The rapture is clearly taught in the Scriptures, but there are those who either deny the rapture or who dispute that it takes place before the tribulation. In part one of this study of the Scriptures concerning the rapture, the sound Scriptural argument was made that God does not appoint His children to wrath as clearly proclaimed in the Bible. In this continuation of the study of the doctrine of the rapture, I want to share those verses that support this doctrine and continue to proclaim that it is pre-tribulation, as taught in the Bible.
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as other do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11
Clearly, God through Paul is demonstrating to us that there is a difference between His redeemed beloved children and those who are condemned to suffer His just judgment. God pours our His wrath upon the children of darkness and residents of the night. He does not treat His family this way. He will not pour out His wrath upon those whom His beloved Son Jesus Christ has redeemed by His shed blood, and so have become His blessed beloved bride. Jesus Christ, who has rescued us from eternal judgment, also rescues us from God’s temporal wrath reserved for the entire wicked world.
God reassures the believers in Thessalonica that the Day of Christ had not yet come contradicting the lies of false teachers who were telling them otherwise. He then gives signs that will take place before the rapture and contrasts those who are saved through faith in Jesus Christ with those who will follow the Antichrist. We live in the time of those signs, and we can see many who reject the truth of God’s Word so they are ripe for the Antichrist. As we see these signs being fulfilled we should be eager for the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for us.
1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and out gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 and then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and will all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14 to which He called you by our gospel, for obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-14
We are witnessing the great apostasy, it is happening throughout the visible church. Preparations are being made by Orthodox Jews to build the temple in Jerusalem and reestablish the temple ministry. The world is ripe and ready to accept someone who claims to be God, especially one who is empowered by Satan with all lying wonders and signs so as to deceive those who refuse to receive the love of the truth that they might be saved, in other words, those who are apostate. It is a grave heresy to deny the pre-tribulation rapture and to say that God will unjustly include His children with apostates in His judgment upon fallen mankind. False teachers who dispute the pre-tribulation rapture use the words of Jesus Christ from Matthew chapter 24 to support their attack upon the pre-tribulation rapture, but they do not consider the whole counsel of God given to us in the Holy Scriptures. It is important to remember the Jewish audience that Christ was speaking to, and that the Jews will receive Him as their Messiah at His second coming.
11 “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But He who endures to the end will be saved. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come. 15 Therefore when you see the ‘abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever read, let him understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Le him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but the for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. Matthew 24:11-22