The Pre-Tribulation Rapture

1. What is the rapture? The Greek word is used 6 times in the N.T.

•John 10:28 Security of the believer
•Acts 8:39 Philip
•2 Cor. 12:2-4 Paul
•Rev. 12:5 Man-child
•1 Thess. 4:13-18, key verse 1 Thess. 4:17

A. Caught up

Greek word Harpazo which means to seize by force, to snatch, to pluck, to take to oneself. Comes from the root word Haireo which means to choose or to prefer.

The Latin word Rapturo is where we get the English word rapture. It has the idea of being imminent.

B. Four things take place at the rapture.

  1. Return of Christ in the air [1 Thess. 4:14]
  2. Resurrection of the dead in Christ [1 Thess. 4:16b].
  3. Rapture of living believers [1 Thess. 4:17].
  4. Reunion with those who had died [1 Thess. 4:17].

C. Differences between the rapture and the revelation

The rapture and the second coming are separate events.

At the rapture, believers meet the Lord in the air to go to the third heaven [John 14:3; 1 Thess. 4:17]. At the second coming, believers return with the Lord to the earth [Rev. 19:14].

The rapture occurs before the tribulation [1 Thess. 5:9; Rev. 3:10]. The second coming occurs after the tribulation [Rev. 6-19].

At the rapture Christ comes to rescue saints from the tribulation and take them to the Judgment Seat for reward [Rom. 14:10; 2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; 5: 9; Rev. 4:4, 10]. At the second coming He removes unbelievers as an act of judgment and reigns in His kingdom [Matt. 24: 40-41].

At the rapture Christ gathers the elect [1 Thess. 4:13-18]. At the second coming the angels gather God’s elect Israel [Matt. 24: 31].

The rapture will be secret and instant [1 Cor. 15:50-54]. The second coming will be visible to all [Rev. 1:7; Matt. 24:29-30; Zech. 12:10].

The rapture is imminent; it could take place any moment [Titus 2:13; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:50-54].

2. What are some other rapture passages in the New Testament?

John 14: 3
Luke 21: 36
Romans 11: 25-26
1 Thess. 1:10; 5:1-11
2 Thess. 2: 1-7
Rev. 4:1; 3: 10; 6: 1; 6-19; 19:7-8, 11-14

3. What are some types of the rapture in the Old Testament?

O.T. Types

A type is symbolism because it represents something yet future. It is a person or thing in the Old Testament which foreshadows a person or thing in the New Testament.

The flood in Noah’s day [Gen. 6-7] is used as a type for baptism in 1 Peter 3: 20-21.

The Tabernacle, the Passover, the feasts, are types of Christ’s redemption.

Types of the Rapture

Lot- [Gen. 19:12-16]

Enoch- [Gen. 5:24]

Elijah- [2 Kings 2:11]

Noah- The Ark is a picture of the believer being safe in salvation from judgment [Gen. 6:18; 2 Peter 3:6-7]

4. What are some passages that argue against the Post-Trib view?

In Rev. 12 there is no mention of Israel and the church co-existing in the tribulation period.

In Rev. 19:11-21 there is no mention of a rapture at the second coming of Jesus at the end of the tribulation period.

In Rev. 18:20 the church is in heaven rejoicing over the destruction of Babylon at the end of the tribulation period before the second coming.

The Post-Tribulation view serves no purpose. Why go up and come right back? This view allows no time for the Judgment Seat of Christ, the Judgment of the Sheep and Goats, and the Marriage Supper.

The Post-Tribulation view can’t explain the millennium being populated by sinful people. If all are raptured at the end of the tribulation with glorified bodies, then they can’t populate the kingdom with sinful people who will revolt at the end of the Millennium.

The absence of the word “church” in Rev. 13:9. “Churches” is used in all seven of the churches in the church age in Rev. 2-3. It is absent in 13:9 because the church is in heaven before the tribulation.

1 Thess. 4:13-18 demands a pre-trib view because of the teaching of comfort. Comfort makes no sense if there is a post-trib view. If post-trib, the Thessalonians would be rejoicing over their loved ones who died and went to heaven and grieve that they were left to go through the tribulation.

In Rev. 3:10 the faithful church is promised that they will miss the time of tribulation to come upon the “whole” earth. They will be “kept from,” not “through” the tribulation. The verb “to keep” is followed by a preposition whose normal meaning is “from” or “out of.” The phrase “Them that dwell upon the earth” refers to the ones “kept from” as being in heaven and not on earth.

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