The pre-tribulation rapture subject has been a point of discussion in the Christian community for many years. For some reason, it can be quite a contentious topic. Those who hold to this doctrine, and those who don’t, usually are not very open to further discussion. It appears that this doctrine is actually spoken of at least two times in Scripture.
I am going to start with the places in scripture which are not referring to a pre-tribulation rapture. There are verses that many people string together to create a narrative that just does not exist against the entirety of scripture. Paul’s letters are often the main source of the confusion.
1Th 4:13 Now we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning those who have fallen asleep, so that you will not grieve as also the rest, who have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, thus also God will bring those who have fallen asleep through Jesus together with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who remain until the Lord’s coming, will not possibly precede those who have fallen asleep.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
1Th 4:17 Then we who are alive, who remain, will be snatched away at the same time together with them in the clouds for a meeting with the Lord in the air, and thus we will be together with the Lord always.
1Th 4:18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
The key take away from these verses is that the dead will rise. The only time the dead rise are at the resurrections, one of which is at His coming. This is not a different event, or a so-called “secret rapture” of the “church”. Yahusha spoke of this event as well. Notice Yahusha, commonly called Jesus in English, said that people will rise from their tombs. No one is sitting in a place called hell yet, and there is no mention of non-material bodies of good church people coming down from heaven to meet their material bodies. Egyptian, Babylonian and Greek mythology have been embedded into Christian theology to cause people to believe these myths.
Joh 5:28 “Do not be astonished at this, because an hour is coming in which all those in the tombs will hear his voice
Joh 5:29 and they will come out—those who have done good things to a resurrection of life, but those who have practiced evil things to a resurrection of judgment.
Yahusha was simply quoting the prophecy Daniel was given. Again, we see “those sleeping in the dusty ground” waking up at the resurrection before the judgement of Yahuah is carried out.
Dan 12:1 “Now at that time, Michael, the great prince, will arise, the protector over the sons of your people, and it will be a time of distress that has not been since your people have been a nation until that time. And at that time your people will escape, everyone who is found written in the scroll.
Dan 12:2 And many from those sleeping in the dusty ground will awake, some to everlasting life and some to disgrace and everlasting contempt.
Dan 12:3 But the ones having insight will shine like the brightness of the expanse, and the ones providing justice for the many will be like the stars forever and ever.
Dan 12:4 But you, Daniel, keep the words secret and seal the scroll until the time of the end; many will run back and forth and knowledge will increase.”
Paul speaks about the resurrection of the dead in one of his letters to the Corinthians. Again, he is speaking of people “asleep” in their graves, and people who are alive at his coming. This is all about the dead rising from the dust of the earth.
1Co 15:50 But I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood is not able to inherit the kingdom of God, nor can corruption inherit incorruptibility.
1Co 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: we will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed,
1Co 15:52 in a moment, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
1Co 15:53 For it is necessary for this perishable body to put on incorruptibility, and this mortal body to put on immortality.
1Co 15:54 But whenever this perishable body puts on incorruptibility and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will take place: “Death is swallowed up in victory.
Yahusha talks about this event in another way. Many will say that the people taken away are done so through a secret rapture, but the pattern is that the wicked are the ones who are taken away. This is much like the flood story. Noah and his family remained, while the rest were swept away by the flood.
Mat 24:36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows—not even the angels of heaven nor the Son—except the Father alone.
Mat 24:37 For just as the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be.
Mat 24:38 For as in the days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered into the ark.
Mat 24:39 And they did not know anything until the deluge came and swept them all away. So also the coming of the Son of Man will be.
Mat 24:40 Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one left.
Mat 24:41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left.
Mat 24:42 Therefore be on the alert, because you do not know what day your Lord is coming!
To emphasize the pattern, we can look at the parables.
Mat 13:47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind,
Mat 13:48 which when it was filled they pulled to shore and sat down and collected the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw out.
Mat 13:49 Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the evil from among the righteous
Mat 13:50 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!
Mat 13:40 Thus just as the darnel is gathered and burned with fire, so it will be at the end of the age.
Mat 13:41 The Son of Man will send out his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all the causes of sin and those who do lawless deeds,
Mat 13:42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!
Mat 13:43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. The one who has ears, let him hear!
So those who are “the causes of sin and those who do lawless deeds”, are to be taken away and burned. Would it not be important for one to learn the Father’s definition of “lawless deeds”, “sin”, and “righteous”?
1Jn 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that whenever he is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is.
1Jn 3:3 And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as that one is pure.
1Jn 3:4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
1Jn 3:5 And you know that that one was revealed in order that he might take away sins, and in him there is no sin.
1Jn 3:6 Everyone who resides in him does not sin. Everyone who sins has neither seen him nor known him.
1Jn 3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you: the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as that one is righteous.
1Jn 3:8 The one who practices sin is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this reason the Son of God was revealed: in order to destroy the works of the devil.
Those who practice sin, practice lawlessness. Lawlessness is having no regard for the commandments of Yahuah. Like: “Yeah, whatever. I don’t need to be concerned with all that. I will do what my Pastor said, or what Billy Graham said, or whatever I see fit to do”. Are you leaving your eternal fate to your best guess, what someone else told you and what you heard on television, or are you diligently seeking His ways? Being on the other side, I realize there is a huge difference.
Even though no one knows the day or hour of this event, it will not be a secret exodus of the “church” where people are going to wonder why all the good church people disappeared as the books and movies portray the event. Everyone will know what is happening. Revelation 1:7 , “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even every one who pierced him, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Yes, amen.”.
Mat 24:29 “And immediately after the tribulation of those days, ‘the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken.’
Mat 24:30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man arriving on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect together from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other end of it.
Both the event and the timing is clear. Everyone will see Him, after the tribulation, when He gathers His people. This is before He pours out His wrath on the earth. The tribulation, or time of trouble, is not the wrath of Yahuah. 1Thessalonians 5:9, “because God did not appoint us for wrath, but for the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ”.
However, in the pre-tribulation view, where Messiah’s coming is the “blessed hope”, to secretly snatch the church away from the clutches of the mean old antichrist, is actually also found in scripture. Unfortunately, the writers do not discuss this view in a positive light. The first place is in the book of Amos. Apparently, Amos was told of the time in the future when people would ignorantly be wishing for that day.
Amo 5:18 Alas, those who desire the day of Yahweh, why is this for you the day of Yahweh? It will be darkness and not light!
Amo 5:19 It will be as if a man fled from a lion and a bear met him; or he went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall and a snake bit him.
Amo 5:20 Is not the day of Yahweh darkness and not light, and pitch dark with no brightness in it?
Peter also speaks of this day. Does the “church”, which does not even believe in keeping the commandments of Yahuah, really want to hasten this day?
2Pe 3:1 Dear friends, this is already the second letter I am writing to you, in both of which I am attempting to stir up your sincere mind by a reminder,
2Pe 3:2 to remember the words proclaimed beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles,
2Pe 3:3 above all knowing this, that in the last days scoffers will come with scoffing, following according to their own desires
2Pe 3:4 and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued just as they have been from the beginning of creation.”
2Pe 3:5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that the heavens existed long ago and the earth held together out of water and through water by the word of God,
2Pe 3:6 by means of which things the world that existed at that time was destroyed by being inundated with water.
2Pe 3:7 But by the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly people.
2Pe 3:8 Now, dear friends, do not let this one thing escape your notice, that one day with the Lord is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not delaying the promise, as some consider slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not want any to perish, but all to come to repentance.
2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will disappear with a rushing noise, and the celestial bodies will be destroyed by being burned up, and the earth and the deeds done on it will be disclosed.
2Pe 3:11 Because all these things are being destroyed in this way, what sort of people must you be in holy behavior and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 while waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by being burned up and the celestial bodies will melt as they are consumed by heat!
Peter tells us to be “in holy behaviour and godliness”. This means guarding His ways and truth. The only truth is the word of God. Today’s church, which mocks people who are trying to live by the word of God, has no business looking forward to this day!
Why do people not understand this? Why are people breaking every commandment given by Yahuah wishing for their secret rapture? Paul also tells us about this.
2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
The only way to understand scripture is to read it, then do what it says. These words by Amos and Peter are not written to people unfamiliar with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They are written to believers. Do not believe a lie and have pleasure in unrighteousness! It is all through the Bible that God’s people will be duped into believing lies. What could be a bigger lie than that of the people who ignore the instructions of Yahuah believing they are going to be whisked away to be with Jesus in a secret rapture? Repent while there is time, and believe the good news!
The featured image is by Thomas Ehling on Unsplash.
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