Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Pre-Tribulation Rapture

Most Bible teachers fail to consistently divide the Bible (2 Tim. 2:15) between the prophetic kingdom program of Israel and the mystery program of the body of Christ. The things that were SPOKEN by the prophets since the world began (Acts 3:21) cannot be the things that were kept SECRET from the prophets since the world began (Rom. 16:25)! This is exactly why many "fundamental preachers" today deny the pre-tribulation rapture of the church. Rightly dividing the Bible will keep you from believing in a mid-trib, pre-wrath, or post-trib rapture and thereby losing your blessed hope (which is a serious error, Col. 1:23). We are instructed by the apostle to the Gentiles to be looking for Christ from heaven- not the antichrist from earth! 

The English word rapture refers to a state or experience of being carried away. It comes from the Latin word rapto which means to seize or snatch away by force. So, although the word rapture is not in the KJB, it is certainly a good word to use in describing believers being "CAUGHT UP" (1 Thess. 4:17) off the earth into heaven by the power of God! The body of Christ was a mystery that was revealed through Paul (Eph. 3) and so was the rapture of that body ("I shew you a mystery", 1 Cor. 15:51). The body of Christ is NOT the subject of the PROPHESIED tribulation period (all 7 years are subject of prophecy, Dan. 9:24-27). The rapture of the body of Christ is only revealed in Paul's epistles. We must not confuse our rapture with the mid-trib rapture of the 144,000 Jewish witnesses (Rev. 12:5) or the post-trib rapture of the Jews back into their land (Matt. 24:29-31).

Those that hold to a mid-trib, pre-wrath, or post-trib view of the rapture accuse those of us who understand our blessed hope of just wanting to escape tribulation. I plead guilty! Anybody in their right mind would want to escape the prophesied tribulation period when God pours out His wrath on the world! However, that is NOT why I believe in a pre-trib rapture. I do so because it is scriptural. Throughout church history God's people have suffered much tribulation (Acts 14:22) but we are not going through the prophesied tribulation period which will be the time of JACOB'S trouble (Jer. 30:7).

Many Bible teachers today don't seem to understand the stark difference between the rapture of the church and the revelation of Christ. Notice the following differences:

The Rapture (1 Thess. 4:17)                                     The Revelation (1 Pet. 1:13) 
1. Mystery revealed through Paul (1 Cor. 15:51)  1. Spoken by prophets (Jude 14-15)

2. Before the Tribulation (1 Thess. 5:10)              2. After the Tribulation (Matt. 24:27)

3. Christ comes secretly to meet us
     in the air (1 Thess. 4:17)                                  3. Christ comes publicly to earth (Rev. 1:7)

4. No signs precede (Titus 2:13, 1 Thess. 1:10)   4. Signs precede (Matt. 24)      
5. Christ comes in blessing (Phil. 3:20-21)            5. Christ comes in judgment (Rev. 19:11)

6. Christ comes for His body (Col. 3:1-4)              6. Christ comes for Israel (Rom. 11:26)

7. Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10)              7. Judgment on Nations (Matt. 25:31-46)

8. Rapture to heaven (1 Thess. 4:17-18)            8. Rapture to Land (Matt. 24:31; Isa. 43:1-7)

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