I am not a Biblical Scholar, Pastor, Priest, or Reverend. But I do want to understand what God wants me to do, and besides prayer, reading his word is the best way to do this. Some of you are not Christians, and that is your choice – the purpose of this article is not to offend you, but to explain my understanding of a Biblical controversy over the prophecy of the Rapture and why I believe it will come during the Great Tribulation and not before it.
I feel the need to post this because in some discussions with other Christians I have been told they don’t feel the need to prepare because they will be raptured away before the Tribulation, and they wouldn’t need anything. That ignores all the other possible scenarios where prepping would come in handy, but discussing that is another article. It also ignores another thought of mine- that prepping is insurance, you may never need it – but you have it there for peace of mind.
The idea of Post vs. Pre Tribulation Rapture isn’t a deal breaker – I believe that if you’re Saved, you go to heaven with either belief – so if I am wrong on this, someone who wasn’t raptured gets a little more food. Basically I made some else’s life better. If I am right, then I made my life better – win win…
I don’t post many religious articles because I know that I do not have a perfect understanding, and I don’t want to lead someone in the wrong direction, but my faith is a large part about who I am. The name “Shepherd School” is based on the idea that those who are given gifts are expected to use them for the greater good – People with strength need to use it to protect those that are weaker. I see signs that our world is falling into chaos – that’s not new, but the rate of the growth of evil is becoming faster and faster. I don’t know if the Antichrist is on earth or not – But I do know that if we do not reverse (not slow down, not compromise, not simply stop) the growth of evil, then we will be judged sooner rather than later.
First off, let me categorically state I have no idea when the Rapture or Great Tribulation will occur – The Bible clearly says no human knows the date. Anyone on earth that tells you it will happen on a specific date is lying. (they may not KNOW they are lying, or mean to lie – but and untruth is still untrue no matter the intent)
If you take the Biblical references to Jesus coming “Like a thief in the night” to mean he will come before the tribulations then I am not mad at you. The fact that you have an opinion on the issue means we have more in common than those that don’t know or care.
Regarding His return, Jesus told His disciples:
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of Heaven, but My Father only. …Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, which if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:36, 40-44).
It doesn’t mean it will be quiet and swift like a thief, but that it will be unexpected. You will either be prepared or not – you cannot wait until the last minute and then get ready – You need to be ready for His return at all times.
Jesus told His disciples: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:29-31).
The apostle Paul further explains that the Antichrist will already be in power and “sitting in the temple of God” when the Rapture happens, and we know from other passages that this happens after the Antichrist breaks the “holy covenant,” which triggers the Great Tribulation:
“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day [Jesus’ return] will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin [the Antichrist] is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).
Both the prophecies in the books of Daniel and Revelation state that the saints—all those who have been born again—will be around during the Tribulation, because the Antichrist will war against them. In fact, several passages are even very specific about the length of this period.
“I was watching; and the [Antichrist] was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days [God] came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. … He [the Antichrist] shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time [three and a half years]” (Daniel 7:21-22, 25).
It’s clear that the Great Tribulation is going to be a trying time, but God will help us come through it victoriously. Concerning that time, Daniel writes:
“The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. And those of the people who understand shall instruct many” (Daniel 11:32-33).
During the Great Tribulation many people will turn to the Lord, as those who know God and understand what’s happening will manifest great powers and win to God’s eternal kingdom many of those who are disaffected with the Antichrist and his regime. The Tribulation trumpets will signal judgments on the wicked—not the just, who will be under God’s seal of protection during this time.
“These [the great multitude standing before the throne of God and Jesus] are the ones who come out of the Great Tribulation” (Revelation7:14).
The multitude came out of the Tribulation, they were there during it. God will deliver His own OUT of trouble, not from it!
This is what I believe and why I believe it, and I have asked to be forgiven of my sins and be saved. This is my Golden Preparation. Precept #1 – no matter what else happens I am assured of going to Heaven. All my other preps are to make sure I don’t suffer any more than I have to, and because God calls upon men to take care of their families.
I welcome discussion on this, like I said at the beginning of the article there are competing Christian doctrine on this subject, and several Biblical passages that when taken alone seem to strengthen one argument over another – it is only though honest and open study of the entire Bible that you get the entire picture.