Pre-Tribulation Rapture Essay

Abstract

            This paper aims to encourage Christians in their journey in following the Lord by reminding them of the promise of God in His coming, in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, where faithful servants of the Lord will be taken away to be with Him in His presence. The paper will not argue with those who deny the teaching about the Pre-Tribulation Rapture but will offer some Biblical foundations for the belief from both the Old and the New Testament. It will also show the fulfillment of the signs that the Lord spoke of through the Holy Bible and discuss the conditions that the Lord had set for the salvation of His servants.

The Pre-Tribute Rapture

INTRODUCTION

            The Lord our God is a loving God. He blessed us with everything we had, with things that we need. He answers our prayers and listens to our cries. We can see what He has made through the things around us. However, an angry God was also seen several times not only in history books but as well in the Old and New Testament Bible and as the Bible teaches, the time of the second coming of Christ will come when the whole earth will be judged according to their faith, the rapture.

            There had been some arguments about the validity of the Pre-Tribulation rapture. Some say that it just came from the misinterpretation of the passages in the Bible. However, the teaching about the Pre-Tribulation Rapture had been acknowledged by several churches around the world. This paper will not argue about the validity of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture but will offer the Biblical foundation of the belief from both the Old and New Testament. Evidences of the signs before the coming of the Lord will also be discussed to show the readers of the fulfillment of these signs.

PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT

            Even before the time of Jesus Christ, the Holy Bible spoke of the time of the coming of the Lord. The first book of the Old Testament tells of the coming of God. Genesis chapter 6 says, “5 The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain. 7So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth-men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air-for I am grieved that I have made them”. This passage clearly states that the time will come when God will wipe out man from the earth together with everything in it. God was so grieved because of man’s wickedness, enough for Him to destroy what He has made, what He love.

            The first chapter of the Book of Zephaniah also warns us of the coming destruction, when everything will be wiped out from the face of the earth, all the animals, plants and everything in it. Zechariah chapter 1 says, “2I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth,” declares the Lord. On that day, the day of the Lord’s wrath, nothing will be able to save the people, not even their wealth, for the Lord will suddenly end the lives of those in the earth. Indeed, the Lord is a loving God but He cannot overlook sin for He is a God of justice and righteousness. Zechariah announced the coming of God’s wrath as was seen in the early times in the history of the chosen people, of Israel that was caused by the people’s sins and unrighteousness. In the same way, Zechariah revealed that another time will come when God will destroy everything due to the same reason as that recorded in the Old Testament, due to unrighteousness and sinfulness of man.

            These are just two of the verses in the Old Testament that proves that the day will come when God will wipe out man from the face of the earth. The Pre-Tribulation Rapture will be like in the time of Noah. Noah was chosen by God because of His righteousness and was saved from destruction together with his family while all the rest of humanity was drowned because of their wickedness and unrighteousness. In the same way, God will chose His faithful servants in the time of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture to save them and live together with Him, in His presence. This is the hope of many Christians as they continue to walk with the Lord, to be together with the Lord in His coming.

PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT

            The very proof of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture can be seen in the letter of Paul, Silas and Timothy to the Thessalonians. 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 says, “15 According to the Lord’s own words, we tell 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 with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so will be with the Lord forever”. God promised that those who stand firm will live with him. In the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, the dead will first rise and then those who are still living will be taken away in the clouds to be with the Lord.

            The Lord also spoke of the Pre-Tribulation rapture comparing it in the days of Noah. Matthew chapter 4 says, “37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating, and drinking, marrying and giving marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39  and they new nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it would be in the coming of the son of man”.

            In Matthew 14, Jesus also told a parable pertaining to the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, The Parable of the Net, where the fishermen will choose only the good fish and threw away the bad ones. Matthew 14 says, “49This is how it will be in the end of age. The angles will come and separate the wicked fro the righteous 50and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”.

            The Pre-tribulation Rapture is not a new teaching that was handed to the church just recently but rather, even in the time of the Apostles of Jesus Christ, the teaching about the Pre-Tribulation Rapture exists. It is through these verses that most Christians found the foundation of their faith, for the promise of God to take the living together with Him.

THE DAY AND THE TIME UNKNOWN

            Christians know about the coming of the Lord but just as Jesus says in the Book of Matthew chapter 24 “26No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angles in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father”. According to Dr. Renald Showers,[1]”at the rapture it will be the reverse order of things at the second coming of Christ”. In the first coming, faithful followers will be taken away to live together with God in heaven and in the second coming, sinners will be taken away to be judged. These are the reasons why Jesus always reminded His disciples to keep watch like a faithful servant. In that time not all the servants of the Lord will taken away but only those who are faithful to the Lord at all times. Matthew 24 says, “40Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left”. The Bible spoke of two indistinct persons, two men and two women therefore, two believers but only one will be taken while the other is left. That is why we must always be on the watch for just as the Lord says, it will be in the time that we do not expect.

THE SIGNS

            Although we do not know the time, Jesus gives signs when it will be near. In Matthew 24 Jesus says “6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.7”Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various palaces. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me”.

            These are the signs that our Lord gave us through the scriptures. Have we seen the signs of the end of the earth, the signs our Lord spoke of? Have we seen famines, wars and earthquakes? Yes these signs have occurred in the past and can still be seen today.

Wars

            There had been many wars as recorded in the history of mankind and the war between the United States of America and Iraq can be considered the latest that caught the attention of the whole world. Here are some of the wars recorded in history; [2]the Crimean War between Russia and the alliance of the Ottoman Empire, France, Britain and Sardinia from 1853 to 1856, the Boxer rebellion involving the United States, Russia, Germany, Britain, France, Japan, Italy and Austria-Hungary against the rebels in China and the Chinese Government, the World War I, the Hundred Year’s War that lasted 116 years between England and France, the World War II and the ongoing Russian Conquest of Central Asia and the Far East.

            These are just a few of the wars that cause great damage and killed thousands of lives. There are lot more conflicts between nations and within every nation itself, against its own people. These are the signs that Jesus spoke of and as Jesus said, the end is still to come. War between nations itself is a horrifying scene, the weapons, the cry and the blood that is spilled but what is to come is even greater for the it is not just between nations but the whole earth.

Famines and Pandemics

            There were also famines in different parts of the world inflicting not only humans but animals and plants as well. [3] A drought inflicted the Soviet causing massive crop failures in 1921 killing more than 5 million citizens. India was also hit by a three year drought from 1965 to 1967 also killing millions of people due to starvation and sickness. From 1984 to 1985, at least one million Ethiopians also died due to severe drought. Aside from drought there were also many epidemics that killed millions of lives. An epidemic called “Spanish Flue” hit the world and killed almost 50 million people inflicting 20 to 40% of the world’s total population. The second biggest flu epidemic, the Asian Fu, also killed around 2 million people from 1957 to 1958. AIDS also hit the world in 1980 with about 25 million infected and another 40 million people infected with HIV and the count is not yet over. Malaria on the other hand appeared in 1900 and became one of the leading causes of death in the developing world infecting 500 million people and killing more than a million each year until now.

            There had been a lot of famines that killed millions of lives and no matter how much knowledge we gain there comes new epidemics that we cannot handle considering all the advances in technology and in the field of medicine of our time. We cannot stop the death caused by these famines, we are helpless because although these epidemics have scientific explanations, they were necessary signs fro the coming of the Lord.

Natural Disasters

            There had also been a lot of natural disasters around the globe that killed millions of people such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, cyclones and floods. [4]The most recent earthquake that caught world’s attention happen just recently when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti leaving thousands of people in the streets shouting and crying with no place to go and killing around 230,000 people. [5] In 2008 a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit China killing around 70,000 people. Another 18,000 were reported missing during the incident. These are just 2 of the recent earthquakes that killed thousands and thousands of people.

            There were also many volcanic eruption around the world of which the most famous occurred in Indonesia and Italy. [6]A volcano erupted in the island of Krakatoa in Indonesia destroying almost two-thirds of the island that resulted in a series of tsunamis that killed more than 36,000 citizens while Mt. Vesuvius erupted in Italy erupted in 79 CE and also killing thousands. There were also hurricanes, cyclones and as well as floods that caused grave damage to properties and killing thousands of lives.

Persecution

            Many Christians are also being persecuted around the world in the same way that the original apostles were persecuted. Such things must also happen as the Lord says. [7]On June 14, 2009 Pastor Dou Shaowen, a Chinese pastor was sentenced of one-year labor after being arrested because of religious rights issues. [8]March 24, 2010, the wife and family of Pastor Omar Dude Perez, a Cuban pastor who is in jail at that time, were asked to leave their home because it will be confiscated although it is originally their property. On April 13, 2010, several pastors were arrested by officials in India. There are 12 pastors that were arrested for the charge of converting Hindus in the area. These show that Christians are being persecuted around the world because of their faith and obedience in the Lord. However, imprisonment is not the worst thing that happens to believers. There were also cases of murders and other forms of persecution.

GOD’S WRATH AND GOD’S LOVE

            The signs that the Lord spoke of can be clearly seen in the past as well as in the present time and it is only a matter of time before the coming of the Lord. We cannot also deny the fact that immorality and unrighteousness is all around us. The same reason why God poured His wrath to His people in the Old Testament is the same or even greater in our time. Man’s sin is growing by the minute for he is able to create new ways to please the desire of his flesh through things that are unacceptable before God. I wouldn’t even wonder if the time for the Lord’s coming is now. The time will eventually come when the Lord will pour out His wrath to the whole of humanity because of the sinfulness of our generation and there is nothing that we can do about it except to wait and be on the watch.

            The only hope that we have in that day is that we are taken to be together with the Lord. Therefore, we must always be on the watch, faithfully waiting for the coming of the Lord like a wise and faithful servant for we know just as the Lord promised, we will be rewarded or punished based on our faith accompanied by our deeds and faithfulness.

            The Lord also warns us of people turning away from their faith. Matthew 24 says “10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come”. God’s salvation is free for everyone who believes but not every believer will be saved because just as the Lord says, only those that remain faithful to the end will be saved. Jesus spoke many parables concerning this matter.

CONCLUSSION

            The Lord has warned us of His coming when we will either be taken to be with Him or be left on earth to be judged. Just as the Lord says, the road that leads to life is narrow and only a few find it. A Christian life is not easy for we are living in the world, full of temptations and wickedness. But the promise of God is our hope, our motivation and we must persevere in order to be with Him in His coming, so that when the Lord comes, He will find us to be His faithful servant and be saved from eternal condemnation. God’s salvation is for everyone but God cannot force us to believe and be faithful for He has given us free will. God has done His part for our salvation; He even gave His only begotten Son for our sake. We can see that the day of the Lord’s coming getting nearer through the fulfillment of the signs that He has given. God has done His part; it is time to do ours, to live according to God’s love and to preach the Good News of salvation for the coming of the Lord.

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[1] Dr. Renald Showers.  “Sound Biblical Teaching on the Rupture of the Church” (March 3, 2009)
[2] Lee, R. “The History Guy: The War List” (2010)
[3]CBC News. “The World’s worst Natural Disasters” (February 27, 2010)
[4] The BBC “Haiti Devastated by Massive Earthquake” (2010)
[5] CBC News. “The World’s worst Natural Disasters” (February 27, 2010)
[6] Ibid
[7] Stefan J. Bos, “China Releases Pastors but Detains Roght Lawyer,” Worthy News Chief

International Correspondents. (May 08, 2010)
[8] Stefan J. Boss, “News Alert: Wife, Children of Jailed Cuban Pastor Face Eviction,” Worthy News

Chief International Correspondents. (March 24, 2010)