Many Christians say that studying End Times is a time-wasting distraction and that we should be focusing on Jesus and spreading the Gospel. They say that we should not worry about whether Jesus will return before the Tribulation (PreTrib) or after the Tribulation (PostTrib) and some even say that they are PanTrib, meaning that everything will pan out in the end. This attitude is in sharp contrast to what Jesus had to say about End Times.
In Rev. 1:3 Jesus said, “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” In this verse, Jesus says that those who study Revelation, and take it to heart, will be blessed. Not only that, in Matt. 24, He said that the End Times will be a time of great turmoil and deception and that many will be deceived and fall away from the faith. So, it is understandable why He said that those who study Revelation will be blessed because those who don’t may be deceived and fall away to be eternally lost. This warning makes studying End Times a very worthwhile thing to do, to say the least.
I believe in what is called the PreWrath Rapture which is the belief that the Rapture will occur at some point during the Great Tribulation, just before (Pre) God’s wrath is poured out on sinners during the Day Of The Lord (DOTL). For a deeper study of this doctrine, I highly recommend a book by Robert Van Kampen, called The Rapture Question Answered, Plain And Simple. This book gives a much deeper insight into the PreWrath Rapture belief.
It is often said that the word “rapture” is not in the Bible but it is. The Bible has been translated into many languages and the word “rapture” is derived from the word “rapio” found in the Latin Vulgate Bible. But even if the word could not be found in any Bible, the fact is, it’s simply a term to describe Jesus gathering His saints when He returns as in 1 Thess. 4:17 and 2 Thess. 2:1 etc.
I also believe that after Jesus returns there will be a one thousand year period, called the Millennium, during which time the nation of Israel will be established as the leader of all nations, and the saints will reign over the earth with Jesus.
In this series of articles I will do my best to show Biblically why I believe PreWrath. I don’t pretend to have a great insight into all the finer points but I believe that the basics of the PreWrath Rapture doctrine are plainly written, provided Scripture is taken literally. By literally, I mean that we take the text at face value wherever it makes sense. Of course it makes no sense to believe that Jesus is a gate or a lion as we all know they are figures of speech so, like parables, we interpret them spiritually rather than literally. By literal, I mean that when the plain sense of the text makes sense then we accept it at face value. We simply believe it!
In order to make these articles easier to understand, I’ll try to be brief and to the point and not say too much about the other rapture positions as that tends to get confusing. If we just focus on scripture and compare scripture with scripture then I believe we will see plainly that a PreWrath Rapture makes sense.
Matthew 24 is a good starting point as in that chapter Jesus has given us an outline of the End Times, that is, a summary of world events up to the time of His return. In the next article I’ll start there. Amen.