A Case for pre Tribulation Rapture
Church age believers will be rescued from the Tribulation Period on earth.
By Craig C. White
Question: Michelle Marsh
Regarding Jesus coming to gather the church, many people I know say that since the “church” is not mentioned in Revelations after chapter 4, it’s because we are raptured. I disagree and use Matthew 24 again because I feel that Jesus would have told us not to worry we won’t be here then or whatever, but since He doesn’t I feel we will be here at least for part of the tribulation. For one thing, why should we escape being tested when all of the disciples seemed to have died horrible deaths, some of them beheaded, or stoned to death. And then Jesus says that when He returns it will be as lightening comes from the east and flashes to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be, so in my opinion there will be no secret rapture as the pre tribbers like to believe. It sounds nicer, but I can’t believe it if Jesus himself didn’t say so when directly asked what will be the sign of your coming? 2 Thes it says Christ will not come until the falling away and the man of sin is revealed. So my question is what is your position on when Jesus will return?
Answer: High Time to Awake
In Matthew 24 Jesus is explaining the trials that Israel will suffer during the Tribulation period. The beginning of sorrows in Matthew 24:8 are the events of the first part of the Tribulation. After the abomination of desolation in Mat 24:15 the worst part of the Tribulation begins (Dan 9:27). It is called “great tribulation” in Matthew 24:21. The second part of the Tribulation lasts 3 ½ years or 42 months or 1260 days (Dan 7:25, Dan 12:7, Rev 11:2-3, Rev 12:6, Rev 12:14, Rev 13:5).
Mat 24:8-21 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. 15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
So these verses should be applied to Israel during the Tribulation period, and not be applied to church age believers.
Mat 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Matthew 24:27 is describing Christ’s second coming with vengeance toward Israel’s enemies at the end of the 7 year tribulation period, not his coming for his church.
The Tribulation Period is designated to exercise God’s indignation towards the nation of Israel, not for trying the church. The 7 year Tribulation period is the same as the seventieth week prophesied by Daniel (Dan 9:24). It is a 7 year period of trouble for the nation of Israel, not for the church. Jeremiah calls the Tribulation “the time of Jacob’s trouble” not the time of the Churches trouble. The Tribulation is for Israel’s chastisement.
Jer 30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.
In 1 Thessalonians below the dead in Christ are raised from the dead. Those “in Christ” are church age believers. They are “caught up” or taken by force up into the sky. The gathering of Jews will happen differently as we will see. Please read my commentary titled “The Rapture Day!”
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we 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.
Below, the elect are God’s chosen people (Deu 7:6). They are the people of Israel. The people of Israel will be raised from the dead at the end of the Tribulation. They won’t be taken into the sky. They will walk back to the land of Israel on foot. God will dry up the Red Sea, and the Euphrates, and Tigris Rivers to make roadways for them to return.
Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Isa 11:11-12 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
Isa 11:15-16 And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod. 16 And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.
Please read my commentary titled “Aliyah Israel Arise Return”.
The people, who are gathered together in 2Thessalonians below, may be the Church or they may be the people of Israel. Paul is addressing the church in Greece which was comprised largely of Gentiles, not Jews. Paul calls them brethren in Christ so I think that it is possible that he is describing the rapture of the church in verse 1. I think that the “falling away” in verse 3 describes the falling of Satan from heaven. After Satan falls then the Antichrist is revealed on earth. So the falling of Satan and the revelation of the Antichrist must take place before the Tribulation at least; and possibly before the Rapture. I think that 2 Thessalonians 2 tells us that the revelation of the Antichrist on earth takes place before the Rapture and is therefore the sign of the Rapture.
2Th 2:1-3 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
In 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 below Paul says that the church members in Thessalonica will be saved from the coming tribulation.
2Th 2:13-14 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Please read my commentary titled “The Fall of Satan and Rise of the Antichrist”.
Here are a few verses that indicate that the Church age believers escape from the wrath of the Tribulation period. These people have already been saved from sin. Salvation here is the rescue from physical harm during the Tribulation on Earth.
Rom 5:7-10 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Rom 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
2Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
Revelation 3:10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
It is High Time to Awake!
Read Matthew 24, Who is Jesus talking about?
Read The Fall of Satan and Rise of the Antichrist in my book The Fall of Satan and Rise of the Antichrist