Jacob's Trouble

The Rapture

In the twinkling of an eye, millions disappear.
Without warning, without any concievable hope,
people will simply vanish without a trace.
This is the blessed hope of Christians everywhere.
It is called the "Rapture". It comes from the Greek
word "harpadzo"(occuring in 1 Thess. 4:17) which,
in a fourth century vulgate translation, is "rapio"
in Latin that literally means "a snatching away."
What is the point of the rapture?

To keep Christ's saints from the hour of  tribulation.

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience,
I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation,
which shall come upon all the world, to try them
that dwell upon the earth.

 -Revelation 3:10, WEB 

It is God's promise that we will not endure the
tribulation("Jacob's Trouble").
There are three leading views on the timing of the
rapture. The Pre-tribulation rapture, mid-tribulation,
& post-tribulation are the most widely held views.
There are others, such as the partial-rapture, but
we'll only discuss these three. The pre-tribulation
view is that the rapture will happen before the
tribulation, but no estimate can be made of the
time between this rapture and the start of the
tribulation. The mid-tribulation view is that
halfway through the tribulation(aout 3 & 1/2 years)
the rapture will occur. And you've guessed it, the
post tribulation view is that the rapture will
happen after the tribulation. It's sometimes reffered
to as the yo-yo view because Christ raptures the
church, then He(with those He raptured) immediately
return to earth to set up His millenial kingdom.

It is important that we don't confuse the Glorious
Appearing of our Lord and the rapture. If we were
to take all the passages reffering to these two
events and combine them into one event there would
be too many conflictions. Since we know that the
Lord's word never conflicts, we must assume that
these are two different events.
Let's make a list of the Biblical facts or the two
of these events.

Note the details!

The Rapture

The Lord Himself will descend from His Father's house where He has been making a place for us.  (John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:16)

He is coming, and we will be united.

(John 14:1-3)

He promises to keep us from the wrath to come.
(Revelation 3:10; 1 Thess. 5:9)

He will ressurrect the dead saints.
(1 Thess. 4:16)

The Lord will descend with a shout.
(1 Thess. 4:16)

The voice of an Archangel will sound.
(perhaps to lead Israel as they did in the Old Testament)
(1 Thess. 4:16)

We will hear the trumpet of God, the last trumpet
for the church. Not to be confused with the angelic
trumpet judgments in the Tribulation. (1 Thess. 4:16)

The dead in Christ will rise first followed by those Christians that remain.(1 Thess. 4:15-16; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 53)

We'll be united in the air with the Lord, and those we love. (1 Thess. 4:16)

We will always be with Jesus! (1 Thess. 4:16)

The judgment seat of Christ will take place which prepares believers for... (2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

The marriage supper of the Lamb(Jesus). (Matthew 24:21)

Note: only the pre-tribulation rapture gives enough time for the judgment and marriage supper to occur.

The Glorious Appearing

Immediatly after the tribulation.(Matthew 24:29)

Disturbances in the heavens.(Matthew 24:29)

Heaven opens, Christ appears on a white horse...(He's ready for war) Revelation 19:11

followed by armies of heaven.(Rev. 19:14)

Sign of Son of Man in heaven, seen by everyone. (Matthew 24:30)

Unbelievers will mourn, for they aren't ready. (Matthew 24:30)

The Beast(Antichirst) and his armies confront Christ. (Revelation 19:19)

Christ casts the Beast and the false prophet  into the Lake of Fire. (Revelation 19:20)

Christ's rejectors killed. (Revelation 19:21)

Satan cast into bottomless pit for 1,000 years. (My favorite part. ;) ) Revelation 20:1-3

Ressurrection of Old Testament and Tribulation saints. (Matthew 24:31; Revelation 20:4)

Christ judges nations, establishes His kingdom.(Matthew 25)

Now it should be fairly obvious that these are two very different events with two very different purposes.

Here are the reasons for believing in a pre-trib rapture:

God Is Smart

This is simple and obvious. Many times the Bible says that the rapture will happen at any moment. Therefore, with this "the Rapture is imminet" teaching, every generation since Christ can honestly say, "Christ can return at any moment, I better live like that!" The Bible never puts any conditions on the timing of the rapture in relation to the tribulation. If the Rapture is supposed to happen 3 1/2 years(or any amount of time) after the signing of a peace treaty with Israel, then every generation can say, "Well, since there's no peace treaty on the horizon, then Christ isn't coming soon. I'll work hard when I see a treaty." And this renders the Jesus' "only the Father knows the day of My return" a lie, because with the mid and post-trib views everybody knows the time of Lord's return.

The Time of Noah

Jesus clearly said that the end times would be like the days of Noah. What happened with Noah? He was rescued BEFORE the flood. God didn't wait until 20, or 40 days into the flood to save Noah, He did it before the flood.

God's Justice System

And the men turned their faces from thence, and went towards Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
Genesis 18:22-33, WEB

I love this. God is about to destroy the most wicked city of the day, and here Abraham is asking God, "Will You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?" No matter how sinful, and immoral the people are, no matter how much they deserve wrath, God would spare Sodom if there were righteous people there. That's God's nature. He rather spare an entire city for the sake of one. One way or another, God spares the righteous. His message to Noah was come in, to Lot it was come out, and to us it will be come up!

His Promise

In Paul's first epistle to the Thessalonians we read this:

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain
salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep,
we should live together with him.
-1 Thessalonians 5:9, 10

This is the wrath of a righteous God against an unholy people. The wrath is the Lord's and the salvation is the rescue that wrath. We also read,

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience,
I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation,
which shall come upon all the world, to try them that
dwell upon the earth.
-Revelation 3:10, WEB

Here is Christ's message to the sixth church, the church in Philadelphia(no, not that Philly. :) ). This promise is that He[Christ] will keep us from the
hour of trial. In the first books of Revelation there are seven letters to seven churches that existed at the time. Jesus used these as models for
individual people, you are like one of the seven churches. If someone says that you're like the sixth church, take it as a compliment. It was known for its faithfulness to God. Of all seven churches, with the exception of the second
(the tribulation saints), these guys were the true Christians. So the promise to Philadelphia is really a promise to all true Christians.  The Greek word for "out of" in this passage is "ek".
And is used hundreds of times throughout the Bible.

And was there until the death of Herod: that it might
be fulfilled which was spoken from the Lord by the
prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
-Matthew 2:15

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thy
own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast
out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
-Matthew 7:5

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts,
murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts,
false witness, blasphemies:
-Matthew 15:19

And came out of the graves after his resurrection,
and went into the holy city, and appeared to many.
-Matthew 27:53

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold
nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth
-Revelation 3:16


All these passages use 'ek', and they all mean
"out of."

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