1 Thessalonians 4:17
After that, we who are still 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. (Jesus Bible)
The Rapture (Part B)
As I studied the rapture, I came to see that there is much controversy surrounding this topic in the literature. The Biblical scriptures are all there, for everyone to see, read and understand. However, it is in the interpretation of these scriptures that disagreements arise. Scholars have over the years developed lots of fancy words to wrap around their interpretation, which to be honest only serves to confuse the ordinary person, like me. So, here is my simplistic way of understanding.
What do we know?
- The Rapture is scriptural (see last blog post: The End Times Prophesies (2) – The Rapture). It will happen. The important thing that we must consider is: am I ready? Will Jesus come to call me, or will I be one of those left behind? If you don’t want to be left behind, read and do this.
- When? The simple answer is: Whenever God wants it to happen. We have no control over it. We cannot predict it with any accuracy. Scripture gives us signs of things that happen prior to the rapture, but there is little clarity around them. The one thing is for certain, it will not be long, not another 2,000 years.
- How can we be certain? In his Word, the Bible, God has shown us that his plans are always carried out. He has spoken to us through His prophets, disciples, apostles and even through Jesus himself, and given us what we term as prophecies, the prediction of future events. When God gives a prophecy, it usually comes in two parts. A soon event and a distant event. When the soon event has happened, we have a great certainty that the distant event will happen as well. There are over 300 prophesies of the Bible that have come true, about the first coming of Christ, and we know they came true. There are over 3,000 prophesies in the Bible about Christ’s second coming(1). The rapture is just one piece of the big puzzle.
The disagreements that have arisen over time, have mostly to do with the Chronology of the End-Times events. I posted what I believe that chronology to be in a previous post (End Times Clarified). I believe the rapture happens before the start of the tribulation, which is a horrible time of testing and punishment by God, upon an unbelieving world. (To be covered in depth later. Right now I am focusing on those parts of scripture that pertain to the current book series, The Children of Light.)
Rapture During the Tribulation
A) Some believe that the rapture takes place during the tribulation… either early on, in the middle or at the very end. I am not one who believes that, as God has promised to spare those who believe in Him and His Son, Jesus Christ. The Tribulation is largely for the Jews, for them to finally recognize Jesus Christ as their long awaited Messiah.
Rapture Prior to the Tribulation
B) Others, like myself, believe the rapture will take place before the start of the tribulation. God will have removed the Church, the body of believers, out of the earth and brought them to heaven to be with Him there, for a period of time. Believers are spared all the horrors of the tribulation time to come.
So, everything I write is from this perspective. That includes my blogs and my books, the Children of Light series.
I will not argue or justify my position. It has taken me years to get here, and I fully believe that this is God’s truth as given to us in His Word. This is entirely between God and me.
I did however do some research to help me come to this conclusion. I have read a variety of books, and some of them have been from the opposing view. Authors such as Dr. Billy Graham, Chuck Smith, Dr. Van Impe, John Wesley White, Ron Rhodes, John F. Walvoord, Dr. David Jeremiah, Dr. Thomas Ice, Tim LaHaye, Arthur Bloomfield, William H. Stephens, and others. These authors and their works span a period of over sixty years. Yet, they agree on the message of scripture related to the rapture. We know it will happen, but since nobody know when, you need to be prepared.
To be prepared, you must commit your life to Christ. It is a simple prayer.
Lord Jesus, I am a sinful person. I ask for your forgiveness of my sins. Help me change, for I want to change. I ask you to come into my life, as my Saviour and Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
If you have just prayed that prayer, tell someone. Feel free to email me (Contacts section of the website). You need to find a good church if you don’t have one. Ask Jesus through his Holy Spirit to guide you in this effort. Now, open your Bible and read the book of John (It’s in the New Testament, the latter part of the Bible.)
In the end, in my Spirit, I believe I have arrived at the right position, my position. (I will post my reading list soon.)
In closing, I believe the rapture happens before the start of the tribulation. After the rapture, I believe there will be a period of time (again an undisclosed amount of time) prior to the start of the tribulation. That is so a number of things can happen, but that is for another blog to come.
(1) Jeremiah, David. The Book of Signs.