Is the entire pretribulational rapture theology Biblical at all? Is there any Biblical basis for the idea of Jesus coming to fetch His followers from this world before the 7 year tribulation?
Is “Rapture” in the Bible?
Lets start with the word “rapture” Is this word found in the Bible at all? The truth is no, the word “rapture” is not a in our English Bibles at all? Not even once. Actually the word “rapture” is the English version of the Greek word “Harpazo” which means “caught up” or“snatched away”. The word “Harpazo” is found in the New Testament a few times and translated into English as “caught up” as seen in 2 Cor 12:2, 4; 1 Thess 4:17, Rev 12:5. However just because the word “Rapture” is not found in the Bible it does not mean that the consept or the theology of rapture is unbiblical. It is just like the theology of trinity. The word “Trinity” it is not found in the Bible, but a careful and comprehensive study of the Scriptures reveal that God is one person in three forms. We just use the modern day term “Trinity” to express this very important and fundamental Biblical revelation abut the identity of God. Yes, the word “Trinity” is not in the Bible but the theology of trinity is surely in the Bible.
Likewise, the word “Rapture” is not in the Bible but a careful and comprihesive study of the Bible clearly reveals that the rapture is a very important promise of Jesus to His followers and thereby it is an inseparable part and parcel of the Gospel of Jesus. So much so that any understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ without rapture at its climax would be a misunderstanding or an incomplete understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Here are 10 proofs to the Biblical origin of pre-tribulation rapture of the followers of Jesus Christ.
- Jesus promise to come back to fetch His faithful followers, in other words we can safely say that Jesus Himself promised the rapture as seen in John 14:1-3.
- Jesus cautioned His followers to be prepared and to eagerly expect to be raputred by Jesus Himself, just like a bride prepares herself and eagerly waits for the bridegroom to be fetched by him as seen in Matt 25:1-3
- Jesus will come from heaven to deliver His faithful followers from the coming wrath of God that will fall on earth and on those who refuse to believe in Jesus – 1 Thess 1:10, Hebrews 9:28
- Believers of Jesus are not destined to go throuh the 7 tribulation and suffer the wrath of God on earth and the terrible abuse of the Antichrist’s one-world government. But they are destined to be raptured by Jesus and to live with Jesus forever, just as a bride lives with her bridegroom – 1 Thess 5:9-11.
- Rapture is presented as a “Great Mystery” and how it will happen is explained in details in 1 Corint 15:51-53. However, for the unbelievers and mockers of the Bible, the rapture still remains to be a great mystery. Once the rapture happens the entire world will suddenly plunge into a great global chaos and will not be able to comprehend what just happened to millions of people. They won’t be able to explain how millions of people just vanished in thin air in the blinking of an eye. Thereby, the rapture event for them will be a great mystery.
- Furhter details about the timing of rapture and the order of events at the time of the rapture are provided in 1 Thess 4 and 5 proving that the rapture event is an inseparable part and parcel of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact we can safely say that the rapture of the believers is the climax of the church age and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore, I am confident that any understanding of the Gospel of Jesus without the rapture at its climax is actually a misunderstanding of the Gospel and the Bible.
- Even more clearifiying and confirming details are given about how and why the rapture will happen before revelation of the Antichrist and the commencetaion of the 7 year tribulation in 2 Thess 2:1-13. This passage of the Bible clearly reveals that the rapture will happen before the Antichrist comes up and establishes his one-world government because God did not destined the Bride of Christ to go throught the oppression of the Antichrist and the wrath of God (1 Thess 1:10, 5:9-11).
- The 7 Tribulation is the 70th week of Daniel’s 70 weeks and it begins with the agreement between the Antichrist and Israel allowing the Jewish people to build the 3rd temple (Daniel 9:24-27). Jews will embrace the Antichrist as the true Messiah but only in 3.5 years time, when the Antichrist turns against them, they will discover the truth and realise the great mistake they made. Prophet Jeremiah refers to this time period as Jacob’s hour of trouble in Jeremiah 30:7. This is once again positive proof that the church is not on earth these 7 years are God’s appointment with the Jewish people on earth.
- Rev 4:1 gives us a glimpe of the exact moment of the rapture of the saints before the 7 year tribulation starts. Later on in Revelation 6 the tribulation begins. This yet another Biblical proof to pretribulational rapture in the Bible.
- Lastly, during the 7 years of great tribulation on earth (Rev 6-19), church is not on the earth but in the heavens and the Church era saints return to earth with Jesus only in His physical second coming as recorded in Rev 19. However, in this time period, in perfect alignment with OT prophecies such as Daniel and Jeremiah, God is now using Jewish people to proclaim the Gospel as seen in Revelation 7 and 11. Throuh the ministry of these Jewish servants of God, even in time of the great tribulation multitudes of people will give their hears and live to Jesus and for that they will be killed by the Antichrist and they will then arrive in the Heaven as the martyrs of the tribulation.