First off, I would like for you to study the stearn warning from the title above that Paul gives to the readers in 2Thessalonians. This is something you need to take to heart and understand regarding what the scriptures have to say on this matter of the “rapture” as opposed to what someone conveys to you that it means. This includes me or your pastor or anyone else.
My concern is that there are many false teachings going around about the rapture, but more specifically about the tribulation period concerning the believer. So many Christians I’ve talked to are convinced that they will completely avoid the tribulation and any consequences of it.
If the time of great tribulation is near as I suspect it is and the current day believer is believing wrongly in this matter, it could be a major shock for them as well as debilitating to their faith right when they need it most. That is my concern and reasoning behind writing this blog.
Side Note: If you are reading this and are not sure if you are a true Christian believer and are unsure if you died today you would go to heaven, scroll to the bottom of this blog and I will show you out of Gods word that can not lie, how you can know for certain you would go to heaven upon departure of this life.
Also: The term rapture though not a biblical term refers to a biblical event described in the bible as the time when Christ will return in the clouds and gather up those he redeemed (who have believed) and take them alive from out of this world before the wrath of God is poured down onto this earth.
That time described in the bible as a time that has never been seen nor will ever again be seen is known as the great tribulation.
Paul Talks of the Rapture
My focus on the rapture will be primarily in the book of 2Thessalonians chapter 2, verses 1-9 out of Gods Holy Word in the King James bible, with some reference to other books and verses for the sake of comparison and clarification. Before we get started I would ask that you go somewhere where you won’t be disturbed, clear your head and have a open mind and pray with me, or on your own about receiving wisdom and truth concerning the scriptures you are about to digest.
Heavenly Father Lord God, thank you for your abundant grace and mercy and for your powerful word you have freely given us. As I read your word, grant me wisdom and understanding to see the truths you have presented for me and that I may take them and apply them in my life to bring you glory Father, in the name of your precious son Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.
Revelation of the Rapture
Let’s get started in 2Thessalonians chapter 2 verses 1 and 2.
V1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him,
V2 that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
Paul here is addressing the brethren (believers) and describing our gathering together unto Christ referred to as the Day of Christ, the rapture. Moving to verse 3 we will see the warning described earlier and the events that have to happen before the rapture can take place.
V3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
The highlighted words here were: for that day shall not come except, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, to show that the antichrist must be revealed before the rapture can take place. I don’t see how this can be interpreted any other way, yet many teachings out there describe it to the contrary. Now this revealing may be in the form of this man of sin being appointed a king or president of some country most likely in the middle east or he will be revealed as one to confirm the 7 year peace treaty between Israel and the middle east, Palestine, etc. I’m not sure.
If he is revealed through the confirming of the 7 year peace treaty though, that’s where a lot of Christian believers will being starting to doubt their faith based on believing they should have already been raptured out. This is the danger of not getting this teaching right. My point in all of this as I have said before is to just keep a open mind to the fact that you may have to go into the tribulation period for awhile. How long? I don’t know, but it could be awhile. Possibly 1 or 2 years.
God’s wrath is not immediately going to be poured down the day the tribulation period starts, and we are only promised to be spared from Gods wrath, not mans or the Devils. So who is to say we wouldn’t be the first witnesses here to stand up against antichrist and all the rejoicing lost souls believing in a false peace and leader. That would go totally against the grain, making us appear rebellious and as crazy zealots trying to ruin their joy. Don’t you think that might draw some persecution our way? Why should we be spared the persecution and martyrdom that our past brethren had to deal with?
Wouldn’t that better set up an excuse for the rapture by the antichrist (better then the mass alien abduction theory) as to explain our disappearance. He could say how he had us (the tormenters and “unbelievers“) removed from this world and cast out into judgment. This would show him as to have great power and authority while increasing the faith and hope of those that are left behind duped into believing they are the chosen ones. 1Thessalonians chapter 5 touches on this how they shall say there is peace and safety, then destruction falls upon them. Also verse 11 of 2Thessalonians chapter 2 says: And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
Again, this is my theory. I want to stress this folks. It is based on what I interpret the scriptures to say. With that being said, I want to proceed to 2Thessalonians chapter 2 verses 6-9 to show what will free up the rapture and allow it to happen.
V6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
V7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
V8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
V9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
Again note the highlighted words. There is something withholding this beast from revealing himself whenever he feels like it. But wait a minute! Didn’t we read earlier where he was already revealed. This is where it gets really interesting and Gods preserved word from out of the King James bible truly spells it out. Verse 7 says that the mystery of iniquity doth already work, that there are in fact many antichrists already working in this world priming it for the real antichrist.
But, only he who now letteth (restraineth) will let (restrain) until he be taken out of the way. This is believed to be the Holy Spirit who indwells the believer forming the body of Christ that now occupies the earth. When this body of Christ filled with the Holy Spirit is removed (rapture) then and only then can that Wicked be revealed. So who is this Wicked one and why is it capitalized?
This is the same man of sin who was revealed earlier but now has become a different person indwelt by That adversary Satan of verse 9. Go to Revelation 12:12 and read: Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. Soon after we see in Revelation 13 where he gives power unto this man of sin who is fatally wounded in the head yet lives again. Now this all happens somewhere around the middle of the tribulation period but in no way am I suggesting we would still be going into the tribulation period this far. There are verses that say otherwise and I will get to those shortly. But this is simply to show the possibility of us once again going into the tribulation some.
So where does it show the wonderful event of the rapture happening. This is something once again that to me is controversial and misunderstood though I find it to be clearly stated in the bible. Revelation chapter 7 is the key I believe. At the beginning of this chapter we find where wrath is about to be poured out on earth to harm its inhabitants except for the 144,000 of the tribes of Israel. But before the opening of the seventh seal in verse 8 which sets forth the wrath of God, we see in chapter 7 an event that I believe is the rapture of the church.
V9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
This is describing a huge amount of people that is so great no man could count them. A lot of teachings out there say that these are people involved in a second rapture that happens during great tribulation of those saved after we have been taken out already. While I agree there will be those that are saved during that time I don’t agree it will be a number so huge that it couldn’t be counted by man. The reason for my theory is based on the previous verse of God sending down strong delusion that they believed a lie. But the first rapture (of the living saints) would contain a great multitude that can’t be counted by man.
Where I think the confusion is, is found in verse 14 of Revelation 7.
V14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
A teaching is going around that divides up the two 3 ½ year time periods of the tribulation as tribulation for the first half and great tribulation as the second half.
This is a division created by man as far as the labeling is concerned. But as for the bible the whole 7 year period is considered great tribulation. There will not be peace during the entire first 3 ½ years. The wrath of God which will not be peaceful is coming up in chapter 8 and the second 3 ½ years is not mentioned till chapter 13. But to fit their theory of the 2 separate divisions and the fact they correctly understand we don’t go past mid trib, they just assume that this is a second rapture that happens later after the main rapture.
A Final Thought about the Rapture
Revelation 4 verse 4: And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
And Revelation 5 verse 11: And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
These verses indicate clearly early on that there are people in heaven based on the fact that there are elders described. While this is true it first has to be understood that there are souls in heaven right now though they be not in their glorified bodies currently. None the less I believe these elders are in heaven in their glorified bodies in this verse. So what’s my explanation of this? 1Thessalonians 4:15-17,
V15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
V16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
V17 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.
We shall not prevent (go before) those that are dead in Christ. But they shall be raptured first then we which are alive at that time shall be gathered together with them to meet the Lord in the air. Now, is this a bang, bang event, or is there a gap between these raptures where we meet them in the clouds with the Lord at a separate time? It doesn’t say and shouldn’t just be assumed as a bang, bang event.
God can deal with this however he chooses, but why not have everyone called up together if it is a bang, bang rapture? Just a thought as to why there could be elders talked about earlier on. Notice how they are the only humans mentioned.
Again this is my theory based on what I interpret the scriptures to say based on the event of the rapture. Whether I am correct on my theory of course is yet to be seen. But my thought on this (which I believe can’t hurt but possibly help later on) is, why not keep an open mind to the thought of possibly going into the tribulation and just being ready and prepared for that possibility.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and theories on this.
If nothing else remember this: No man may know the day and hour of Christ return, but this is a certainty, every day that passes by is one day closer to His coming or your going! Are you ready?
Way of Salvation
Do you know for certain if you were to die today that you would go to heaven? The bible says that you can know for certain and this is nothing you want to leave to chance.
1John chapter 5 verses 11-13:
V11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
V12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
V13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Plain and simple is you need Jesus for eternal life.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Romans 10 verses 9-10, 13:
V9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
V10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
V13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Just as the thief on the cross got saved without works that he did and without water baptizing. He simply asked for salvation from the only one who could save him through faith and trust in Christ righteousness.
Whosoever includes all and it is simply recognizing you are a sinner separated from God that needs a Saviour.
Prayer of Salvation
Pray this prayer from your heart humbly as like a child believing in and trusting in the righteousness of Christ for your salvation:
Lord Jesus, forgive me of all my sins . I recognize my sin and turn from it and my own righteousness, completely trusting in your perfect works and righteousness as my way to the Father and eternal life. Thank you Jesus for your great sacrifice on the cross and love for me that you considered me while I was yet a sinner. I humbly ask you now to come into my heart to be my Lord and Saviour and fill me with your Holy Spirit of truth. I thank you Lord Jesus. In your name I pray, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer with sincerity, you are eternally saved, sealed with the Holy Spirit and you have a heavenly home. No one or nothing can take that from you, it is eternal. Rejoice and praise God for his great mercy and love. Go and serve Him and read his word faithfully and diligently.