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When Will The Rapture Take Place?

Updated on November 30, 2011

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Is the rapture going to occur before or after the Great Tribulation?

  • John 14:1-3 (Christ said He's coming back to bring His own to be where He has been, with the Father in heaven).

  • 1 Thess 4:16 - 5:2 (rapture means "caught up, called out, taken out of the way")

  • Scoffers will come in the last days and mock and laugh at the idea of the rapture, so it seems that the rapture will occur during a time when most of professing Christianity doubts and scoffs at the idea of the rapture (2 Pet 3:3-4). New-Evangelicals (aka today's Protestants)/Catholics deny the Rapture. They think the rapture was made up by someone in the late 1800s as a way to escape reality on earth, which is not true. Also they reject the rapture because they believe the Church is universal and has replaced Israel and national Israel (physical descendents of Abraham) the Jews although they are God's people, will not be raptured because only believers will be raptured. That's why using the phrase "rapture of the church" is confusing and unbiblical. RCC is documented in their own writings to call themselves the chosen people of God, a title reserved only for national Israel. Christians are the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ (Gal 3:26-29) but national Israel the Jews are considered the chosen people of God. "Open Letter to Evangelicals" document signed by over 70 new evangelical leaders including Dr. D. James Kennedy shows that these Protestants agree with the RCC that the promises given to Israel are voided out. Sadly these proves that they believe God is a liar because God made promises to Israel that He would keep regardless of their unbelief (Rom 11). God is faithful even when we aren't.

  • If the rapture doesn't occur until the Antichrist is revealed then true believers are not going to be deceived, as they'll be expecting Antichrist.

  • The Bible teaches imminency (expect Jesus at any time) - Matt 24:44, Luke 12:40, 1 Thess 5:2, 2 Pet 3:10.

  • So many signs to be fulfilled before 2nd Coming when Christ actually steps foot on the earth again and stands on the Mount of Olives (Zec 14:4) and rules from Throne of David in Israel (Isa 9:6, Luke 1:32)

  • But NO signs to be fulfilled before the rapture (Matt 24:42, 44)

  • Either there's 2 events that Jesus is referring to 1) rapture 2) 2nd Coming or there's a contradiction here

  • Jesus says in Matt 24:33 at an hour when we "shall see all these things" we can know His 2nd Coming is at the doors because we'll be expecting Him then. But then He says in Matt 24:42, 44 that we don't know the hour He's coming that He'll come at a time we're not looking for Him.

  • Notice to Matt 24:30 He's speaking to His disciples about the end times/Great Tribulation so why does He say, "they shall see..." Now if it's the disciples who are suffering through the Great Tribulation why not say, "you shall see"? Then 24:31 says the elect (believers) will come from heaven. How could they come from heaven if they weren't already there from being raptured up?

  • There has to be 2 separate and distinct events or there's a contradiction in the Word of God!

  • A post-trib rapture would be a classic non-event if Antichrist kills all the believers (Rev 13:7) during the Great Tribulation. Who is left to rapture?

  • Also Christ said that that gates of hell shall not prevail against the church (Matt 16:18) so the church couldn't possibly be left as prey for the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation.

  • Church ("called out assembly"), its Christ's body and He will take His body out of the world at the rapture. All believers who are called out to heaven will form the Heavenly church. The church is not universal now but it will be in heaven. Now it's local and visible and independent.

  • The body of believers that will be raptured and assembled in heaven is also known as the bride of Christ who will be married to the lamb in Heaven and enjoy the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:9-7). Christ will not leave His bride to be raped and completely wiped out by another man especially Antichrist (Matt 16:18)

  • 2 Th 2:3 "falling away" doesn't refer to the rapture (caught up) but is referring to Apostasy

  • Some Pastors use 2 Th 2:3 and Rev 4:1 to support a pre-trib rapture though those aren't the best verses to use for the Rapture.

  • Gen 18:32-19:24 (Gen 19:22)/Heb 11:7 - examples of God taking His people out of the way BEFORE His wrath came

  • Rev 15:7-16:1 - 7 vials of the wrath of God will be poured out on the earth during Great Tribulation / 1st Thess 5:9 - Examples that believers up to the point of the rapture will not go through Great Tribulation.

  • Seals the deal: Matt 24:21 "Great Tribulation"/ 24:29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days"

  • Matt 24:30-31 - Jesus is coming back to the earth with His saints "from one end of heaven to the other". These goes with Zec 14:4 which says that when Jesus comes back to Israel at the Mount of Olives He will have all His saints with Him.

  • Those that forsake all earthly loves and love His appearing receive a special reward if the rapture occurs before the Great Tribulation (2 Tim 4:8). Now if the rapture were after the Great Tribulation, obviously true believers would love His appearing. After they suffered through the horror of the Tribulation what else would they be waiting for but Christ? Obviously this is referring to a rapture that is pre-trib in which those who's hearts are willing to forsake all earthly possessions and pleasures for Christ's appearing to take them up with Him, will receive a reward.

  • Jesus tells a parable (earthly story with a heavenly meaning) - Matt 24:45-46. He wants His children to be found faithful and doing His will at the time of the rapture not be living sinful careless lives as if they have all the time in the world to get right with God and get there act together.

  • At the rapture we will finally see Jesus face to face (Rev 22:4)

  • We will be changed to be like Him (1 John 3:1-3)

  • We will forever be free from sin and all it's effects (death, sickness, tears, the curse) - Rev 21:4

  • 1st Cor 2:9

  • Bible reading/prayer/faithful attendance and involvement in a fundamental Bible-believing/preaching church is essential to living a life that pleases God and shows Him you appreciate the sacrifice He made to give us a home in Heaven.

  • ** For the lost: A sign the Rapture has already occurred: all the babies in the world will be gone because Jesus said children are the kingdom of Heaven (Matt 19:13-14)

  • Interesting side note:

  • Matt 24:48-50 - Parable of the lord's evil servants (professing Christians) who deny the rapture ("my lord delayeth his coming") and eat and drink (mingles, yokes up, cooperates) with the drunken (cross referenced with the drunken woman (church) of Rev 17:6. This particular parable could've foreshadowed the current apostasy-the yoking up together of so called ‘Evangelicals' and Rome (the woman "church" drunk with the blood of the saints (Roman Catholic Inquisitions, Crusades etc).

Friend, what is your hope of going to heaven to be with the Lord Jesus forever?

The Word of God says:
  • "For all have sinned and come [fall] short of the glory [the standard] of God" (Rom 3:23).
  • "The wages [penalty] of sin is death [eternal separation from God in the lake of fire]" (Rom 6:23a). God must condemn sin and He will in "the lake of fire, which is the second death" (Revelation 20:14).
  • But there's GOOD NEWS: God says "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isaiah 1:18).
  • 1 John 1:7 "the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from ALL sin."
  • Because Jesus died in your place, God can righteously and legally forgive you, the sinner.

If you repent (turn from) your life of sin, and trust that Jesus (as fully God and fully man) died on the cross and rose again for you, God will save you RIGHT HERE and NOW.

If you say something like this to God in prayer with a sincere heart He will hear you:

"Dear God I have sinned against you. I'm sorry for my sin. I believe you sent Jesus Christ your Son to die on the cross and rise again from the grave for my sins. I accept your forgiveness and receive Jesus as my personal Saviour. Take me to heaven when I die but until then help me to make you Lord over every area of my life. Thank you God for saving me today in Jesus name Amen"

If you just asked the Lord to save you, that's great news! Please contact me I'd like to be a blessing to you any way I can.

**If you would like to contact Jay (ThinkAboutIt77) you can:

Write to: 
New England Baptist Church
C/O ThinkAboutIt - Hubpage Articles
30 Salem St, Medford, MA 02155
Or Email Jay:

The Rapture

Christian, are you ready?


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