Additional Scriptures That Support The Pre Tribulation Rapture—
It is interesting to note that if the Lord came for His Bride, the Church, it could not be unannounced if it happened anytime during the Tribulation Period. For the rapture of the Church to occur without any signs, it would have to occur beforehand, and the scriptures tell us that is EXACTLY what will happen. Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 are known as the Olivet discourse and describe the time leading up to the Tribulation period, the Tribulation itself, and Christ coming in judgment. Now, consider the following verse very carefully in light of Luke’s account of this famous message from Jesus. Luke writes this passage at the end of the Olivet Discourse, as he addresses the Church on how to act in light of these events that are soon to happen: Luke 21:35-36 “For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” What else is there to say when the Word of God, as always, says it perfectly! How can a believer escape all of these things? Only if the God takes him away! Also, consider a previous verse to our passage, Luke 21:28 “And when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Again, as we discern the times leading up to the beginning of the tribulation period, the Lord instructs us to “…look up…for your redemption draweth nigh.” The Lord does NOT say “Take cover because I am coming in judgment,” He says “look up,” for He is obviously coming for the church just before He allows the great judgments to be unleashed on the earth.
Another classic passage in reference to our doctrine is Revelation 3:10 “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” John is addressing the best of the seven churches in Revelation 2-3, Philadelphia. All seven of the churches did not last for a long time and existed in modern day Turkey. The spirit of the church of Philadelphia, however, exists throughout the church age, and represents the saints who burn close to the flame in discipleship. Notice the Tribulation phrases: “I will keep thee from the hour of temptation…coming on all the world…to try them that dwell upon the earth.” Again, God plainly states that He will protect the Church from all of the Tribulation that will one day fall upon the earth. What could be plainer? We just let His Word speak for itself and it flows naturally. Romans 5:9 is yet one more scripture that plainly reveals that believers are exempt from God’s wrath: “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”
Another key verse in the Olivet Discourse is Matthew 24:44 “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Again, this scripture lands at the tail end of Matthew’s detailed account of the Great Tribulation in the longest account of the Olivet Discourse. It is very obvious that he is NOT referring to Jesus’ Second Coming in judgment since it will be after all of these cataclysmic events during the Tribulation. He tells us that at a time we do NOT expect Him that He will be coming. We already know that Jesus and His Bride are coming at the end of the Tribulation period…..and that will be announced by seven of the most unique years of turmoil and upheaval in human history. What else could He possibly be referring to in all of these passages except the rapture of the church? Verse 42 in the same passage tells us to “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” Again, the tribulation period and the worldwide judgments will NOT precede Jesus Christ’s coming for His church. He will come unannounced by signs, yet the discerning believer will see events falling into place for the tribulation period and realize that His coming could be near.
Let me close this study with a couple of important observations from the book of Revelation: The Church is not mentioned in the chapters of Revelation (6-18) that refer to the Tribulation Period. This is not surprising. Why would we expect to read of it if the Church is not here? Also we are told in Revelation 7:1-8 that 144,000 righteous Jews will be sealed during this period. A couple chapters later in Revelation 9 we read about Satanic locusts released from the bottomless pit, and they sting everyone on the earth except for the 144,000 sealed. Where are the Christians? They are not to be found. There is no Tribulation for the Church—the Rapture is indeed the blessed hope.
Here is yet another passage which plainly reveals the exemption of the church from the wrath of God: …”There will be a time of distress such as never has occurred since nations came into being until that time. But at that time all your people who are found written in the book will escape.” [Daniel 12:1, HCSB] How does one add commentary to the Word of God which says it all? The passage tells me that blood washed born again Christians will not endure the worst time of distress to ever come upon the world. The worst time of distress is none other than the Great Tribulation. Why will the church not endure it? The church will not be here! I ask what could be plainer?
The Lord willing, more scriptures on this doctrine will follow under the heading of Eschatology, Part 5.