I posted earlier wanting everyone's opinion of when the Rapture was going to take place. I was post trib at the time. Ive since read a real good book on the rapture titled "Rapture question answered" by Robert Van Kampen. Its the most thorough book on Eschatology that Ive ever read. Ive changed from Post trib to Pre Wrath. The book was very convincing.
I personally believe that the Rapture could occur at anytime and that neither wrath or tribulation are required.
That is, I personally believe that neither a time nor season of tribulation or wrath need to occur in order for the Rapture to occur.
The Rapture can occur at anytime including now.
well i don't really believe in a "Rapture" as in the traditional sense
i agree with van kampen about the timing of the "Rapture" though.
what i mean is i dont believe in those alive at that time period will be called up to "heaven" but will be caught up with Christ in the sky upon his return. so i guess it is a "rapture" just not in the traditional sense
2Th 2:1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him: we ask you, brothers,
2Th 2:2 not to be easily upset in mind or troubled, either by a spirit or by a message or by a letter as if from us, alleging that the Day of the Lord has come.
2Th 2:3 Don't let anyone deceive you in any way. For that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.
2Th 2:4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits in God's sanctuary, publicizing that he himself is God.
I believe in the Rapture in the traditional sense if that means that the Lord, at any time, will come to gather the believers together and take them away from here.
I think this is a promise of the Lord and connects with the believers expectation that the Lord is coming back.
I think John 14:1 captures the idea that the Lord intends to Rapture the church and I believe the idea that the Lord can return at any time is capture or expressed in Matt 24:44 as well as Matt 25:13.
I think we are post rapture.
In recent years the pre-tribulation rapture position has come into question due to the apparent Biblical accuracy of the pre-wrath rapture theory. This position holds to the rapture of the church prIor to God's wrath which is the Day of the Lord. However, the pre-wrath rapture and the Day of the Lord are both placed within Daniel's seventieth week. This is where the pre-wrath theory parts ways with the standard fundamental pre-tribulation rapture theory.
Although the Bible teaches that we cannot know the specific hour the rapture will occur, it does tell us we can and should know "the times and the seasons". (I Thess. 5:1-10) The Lord Jesus, after answering His disciples questions by laying out the end times events in chronological order, told them "When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near even at the door"(Matt. 24:33) speaking of His Coming to rapture the church.
It is just prior to this passage the Lord also tells us of heavenly wonders that will precede His Coming: "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory . And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other" (Matt.24:29-31).
The significance of this passage is profound. It is these "wonders in heaven", the darkening of the sun and moon, and the stars falling from heaven, that bind together the rapture of the church with the Day of the Lord. These same wonders will also precede the Day of the Lord (Joel 2:30,31;2:14,15; Acts 2:19,20) The timing of these wonders is clear by the context in which they are found. In Matthew 24 the Lord Jesus places them after the "abomination of desolation" which takes place at the middle of Daniel's Seventieth Week. This fully agrees with the context of Revelation 6. This key chapter is taken up with the opening of the seals showing that these same wonders follow the opening of the Sixth Seal (Rev. 6:12,13).
Likewise, Luke 21:25-28 places these same wonders just before the Rapture "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; Mens hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." This rapture text is one of the most descriptive in the entire Word of God.
Mark 13:24-27 also testifies to this Rapture truth:"But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall He send His angels,and shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven." It is obvious that the Lord was giving a chronological order of events that would take place during Daniel's seventieth week. Time and again He uses the words "then, when, and after " to indicate that His answers to the disciples questions are in precise chronological order.
I Thess. 4:13-18 the classic Rapture passage is also connected to the Day of the Lord. Paul, after penning 4:13-18 covering the Rapture, continues in context discussing the Day of the Lord 5:1-10 as though they were one and the same event. Although this only scratches the surface concerning the Bible's teaching on the Rapture, the Bible is clear, the Rapture and the Day of the Lord are tied closely together, and they will be preceded by wonders in heaven sometime after the abomination of desolation.
The Day of the Lord is a very significant time in God's program for the End Times. It is His time of unparalleled judgment on Israel and unbelieving Gentiles as described in numerous Old Testament passages (Joel 1:15; 2:1-11; Zeph 1:14-18; 2:1-15; 3:8) The Day of the Lord is also important to the Believer for it is directly linked to the Rapture of the Church. The Bible teaches that the Day of the Lord begins the same day that the Rapture occurs. The same way God delivered Noah and Lot just prior to His judgment, so will He also deliver the Church from His wrath and judgment by rapture the same day the Day of the Lord begins. (Luke 17:22-36; I Thess. 5:9; II Pet. 2:4-10; Rev. 3:10).
The Day of the Lord is preceded by at least six specific things:
Awareness of the Believer( I Thess 5:1-10)
Falling Away (II Thess.2:1-3)
Man of Sin Revealed (II Thess.2:1-10)
Sending of Elijah (Mal. 4:5)
Heavenly Wonders (Joel 2:30,31)
Last Trump (Joel 2:1; Zeph. 1:14-18)
The Last Trump is also vitally connected to the Rapture " Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment in the twinkling of an eye, at The Last Trump, for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." ( I Cor 15:51,52 )
Thats the Prewrath theory in a nutshell.
The fundamental question is to whom is christ refering to in Matt chapter 24.
Verse 15 - 35 Jesus is describing a world condition that is different from verse 16 - 43.
The former describes a condition of chaos and trumoil followed by a gathering of the saints. The Latter describes a condition that is liken to the days of Noah before he enter the Ark. A time of eating and drinking, and marriage and given to marriage. In essence a time of business as usual.
The former speaks of the elect being taken out of a great tribulation in the mist of the great tribulation. The latter speaks of a "rapture" that can occur at anytime including now.
There are two different things refered to in Matt 24 because there are two different people spoken of: the Jews who are the elect, and the Church who are the saved.
The tribulation which is coming on the world isn't for the church but rather the world (Rev 3:10, 2 Peter 2:9). It is meant to punish the world and test the elect. The elect spoken off in the early part of Matt 24 is the Jews to whom the gospel was first preach and rejected. It is during the time of the tribulation that the remnant of Jews which God promise will be save, will be save and gather together (Romans 11:25 - 32; actually the whole chapter is about Israel's future salvation but 25 - 32 explains vividly how Israel will be saved). The Jews during the tribulation will accept Christ whom they reject for the sake of the Gentiles 2,000 years ago.
Why even worry about it. All that really matters is wether or not you will be left behind. I just wish he would come back soon. But not my time but his.
I agree that the body of Christ is not Israel. Israel is not the body of Christ.
Rev 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
Rev 7:14 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.
Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Rev 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days; be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Who are these people dieing for the testimony of Jesus? I would assume only Christians would die for Jesus.
2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2Th 2:2 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.
2Th 2:3 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;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
I just dont see a pretrib rapture in these verses. Heres another verse
1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
Paul says it will happen at the last trump, not the first.
You have to read it all in context. In context to the immediate text as well as in context to what has already been revealed in the scripture.
The tribulation mentioned in Revelation 2:10 is not the same tribulation which is coming upon the world that is meant to "try" the world as stated in Rev 3:10 and reference in 2 Peter 2:9 (note how what is stated in 2 Peter 2:9 matches exactly with the examples of Noah and Lot in the preceding verses of that same chapter. both Noah and Lot were "rapture" and "remove" thus spared from the coming tribulation).
Also in regards to the tribulation that is to come unto the world. This is specifically mentioned in Daniel chpater 12 and parallel's exactly with Matt 24:21-32.
This tribulation is meant to punished the world and to try the elect. The elect being Israel will turn to Christ and will be saved as promised in the O.T (Is 27:9, Jere 33:6-11, 14-17) and described by Paul in Romans 11 (11:25-27). This elect will influence some gentiles who will turn to Christ because of their testimony.
When Christ speaks of the end days in Matt 24 He is, in the first half, referencing a OT prophecy concerning Israel, that they will be "tried" then SAVED; in the second half He is reference an OT story concerning the righteous being "rapture" or "gathered away" before tribulation comes.
It is obvious that he is speaking of two different people and two different situations: the elect (Israel) and the righteous (the Church). There are two different promises foretold concerning the two. One is to be tried and then SAVED the other, who are already saved, will be removed from the world. Big difference. Israel's trial will put them in position to be saved whereas the church because they are already saved will be spared from the trial (see Rev 3:10).
Jesus made a promise to the church in John 14:1 (which corresponds to 1 thes 13:18) and the church is to be READY for His return AND expect Him to take us away. Jesus emphasizes this point in parables in Matt 25:1-28; Luke 12:35-47 and Luke 17:20-37.
Noah and Lot werent Raptured. Noah was right in the storm, but He was in the Ark so he was protected. Lot just left town. In the fiery furnace with the three hebrew kids, God protected them in the fire, but he didnt rapture them. I believe in the Rapture but I believe we endure Satan and the worlds wrath. But we are spared of God's wrath. But during the worlds wrath we are fair game.
Both Noah and Lot were raptured. The were "removed" from the environment and "gathered" to some place else, a safe place, a place where they couldn't be touch nor harmed by the tribulation that was to come.
In fact both stories have uncanny similiarities.
The tribulation or trouble didn't occur until AFTER they both were "removed" from the environment.
Noah and his family "entered" the ark to ESCAPE the waters of the flood AS commanded by the Lord and AFTER seven days the flood waters came upon the earth. (Genesis 7:6-10). Noah and his family didn't go through the flood they literally ESCAPED the flood and were REMOVED from the environment and dwelled in a place that was secure and safe.
Lot and his family were PHYSICALLY REMOVED from Sodom and Gomorrah. The tribulation that was about to come upon Sodom and Gomorrah didn't occur until AFTER Lot and his family were REMOVED from the scene. Furthermore the angels told Lot that the tribulation could not happen until AFTER they were removed from the scene (Genesis 19:12-22; note verse 16 and verse 22).
The parables Jesus stated in Matt 24:40-44 (as well as in Matt 25:1-13) fit the story of Noah and Lot exactly which Jesus alludes to in Matt 24:36-39. In the case of Lot, he and his daughters were taken others were "left behind". In the case with Noah, he and his family ENTERED the ark and were shut in while every one else was shut out, just like the 5 wise virgins were allowed to ENTERED in dwelling of the Bridegroom and were shut in (Matt 25:10) while the other unwise virgins were shut out (Matt 25:11-12).
Also Peter in 2 Peter 2:9, using both Noah and Lot as examples states God knows how to deliver the godly out of tribulation and reserve the wicked for punishment.
Neither Lot nor Noah were touch by the tribulation they escaped it and were removed from it.