Most of us are probably not as interested as we should be in end times issues. Perhaps we have no intention of changing our views before the Return of Jesus, or death takes us away from it all. If it turns out that we die before Christ returns, then what is the difference? Would you really want to stand in His presence and admit you were not concerned about the truths taught in His Word? But what if you are still here during the Great Tribulation? It is clear, from the Bible, that God does want His servants to be aware of His plans and be prepared, physically and spiritually for what must come.
Titus 2:13 tells us what we are waiting for: the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ. His coming will be seen by all, accompanied by a trumpet blast heard around the world. Those who say that there will be a “secret coming” before that event, a “rapture” have no Biblical justification for such a thing to happen. There will be a group, the elect, who will be taken to a place of safety, on earth, during the 3½ year Tribulation period. Revelation 12:6.
The Church will still be on earth when Jesus returns. Otherwise, we would not need to be exhorted to continue with righteous attitudes and activities until He comes.2Timothy 4:1-8, 1 Peter 1:13 & 4:12-13 & 5:1-4, 1 Corinthians 4:5, James 5:7-8, 1 Thess. 3:13, Philip. 1:9-11.
A Scripture passage often pointed to as a “rapture” text is 1 Thess. 4:13-18. But that plainly refers to the Return of Jesus. Paul describes those in Jerusalem ‘rising to meet Him in the air’ Firstly, this is simply a meeting, as He descends, and secondly this may be an allegory, a spiritual rising, as those people say “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord“
Emphasis on looking for a supposed secret coming of Christ to get His church and take it to heaven before the Tribulation, contradicts the writings of the Apostles and the early church fathers, as well as Jesus: John 18:15 I do not pray that You take them out of this world, but that You protect them from the evil one.
Any new believer, just reading the Bible, without the ‘benefit’ of church teaching and dogma, would read that Jesus promised to Return to the world in glory, accompanied by His angels – Matthew 16:27. He will come after a period of great suffering – Matt. 24:21-30. He will gather His chosen ones then, to live and reign on earth. Matt. 24:31, 2 Thess. 2:1.
It hardly seems possible for anyone to arrive at a rapture, pre, mid or post Tribulation, by independent study of the Scriptures. If this teaching is not set out clearly in the Bible, how did it originate? Investigation into the history of the rapture, indicates that it began in Scotland in the early 1800’s, with the visions of Margaret McDonald and was later promoted in England by Edward Irving, J. Darby and others.
As we are now very close to the time when God will act on earth in order to fulfil His plans for His creation, careful study of Bible prophecy can inform us of end time events, even some timing is given to us. Don’t be one who is ignorant of coming events or worse still, have an apathetic attitude. What will Jesus say to you?
1 Corinthians 1:7-9 There is indeed no single gift you lack, while you wait expectantly for our Lord, Jesus Christ to reveal himself. He will keep you firm to the end without reproach until that Day. It is God Himself who called you to share in the life of His Son and God keeps faith.