Despite the fact that some are revising their views on when the Rapture of the Church takes place, I am still convinced of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture described in I Thessalonians 4:13-18. Yes, it is true that the word “rapture” doesn’t occur in Scripture, but neither does the word “Bible;” yet we still call the Word of God the Bible. The word “rapture” comes from a Latin word meaning “to catch up or carry away” or “to seize suddenly.” Here is why I believe this event will take place before the 7-year Tribulation:
- Because the Bible clearly says so. There is no good argument offered for interpreting Revelation 3:10 in any way except as a promise of the Rapture before the Tribulation.
- Because there is no reason for Christians to be on earth during the Tribulation. The Tribulation has two purposes: to bring the nation of Israel to repentance and to judge the heathen Gentile nations. Since Christ has already suffered judgment for the Christian, there is no need for Christians to endure suffering for the purpose of winning lost people who are also suffering. But God has sealed a specially selected group of 144,000 Jews (Revelation 7) to reach the world for Christ during the Tribulation. We have no reason to be here.
- Because the Church is not found on earth in the book of Revelation after Revelation 4:1, and after the Tribulation begins (Revelation 6:1-19:21). All of the symbolical references to Christians during the Tribulation have them in Heaven during that time.
- Because the Rapture would not be a surprise if it took place after the Tribulation began. God has given no signs to precede the Rapture of the Church; it could happen at any moment. However, He has given information about the Tribulation in such detail that the discerning Christian, if he were to go through any part of the Tribulation, would be able to calculate down to the last day Jesus’ return. It would not come as a surprise.
Folks, I am convinced and convicted that the Rapture of the saints to Heaven (John 14:1-3; I Corinthians 15:51-58) takes place before the Tribulation. If you also believe that, then how ought we to live? Obviously, with the Lord’s coming in view! I say with the aged apostle, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20b).