One of the biggest debates today within the church is the subject of ‘will the church go through the tribulation’? On one side is the belief of a mid-tribulation or post-tribulation rapture. Then their are those that believe in the pre-tribulation rapture of the church. And then there is a large organization that does not even believe there is a rapture. Leading their members astray, they say the words of the Apostle Paul are taken out of context and the word “rapture” is not in the bible.
The words “trinity and bible” are also not in the bible, but we believe in them. And yet, the word rapture is in the bible. It is used no less than four times. The number four has a few different meanings and connotations within the bible. One relates to the 4th of the 10 commandments. The first three commandments refer to the Lord. The 4th is the first relating to earth and speaks of the Sabbath day rest, in other words to rest in the Lord. As Christians, we are not under the law but it is still a testimony that we have rest in the Lord. The words “caught up” in the Latin Vulgate are Rapturo or in modern English, Rapture.
The bible even predicts a time would come when the rapture would be mocked by many.
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 2 Peter 2:3-4
There are numerous allegories in the bible referring to the pre-tribulation rapture of which a whole book could be written and perhaps unknown to many is the book of Philemon is also a picture of the rapture.
So is it Pre, Mid, or Post-tribulation? The bible also predicts a time would come when the church would no longer endure sound doctrine “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” 2 Timothy 4:3.
Romans 11:25 says “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in”. Paul is saying that Israel is blinded to Jesus until the work of the church, the fullness of this age is complete and we are called home and given “rest“. Only then can the Holy Spirit once again turn towards the nation of Israel to bring her into belief and repentance.
In the fifth chapter of Isaiah, the Lord takes up the parable of a vineyard in which He likens Judah or Israel, His people, unto a vineyard and then pronounces six woes unto them. One of them is below speaking of Hell:
because they have no knowledge: and their honorable men are famished, and the multitude is dried up with thirst. Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled: But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness. Then shall the lambs feed after their manner, and the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers eat (Isa 5:13-17).
Sadly two thirds of the nation of Israel will perish during the tribulation while a 3rd will remain hidden in the wilderness until the end enduring by their trust and belief in the Lord Jesus.
God says the gates of Hell will not prevail against the church. The word prevail means to persuade to do something, to prove more powerful than apposing forces, and to overcome.
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18
Jesus holds the keys of hell and death: “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Revelation 1:18.
The church belongs to Jesus as we are His bride. He holds the keys to hell and death and says it will not prevail against us. In Revelation 6:8 it says “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth”. Here it is speaking of the 4th of 6 seals that are opened at the beginning of the tribulation. The church will be long gone by this point for if it were to remain in the tribulation, then hell would have dominion over us……
We are told to look for that Blessed Hope, who is Jesus our Lord coming to take us back with Him for the glorious wedding. It does not say the “delayed hope”, but “blessed” are we to escape His coming wrath and judgment during the seven year tribulation and God wants the “glory” to bring His bride home in a preserved state.
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;Titus 2:13
He is the God of love, of mercy, of grace. He is not the author of confusion and it is vital to understand these aspects of God to understand in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture……