars say support a Pre-Tribulation Rapture theory.  What do you think?

Now, click on the link -  The Post Tribulation Rapture

Richard H Perry