Tonight I want to spend some more time on a subject that we have discussed briefly in prior lessons. It is very important that we understand the concept and doctrine of the Rapture and the Tribulation Period.
"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. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 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. 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:" (1 Th 4:13-16)
"Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." (1 Cor 15:51-52) These two passages are discussing an event that has yet to happen, but that is as sure as if it had happened a hundred years ago. Do not confuse them with similar passages that speak of judgment when Jesus returns.
Note: Mt. 24:27-28
Note: Rev. 19:17-18
These passages clearly do not refer to the event that we refer to as the Rapture! These events take place during the tribulation, and those taken are taken to a place of judgment!
Why I believe the Bible teaches that the believer will not go through the tribulation period:
1. The tribulation period is the 70th week of Daniel. cf Da. 9:24-27
a. The first 69 weeks had to do with the nation of Israel, and so does the 70th week.
b. We are not a replacement for the nation of Israel, we are in the body of Christ!
2. The tribulation period is a time when the wrath of God is poured out upon an unbelieving world.
a. cf Rev. 1:19 is Godís outline for the book of Revelation.
b. The things which thou hast seen: Chapter One.
c. The things which are: Chapters Two and Three (messages to seven local N.T. churches)
d. The things which shall be here- after: Chapters 4-22
e. Rev. 4:1, "...Come up hither..."
f. After this point there is no reference to the local church in the events that will take place on earth.
g. Our next mention is in Re. 19:14 when we return with Him "...clothed in fine linen, white and clean..."
3. We are promised that we will be "delivered from the wrath to come"
a. Note: 1 Thess. 1:9-10
"...Ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come."
b. Note: Rev. 6:17
"For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"
4. The picture of the Jewish wedding.
a. John the Baptist referred to himself as a friend of the Bridegroom: Jesus Christ. cf John 3:29
b. The believers are the bride of Christ. cf. 2 Co. 11:2
c. Note the comparison made in Ephesians 5:22-32.
From my understanding of the Scriptures, I can see no way that we, as believers, will go through the tribulation. Everything points to a pre-tribulation rapture.