The attack upon the pre-tribulation rapture comes mostly from those who are enamored with the doctrines of men. Some hold to Replacement theology, or follow the doctrines of Augustine, or are involved with the church growth movement, or believe they should establish the kingdom of God upon this earth, joining in with the Catholic Church which holds this false teaching. What does the Bible say? We can actually counter their so-called arguments from the words of Jesus Christ, with His Word found in Matthew, Mark and Luke.
27 “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together. 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 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 coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:27-31
26 “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of the earth to the farthest part of heaven. Mark 13:26-27
Jesus Christ comes in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory to execute judgment upon this fallen evil world of depraved sinners held captive by Satan’s lies and deceits. The gathering of His elect is said to occur from one end of heaven to the other in this passage from Matthew, and from the farthest part of the earth to the farthest part of heaven in the passage from Mark. This indicates that Jesus Christ will already have His elect in heaven with Him, those that He has raptured before the tribulation, and will gather the tribulation saints, believers saved through faith in Christ Jesus during the reign of Antichrist and the tribulation, from the earth at the same time. This assures us that we will all be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and not included with the sinners bound under in His judgment.
Finally, Jesus Christ taught about the rapture in Matthew chapter 24 and Luke chapter 17. There is a key phrase that is used in both of these passages that proves He is speaking about the rapture. That phrase is given in Matthew 24:28 which says: “For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”
This is an idiom of the day that comes right after Christ’s declaration that His return would be obvious and unmistakable. I want to share the verses about the rapture from Matthew and Luke, and then the importance of this verse will be obvious.
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. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.” Matthew 24:38-42
34 “I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. 36 Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.” 37 And they answered and said to Him, “Where, Lord?” So He said to them, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.” Luke 17:34-37
Jesus Christ used the idiom both in reference to His return and the removal of believers out of the world to be gathered to Him. In both cases the idiom indicates that it will be obvious He has returned, and it is obvious that believers will be taken to be with Him. Believers removed while doing mundane tasks proves this is not during the tribulation period because that time will be characterized by catastrophic disruption. Just as Noah was supernaturally protected from the flood, so shall God’s children be supernaturally protected from the tribulation wrath when Christ comes for His own before the wrath of God is poured out upon this world.
Finally right before the awesome return of the Lord Jesus Christ, when He comes to wreck His vengeance upon this wicked world, the marriage supper of the Lamb is given and His wife is made ready. Who is His wife? She is the elect saints who are in heaven with Him during the tribulation, kept safe from all the dire doom that destroys the earth and those who dwell on it. These same saints accompany Him in His triumphant execution of the wrath of God upon those who do not know God and who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:8). Notice that it is a believer, an elect saint, whom God commands to give this portion of Revelation to John. This portion of Revelation is all about Christ and His church which He has taken to be with Him before the tribulation. Let us with great expectation and joy look for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ to take us to be with Him before the great and terrible day of God’s fierce anger when He has revenge on His enemies. Let us not be discouraged by those who reject the truth of God’s Word that wrath is for sinners who reject Jesus Christ and His gospel and salvation is for saints who have believed the gospel that Jesus Christ died upon the cross so their sins can be forgiven and has risen from the dead displaying the efficacy of His finished work, His deity, and His right to give any and all who believe in Him eternal life and to save them from the wrath that is to come during the tribulation. God bless us.
6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 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. 9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” 10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:6-10
14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Revelation 19:14