“Ten Biblical Reasons why the Rapture Happens Before the Tribulation”
By Missionary Frank Denisi, MA, LPT
- Revelation 4:1-2 clearly indicates that future events occur after the church age, otherwise known as the seven churches from Revelation chapters 2 to 3.
After this [church age] I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter [after the church age].
And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
The Apostle John was “caught up” [raptured] in his vision on the isle of Patmos. This translation or transferring is a type that shows us what God will do to the believers at the end of the church age.
- The word “church” is never used again after the Laodicean church in Revelation chapter 3, not until Revelation 22:16. Therefore, the absence of the church in Revelation 4 to Revelation 22 shows us that the church is not on earth during the Tribulation period.
- There is no indication the church of Laodicea is a time of great trouble. In fact it is quite the opposite in that it is the materially rich church, but spiritually poor. The Smyrna church would actually fit the better the idea of a post-tribulation rapture, but that would not be possible since we are already in the last church of Laodicea. The Laodicean church is not apostate, but “lukewarm”.
- The 144,000 Jewish converts in the tribulation do the work of the ministry, the evangelizing of souls on earth and not the church. This shows us that the church door for the great commission which was given to the church is now complete, and God will now propagate the gospel through the 144,000 Jewish converts.
- The Rapture is a promise to the church, therefore logically the rapture may be placed at the end of the church age. The rapture being the close of the church age best fits a literal interpretation of scripture. The student of prophecy must correctly place 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, God’s description of the rapture in God’s plan for future events. It would then be inappropriate to place the rapture within the tribulation, for those who are saved during the tribulation are consequentially martyred by the antichrist.
And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. (1Thessalonains 1:10)
Because the population of the earth will be greatly reduced because of the devastating judgments, only a few people will survive and enter into the millennium.
Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. (Isaiah 24:6)
If the rapture happens at the end of the tribulation, there would then be nobody to enter into the tribulation! If those unbelievers received the mark of the beast are going to be destroyed, and the remnant of those who rejected the mark of the beast, the saved, are raptured there would be nobody to enter the tribulation. This simply would not fit scripture. It is most Biblical, reasonable, and logical to conclude that the rapture happens at the end of the church age, and not in the middle or at the end of the Tribulation.
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)
- The Holy Spirit must be removed before the antichrist can be revealed, and Jesus himself promised the church the power and presence of His Holy Spirit! The definitely verifies the fact that the rapture is before the tribulation.
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth[hindereth] will let, [hinder] until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming[second coming]: ( 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8)
The Holy Spirit presently indwells all believers and hinders (or restrains) iniquity and work of Satan. So inevitably, when believers depart at the Rapture, the Holy Spirit will be removed at the rapture there will be no more hindrance (or restraint) to the destructive work of Satan through the antichrist. The Wicked One (Satan) Biblically, can not be revealed unless the Holy Spirit is taken away. At the start of the tribulation there will be no saved people on earth, and wickedness will immediately increase.
- The clear Bible teaching of “a falling away first” in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. This scripture in reference here is speaking of the rapture as taught by men of God, and Bible expositors such as G. Campbel Morgan.
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; (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
- “…that day shall not come…” – Refers to the fiery judgment day of Christ when He returns, and every eye shall see Him, and He remains on earth to set up his millennial kingdom.
- “…except there come a falling away first.” – The Greek word here that is translated “fall away”, means, “departure, going out”. The English equivalent is, “exit”.
Some will try to interpret 2 Thessalonians 2:3 as a so-called departing from the “faith”. In other words, “many will be backsliding”, and while that is certainly true, it is not the proper interpretation here, for word “faith” is not found in this text. Also, it would go back to the fact the Laodicean church in Revelation 3 is not known as an apostate church, but as a “lukewarm” church.
- Because of the clear use of grammar in 1 Thessalonians 5 regarding the participants of the Tribulation.
“The Saved or the Believers”
The specific wording in 1 Thessalonians 5 proves that the saved will not be a part of the tribulation.
“Ye” – 5:1, 4, 5
“You” – 5:4
“Light” – 5:5
“Day” – 5:5
“Us” – 5:6, 8, 9
“We” – 5:5
Therefore, the saved will NOT face God’s wrath
in the Tribulation (1Thess. 1:10; 5:9)
“Unbelievers or the Unsaved”
However, the specific wording in 1 Thessalonians proves that the ones who will suffer in the tribulation are the unsaved.
“They” – 5:3
“Them” – 5:3
“Darkness” – 5:5
“Night” – 5:5
“Others” – 5:6
“They” – 5:3
The clear teaching here is that unsaved are the ones
who WILL face the wrath of God at the tribulation.
- The saints are in heaven before the second coming occurs. (Rev. 19:7-16) The Bible specifies that before Christ returns at the second coming, the saved are already in heaven. The saved (church) will not be on earth at the time of the second coming of Christ. Why? Because we will be coming with Him! We will be forever with him from the rapture and onwards. See, 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
The saved will then come back with Him at the second coming to reign with Him for 1,000 years! (2 Timothy 2:12, Rev. 19:4,7-8; 20:6)
If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: (2 Timothy 2:12)
And the four and twenty elders [all the redeemed] and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. (Revelation 19:4)
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints [saved]. (Revelation 19:7-8)
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection [rapture]: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)
- The “Day of Christ,” referring to the rapture, is a blessed event, not a dreaded event. The Bible does not indicate that the day of Christ is something to be dreaded for the believer, but something to look forward to if you are a Christian!
So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:7-8)
To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (1 Corinthians 5:5)
As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:5)
Being confident [to convince by argument] of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6)
That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; (Philippians 1:10)
Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. (Philippians 2:16)