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Post Tribulation Rapture

Discussion in 'Exposition & Bible Study' started by thesunisout, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. thesunisout

    thesunisout growing in grace Supporter

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    Post Tribulation Rapture

    The bible teaches us that there will be a seven year period preceding the end of the world called the Tribulation. We learn this in various places, mainly Daniel 9 (70 weeks of Daniel) and Revelation 13 although there are many other references. During this time a person who is referred to as the Antichrist will come to dominate the Earth and cause all of the unsaved to worship him. The bible seems to indicate that at the beginning of the tribulation period he will bring peace to the Earth for a time, and then in the middle of the tribulation he will take of his mask and claim to be God. This is when God begins to pour His wrath out on the Earth. This culminates at the end of the tribulation when Jesus returns to destroy the Antichrist and begin His sovereign reign over Earth.

    These facts are all generally agreed upon. The one fact is not totally agreed upon is the timing of what is called the rapture. You may be surprised to know that the word rapture is nowhere to be found in the bible. It was derived from this verse:

    1 Thessalonians 4:17

    Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord

    The word for "caught up" in the greek is harpazo. It means to seize or to snatch out. It is only in the latin vulgate translation produced by the Catholic church that this word is rendered "raptos", which is where we get the word "Rapture". When we are talking about the rapture, we are talking about the church being caught up to meet the Lord in the air and be with Him forever.

    There are three different positions taken, in general, for the timing of what is called the rapture, or the gathering together of the saints. The three are:

    Pre-tribulation, Mid-tribulation and Post-tribulation.

    Something else that everyone generally agrees with is that an event will happen at the end of the tribulation called "The Day of the Lord". This Day is spoken of throughout the Old and New Testament, as a day of great destruction and judgment against the wickedness of man.

    2 Peter 3:10

    But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed

    Joel 2:31

    The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes

    Malach 4:1

    For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch

    Ultimately, what scripture is pointing to is that the Day of the Lord is the visible coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to judge the world:

    Matthew 24:29-30

    Immediately after the tribulation of those days: ‘The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’ At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.

    Again, this is generally agreed upon by all viewpoints of the rapture. What this means is that for the pre or mid tribulation rapture to take place, there must be an additional coming of Jesus Christ to gather up His church before the Day of the Lord. So, in the pre-trib and mid-trib viewpoint, there is both a second AND third coming of Christ. Once to gather His church and once to judge the Earth. The trouble with the view of an additional coming of Christ is that it isn't found in the scripture. We do see verses, however, which teach the contrary:

    Acts 1:11

    Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven

    If Jesus returns the same way that He left, how could there by two phases to His return if the ascension only had one? It's a fair question which has no answer other than the obvious one; there couldn't be. If He returns the same way He left, He only returns once.

    Jesus also rules it out when He describes what His return will be like:

    Matthew 24:26-27

    Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be

    Jesus is telling us that His return won't be a secret, only revealed to a select group. It will be visible to everyone, lighting up the entire sky. This rules out the theory of a "secret rapture", whereby Christ returns to gather His church unseen.

    At this point you might be saying, I can see why these verses and ideas contradict the idea of a pre or mid trib rapture, but that doesn't prove a post-trib rapture either. Indeed it does not. Thankfully, that isn't all that we have to go on to prove a post-tribulation rapture:

    Matthew 24:29-31

    Immediately after the tribulation of those days: ‘The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’ At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other

    Matthew 24 is an awesome chapter of scripture, where Jesus lists the signs we will see during the end times, especially concerning the tribulation. We see here that the rapture happens "immediately after the tribulation of those days", where He gathers the elect after His visible return to the Earth. This is about as cut and dry as it gets, as it completely rules out a pre or mid trib rapture.

    Matthew 24:15-22 further clarifies that this is talking about the Tribulation period:

    15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened

    The abomination of desolation is an event in the middle of the tribulation where the Antichrist sets up a corrupt image in the newly rebuilt Jewish temple. When this happens, God begins to pour out His wrath upon the Earth.

    Here is another scripture which definitely limits when the rapture can take place:

    2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

    Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God

    Paul says here that the rapture can't happen until "the falling away comes first" and the "man of sin is revealed". This places two conditions on when the rapture takes place. Have you ever heard someone teach that the rapture could happen at any time? That isn't true, according to this scripture.

    So when does the falling away happen and when is the man of sin revealed?

    Matthew 24:10

    And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another

    This occurs near the middle of the tribulation, sometime after verse 9:

    Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

    This rules out the pre tribulation rapture altogether, since it cannot happen until the falling away occurs. When is the man of sin revealed? Let's look at what Paul says about it:

    2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

    Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

    This is when the Antichrist takes off his mask and claims to be God. This is referring to the abomination of desolation we looked at earlier, which happens in the middle of the tribulation. Again, this is hard evidence which completely rules out a pre-trib rapture.

    Also note that, although it says it can't happen until the middle of the tribulation, it doesn't mean it will happen in the middle of the tribulation. We have already ruled out that possibility with Matthew 24:29-31.

    Two other things to notice. In verse 1 Paul is talking about "the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him". Then in verse 3, he says that "Day". He is tying together the Day of the Lord and the rapture into one Day. This rules out the pre and mid tribulation rapture since they make those two separate events.

    In verse 3 we are admonished not to be deceived about all of this. He is warning us there will be a deception about the timing of the coming of the Lord and the rapture!

    Deception brings confusion, and never has been there been more confusion about the timing of the rapture today. Did you know that the idea of a pre-trib rapture is a very recent idea, coming about in the last 150 years? From the beginning, the church has believed that it would face the Antichrist in the last days. Here are some quotes from the early church fathers:

    Augustine:

    But he who reads this passage[Daniel 12], even half asleep, cannot fail to see that the kingdom of Antichrist shall fiercely, though for a short time, assail the Church before the last judgment of God shall introduce the eternal reign of the saints

    Hippolytus


    Now, concerning the tribulation of the persecution which is to fall upon the Church from the adversary, John also speaks thus: “And I saw a great and wondrous sign in heaven . . .” That refers to the one thousand two hundred and threescore days [the half of the week] during which the tyrant is to reign and persecute the Church

    Tertullian

    And that the beast Antichrist with his false prophet may wage war on the Church of God . . . Since, then, the Scriptures both indicate the stages of the last times, and concentrate the harvest of the Christian hope in the very end of the world [On the Resurrection of the flesh, chapter 25].

    Irenaeus

    For all these and other words were unquestionably spoken in reference to the resurrection of the just, which takes place after the coming of Antichrist, and the destruction of all nations under his rule; in [the times of] which [resurrection] the righteous shall reign on the earth, waxing stronger by the sight of the Lord: and through Him they shall become accustomed to partake in the glory of God the Father, and shall enjoy in the kingdom intercourse and communion with the holy angels, and union with spiritual beings; and those whom the Lord shall find in the flesh, awaiting Him from heaven, and who have suffered tribulation, as well as escaped the hands of the Wicked one.” (Ibid., Chapter XXXV)

    I would like to bring up one scripture that is commonly used to object to a post-trib rapture:

    Revelation 3:10

    Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth

    The idea is that the church is kept from the hour of trial, or the tribulation, by removing them from the Earth. Since this would contradict the scriptures we have already reviewed, is there a better explanation? There is and we find it in John 17:15

    I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil one

    The words for "keep from" in the greek are tereo ek, which is the exact same phrase used in Revelation 3:10, and the only other place it is used. In John 17:15 Jesus specifically said He didn't want the Father to remove the saints from the earth when trouble came, but to protect them from the the evil one. I believe this is the sense that is meant in Revelation 3:10.

    So what does all of this mean? To me it means that our hope can rest on nothing less than Jesus Christ and His righteousness. Our hope can't be an escape from tribulation, because that hope will fail. Our only hope is Christ.

    I'm not excited about going through the tribulation but I know my Lord is able to protect me and get me through it. Unfortunately, most people are counting on escaping, and I think when it doesn't happen it will severely try their faith.

    I hope you will consider well these facts I have shared. Please don't take my word for it; study the scriptures and pray the Holy Spirit will reveal the truth to you. We can't believe something just because someone else taught it to us; we need to know the truth for ourselves and how to prove it from the scriptures.

    John 8:32

    So He said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
     
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  2. pshun2404

    pshun2404 Newbie

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    There are two parts...

    a) the part of the Anti-Christ (following his time of false peace when he persecutes the saints of God)
    b) this period concludes at the Parousia when he is consumed by the brightness of Christ's return and the rapture and first resurrection occur
    c) then the wrath of God is poured out on the earth

    Scripturally the church is here until the parousia (rapture/Rez) which FOLLOWS after the 3 1/2 years of persecution...
     
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