As I’ve already mentioned, the subject of the “Rapture”, and the unending debate that has always come with it often brings the worst out of some people. For others, it’s no big deal. They figure it is going to come out however God intends it to come out—so why waste time worrying about it. Theologians (or quite often “wanna-be theologians” cause much of the problem, as do many well-meaning lay people who have let their particular view rob them of the brotherly love that Jesus taught us all to demonstrate as we live–even with those that disagree with us. It seems that an air of religious superiority comes over us humans when we think we have gotten hold of a truth that others do not see eye to eye with us about. Real truth will always come out in the end. However, does this mean that we ignore the whole subject and become “pan-tribulationists”, simply meaning that however it is all going to pan out in the end, so why even get in the middle of the discussion? In the book of Luke, Jesus told the disciples (and by extension us) to comfort one another with “these” words. What words?? This is why I’m taking time to look at the subject of the Rapture, and in particular, at what stage of events outlined in the Bible it happens. I don’t believe in ignoring some Scriptures just because they might seem controversial. I don’t believe Jesus intended us to ignore them either. If it’s in the Book, it’s meant for me to dig into. The more controversial it may be, the more I’d better dig! Having said that though, knowing the ins and outs of each and every “theory” really has nothing to do with our salvation. A person can have their heart right with God and yet have their head out in left field—at least in some areas.
I was a “pan-tribulations” for quite some time myself. I believe that it is quite okay not to know the answer to the question, as long as one is honest with oneself, with God, and the people around you. There is however no excuse for spiritual laziness. What I mean is this: If the subject at hand takes some study and a bit of research into other Scriptures, many people don’t find it worth their time. Yet, we’ll spend hours playing video games, watching football games, or any number of other things. Because of this, way too many Christian people depend on being spoon-fed by their favorite teacher, pastor, or TV evangelist. Among other things, these are people that the Bible speaks of “ever learning, yet never coming to a knowledge of the truth”. How sad. This common problem amongst Christians was the inspiration for Amy Grant’s musical hit years ago called, “Big Fat Baby”.
So…don’t stake your spiritual condition on anyone’s teaching not mine or anyone elses! Listen to it; hear it; record it; transcribe it, or whatever else you can do with it, but DON’T just accept everything someone has taught without checking it out for yourself, even if it happens to be a big name! Don’t take anything that I write as Gospel truth either, not for any reason. I’m not infallible either, so confirm it for yourself. If you still don’t understand a passage of scripture after study and research, ask God to help you. He promised to give those wisdom who ask. James 1:8 says: “If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all…” Even then, we’ll always find scriptures that are difficult to understand. That’s okay. The disciples of Jesus were with Him nearly night and day for well over three years and still missed some of the simplest of things.
Now to continue with the fascinating subject of the “Rapture”: I am only going to spend a limited amount of time on the theory called the “Mid-Tribulation” Rapture view. I am going to spend the lion’s share of the time spent on this subject with the “Pre-Tribulation” Rapture position, and most importantly, why I believe the Scriptures overwhelmingly prove it. But, at the end of the study, if you still feel differently than I do, that’s okay. It does not mean that you are caught in a heresy, nor does it mean that I am!
Basically the “Mid-Tribulation Rapture” belief system says that the Gentile Church will be taken into the presence of the LORD right at the end of the first 42 month period. For me there is no argument that the Great Tribulation or “Day of the Lord” is divided into two halves. The second half has the distinction of being called the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble”. The first half is not included in this unique title. This however does not mean that the first half is in any way a walk in the park. Hardly! Hell in all its infamous glory has made its presence well noticed. By this time the fallen Lucifer and his hordes have been physically thrown and confined to the earth, and there is no vocabulary sufficient to describe the fury and evil that action brings with it. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near the earth at this time, and neither would you, the reader.
Most of the arguments that are used to back the post-tribulation rapture view are interestingly enough used to back the Mid-Tribulation Rapture theory. Without getting into the theology of it too deep, and thereby putting a rather boring article before you to wade through, I have just picked a handful of the main points for you to take a look at. I did promise to show all three of the main views.
Here are four arguments that come into play with the Mid-Tribulation Rapture view:
- While the book of Daniel makes it obvious that the Tribulation is divided into two parts, nowhere does it say that the Church goes through the Tribulation—or even part of it. The Bible makes it clear that the Tribulation is the special time of God pouring out His wrath on the rebellious human race. It has also been made abundantly clear that this time period is designed for drawing the Jewish people (Bride of the Father) back to Himself. How can the first portion be considered “sweet” when seeing the graphic carnage of the first 42 months. Only an allegorical view or massive twist of the true Biblical facts by “spiritualization” could deceive one of what is really happening!
- Then there is the problem that the 144,000 high-powered Jewish evangelists present. The Scriptures give no indication whatsoever that these hand-picked by God Jews become part of the Gentile church—ever! They do their job as Jews and not having anything to do with the Church. Did they become members of the First Gentile Church of the Anything?? NOT!! As a side thought, their presence and then disappearance from the earth presents quite a problem to the Post-Tribulation folks! They are located on the earth in chapter 12 of Revelation and then are shown to be part of Heaven’s throng in chapter 14! Hmmm. Have you ever noticed how God loves to mess with our man-made theology??
- If the Tribulation starts at the time of the false covenant between the anti-christ and the Jews, and the Church were part and parcel with the Jewish believers, we would know the time of Jesus return—just as the Jews do! Yet, Jesus made no bones about it; NO ONE would know the time of His return—not the exact time, only the season.
- There is one more factor that needs to be brought to the mix. If the “Pre-Tribulation Rapture” is a fallacy, then the “imminence” of Jesus’ return has to be denied. We already know that the Tribulation lasts seven years. We also know it is divided into two sections of 42 months each. This means that anyone still on this earth at the signing of the unholy covenant between the antichrist and Israel knows when Jesus returns to take His throne as the Almighty King of the entire earth. Yet, Jesus made it abundantly clear that NO MAN would know the day or hour of His return! That presents a real problem and it only has one solution. The return of Christ Jesus is in two stages, one at the beginning of the Day of the Lord, and the other at the conclusion.
So, is this really important? Not to the point that we think of nothing but end-time events. It’s also crucial that we don’t get caught up in the fear-mongering that the devil is tormenting the human race with. We certainly don’t want to get caught in the multitude of conspiracies being spread throughout the human race today. Just a thought to keep in mind though: Many things that used to be considered no more than conspiracy theories are now proving to have a great deal of truth to them. If there is any truth to some of them, it is going to affect us—if it hasn’t already. I can’t get into this subject today though as it is way, WAY too big and deserves a series of its own. It needs opening up, yet needs to be kept to a strict healthy Godly balance.
My most important reason for taking the subject of the Rapture and its main three theories is because of what Jesus said in Luke. He said we should encourage another with the words that He had to share on the subject. That to me says that it MUST be brought up–even if it puts deep furrows on some foreheads! So what? Martin Luther caused quite the stir didn’t he? What about the many others like Moody, Tyndale, Brannan, the Wesleys, etc.? The ones that seemed to do the most to stir the pot were largely unpopular, ignored, ridiculed, and insulted. They were said to be of no account, and according to flawed human historians, they agreed. Yet, God also has a record of history—and, it reads much differently! God’s version of history is the one that we are all going to be held accountable to.
I’m convinced that we have entered a time when people really do want to know TRUTH. If we don’t take the chance and give it to them, they will get answers from somewhere else, and it’s quite likely going to be twisted. We people, were put on this earth at this exact time in history and in the very locale where God wanted us to be located. Let’s make the very most of it. God will fill in the blanks where we are unable…but it takes a 100% commitment to the One that humbled Himself and let His own creation murder Him by hanging Him on one of the very trees that He gave us to enjoy…Imagine that!
Even if you happen to be one that is dead-set against the “Pre-Trib. Rapture”, I would humbly ask you to read through my reasons for believing in it. You can always reject it. I am not able to make you believe what I believe…
To be continued…
Keep Looking Up! Our KING is coming, SOON!