I know our belief in the timing of the rapture may not be a salvation essential doctrine, YET I believe it can have a VERY big effect on our faith & our spiritual walk… and possibly even our salvation!
Matthew 24 has been pivotal to me in seeing the fallacy of the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine that is being so widely taught & pushed by books & movies as well.
If you really think there’s a pre-trib rapture, go & read the plain words of Jesus in Matthew 24 & let me know where you find this rapture. I don’t see it. I wish it was there. Somehow I think Jesus might have mentioned it.
Instead He said there’d be false Christs, turmoil among the nations, wars & rumors of war, famines, earthquakes in diverse locations…
THEN you will be raptured… um, no… actually it says THEN you will be persecuted, put to death, & hated because of Him.
9 “At that time MANY will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.“
King James says many will be offended – maybe because Jesus didn’t rapture them away to glory before all the bad stuff started & their hearts weren’t prepared to endure persecution?! They didn’t have enough oil to take them past the midnight hour?!?
20 The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. -Matt 13 NIV84
20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. -Matt 13 KJV
Matthew 24 then goes on to say AND WHEN YOU SEE the abomination that causes desolation spoken of in Daniel – midweek beginning the great tribulation – which means we are HERE when that happens, otherwise we couldn’t see it.
21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 22 If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
There we are again!
There’ll be more false Christs & prophets (sounds like they’ll be there the whole time too trying to deceive us. Again, us believers – unbelievers wouldn’t care what they said!)
Then immediately after the great distress, there will be darkness. And then FINALLY, Jesus says –
30 “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a (#1) loud trumpet call, and they will (#2 & 3) gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”
Oh look, there we are again!! And He’s FINALLY gathering us at the trumpet call, at THE END of the great tribulation, those that stood firm until the end as He had said!
First (#1) the trumpet sounds, second (#2) those who have died will be raised, and lastly (#3) we who are left will be changed in the twinkling of an eye, PRAISE JESUS!!!
51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep (some will live to see Jesus return in glory), but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the (#1) trumpet will sound, (#2) the dead will be raised imperishable, and (#3) we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” -I Cor 15:51-54
15 According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly NOT precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and (#1) with the trumpet call of God, and (#2) the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still (#3) alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. -I Thess 4
The resurrection & rapture of the saints are tied TOGETHER at the END of the age, the LAST day, after the LAST and 7th trumpet!!!
Picture found here-http://untilallhaveheard1.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/at-the-last-trumpet/
Sorry if I seem to be beating a dead horse BUT this to me goes beyond how any person may try to use this or that scripture to support a pre-trib rapture. JUST look at the words of Jesus & see what He said. It seems abundantly clear to me!!!
Stepping off my soapbox now…