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Rapture Timing, 1/20/20

There has long been much debate about when exactly the rapture of the Church will occur. Here are some points to answer the question, but I am sure this is not the totality of how scripture says that the rapture happens Post-Tribulation:

First, there is this obvious prophecy from our Lord wherein he clearly puts the rapture at the end of the tribulation:

Matthew 24:29-31 New King James Version (NKJV)
29 “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. 30 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. 31 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.

Then there is this obvious prophecy which clearly shows that the remnant of God will be here on Earth at the time Jesus returns:

1 Thessalonians 4:15 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.

Those two scriptures should be more than enough for us all to believe the truth of scripture: that the rapture is Post-Tribulation. But somehow these clear prophecies are not enough for some believers and they choose to believe the false doctrines of Pre-Trib or Mid-Trib rapture. Some who believe in either Pre-Trib or Mid-Trib rapture believe that the Holy Spirit will be removed from Earth and the Church along with it. They mistakenly base this on this scripture:

2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 New King James Version (NKJV)
7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 


But is this idea of
the Holy Spirit being removed from the Earth, and the Church along with it, consistent with the rest of scripture? No, it is not. For if the Holy Spirit is the one who restrains and thus if he and the Church are removed from Earth before the Great Tribulation, then how can these verses be true?

Revelation 7:13-14 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”
14 And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

So if they came "OUT of the Great Tribulation" then clearly they were in it too. This very clearly proves that there will be strong believers here through the tribulation. But that cannot be if Holy Spirit is gone from Earth. These verses speak to how being here during the tribulation helps make for white washed robes of righteousness. God is working to raise up sons who will inherit the Kingdom and rule and reign with Christ throughout eternity and he always uses tribulation and suffering to form sonship in us. Jesus was perfected through Suffering for Righteousness and so shall we be as well:

Acts 14:22 New King James Version (NKJV)
22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”

Romans 8:17 New King James Version (NKJV)
17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
 
Hebrews 2:10 New King James Version (NKJV)
10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

So when this is God plan, why would he remove us from Earth just when the crucible of suffering was getting hot enough to form the real character of Christ in us? When forming Christ in us is his goal, obviously he would not. Jesus did not prevent Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from going through the fire, he came and walked with them in it. Isaiah speaks of this principle as well:

Isaiah 43:2 New King James Version (NKJV)
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you

And here is another scripture that shows that there is a remnant on Earth during the Great Tribulation:

Revelation 20:4
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

While it is true that the mark is handed out at the beginning of the 7 years of the reign of the Beast, we understand that he will not begin to behead believers until after the Great Tribulation begins at midpoint of the 7 years. So if there were believers getting beheaded by the Beast for not taking the mark, then obviously there is a remnant still here on Earth after the midpoint of the 7 years. This proves that the Holy Spirit was not removed either at the beginning or the midpoint. But believing he was removed at mid point is the inevitable conclusion of anyone who believes that the Holy Spirit is the Restrainer mentioned in 2 Thess. 2:7-8. So Rev. 20:4 also helps proves that there is a remnant here on Earth during The Great Tribulation.

Yes, the bible is clear. The rapture is Post-Tribulation.



Steve Pursell 1/20/20

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