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Common Sense The Rapture and Persecution

Updated on July 25, 2008

The Fallacy of the Persecution Saving Rapture

(Or is it Raptures)?

Everyone wants to know when is the rapture? Do you know why?


It is a time of great temptation, persecution and devastation upon the whole earth. We are not meant to escape it but rather to endure it. It is quite evident we will suffer it. To what degree Christians will suffer persecution is very plain in the scripture. The Antichrist will make war with the saints and overcome them.

But they in turn overcome Him, by not loving their lives even until death - and by their testimony of Jesus.

Nothing could be more plain. The earth itself will be under great duress and many hardships will be faced by all humans. Intense heat, lack of rain, disease, earthquakes, eruptions, wars and great fear - all will come upon the world. That is just the beginning; a beginning that gets progressively worse quicker and quicker.

The question of when the event of the Rapture happens, boils down to either of two positions. One is whether it is at the end of the Tribulation or at the end of the Millennium.

The idea or concept of the Rapture is found in a single scripture in Thessalonians. In it's humble beginnings there many scenarios have been surmised as to when it happens. However, it is not directly associated with any exact event other than "A" resurrection. To believe it happens anywhere in the future - it must be made to coincide with a resurrection.

All should be able to agree with that.

But the Bible is clear what the order of resurrection is. Christ the first-fruits, then we which are His at His coming. Now, whenever that is - it is only going to happen once. Not several times. Lazarus's sister said it would happen at the last day and Jesus did not argue with her.

That begs the question - how many last days can there be?

Might I suggest - only one?

The Sadducees asked Jesus about "THE" resurrection not the resurrections (plural). Jesus answered their question and he did not correct the idea of a single resurrection - he merely corrected the idea that marriage was not going to be an issue in those days.

Even though they did not believe in the resurrection - they presented the problem from the Pharisee's point of view who did. They weren't really seeking truth - they were trying to humiliate the Pharisees their rivals - and were attempting to get Jesus to agree with them - by showing that it would be improbable in the resurrection for a woman to have 7 husbands - thus the resurrection - in their minds - was a false teaching.

If the idea of a single resurrection was wrong, Jesus would have corrected it - just like He corrected the other false notion - but He didn't. Now you have to remember, Jesus was a teacher. He would not have left them with a false theology. He actually said they erred in the idea of marriage after the resurrection by saying - "you err not knowing the scriptures." He then tells them the error but it wasn't the idea of a single resurrection. If He pointed out the one error - He would have pointed out the other if it existed.

Revelation 22 says there is a single resurrection of the just. So where does the idea of several resurrections (rapture) come from?

Dispensationalism; and in my opinion that teaching is wrong. One of the scriptures used to justify this persecution saving teaching is the one in Thessalonians about we are not appointed to wrath. That is true. But the wrath Dispensationalists are talking about is tribulation wrath - thus the rapture solution. But if you read 1 Thessalonians 5 it is obviously talking about ETERNAL WRATH. It even compares it to our eternal salvation. The two eternal destinations is the entire purpose of those scriptures. Not the rapture during the tribulation. Read it for yourself..

1 Thessalonians 5

8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

Not (eternal) wrath BUT (eternal) salvation instead...

Dispensationalism is merely 160 years old and prior to it - there was no theory of a secret rapture to transform and resurrect saints before the worst part of the coming tribulation. Today, the belief is widely held in Evangelical circles especially with the success of the Left Behind Series which propounds and supports this idea.

Obviously the Bible mentions only 2 resurrections, the one of the just and the one of the wicked. Believing in others is what convolutes the end times scenarios with images of Christians being airlifted out of the earth during the tribulation. And why? Well, although the reason is generally given as one of reward for diligence - the truth is that it is concocted out of fear. Fear of dying in the tribulation. Fear of dying for the Lord. Fear, fear, fear.

Let us reason together. There is no precedent where God has saved believers from persecution. The Bible clearly states the opposite. "They hated me first - they will hate you." "They killed me first - they will kill you." "All who live Goldy in Christ shall suffer persecution."

Or more specifically 1 Thessalonians 3:4,

For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass...

And there are so many more verses like this. Surely you see them in your own study. Surely. Reason alone suggests that ALL will suffer or at the very least - might suffer - tribulation. There are numerous verses like this in many compelling statements which demand a simple conclusion. Namely - Christians will suffer persecution. That's part of being a Christian. They go hand in hand. To say that one kind of tribulation is greater than another kind is fallacious. Pain is pain and death is death. It is of no importance whether it is suffered under the so called, "Great Tribulation" or not. It is great (so to speak) to the victim no matter the era, duration or intensity.

Almost all pretribulation rapture teachings state that there will first be a rapture that takes every living Christian out of the world before or midway during the tribulation - but then, 100's of millions of people get saved when they realize they "Missed it" - and it is these Christians that get slaughtered by the Antichrist.

But nowhere do I see the character of God act this way. Especially when you consider it is for no purpose whatsoever. THERE IS NO PURPOSE STATED IN THE BIBLE AS TO WHY THE FIRST GROUP (IN THIS TEACHING) GOES UP. Furthermore, there is not a single scripture that describes what happens IMMEDIATELY AFTER THIS EVENT. Think about it. Supposedly the most historic event ever recorded - 100's of millions of people disappear in an instant - and there is not a single scripture discussing the immediate aftermath. But there are 100's and 100's of end time scriptures discussing every other subject in it's finest detail.

Including persecution!

We are to patiently endure persecution til the end - the Bible repeatedly says. He who endures til the end SHALL BE SAVED. It refines us. Give it some thought. Should some endure and others miraculously escape? Should God respect this last generation of believers more than those that supposedly immediately replace them - or those which preceded them? At the very time when the world is in horrid spiritual darkness - is it reasonable to assume that God would take his army out the world - the very army that converts sinners to God via preaching and witnessing - loving not their lives even unto death - and replace them with second string players hurriedly saved - and shortly slaughtered?


Are we to believe that this scraggly group - of let's face it - LEFT OVERS - has the spiritual strength to endure immediate persecution. That these last second Christians are capable of this? It stretches the imagination beyond Christian common sense. And in the truest sense - this teaching makes a mockery of the endless millions of martyred saints throughout the ages. Do you really believe that this hastily saved group could - according to the scripture do this?

Revelation 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.

Not likely.


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      John 13:16 - A servant is not greater than his master (paraphrase mine)

      Jesus did not get delivered from his persecution and subsequent death, he stayed the course and did not love his life unto death.

      Do you; we think we are greater than Christ?

    • profile image

      White Horse 

      10 years ago

      I'm afraid there will be no magic tricks.  There will be no white horse with wings. The revelations prophecy was designed to bring out vivid imaginations but only one person can loose the seals, and he can't walk on water.  He has some interesting revelations that make a few think twice.  And no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand.  The 144 is an expression for the ones who can grasp it and it has other meanings.

      As people get older they start wondering if there really is a God and start searching for a Saviour.

      The good people will get one, you can count on it.  The mystery babylon are too coward to come forth and they hate the Christ and leave him desolate and naked.

      Only the wise can see it.   

    • Prophecy Teacher profile imageAUTHOR

      Prophecy Teacher 

      10 years ago from Dallas Texas

      Thank you Sandra, that is very kind and thoughtful of you. I am grateful.

    • profile image

      Prophecy Teacher 

      10 years ago

      Floor Monkey. Thank you for your comments.

      Concerning the idea that the "rapture" is what is being spoken of when you quote the verses saying "one will be taken the other left" etc - it does not necessarily make your point. One can just as easily make the observation that Jesus also said, "Father keep them, I ask not that you take them out of the world..." etc.

      A "rapture" surely would take them out - I suppose. So then, if your idea that if we just follow what Jesus says - it will then lead us to see the rapture - is the point you are suggesting - then your point falls away with these verses which contradict that. (For Jesus says these words too)

      John 17

      15"I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.

      16"They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

      20"I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;

      Jesus clearly says - "I pray you don't take them out of the world." Not just THOSE guys IN THOSE DAYS - but US guys in THESE DAYS.

      Why would He even say that? (I suggest to combat future errant Rapture theologies)

      It is not going to be made clear who we are in Christ - in some OTHER place - it is going to be THIS place.

      So I ask, what exactly then was Jesus talking about? Well, it certainly COULDN'T be the rapture - or other wise He would have said - "Keep them until you take them out."

      But He didn't.

      The verses you quote from (one taken/one left) are in Matthew - and they were spoken to LITERAL people who heard him with their own ears. Think about that. So if that's true - and it is - then whatever Jesus was REALLY saying - must be able to have been fulfilled with them - AND - also at some future time - if you believe the prophecy of taken/left is dual fold in nature. (Which I do)

      When Jerusalem was surrounded with Roman armies - (an event Jesus warned them about in the verses we are discussing - the time of the taken/left event) Josephus an eye witness and Jewish/Roman historian - tells us there WERE NO CHRISTIANS left in the city. They had rushed to leave but the Jews rushed to stay in the fortress city believing it was the safer place. The Christians had been forewarned by their Lord. Only non believing Jews were left in the city.

      So who was left and who was taken. The non-believing Jews were left - and the believing Christians were taken away from the destruction of the city. They had been KEPT - from the firey trial about to come. The entire passage ONLY TALKS about the destruction of Jerusalem - so the left/taken passage must ONLY apply to that. Not somehow be taken as some larger non-contextual meaning - some 2000 years later. (And even if it were - it would only apply to Christians in Jerusalem at the time of it's future partial destruction from here - at the hands of the Antichrist)

      The Jews had openly declared war on Christians - even enlisting the Romans to help them - starting with the martyrdom of James the Just - Jesus's brother - and the general persecution that imediately broke out after that. The Christian sect had grown very large and was threatening Judaism as the dominant belief system in Judea.

      The entire affair cascades into the fireball of the destruction of Jerusalem and the annihilation of 2 million Jews just a few years later.

      So were these verses LITERALLY fulfilled in those days? YES - of course.

      There are numerous examples of angels attending to the safety of Christians and Jewish believers throughout the Bible. So a literal fullfilment of the verses is quite clearly seen here and to the very people who heard Him speak it. Jesus did afterall - say it would happen to THAT generation.

      Both deliverance and destruction. ("When you see these things know that it's destruction is close")

      It was - And it did.

      I'm sure in thinking this thru - you have probably wrestled with the verse where He tells them to pray that their flight not be on the Sabbath. Curious that - don't you think? Because today we wouldn't give a second thought to running for our lives on a Sunday. But back then, when the Sabbath was still Saturday and the people who heard Him speak these words - were very much Sabbath keepers - it makes perfect sense. They would have agonized over the choice to "work" on the Sabbath - even if the work was to prepare to leave. Many of them would have just stayed and died rather than break the Sabbath laws.

      So I ask you - do these verses REALLY make your point - or are you making the points you have been taught?

      The answers to the Rapture/Tribulation issue is far more important than - as some say - "It doesn't matter etc....just be prepared" - and so forth.

      The verses give us a clear view of history future and what we are to do, how we are to prepare - and what we will be seeing in the geopolitical world - the allignment of the nations - in order to know it is close.

      We are not close yet.

      There first has to come a great persecution on both sides of the world. The half where the Beast is (The EAST) - and the half where the Whore is (the WEST). Both sides persecute their Christians.

      (The BEAST hates the Woman and the Woman is drunk on the blood of the saints) Rev 17/18

      They both hate GOD!

      We are witnessing the early stages of the final growth of both of the evil entities. Secular West & Radical Islamic East

      Now notice this verse..concerning our half of the world.

      "Come out of her my people (the Whore) that you do not partake of her sins and receive of her plagues." Rev 17/18

      And what will these plagues be?

      ""I saw a woman riding a Beast - but the Beast hates her and burns her with fire - her plagues will come in one day - for strong is the Lord who judges her"" (through the Beast)

      Notice we are not told we will be raptured from the plagues in order to avoid them. We are told to come out of this sinful Entity (the HER) - so that we do not receive them. That's Godliness protecting us. It is the same Godliness that protected the Church of Philadelphia in Rev 3 - the one where Jesus says, "because you kept the word of my patience - and have not denied my NAME - I also will keep you in the day of trial which will come to try the whole world."

      If the LITERAL Philadelphians were not "KEPT" by being raptured in their day of trial - then the Spiritual Philadelphians (US) won't be either - in our day of trial and fire.

      Jeremiah's darkest days were when he was thrown into an awful dungeon Immediately before the destruction of Jerusalem. But - while those above Him were being slaughtered - as he warned them for 40 years they would be - he was being "Kept" in the most secure place - a dungeon - but I'm sure it wasn't pleasant.

      Our "Keeping" likewise is unlikely to be also.

      These are the stories which are written for our examples - not wives tales from errant Scofield Rapture commentaries.

      In my opinion.

      Also, I didn't think you were being rude. There's always a lot of passion in this kind of discussion.


    • profile image

      Sandra from Ohio 

      10 years ago

      All we can do is pray. If you say Jesus come into my heart and forgive me of all my sins he will ,and then you begin a new walk with Jesus. I wish all people were saved. The rapture may be you never know. My church teaches that we will see many persecutions but that Jesus will save us from the great suffering. I say pray, pray, pray till that hour passes away for you know not when your Lord comes. So really Jesus can come at any time and then the worlds problems will be over with. We may see many get their heads cut off because the bible says the Antichrist will behead Christian like they did with John the baptist but this is our burden in life for the testimony of Jesus Christ. When we go on missions we spead his good word this is all we can do. If you spread papers about the gosple everywhere you go you can reach people for Christ and Jesus's reward is with him when he returns. We will live with him a thousand years here on earth and be with him in heaven. I am praying for you Prophecy teacher and I will ask my preacher and the whole congregation to pray for you. Love you all till Jesus returns. A prayer for brother Prophecy teacher. Lord bless Prophecy teacher this day for all the good labors he has done for you, and help his ministry in preaching the gosple of Jesus Christ. Let not his words be done in vain till we see you again comming in the clouds with great authority and power. You were a lamb here on earth and will return to rule over nations, and punish the wickedness of men. Holy is your name and may prophecy Teacher always remain your humble servant in the work of the Lord. Go minister to the whole world as Jesus commanded us to do and Prophecy Teacher is messanger. Bless him and keep him from evil till Jesus returns again. In Jesus holy name. Amen. God Bless you Prophecy Teacher. Sandra from Ohio

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Well if we don't go we will just have to fight the persecution. Right with Jesus is the way to be.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Hey Prophecy teacher I was not trying to be rude with your opinion. When and if Jesus comes you'll just be stuck here. Haha. Did you know prophecy teacher at this very moment the Milky Way galaxy our home which is an extreemly massive galaxy is colliding with two entirely different other dwarf galaxies, and the Milky Way is completely tearing them both to pieces. Image now if there are any such things as aliens living there somewhere , they would be in trouble wouldn't they?., well both dwarf galaxies are fairly large considering to us anything even small in the universe is kind of big to us, even as dwarfs they still contain a few billion stars. The Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy is 10,000 light years across, 70,000 light years from earth, 50,000 light years from the core of the Milky Way being the big black hole of our galaxy which I'm hearing in the year 2012 our solar system will come very close to. The Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy containing red giant stars and around one billion stars is only 25,000 light years away from our solor system, and 42,000 light years from our Galactic center. Well to me that looks bad for aliens if they exist. Well all in all I hope Jesus comes real soon or we find a way to time travel. Take care Prophecy Teacher.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Where did everyone miss it.? Without any serious complications in reading the teachings of Jesus Christ it is all too clear that in the area of a departure of believers before the great and dreadful day there shall be two on the roof one shall be taken and the other left, two shall be in one bed one shall be taken and the other left. The only Christian's who will left on earth will be Christian's who denied his rapture in his words according to his teachings. So yes there will be Christian's during the tribulation. Of course odd dumb Christian's.

      Religious dogma is what gets religion in trouble. Science is not an idiot and can easily manage supporting the theory of the origin of the species thesis in evolution backed by genuine facts, and not fantasy.

      We live in an extraordinarily huge universe will billions of Galaxies which could by exception easily support life. This is just an absolute fact everyone has to face in life. There are enough galaxies in the universe for every living person living in every household of the world to have 60 universe's a piece. The Milky Way is extraordinarily huge averaging 100,000 light years across with 200 billion stars like our sun, and multiple life supporting planets. The Milky Way is traveling at 140 miles per second round and 190 miles per second forward 330 miles per second meaning since the Milky Ways birth it has never remained in any single area of the universe for even one second. Galaxies near the edge of the visible universe are traveling near 1/3rd the speed of light being the first matter of the universe propelled into outer space 14.7 billion years ago.

      If Jesus comes, there will be a rapture.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Thank you for the hub, but I am not so sure I agree with the post tribulation theory. I was brought up as a pre or mid-trib believer. However, I feel that the emphasis should be that we be ready at any time for what ever happens. I will study more about this. I have always felt that the rapture of those believers who are alive at that time will be a loud statement to those who have rejected an invitation to recieve Christ and to the whole world which would be instrumental in God's plan to bring attention to Himself as the King of Kings, Lord of Lords.

    • dlarson profile image


      11 years ago from Priest River, ID

      Excellent reasoning used here! Fundamentalist Chrisitians who refuse to become part of this worldwide ecumenical movement will indeed go through the tribulation. There are ample texts to support that "every eye shall see him" (Revelation 1:7). "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God" (1 Thesselonians 4:16).

      There is a very interesting bit of history concerning this idea of a secret rapture. It came from a Jesuit priest...


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