“God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, and is furious; the Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, AND HE RESERVETH WRATH FOR HIS ENEMIES (capitals mine). The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.”
God reserves His Wrath for His enemies. Who are His enemies? They are all those who have not accepted He sent His only Begotten Son Jesus Christ to this world to personally die for our sins. As I previously have written (When will the Rapture Occur – Pre, Mid or Post Tribulation), there is so much debate regarding the timing of the Rapture. Will it occur before the 7 year Tribulation period (God’s outpouring of Wrath), during it, or at the Battle of Armageddon when Jesus Christ Returns to defeat Satan and begin His 1,000 year Millennium reign on earth? Hopefully, that article clearly delineates the argument which is occurring today between many in the Christian Church. Many are taught and believe, since we are all sinners, we must go through the Tribulation, the worst time in human history, to atone for our own sins. But as a continuing sinful mankind, we cannot atone for our own sins! Others, myself included, believe the Bible clearly says Jesus Himself came to this world, suffered and died for our sins so that if we accept His Gift of Pardon, we in fact will not have to go through the horrors of the coming Tribulation OR eternity in hell. Of course, Jesus said it far better than I could ever hope to say when He told John in the Scripture below:
“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will KEEP THEE FROM THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION (Tribulation – capitals mine), which shall come upon ALL (capitals mine) the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”
Over the past, almost 5 years, I have written nearly 250 articles on Bible prophecy and I humbly submit to you these posts have now been read by people in 172 countries. Again, I don’t tell you this in a bragging sense but rather to show the tremendous diversity of people reading these articles in nearly every country in the world. Some comment weekly on what has been written. One of the things that has absolutely shocked me, however, is the absolute vitriol expressed by so many Post-Tribulation believers towards those who believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture! Now let me be clear. There are many disagreements between “Christian” denominations and others on various doctrines of the Bible. Was Jesus actually born of a virgin? Did God later change His mind and take the Covenant he gave to Abraham and his descendants (the Jews) and instead give it to the Christians (aka Replacement Theology)? Will there actually be a 1,000 year Christ reign on earth out of Jerusalem or are we actually living today on the earth under the righteous reign of Jesus since He already has died and is Risen (of course, no one has told Satan this)? Only the Bible can tell us the answers to these questions.
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.”
Of course here the only “counsel” we have that matters is what is written in His Word, the Holy Bible!
I have to tell you the vitriol, hatred, cursing, etc. is greatly increased when the topic of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is brought up. They don’t get as mad when I quote the Bible which says God gave the Land of Israel to the Jews FOREVER. They don’t use cuss words when I say the day is coming after the end of the Tribulation period when Jesus will reign with His saints on earth out of Jerusalem for 1,000 years. But, try to show them the many verses that clearly explains why God will “snatch” His Believers away BEFORE He unleashes His Wrath and all hell (pun intended) is unleashed! Recently I heard a quote a Post-Tribber made to a Pre-Tribber. He said “I disagree with what you believe, but I hope you are right.” This response is definitely not typical of the horrible comments I regularly receive when I espouse what I truly believe the Bible has taught us in numerous places. God WILL remove His Believers out of this world BEFORE He unleashes His Wrath on an unbelieving world. He did it for Noah before the Flood. He did it for Lot before He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. And, He WILL do it for all Believers, alive and dead, just as He said He would in Revelation 3:10 above!
“ACCORDING TO THE LORD’S OWN WORDS (capitals mine), we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming (Rapture) of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep (died). 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 together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord IN THE AIR (capitals mine). And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
I find it interesting that shortly after Jesus proclaimed His statement to John in Revelation 3:10, in Revelation 4:1 He also said “After this I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was AS IT WERE A TRUMPET TAKLKING WITH ME (capitals mine); which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” So, right after John was Promised we will not have to go through His Wrath, he heard a trumpet telling him to “Come up” and then we will see from Heaven everything that happens AFTERWARDS on earth. This is why the vast majority of great Biblical scholars believe Revelation 3:10 and Revelation 4:1 tell us we will be Raptured BEFORE the Tribulation! And, there are many, many more very clear differences:
RAPTURE SECOND COMING
- Believers meet Christ in the air. 1. Christ returns to the world on Mount of Olives.
- Mount of Olives is unchanged. 2. Mount of Olives is divided, forming a valley east of Jerusalem.
- Living Believers obtain glorified bodies. 3. Living Believers remain in same bodies for Millennium.
- Believers go to Heaven. 4. Glorified Believers come from Heaven with Jesus, earthly Believers stay on earth.
- World is left unjudged and living in sin. 5. World is judged and righteousness is established.
- Depicts deliverance of the Church from Wrath. 6. Depicts deliverance of Believers who endured Wrath.
- No signs precede it. 7. Many signs precede it.
- Revealed as “mystery” ONLY in New Testament. 8. Revealed in both Old and New Testaments.
- Deals with only the saved. 9. Deals with both the saved AND unsaved.
- Satan remains free. 10.Satan is bound and thrown into the Abyss for 1,000 years.
- The Church is not mentioned again after the Rapture 11. The Church is mentioned after Christ’s Second Coming.
‘It is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be delivered out of it.’
This begs the question to be asked, “How did people come to believe we must go through the 7 year Tribulation period to then meet up with Christ when He returns at Armageddon if the Bible says differently?” Because, if that were to happen, there would be no one left on the earth because the Bible says He will slay all who are on the earth that have aligned with the anti-christ and all Believers at the time would meet Jesus in the air as He descends at His Second Coming. Who then would still be left alive on the earth? Now, we know there will be living Believers on the earth when Christ Returns. These will be people who missed the opportunity to go up in the Rapture (before the Tribulation) but who later accepted Jesus as their Savior afterwards due to the preaching of the two prophets and 144,000 Jewish converts who will evangelize the entire world during the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation. Many of them will be killed for their belief in Jesus and/or their rejection to take the Mark of the Beast (again, as the Bible says it very clearly will happen). But many will still live and will enter the 1,000 year Millennium reign of Jesus on earth as mortal human beings.
“But I have had God’s help to this very day and so I stand here and testify to small and great alike that I AM SAYING NOTHING BEYOND WHAT THE PROPHETS AND MOSES SAID WOULD HAPPEN (capitals mine).”
One particular denomination (I won’t mention them by name) teaches the Rapture was never taught until John Nelson Darby introduced this “secret Rapture” in approximately1830 AD. This is absolutely false and refuted by the writings of theologians living during the first part of the Christian Church age.
- Irenaeus – (mid 2nd Century) “When in the end that church will suddenly be caught up from this, then it is said, ‘There will be tribulation such as not been since the beginning, nor will be.'” Against Heresies 5:29.
- Hippolytus – (a disciple of Irenaeus) wrote on prophecy and called the Rapture our “Blessed hope”.
- Cyprian – (250 AD) “we who see that terrible things have begun, and know that still more terrible things are imminent, may regard it as the greatest advantage to depart from it as quickly as possible. Do you not give God thanks, do you not congratulate yourself, that by an early departure you are taken away, and delivered from the shipwrecks and disasters that are imminent? Let us greet the day which assigns each of us to his own home, which snatches us hence, and sets us free from the snares of the world, and restores us to paradise and the kingdom.” Treatises of Cyprian 21 to 26.
- Isadore or Ephraim of Seville – (373 AD) “…because all saints and the elect of the Lord are gathered together before the Tribulation which is about to come and be taken to the LORD…” On the Last Times 2
All of this gets to the purpose of this article. A true study of the Bible, not the teaching of any particular denomination, and the seeking of help from the Holy Spirit clearly, I believe, explains those who Believe in Jesus Christ will be Raptured BEFORE God unleashes His Wrath on sinful man. He Promised us that in Revelation 3:10!! The amazing thing to me is many true Christians believe they must pay for their sins by going through the Tribulation. This is not what the Bible teaches but I do not believe people will either go to Heaven or not depends on their belief of when the Rapture occurs. If we all study the Bible diligently, we will come to the same conclusion. Treating people who can quote the Scriptures I have (and there are many, many more) deserve the respect we should all have towards our fellow Believers. Are they wrong? The Bible, not me, says yes and I am afraid it is to Satan’s advantage to convince people we all have plenty of time to get it right with the Lord. The fact many people are coming to know Jesus now because of the turmoil in the world today says many more would come to accept Jesus if they realized the Rapture could also occur at any moment. By convincing people either the Rapture will not occur or it will happen at the end of the Tribulation definitely goes against the teaching of Jesus and works to the advantage of Satan.
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”
1 Peter 3:15-16
“A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.”
I have said many times, you don’t need to believe me. Believe what the Bible says. God does not lie and He doesn’t want anyone to suffer. It is simply our free choice to decide whether we will follow Jesus or Satan. I will always follow the teachings of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Afterall, He died for my sins and has offered me eternal life in Heaven with Him if I only accept this gift and ask Him for forgiveness. But, he did this for everyone. That has got to be comforting to you as it is for me. So, I again implore you to do as we are all instructed and asked by God to do and that is to “…therefore comfort one another with these words.” Please share this message from the Bible with your friends and family so they don’t miss what’s coming (the Rapture, not the Tribulation)!
May God Bless you as we anxiously await His soon coming for us at the Rapture!