“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you BY THE WORD OF THE LORD (capitals mine), that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, and with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we (Believers) which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
1 Thessalonians 4:14-17
I truly believe the vast majority of people reading this post have heard and believe in God’s Promise to all to take His Believers out of this world before He unleashes His Judgement and Wrath on an unrepentant, evil world in the Last Days. This event, called the Rapture, promises those alive when the End Times begin to be “snatched” away, in the “…twinkling of an eye.” While there has been an ongoing honest debate amongst many Christians as to whether the Rapture will occur before the 7 year Tribulation Period (aka Daniel’s prophesied 70th week), during, or at the end when Jesus Returns at Armageddon, most who have diligently studied His Word have come to the conclusion the Rapture and Jesus’s Second Coming are two very distinctly different occurrences. Perhaps the most comforting to all Christians alive today and also indicative of a pre-tribulation Rapture are His Words in 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.”
Here Jesus clearly states He will keep those who have followed His Commandments from going through the “trial” coming with His Wrath. This is critical for us to not only believe, but to communicate to our friends and family who may even scoff at the idea of a Rapture. If they are not Raptured with us, they will have to endure the horrors of the seven year Tribulation period, or worse yet, end up following and worshipping the anti-christ, an act which will result in their eternal damnation.
I know I will get some responses telling me there is NO Rapture simply because they believe its concept was only introduced in 1830. That is false! It was recorded in Biblical literature many hundreds of years before. Even the disciples were expecting it to happen in their lifetimes. Also, some will argue the Rapture will happen midway through the Tribulation or at Jesus’s Second Coming at Armageddon at the very end of the Tribulation. Many believe this that since man is sinful, God must therefore punish a sinful man. Eliminated from their rationale is the notion we are all sinful BUT God has already given us Redemption through the innocent blood of Jesus Christ if we accept His Gift. In His Grace we will not be punished. We will be rewarded in Heaven! But, don’t take my word for it. Take His Word as Truth and compare the Biblical differences between the Rapture occurring before the Tribulation and during or after the Tribulation.
Below are listed a few of the many differences between the Rapture before the Tribulation and the Rapture coinciding with His Second Coming at the end of the 7 year Tribulation period:
- Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, 1 Corinthians 15:51-57) vs. Second Coming (Revelation 19:11-16)
- Christ comes in the AIR (1 Thessalonians 4:16) vs. Christ comes to the EARTH (Zechariah 14:4)
- FOR His saints (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) vs. WITH His saints (Revelation 19:14)
- Comes with BLESSING (1 Thessalonians 4:18) vs. With JUDGEMENT (Revelation 19:15)
- Affects ONLY Believers (1 Thessalonians 4:16) vs. Affects BOTH Believers left behind and Unbelievers (Revelation 19:15)
- INVISIBLE (1 Thessalonians 4:16) vs. EVERY eye shall see Him (Revelation 1:7)
- ANNOUNCED only by Archangel (1 Thessalonians 4:16) vs. Involves a NUMBER of angels (Jude 14)
- RESURRECTION (1 Corinthians 15:51) vs. NO RESURRECTION
- Rescue of the CHURCH (1 Thessalonians 1:10) vs. Rescue of ISRAEL (Matthew 23:37-39)
My point in rehashing some of this is to set the grounds for today’s discussion. Today (prior to the Rapture) there are only Believers and non-believers (including Jews) in the entire world. That is about as basic as it gets. But, it is going to change soon! When the Rapture occurs, the Believers will be “snatched” away to be with the Lord in Heaven forever. Therefore, all of those who will be left behind are those who had not yet accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior and asked Him for forgiveness of their sins. It DOES NOT mean that all who remain will then be damned to hell for eternity but rather through an Evangelical movement unseen since the beginning of time, helped by 144,000 Evangelical Jews, see my post (Where did the 144,000 come from and what are they doing here?)) and His two prophets (What happens when these 2 guys come knocking on your door? ) there is still HOPE! But, we also know that many of those who come to Believe in Jesus AFTER the Rapture will be severely persecuted and beheaded for their belief in Him. Those who do Believe and remain alive up to His Second Coming will go on to live in mortal bodies during the 1,000 year sin-free, Millennium reign of Jesus Christ on this earth.
So, if you are not Raptured as a Christian and don’t come to believe in Him during the Tribulation, what will you be like? Not very nice!!!
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
2 Timothy 3:1-7
Kinda sounds like a lot of folks today doesn’t it? To think of it another way, imagine having a neighbor living next door who is self-centered, conceited, greedy, a braggart, who blasphemes the name of God, goes against their parents wishes, is unthankful, unloving, brutal, a traitor, etc. Is that someone you would want to be around? Good, because the Bible says you should turn away from them. Did I mention they are also liars?
“But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
2 Timothy 3:13
Why are we told to stay away from them? 1 Corinthians 15:33 tells us clearly. “Do not be deceived:” Evil company corrupts good habits.” Not only will these be really bad people, but they will attempt to also make you follow their evil ways exactly as Satan would wish! Hanging around these folks makes it much easier for them to corrupt your “good” habits. What is really sad is they have become so sinful they have forgotten every sin they have ever committed BUT which are still known by God and will remain unforgiven by Him. As He says in Hosea 7:2, “They do not consider in their hearts That I remember all their wickedness; Now their own deeds have surrounded them; They are before My face.” Remember, it will be very difficult because one of the conditions for all people remaining on the earth, in order to buy or sell anything, they must first take the Mark of the Beast as mandated by the false prophet on behalf of the anti-christ. As prophesied, those who do take the Mark of the Beast will have a number of terrible punishments. First:
“So the first (one of the seven angels pouring out the Bowl of Wrath) went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image.”
Take the Mark of the Beast and you will have foul and loathsome sores upon your body. But it doesn’t stop with sores while you are on this earth. Secondly, your torment for taking the Mark will last forever!
“And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and WHOEVER RECEIVES THE MARK OF HIS NAME (capitals mine).”
In all honesty, rejecting Jesus and being alive on this earth for some may be similar to being at a party. During the first half of the Tribulation and after the Rapture of the True Believers, God will send two prophets with supernatural powers to evangelize the world. While many will heed their message, many will not. When God finally allows Satan to slay them, their dead bodies will lay in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days, and it will be PARTY TIME for those who have been tormented by their Godly message! Their deaths will be a time to give gifts to each other and celebrate!
“And they of the people and kindreds and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwell on the earth.”
Of course, their party ends when the dead prophets come alive after three and one half days and ascend to Heaven while the entire world watches (impossible to happen for 2,000 years until satellite TV in OUR lifetimes made it possible). Their party just ended! Finally, God has given to us a different, much better option. Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and ask for forgiveness of your sins. Do this now and you will escape this world with the soon coming Rapture of the Believers and not be left behind to face all the trials and tribulation of His Wrath. If you are reading this AFTER the Rapture, you still have Hope! DO NOT take the Mark of the Beast or worship him! Instead, be prepared in Jesus’s name to be persecuted by the anti-christ for failing to worship him. As bad as it will be, it will still be far better than becoming like those doomed to eternity in hell for their deceitful, sinful ways and failure to accept Jesus. Knowing we have a Divine Plan to be Saved for eternity is extremely comforting. We just have to do what the Bible tells us! Please remember, it is requested of us by Jesus to NOT keep this message to ourselves but rather to “…therefore comfort one another with these words.” Do this so you will fulfill Jesus’s request of all of us.
May God Bless you!