End Time Studies

Left Behind

The truth about the Rapture!

Matthew chapter 24 is quite clear on the subject of Jesus’ Second Coming, when He is going to return to gather all those who have received Him as their Savior and take them with Him back to Heaven–an event commonly referred to as “the Rapture.” The rest of the Bible is also clear on when this happens. That’s why for nearly 1,800 years practically every Christian believed Jesus would come back after the period He refers to as “Great Tribulation”–three and a half years of intense persecution.

It’s only in the last couple of hundred years that people like C.I. Scofield (1843-1921) came along with the false doctrine that Jesus would come before the Tribulation. “Don’t worry, Jesus is going to come and take you out of this world before the trouble comes, so you won’t have to suffer.” Naturally that became a very popular doctrine because it was just what everybody had been waiting to hear.

From my experience, many Christians who say they believe in the pre-Tribulation Rapture just don’t want to have to go through the Tribulation and aren’t the least bit prepared for it, so they come up with their own interpretation of the Scriptures or latch onto someone else’s false teaching. But the Bible specifically says not to do that. “No prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20). I don’t care what other religious groups or other Christians say; what does the Bible say?

In Matthew 24, Jesus’ disciples ask Him what will be the sign of His return, and Jesus answers with not one but a number of signs–wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, persecution of Christians, a proliferation of false prophets, lawlessness, a pervading lack of love, and the Gospel being preached in every nation. “Then,” He says, “the end will come” (Matthew 24:4-14).

Beginning with the next verse, Jesus tells us what we can expect during the Great Tribulation–the last three and a half years leading up to His return, which is also the last half of the Antichrist’s reign. Jesus also tells us what specific sign to watch for, so we’ll know exactly when that period is beginning. “When you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place… then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:15,21). We find out in the book of Revelation that this “abomination of desolation” is an image of the Antichrist, or Beast (Revelation 13:14-15). Both Daniel and Revelation tell us that this image will be set up in the holy place at exactly the middle of the Antichrist’s seven-year reign (Daniel 9:27; 12:11; Matthew 24:15-21; Revelation 13:5).

When does Jesus come back for us?–That’s also plain as day: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days” Jesus returns (Matthew 24:29). Jesus doesn’t say that when we see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place He’s about to rescue us out of this world, away from the Antichrist and the trouble to come. He warns us to head for the hills (Matthew 24:16). In other words, we will still be here.

And why did the Lord and the prophets go to so much trouble to tell us exactly how long the Great Tribulation would last–the exact time in terms of days, months, and years–if we didn’t need to know these things, if we won’t be here, counting the days and the weeks? (Daniel 7:25; 12:11; Revelation 13:5). Jesus told us these specifics because He wants us to be able to take heart in knowing that the Tribulation isn’t going to last forever, and that every passing day is bringing us closer to the glorious end.

During the Tribulation, things will get so bad that many people will think it’s time for Jesus to come, especially Christians who were taught that He was supposed to come before the Tribulation. They’re going to expect Him to come any day. But Jesus warns us not to expect Him sooner than has been foretold. He also warns us to not be deceived by either false christs who will try to deceive us into thinking that they are Christ, or by false prophets who will try to tell us that Christ’s coming is imminent or that He’s already here somewhere (Matthew 24:23-26). He tells us to not believe any of them, because when He comes, we will know it!

Some people who teach a pre-Tribulation Rapture go so far as to say that it’s going to be a secret Rapture–that nobody is going to see Him except the saved. Nobody else is even going to know He came. All of a sudden a bunch of us are just going to disappear, and those who are left behind won’t know what’s happened to us.

If the Rapture is supposed to be a secret, why will the Lord make so much noise and put on such a show when He comes? His Word tells us that He’s going to “come in the clouds with great power and glory.” The sky will light up from one end to the other, and there will be such signs in the heavens that we couldn’t possibly mistake the fact that Jesus is coming. In fact, it says that “every eye shall see Him.” Everyone will also see the dead in Christ–all the saved people who have already died–rising to meet Him in the air as He comes. They’ll hear Jesus, too, because He’ll “descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and a great sound of the trump of God.” And why are all of the unsaved going to mourn?–Because they’re going to see and know what’s happening (Matthew 24:27,30; “Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 1:7). It will be the greatest spectacle the world has ever seen.

That doesn’t sound like a secret coming or secret Rapture to me! Does it to you?

And there it is again, plain as day: After the dead rise to meet the Lord, “then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). If we got raptured before, then what are we doing still here?

One of the Devil’s cleverest tricks has been to deceive Christians into thinking that Jesus is going to rescue them out of this world before the three-and-a-half-year Great Tribulation, because those who believe that are going to be totally unprepared for the Tribulation, and it’s going to shake the faith of some. A lot of Christians who are expecting to get “raptured” (gathered into Heaven at Jesus’ Second Coming) before the Tribulation are going to get the shock of their lives, because that’s not going to happen. Jesus said so Himself: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days… they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:29-31).

After the Tribulation shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in the heavens. After the Tribulation, then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn. After the Tribulation they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. After the Tribulation He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet and they shall gather His elect. That’s when Jesus is going to come for you and me–after the Tribulation, and not a day before!

Why is Jesus going to return?–To gather His “elect,” the eklektos in Greek, the chosen ones, the saved. Christians will have been preaching the Gospel and winning multitudes to the Lord in this time of tribulation. Why would He pull His laborers out before those few years when people will be the most desperate for salvation and there will be one of the greatest harvests of souls ever, when we’ll be “doing exploits and instructing many”? (Matthew 9:37-38; Daniel 11:32-33). And if we’re going to be doing exploits and instructing many during the Tribulation, we must still be here. He is going to need lots of us here to tell the world what’s happening.

But if God loves saved Christians so much, some people reason, why would He let them go through the Tribulation?–To put them to the test. He’s going to test their faith to see if they really believe. Will they be witnesses for Him, or will they be ashamed of Him and try to save their lives by not witnessing? He’s going to purge them and refine them as by fire, His Word says, to make them white (Daniel 11:35).

I’m sorry if you’re disappointed to hear that! I’m sorry if you thought you had it made being a Christian because He’d come and rescue you before anything terrible happened. Well, He’s not going to! The Tribulation is going to put us through the refining fire, but those who have real faith are going to come through like pure gold.

We know the Tribulation is going to be difficult, or it wouldn’t be called the Tribulation. But still, we shouldn’t look ahead to it with trepidation, expecting horrible defeat with nothing but persecution and suffering. It’s going to be primarily a time of great victory over the forces of Satan and tremendous triumph over the anti-Christ wicked. It’s going to be a time of terrible and awesome events, but we are going to have terrible and awesome powers to protect us and defend us and deliver us and keep us going right to the end (Daniel 11:32; Revelation 12:7-11; 17:14). We don’t need to worry or fear, because God is going to take care of His own (Revelation 3:10; 7:1-3; 12:6).

Another false teaching about the Rapture is that it’s only for the “best” Christians. When I was a boy I heard different preachers say, “Some day you’ll come home and find all your loved ones have disappeared.” And sure enough, one day I came home from school and nobody was home. I thought, “Oh my! The Rapture has occurred! My dear sweet mother and father have gone to be with the Lord! They and all the other dear Christians I knew and who helped take care of me were all ready. They loved the Lord and weren’t naughty like me! They’ve already gone to be with the Lord and here I am, left behind and all alone in this big house”–and I practically cried!

What a terrible thing to teach little children (or anyone, for that matter), that even if they love Jesus and are saved, if they’re not good enough, if they didn’t go to church enough or if they commit another sin, they’re not going to be ready for Jesus when He comes, and they’re going to miss the Rapture! The preachers said, “They may be saved, but they’ll be left behind in that terrible Tribulation, because in the Rapture Jesus is only going to take the good people.”

Well, let me tell you, nobody is ever good enough! Nobody can ever love Him enough. Nobody can ever be perfect enough, clean enough, pure enough, or holy enough except by the blood of Jesus Christ, and that’s done the instant you receive Jesus as your Savior. So you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’re good enough. If you belong to Jesus, He is going to take you to be with Him when He comes, no matter what.

Nobody who has received Jesus is going to be left behind. Jesus promised to send His angels out to gather us from everywhere, from the four winds, from all around the world, and He won’t leave one behind! He won’t forget one–not one! (Matthew 24:31). Isn’t that wonderful?

So if you have the Lord, you’re ready! Now help others get ready. Pass on the Good News of God’s love and salvation in Jesus to as many as you can. Tell your friends and family and everybody else so they may also be ready for the wonderful event that is soon to take place, when Jesus comes to rescue us out of this world and take us to heavenly places with Him for eternity. Don’t let one be left behind because you failed to tell them!

Previous ArticleNext Article

7 Comments

  1. Thanks for that short compact class, Joseph on the GT and what awaits us…not something gruesome and terrible for God’s children, but a time to experience His miraculous protection in spite of the plans of the A.C. to try to wipe them out. And for those who suffer persecution, “leap for joy: LUK.6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
    LUK.6:23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

  2. I don’t think that we should give too much credit what people believed hundreds of years before or now , rather to stick with the Word of God. About the tribulation we know surely that it is The Wrath of God , which will be poured out to the sinful world that rejected God and His will . The Bible says that we are the children of God because we accepted His Son Jesus Christ and by His blood we became RIGHTEOUS people / not good people/. If we go back in the Old Testament we can see that when God’s wrath came upon the sinners ,righteous were saved from it !!! Remember the story of Sodoma and Gomorra.God decided to destroy them because of there sexual immorality . SO everyone was destroyed except Lot and his family ! Why did’t God left Lot in the middle of the trouble ?? Because He does NOT want the righteous to perish with the sinner !!! Let’s see what’s happened with Noah . GOD ‘s got angry again because of the sin that overtook the world ,so He decided to erase them with the flood .But NOT Noah and his family because he was righteous in the eyes of God. So when the flood / God’s wrath/ began Noah and his family took a holiday on the ark and God himself closed ,sealed the door of the ark so His wrath could NOT reach His righteous people !!! Does’t these stories ring the bell in your heart ??? Why do you think that GOD Almighty is going to leave His Righteous people during the second part of tribulation here on the Earth ?? Do you really believe that He wants us to die in those terrible earthquakes ,, wars , sicknesses ect. ??? If you had a child you love deeply and he was playing near to the rattle snake’s hole ,would you put a fire there without taking your kid to a safe place first ??? NO. How much more God who loves us so much that He sacrifised Jesus for us would not hurt His children ,when He pours out the fire to the sinful world. The Rapture and the Second coming are two different events . In the rapture He comes for His people . But the at the second coming He is coming back to everyone with His thousand saints ! amen Come Lord Jesus Christ !!!

    1. Hi Suzie! Thanks for your comments, but I?d like to make a few comments on your Pre-Trib views, First of all the Lord did spare Lot & his 2 daughters, but notice he didn?t take them out of the world, but kept them through God?s judgments & because of Lot?s wife disobeying the Lord & turned around & looked back when she was commanded not to was turned into a pillar of salt. Noah & his family was also not taken out of the world, but kept through it. So although Christians will go through the Great Tribulation many will be kept through it, but some will die as martyrs as these verses on the endtime explain.
      DAN.11:32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries:
      Daniel but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
      DAN.11:33 And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.
      DAN.11:34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
      REV.12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
      REV.12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time ( 1 year ), and times (2 years), and half a time ( ? a year, from the face of the serpent.
      The woman in the above verses represents the Church or Christians who are alive during the last 3-1/2 years of the Great Tribulation. Notice how the Lord also protects & provides for the Church & doesn?t take her out, but keeps her through it like Noah & Lot. Yes, some Christians will die , but many Christians will also survive until the Lord comes, after the Great Tribulation as brought out in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
      1TH.4:16 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:
      1TH.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.
      And also Matthew 24:29-31 says,
      MAT.24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
      MAT.24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
      MAT.24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
      There?s only one Rapture and Resurrection for all the Christians as brought out in Revelation 20: 4-6
      REV.20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast (the antichrist), neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
      REV.20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
      REV.20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: 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.
      Jesus & His Disciples along with the Early Church suffered great persecution. Jesus said to His disciples in John 15:18-20
      JOH.15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
      JOH.15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
      JOH.15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
      So Jesus message was that we can expect persecution. If the Early Church went through persecution what makes the endtime Church so special that we would escape persecution? Did you know that in a recent news article that I read it states that the most persecuted religion in the world right now is Christianity. Also, take a look at the persecution under Lenin & Stalin in Russia. Many Christians were persecuted & killed during the communist reign. This was in the 20th century.
      Also, when the Antichrist signs the 7 year covenant this does NOT start the Great Tribulation. This covenant is a peace treaty & a Religious Treaty (Daniel 11:28,30), where Jerusalem will be shared by the 3 great Religions, & the Jews will rebuild their Temple, & resume their daily animal sacrifices. It?s in the middle of the 7 year covenant that the Antichrist break it & then starts the 3-1/2 year of Great Tribulation as Jesus brought out. Read theses verses:
      DAN.9:27 And he (the Antichrist) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (this week in the OT represents 7 years as the Hebrew word is Shabua that means 7.Most Bible students are in agreement with this) : and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
      Notice in the mist of the 7 years he breaks the covenant.
      Then in Daniel DAN.11:31 it says, ? And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.?
      This is happening in the middle of the 7 year covenant: Jesus even refers to this verse in Matthew 24:15
      MAT.24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

      The abomination of desolation is referred to as the image of the Beast in Revelation 13:14-15.
      We will see this abomination of desolation set up at the Temple Mount area where the Temple was rebuilt. Notice Jesus says so ?When we see it: for then
      MAT.24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be

      And Revelation 13:5-7 gives a good description of the last 3-1/2 years of the Great Tribulation before Jesus comes back at His second coming in the clouds of Heaven.
      REV.13:5 And there was given unto him (the Antichrist) a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. (3-1/2 years)
      REV.13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
      REV.13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints ( Christians), and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
      Then grand ending or I should say beginning begins in Revelation 10:7 announcing Jesus second Coming at the 7th trumpet. Notice there?s 6 Tribulation Trumpets in Revelation Chapters 8 & 9.
      REV.10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
      What is the mystery of this last 7th trumpet? 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 answers this question:
      1CO.15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
      1CO.15:52 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.

      Notice it says the LAST TRUMP or the 7th Trumpet when the Rapture happens.
      Again 1st Thessalonians 4:16-17

      1TH.4:16 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:
      1TH.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.
      Notice again the Trump of God
      And finally Matthew 24: 29-31
      MAT.24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
      MAT.24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
      MAT.24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
      There?s that sound of a trumpet again:
      So the Christians are here for the Great Tribulation & this time period is covered in Revelation Chapters 8-14. Christians are not on earth during the Wrath of God, which comes immediately after Jesus Second Coming.
      REV.11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
      REV.11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
      You find the Wrath of God in Revelation Chapter 16 & thank God we?re not here on earth for that. I don?t think that any Christian looks forward to persecution & I sure don?t, but the fact of the matter is that the Christians will go through this period of Great Tribulation & Pre-Trib Rapture theory is not preparing them for it & many could fall away from the Faith, when they realize they were not taking out before the 7 year covenant. Paul even warns of this in
      2nd Thessalonians 2:1,3-4

      2TH.2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
      2TH.2:3 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;
      2TH.2:4 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.

      So the Antichrist must come first & reign before the Christians are raptured.

    2. You say: “God who loves us so much that He sacrifised Jesus for us would not hurt His children”

      You’re right Suzie! God wouldn’t but his arch enemy would, as he has done from the time of Christ until this day. What about Jesus’ own disciples who all died as martyrs, but one.?. What about the thousands of Christians being persecuted and killed today all around the world?
      He will also seal his children so all the plagues he sends will not hurt them, but many will fall.

  3. Matthew chapter 24 is quite clear on the subject of Jesus’ Second Coming, when He is going to return to gather all those who have received Him as their Savior and take them with Him back to Heaven–an event commonly referred to as “the Rapture.” The rest of the Bible is also clear on when this happens. That’s why for nearly 1,800 years practically every Christian believed Jesus would come back after the period He refers to as “Great Tribulation”–three and a half years of intense persecution.
    It’s only in the last couple of hundred years that people like C.I. Scofield (1843-1921) came along with the false doctrine that Jesus would come before the Tribulation. “Don’t worry, Jesus is going to come and take you out of this world before the trouble comes, so you won’t have to suffer.” Naturally that became a very popular doctrine because it was just what everybody had been waiting to hear.
    From my experience, many Christians who say they believe in the pre-Tribulation Rapture just don’t want to have to go through the Tribulation and aren’t the least bit prepared for it, so they come up with their own interpretation of the Scriptures or latch onto someone else’s false teaching.

  4. Great article. It is a shame how many people have been tricked by this lie. I have a blog that tells the truth about “the last day”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to friend

By continuing to use this website I accept the use of cookies. More information

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies from this website. If you would like to change your preferences you may do so by following the instructions here

Close