Could salvation depend on the timing of the rapture?
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. ~Hosea 4:6
~Do we realize how VITAL the timing of the rapture within prophetic events is?
~Does the Word of God even reveal the timing (not the date) of His return and the seasons of His coming?
~Could there be deceptions pulled over Christians eyes if the timing is improperly discerned?
~And why would satan want to do that?
These are some essential questions we would like Scripture alone to shed light upon. Not man, not opinion, and certainly not eisegatical interpretations. For some of us, many years of "learning" must be undone, and only the pure Word of Scripture and the Holy Ghost can accomplish this. If you are here, and have made it this far, that certainly testifies to the influence of the latter. 'Come now, let us reason together' that this coming deception may be brought in to the light. (Isaiah 1:8) (John 3:20)
We're just going to jump right in and let the scripture do the talking with as minimal explanations as possible.
Some obvious questions that need to be asked.
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Hebrews 9:27-28 (Who's the "them" that look for Him? Is that us? No mention of a 3rd appearance or rapture here. Why not? (**)
Jesus praying to the Father:
" I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth." John 17:15-19 (Could it be any more clear? God wants us "sanctified" by His Word so we are prepared for tribulation. Here it is to see plainly)
“Immediately after THE tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:29-31 (If you carefully analyze this passage it reveals a simple truth: we are going through much of the tribulation. The beginning is describing the day of the Lord. If this is His 3rd coming then why didn't Jesus tell His disciples about the secret rapture? After all, He is answering their question as to when he'd be coming back. Matt 24:3)
“And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” Acts 1:9-11 (So He leaves in clouds and comes back in them? Let's see where else we can find that)
BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. Revelation 1:7 (Ok, here's our clouds again, and this doesn't look like a secret rapture EVERY EYE shall see Him. Also the "tribes mourn" as in Matt 24 when He "gathers His elect")
“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:25-28 (So no redemption before the tribulation? I hope Jesus didn't skip that part)
“strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22 ("for by faith are we saved" Eph 2:8 But if you do not "continue in your faith" it "is dead" James 2:17 Also, this "tribulation" is not a specific reference BUT why is this the term always associated with "entering the kingdom of God" Isn't the rapture our entrance to the kingdom?)
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 1 Peter 4:12 (Jesus warns us over and over! Here Peter....Don't be surprised. Pre-tribbers will be! And will probably find it "strange")
That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.
1 Thessalonians 3:3-4 (Tribulation here again is not specific, but what is specific is our being "appointed thereunto")
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matt 28:20 (So the till the end of the age, not the pre-trib rapture? When Jesus said He must leave so the helper would come it is the Holy Spirit that He sent to us. THAT is the same Holy Spirit that will be here until the end, NOT taken out of the world with the church)
2 Thessalonians 2
1Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him,
2That 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. (see Paul's emphasis on "not being troubled" Does this sound like he's speaking to a raptured church?)
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;
(So the rapture will not happen until a "falling away" first AND the anti-christ becomes revealed.)
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 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: (yahoo!)
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (very important to understand, it is truth they reject)
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (could this "lie" be the pre-tribulation theory? See below for more discussion on this)
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (again, holding to a pre-trib view takes only denying the truth or not having a Bible-reading relationship with God)
13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (here is another about predestination and salvation. Yes we are chosen by God, but again, it is not forced upon us to keep it! It says, "through sanctification" AND belief of the truth! We are all chosen, but not all hear the call)
14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (He calls, but sadly all do not heed) 15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work. ("stand fast" "hold traditions" and to establish ourselves in "every good work")
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
3 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
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.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
(Paul here wrote this in response to the Thessalonians thinking the rapture/resurrection had already occurred. We see how eager and confused they were concerning the 2nd coming. Imagine if Paul was not there to write this letter? It is possible many would have strayed from the faith thinking God had abandoned them! Another big reason a pre-trib rapture view is deadly! It even says in Timothy some will give up on God:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 1 Tim 4:1
"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 Thes 2:3
Now that we have covered numerous Scriptures that lay this "doctrine of devils" to rest, let us take a quick examination of the Old Testament stories.
First that comes to mind is Noah. That big old ark that preserved humanity and nature! We must ask, did God zap them from the flood or did He bring them through it? Building the ark, gathering the animals, suffering the persecution from a world gone astray, and of course living on that boat for 40 days of rain! Certainly not easy! But God brought His faithful few through it.
Next one I think of is Moses and the Israelites in Egypt. 10 plagues, Pharaoh's enslaved persecution, the fiery exodus, red sea split and passed through.....Did God whizz them out or bring them through by faith? How about that 40 years in the desert?
Faith and endurance, it's always the same with God, amen!
Anyone remember Daniel 1-3? Shadrach Meshach Abednego ???Please consider God's awesome depth and revelation within this story. First we must talk about these righteous men and their decision to not worship the image set up by king Nebuchadrezzar the 2nd.
There are awesome parallels at work here! This king represents the coming anti-christ as foreshadowed in the OT.
The name, Nebuchadrezzar can be spelled out with numbers in the original Hebrew language, and between the 2 variants of the spelling lies the number 666. The 2 kings numbers being 663 and 669 spelled. Thus signifying that he represented the coming anti-christ but is not in fact THE actual number of that man.
PLUS he makes you worship the image or kills you. What does the real anti-christ make people do?
So let us ask this question, did God zap the only righteous men out of that bad bad place?
Ahh, NO! They went INTO that fiery furnace didn't they. BUT by faith the Lion of Judah came and protected them, brought them through it. Amen. (this is all recorded in Daniel, which coincidentally enough is famous for His end-time prophecy and anti-christ)
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is Daniel and the lions den. Thinking back, was Daniel delivered away from that darned old den or did the Lord of Hosts bring him through the whole ordeal by faith?
How about another few favorites like Jonah? Boy he sure went through it didn't he! (Jonah 1:17)
David and Goliath? Goliath is here again a representation of the coming anti-christ. His height was 6 cubits, his armor had 6 pieces, and it weighed 600 shekels of iron, that is "six hundred and sixty-six" And again, here David was not taken out of the moment or spared from facing his giant. (1 Samuel 17)
Here is a related study that will surely bless you:
God truly is awesome! Praise His Holy name!
Was Jesus spared from the cross? What happened to the disciples?
Well, extra Biblical history tells us they all died, of course, but how? Most by crucifixion, stoning, beheaded and natural death. For more info: http://www.ichthus.info/Disciples/intro.html
Jesus we all know rose again in Glory, incorruptible...redeeming us all.
The sad tales of history also paint a picture of hard truths when we consider the history of the Jews.We know they certainly did not escape the trials and tribulations of the holocaust. But God did bring them through! And He established them to a nation by it. Just as the mythical fiery phenix, that is transformed by fire , so the Jews became a nation of their own. And so we shall we be a nation to Christ, His bride "who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Revelation 7:14
Now think about this very carefully, if Christians are waiting for Jesus to come back at anytime, and Jews are waiting for Messiah's first appearance at any time, Muslims are waiting for the Mahdi to come back, even other religions wait for their new age master to descend, then who pray tell are they all waiting for? Of course, The antichrist! Who will come bring world peace under a united religion. That's who pre-trib Christians are waiting for, the same one everyone else in the world is waiting for!
It is very astounding when you think about it. God certainly is great, and He gives us more than enough everywhere we need it.
And we know what to expect from our righteous and perfect Creator:
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever. Hebrew 13:8
We can expect this to remain constant for a long long time my brothers and sisters.
His judgement is sure, and his faithfulness is too!
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Thess 5:9
The words of our Savior:
"But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them. Mark 13:9
To the end He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. 1 Thessalonians 3:13
Prayer and blessings to you,
The first video put's the pre-tribulation view to rest using scripture alone.