The Bottom Line on the Rapture Question

By Pastor F. M. Riley

April 20, 2015

“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began,” Titus 1:2.

“That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie; we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:” Hebrews 6:18.

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment,” Matthew 12:36.

 

Introduction

Folks, we believers living today are speedily approaching “the proof of the pudding.” By that I mean the resurrection and rapture of New Covenant believers, which passage after passage in the New Testament warns and encourages New Testament believers in this present dispensation to live their lives daily watching for.  See Titus 2:11-15 is a glaring example of this truth.

In spite of all kinds of “signs” and other indicators that we are approaching the very end of this present dispensation, and that it could come at any minute of any day now, there are still those in the churches and the ranks of Christianity, which absolutely refuse to believe that there is going to be a Pre-Tribulation Rapture of New Covenant believers.  Do our readers recall what Peter, in his inspired epistle, had to say about “scoffers” rising in the last days who would be “willingly ignorant”?  See 2 Peter 3:1-7.

 

Debate and Denial

There is hardly a day goes by but what one or more of these Pre-Trib Rapture “scoffers” will send me an email, to let me know that they don’t believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture.  Some of them tell me very dogmatically that a Pre-Tribulation Rapture is not taught anywhere in the Bible.  Oh, is that so?  No, it is not so

Others tell me that they believe the rapture will be Pre-wrath, because the Scriptures explicitly state that we New Covenant believers are “not appointed to wrath,” 1 Thessalonians 5:9.  Most certainly, the rapture will be “pre-wrath,” however those who take this “position” are assuming that only during the last half of the Tribulation is God’s “wrath” poured out.  They seem to have missed the fact that the entire Tribulation period is a time of “wrath” against the wickedness of unbelieving mankind.  The first half of the Tribulation is “the wrath of the Lamb,” Revelation 6:16.   

Still others claim that the Lord’s church has to go through the first half of the Tribulation to be purified, and the rapture will be a “mid-Trib” event.  Such a claim makes me wonder when the precious blood of Christ became ineffective in purifying the soul of the true believer?  Well…??

Then, of course, there are those Post-Tribbers who totally ignore all Scriptural evidence of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, and insist that the only rapture mentioned in the Bible will occur following the Tribulation  as recorded  in Revelation 20:4.  Strange!  I’ve read  Revelation 20:4  dozens of times across the years and never have found a rapture mentioned or even hinted at in this Scripture. Definitely a resurrection, but not a rapture!   But I have learned that if one wants to believe some theory  or opinion bad enough, they will read anything into the Scriptures to defend their “willing ignorance.”    The warning given by the Lord in Revelation 22:18-19 doesn’t appear to mean a thing to these Scripture perverting “scoffers” who evidently have no “fear of God” in their hearts or before their eyes. 

 

A Book of Reason

One thing I have learned being in the Lord’s ministry for many years, is that the Bible is the supernatural, Divinely inspired, Word of Almighty God, and that everything in it is totally “reasonable.”  In other words, if we really want to discover the great truths in God’s Holy Word, we are required to use the intelligence the Lord gave to each of us to reach reasonable and logical conclusions.  When the Lord God spoke to ancient Israel through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord God clearly said, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool,” Isaiah 1:18. So everything in God’s Word is “reasonable,” even though it may not seem so to those depending solely on the flesh for understanding. Spiritual truth is spiritually discerned, 1 Corinthians 2:5-16.  See also Proverbs 2:1-7 and 3:5-8.

 

The Truth of the Rapture

That the rapture is an established Biblical truth is beyond question.  The first man in human history raptured was Godly Enoch, as recorded in Genesis 5:24.  Centuries later Elijah was also raptured, caught up to Heaven in a chariot of fire, 2 Kings 2:1-11.  But these two examples have to do with those living under the Old Covenant. 

We who are New Covenant believers are clearly and explicitly told in God’s Word that we are to be “caught up” [harpazo…raptured ]  to glory, 1 Corinthians 15:50-55; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. 

 

The Timing of the Rapture

Now here is where the major debate comes in that is in the churches and the ranks of Christianity today.  So many today who claim to be “Bible believing Christians” want to place the timing of the rapture anywhere but where the Lord Jesus Christ Himself placed it.  And where exactly did the Lord place it?  I’m so glad you asked! 

 

The Timing of the Rapture According to the Lord Jesus Christ

In speaking to His Church in the seven letters to the seven churches, as recorded in Revelation 2 – 3, in the letter to His Church in Philadelphia, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself explicitly promised His Church and those who would “hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches,

“Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation

[peirasmos]; which shall come upon all the world, to try [peirasmos] them that dwell upon the earth,” Revelation 3:10. 

Dear readers, the Greek word “peirasmos” occurs 21 time in the New Testament, and is translated by the English word “temptation” every time except one.  The final time the word occurs, right here in Revelation 3:10, it was translated as “try,” indicating  a trial or testing of those left on the earth after the rapture has occurred.  The basic meaning of this particular Greek word is to “test or try by means of severe trouble or tribulation.”  In using this word in this Scripture, the Lord Jesus used it to refer to the first half of the Tribulation period; “the hour of temptation.”    Look up the word for yourself in your own Concordance or Lexicon.  It is Strong’s No. 3986.  I have a complete word study of this particular word in print, which I will be glad to send to any reader upon request, and will also include my Bible study on “The Two Hours” of the Tribulation period.  But let’s examine this promise which the Lord Jesus made to His church and people more closely. 

Folks, always be honest in reading and studying the Scriptures.  The Lord Jesus DID NOT say that He would deliver His church OUT OF “the hour of temptation.”  No, He did not!  Neither in the Greek text, nor in the English translation.  In both, the Lord plainly and explicitly said that He will “KEEP THEE FROM the hour of temptation.” 

Folks, since the Lord Jesus Christ Himself clearly stated that He will keep His Church FROM “the hour of temptation,” then it is glaringly obvious that Christ Jesus was promising His church a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Hello!

 

Now Let’s Reason Together…

Since Christ Jesus Himself gave this promise to His Church, we need to sort out the possibilities and see what conclusion can be reached.  The possibilities are…..

[1]  That Christ was mistaken, spoke only on the spur of the moment, and made a promise that He cannot keep

[2]  That Christ outright lied, and will not keep His promise to His church.

[3]  That Christ spoke the absolute truth, and will remove His church out of “this present evil world  [aion…age] by the rapture BEFORE the Tribulation period begins!     

Folks, if Christ was mistaken, or if He outright lied, then what confidence does any reader have in Him being the Son of God and our Savior? This is just a plain logical conclusion.  Is this what some choose to believe?  Be careful! The Lord is listening! 

On the other hand, if Christ spoke the absolute truth, then the Pre-Tribulation Rapture was established by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, is “the blessed hope” of all true believers, and it will take place just as He promised, regardless of the silly opinions and theories of men who do not want to receive this plain truth in God’s Word.  This is the only reasonable and logical conclusion one can come to, if they really  desire to “rightly divide the Word of Truth,” 2 Timothy 2:15.

 

Conclusion

Further, this is THE BOTTOM LINE on the rapture question.  None other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself clearly teaches here in Revelation 3:10  that there will be a Pre-Tribulation Rapture for His Church and His people.  He said it!  That settles the question for every true believer.  This is the bottom line on the question.  A true believer then cannot take any other position on the rapture than the Pre-Tribulation position.  To take any other position is to make Christ Jesus Himself out to be a LIAR.  Is this really what some readers want on their conscience when they stand face to face with the Lord?  Well…??   The Pre-Tribulation Rapture will occur, whether some “willingly ignorant scoffers” want to believe it or not.

Now, is every person reading this “ready” for the Lord’s coming [parousia] to “catch away” His Church and New Covenant believers to glory? 

Folks, the coming of our Lord to rescue and rapture His children to glory is “right at the door.”  If any reader has not truly received Christ as your own personal Savior, then you are not ready to meet the Lord, nor to enter into the terrible Tribulation which will come upon those left upon the earth after the rapture has occurred.   The terrible Tribulation is also staring mankind on the earth in the face RIGHT NOW!  It could begin at any minute of any day now, but it will not begin until the Lord Jesus catches away His precious Church Bride and His New Covenant people.  But if any reader waits for that to happen as proof of what I am writing,  then you will have waited too long to secure salvation for your soul, and thereby escape the terrible Tribulation period.

I urge, yea, I plead with every reader to “make your calling and election sure” while you still have the time and opportunity to do so.  Read 2 Corinthians 13:5 and 2 Peter 1:10.  After reading these Scriptures, and asking God in prayer for understanding, if you still have any doubts, then read John 3:3-7, 3:16, 3:36, 5:24, 14:6, Acts 4:12, 16:30-31, Romans 10:8-13, Ephesians 2:8-10, and 1 John 1:6-10. 

Dear readers, I want to meet every reader in glory when our Lord comes for us, and He is coming REAL SOON.  If you accomplish nothing else today after reading this study, please, please, give attention to the matter of the eternal destiny of your immortal soul.  Get it settled with the Lord, once and for all, where you are going to spend eternity. 

Just go to the Lord in prayer, humble yourself before Him, and pour out your heart to Him, and He will hear your sincere prayer, for God loves “to show mercy” to those who call upon Him.

Permission is granted to any true believer or Bible believing Christian ministry to reproduce this study to share with others, or to quote from it in context as written

Thank you dear brothers and sisters in Christ, for your love, prayers, and gifts, sent to help me continue to live and send forth the great truths of the Word through this ministry.  May our gracious Lord bless and reward each of you folks.

Please address all comments, questions, and correspondence to: 
Pastor F. M. Riley,
Last Call Gospel Ministry,
184 County Road 108,
Harrisburg, Missouri 65256. 

 
Or I can be contacted by email at:   fmr7sngn@centurylink.net

 

 

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