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Will Christians be Raptured before the Great Tribulation?
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Question: Many people believe Jesus will return in The Rapture to take Christians out this world before the Great Tribulation begins. Is this true?
Perhaps the most compelling reason I no longer believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture is because I have chosen to believe Jesus. Jesus taught - plainly - that the Church will go through the Tribulation. Yes, He taught that very plainly. When I now think of all the years I taught that Christians would be taken out of the world before the Tribulation, I cringe inside. I think of all the people whom I misled. I think of all the damage I may have done by giving so many people a wrong sense of security, by not warning them of the truth, by not encouraging them to prepare their hearts and their loved ones.
If Jesus plainly taught that the Church will go through the Tribulation, why do so many people believe they will not? And, if Jesus did not teach a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, why do so many Christians - pastors, preachers, teachers, and everyone else - believe we will be spared the horrors of Tribulation days? I think the answer is fairly simple: people want to believe it, so they believe it.
We are going to read a few verses of scripture. When we read, please read the verses as they are, without trying to make them say anything except what they actually say. We have a habit of reading verses we know, and, remembering what we have been told they say, we read them that way. But, imagine you are reading these verses for the first time, and you have never heard them read before. Imagine having no idea what they say, and reading them to discover what they say. That is how I want you to read the following verses. Let the verses speak for themselves, undisturbed by prior biases.
Mark 13:14-19: "So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not' (let the reader understand), 'then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house, nor enter to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter. For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be."
Mark 13:24-27: "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven."
What do we find in these verses?
First, the abomination of desolation prophesied by Daniel (Daniel 9:20-27) and also by Paul (2nd Thessalonians 2:1-4).
And, "tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be."
Then, after that tribulation:
the sun will be darkened
the moon will not give its light
the stars of heaven will fall
the powers in the heavens will be shaken
And then, "Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory
And finally, "then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven."
Here, Jesus very clearly says He will come to gather His elect from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven after the powers of the heavens are shaken, the stars fall, the moon does not give its light, and the sun is darkened, all of which is after the time of greatest tribulation that will ever come on this earth, which is after the anti-christ sits in the temple in Jerusalem and declares himself to be God.
Did you notice that Jesus will gather His elect "from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven?" He will gather His elect - those He called and saved - "those who are alive and remain" on earth at His coming, from the farthest part of earth, and He will gather His elect from the farthest part of heaven - meaning those who have died and gone on before, who come back with Him and receive their resurrected bodies, now glorified, immortal bodies, at that time. These two gatherings will happen at the same time and after the "days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be."
Yes, Jesus very clearly said we will go through the Tribulation. Read the above verses again if you did not understand His words the first time.
I can argue with what I think I know, and I can argue with those who disagree with me, but I cannot argue with Jesus about what He has said. It is very clear in the verses above: There will be no Pre-Tribulation Rapture.
This is not a popular belief. It does not go along with "the American Way". Most Americans want everything to be fair, and painless, and "right". To most of us, it just doesn't seem right that we should go through the Great Tribulation just like non-Christians will. What's fair about that? So, for us "fair is right" minded people, we just have to be taken away before the Tribulation comes -- it's just right! Right?
We should give serious consideration to something Peter said, when speaking of the last days:
1st Peter 4:7: "But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers."
1st Peter 4:12: "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you ..."
1st Peter 4:17-19: "For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now 'If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?' Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator."
Peter, thinking "the end of all things is at hand", spoke of "the fiery trial which is to try you", and said, "For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God." Note that he believed judgment would begin at the house of God, not that the house of God would be spared from the judgment of the last days.
Reading these verses, just as they are: does it look like Peter was expecting to be taken out of the world before the Tribulation, or does it appear that he was expecting to live in that "fiery trial"? And, just what did he mean when he said "the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God"?
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From Quiet Heart Press:
|AFTER THE TRIBULATION||INNOCENTS||The BROKEN HEART REPAIR MANUAL||ABIDING
IN THE VINE
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