Monday, March 6, 2017

The Rapture

Mark 13:21-27

Jesus had just told the disciples not to let themselves be upset by warnings that wars and natural events signaled the return of Christ.  He said that it wouldn’t happen until they say Jerusalem surrounded by the armies of the Antichrist, and the Jews were forced to flee their homeland for three and a half years.  Things will get so bad at that time that there will be fear for the entire human race being destroyed, and people will be desperately looking for answers.

“And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.  But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.” (Mark 13:21-23)

While there have been and will be false teachers and fake Messiahs throughout the Church age, as people get more desperate, they will become more common.  They will also be more sophisticated and persuasive, using apparent miracles and powers that would convince even those who believe in God, except that they have the Holy Spirit to show them the truth.   He warns not to let the fact that other people accept their claims cause his people to accept them at their word.  He has warned us because some will fall for the lies, as Daniel 11:35 warns.  “And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.”  People will be forced to decide whether they will follow God or the Antichrist.    

“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. “ (Mark 13:24-25)

At the end of the Tribulation period, the events described in Revelation 6:12-17 will occur, according to Jesus.  “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.  And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”

The Antichrist will set himself up as god, convincing himself and others he has as much power as God, with the help of Satan.  In the last part of his reign,  a series of natural disasters will occur that he cannot prevent, even with Satan’s help, making it clear he really isn’t a god after all.  These events will go far beyond anything man has ever seen and people will reach a point of wanting to die to escape what is happening.  As we have already seen, if God didn’t limit the time, no life would survive. 

“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.  And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.” (Mark 13:26-27)

When it is finally clear that neither mankind no satan have the power to control the universe. Christ will appear in heaven, as  described in Revelation 19:11-15.  “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”
Revelation 1:7 tells us, “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”  At about the same time I I Corinthians 15:52 also tells us, “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.”  This calling out of the believers is often called the Rapture. 

Please understand that Jesus's statements, as recorded here, in Matthew 21-31, and in Luke 21:20-28 appear to contradict many popular teachings about the sequence of events during the Tribulation and the Rapture.   


  1. If the Rapture occurs at the end of the Tribulation, it would not be imminent, or able to occur at any time, because the Tribulation ends 3 and 1/2 years after the abomination of desolation, an event that will be clearly observed. Once Revelation begins the description the Tribulation, there is no more mention of the church, for I believe we have already been Raptured. Paul writes that believers will be spared from the wrath to come. At the conclusion of the Tribulation, we as His armies will accompany Him, descending from Heaven where we have been during the Tribulation, taking part in the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. I believe that Jesus, in these passages you cite, is describing the Tribulation to the Jews, for that is the time (Jacob's trouble) that God will deal with the nation of Israel. Thanks as always for the thorough post. God bless.

  2. Thanks, Laurie.

    Over the years many traditions have been accepted as doctrine. One important part of teaching properly is to get people to search the scriptures to see if the doctrines they hold are scriptural or just traditional. Over the years, I have found that many of the things I have been taught had places where they differed from what the scriptures said. I hope my writing stimulates people to examine their doctrine carefully to eliminate errors which may have been accidentally adopted.