The Pre-Tribulation Rapture 1 Thess. 4:16 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
The closer we get to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ the more you hear about the church going through the Tribulation. But the church is raptured before the Tribulation. In this lesson, we will give you some of the verses that show a pre-tribulation rapture of the church. We believe in the pre-tribulation rapture of the church because:
The rapture 1 Thes 4:16-17 is different than the gathering of Matt 24:31 – teachers who hold to a post-tribulation rapture confuse these two events; but notice the differences:
- In Matt 24:31 angels gather the elect together; in 1 Thes 4:16, the Lord himself descends and we are caught up together to him.
- In Matt 24:31 the angels gather his elect… from Deut 30:4; Is 27:13; Num 10:1-3, 7 we see this gathering of Israel from the outmost parts of heaven – you don’t see the dead and alive being raised together to meet the Lord.
- In 1 Thes 4:17 we are caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; there are clouds in Matt 24:30 but these that are gathered don’t meet him in the air; they return to their land [see Is 11:12; Ezek 11:17, 28:25, 37:21].
- There is a tribulation rapture but Matt 24:31 doesn’t appear to be it.
The people in heaven in Rev 5:8-10 are a different group than the people raptured in Rev 7:9-14 – the saints in Rev 5 are the church age saints and the saints in Rev 7 are the tribulation saints – John didn’t recognize these saints in Rev 7 although he had already seen the saints in Rev 5 – they are different groups of saints.
Salvation in the church age is without the law [Gal 2:16] and salvation in the tribulation includes the law [Rev 14:12, 12:17; Col 2:13-17] – when the Jews flee Judea they must pray that their flight is not on the Sabbath day [Matt 24:20, the context is the tribulation, Matt 24:21].
Conclusion: So, the rapture is imminent [Titus 2:13] – keep looking up – Jesus could be here any day now!