Post-Trib Rapture view doesn’t Work.
From all the scriptures in the Bible, the Post-trib view that the Rapture occurs after the Tribulation on the Day of Jesus’ 2nd coming just doesn’t work. I’ve shared some of this in other lessons, but I’ll share them together here. While this is really detailed, this still isn’t all that can be shown why the post-trib view is incorrect. If you're not sure which view to believe or if you hold to the post-trib view then give this a read.
The reason for the differing viewpoints on the timing of the Rapture in relation to the Tribulation is that the Bible nowhere tells us explicitly when the Rapture will occur, but there is scriptural evidence in relation to the Tribulation and the Rapture, so we must search the scriptures putting them together to determine when Jesus will return for the Church. Just like Prophecies about Jesus' first coming are spread throughout the Old Testament, it’s the same in the New Testament concerning the Rapture. No one Prophet was given all the revelation of the coming of the Messiah. They had to search the scriptures putting them together to get a complete understanding concerning the coming of the Messiah. It's the same with the New Testament. You have to search the scriptures putting them together to get a clearer picture concerning the Rapture, to get the truth concerning the timing of the catching up of the followers of Jesus. You have to put them ALL together.
As is the case with researching anything, you must first determine what takes place with the Rapture before looking at any other scriptures. You must first lay the foundation. This is what you build on. Once you establish what occurs with the Rapture then you base all other scriptures on this. All other scriptures must line up and work with, agree with what we’re told concerning the timing of the Rapture, and what occurs with the Rapture. The scriptures cannot contradict each other. If a scripture does not line up and agree with what we’re told concerning the Rapture, then that scripture isn’t to be connected to the Rapture. If your interpretation of the scriptures doesn't line up and agree with what we are told concerning the Rapture then you must rethink your interpretation. Well, as you will see, the post-trib view has scriptures not lining up, agreeing with what we are told concerning when the Rapture occurs and what takes place with the Rapture. The post-trib view ignores a lot of scriptures. In some cases changes a plain sense reading of scripture. So, go ahead and give this a read.
First lets look at the 3 main Rapture verses that tell us just what occurs with the Rapture.
1 Thes. 4: 13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep (died) in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep (died). 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
First we see that Jesus will bring with him from heaven the spirits/souls of those that have already died that are referred to as ‘in him’. Their bodies are then raised from the dead, recreated. Next we see those that are still alive will be changed and ‘caught up together’ with them. As you're about to see from Jesus, He’s returning back to heaven at this time. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul gives more insight into what happens with being changed.
1 Cor. 15:51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep(die), but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
Paul also mentions this in his letter to the Philippians.
Phil. 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will (transform) our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
We see that the Rapture is a mystery, not revealed in the Old Testament. We see that the Rapture will occur in a flash, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, so quick that it occurs in like in a Nano second. A person could be standing right in front of another person and then they’re gone, vanished. The Greek word for flash or moment is ‘atomos’ which is where we get the word atom. The meaning here is (an “atom” of time). That’s quicker than the human eye can see, quicker than the human eye can perceive. It sounds like it happens so quick that we find ourselves immediately before the throne of God. See Rev. 4. See Lessons All About the Rapture page.
By the way, the last trumpet here is not the 7th trumpet in Revelation. See the lesson 'Is the last Trumpet the 7th Trumpet'.
Now look at what Jesus said. John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
Notice he said he is going to his Father’s house to prepare a place for them, he did this with his ascension, which now is addressing the Church. Which should be obvious since this did not occur with the disciples. They all died. After his resurrection Jesus went back to the Fathers house. In his Father’s house are many rooms. His Father‘s house is in heaven. And he said that he would come back and take them, the Church there to be with him, that we would be where he is. He’s coming from heaven to the earth. In 1 Thes. 4 Paul tells us he is only returning in the air. John 14 2 & 3 are a description of the Rapture. Here He describes “a coming for” His saints to take them to the Father's house. "This passage indicates that the believer is going to go to heaven, to the Father’s house at the time of Jesus’ coming for Him.". He is returning to take the believers back to heaven, to the Father’s house. This is actually an illustration taken from how the Jewish Wedding Custom was. We see in the Old Testament customs that were types and patterns, foreshadows of the coming of the Messiah and what he would do for mankind. The 7 yearly Jewish festivals for example. The most well-known is of course, Passover and the Passover Lamb and first fruits(Easter). We see that the Jewish wedding custom also foreshadows what God the Father and Jesus would do. With the Jewish wedding custom we see the whole plan of salvation. See the Bible Lessons, “The Jewish Wedding and the Rapture”.
So, from what we have just read we see with the Rapture Jesus is coming from heaven bringing with him those that have died in him and that the dead in Christ are going to receive glorified, immortal bodies. We see that the believers that are alive at the time of the Rapture are going to have their bodies changed, transformed into glorified, immortal bodies and will meet those that had already died in Jesus in the air and are going back to heaven, back to the Fathers house with Jesus. This should be clear from what we have just read. We’re going back to heaven with Jesus. This does not occur with the 2nd Coming.
Let’s look at the 2nd coming in Revelation chapter 19.
Rev. 19: 11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.
In verses 7 & 8 we are told who these are riding on white horses dressed in fine linen, white and clean. We see the Church age saints as a bride then as the armies of heaven. We know from Paul that the Church is the bride of Christ, that we have been betrothed to Christ. We see the Church age saints coming with Jesus riding on white horses.
7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)
for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. NKJV
Now do you see a problem here with the Rapture occurring with Jesus’ 2nd coming? Here we see Jesus coming from heaven WITH his bride, with the Church age saints. John said he saw heaven standing open. No meeting in the air. The Church age saints are coming FROM heaven with Jesus. So, the Church had to have been Raptured, caught up before Jesus’ 2nd coming. Here with the 2nd coming Jesus and the Church are not going back to heaven as Jesus said in John 14 but are coming from heaven back down to the earth. This alone shows that the Rapture doesn’t occur at the time of Jesus’ 2nd coming.
Let’s look at what takes place in chapter 20 after Jesus has returned to the Earth and is seated on his Throne. We know from Jesus that this takes place after he has returned back down to the earth and the earthly Kingdom of God is about to begin.
Mt. 19:28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Mt. 25: 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
Rev. 20: 4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
With verse 4 John says he saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. This is the 24 elders we see in chapters 4 & 5 of Revelation of which 12 could very well be the first apostles, which includes Matthias since he replaced Judas, as well as others that are mentioned in the New Testament like Paul, that had a major role in establishing the early Church.
We see a clear description of what will be happening during the Tribulation. We see this from the statement, “the 'souls' of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life”.
We see here AFTER Jesus and the Church age saints have returned to the earth those that died during the Tribulation being raised from the dead. With a post-trib Rapture having the Church going through the Tribulation, these would be included in the Church. But wait a minute. Paul in 1 Thes. 4 said the dead in Christ (church age saints) rise first then those that are alive and remain are changed and caught up, Raptured. If the Rapture had just occurred in Rev. 19 with Jesus’ 2nd coming, these we see here that died during the Tribulation would have already been raised from the dead. Paul said the dead in Christ will rise first, then those that are alive will be caught up together with them.
With a post-trib Rapture, with the Rapture and 2nd coming occurring at the same time, having the Church going through the Tribulation, these would be included in the Church and would have already been raised from the dead. We just saw from Rev. 19 the Church, the bride of Christ coming from heaven with Jesus. And we don’t have any mention in chapter 19 or 20 of a catching up, transforming of the bodies of those that are alive as Paul says in 1 Thes. 4.
The post-trib Rapture view with having the resurrection in chapter 20 the resurrection with the Rapture, I'll address this more in moment, has occurring the opposite of what Paul said. A post-trib Rapture has the changing, transforming and the catching up of the living first then the dead in Christ being raised, resurrected. As I just said, the opposite of what Paul said.
I just don’t understand, it should be clear from only what we have just read that the Rapture doesn’t occur with the 2nd coming. From what Paul and Jesus said concerning what takes place with the Rapture and from what we see with Rev. 19 & 20 the Rapture cannot occur on the day of Jesus’ 2nd coming. It has to occur before his 2nd coming.
Now this poses another problem for the post-trib view, with the Rapture occurring on the day of Jesus’ 2nd coming. If the Rapture had just occurred with his 2nd coming then there wouldn’t be anyone to go into the Kingdom of God as mortals, as we are now. All the righteous would have been changed into immortals. We see from Jesus in Mt. 13 & 25 those that did not believe on Jesus die and are cast into eternal fire. So the post-trib view would be leaving no one as mortals to go into the earthly Kingdom. We see from Revelation ch. 20 as well as Old Testament scriptures like Isaiah 11 & 65 that there will be mortals capable of having children, sinning and dying living during the 1000 year Kingdom here on earth.
It can’t be said that some come to believe in Jesus when they see him coming. By that time its way too late and totally misses the point of the judgments of the Tribulation. The purpose of all the judgments is to get all that will to repent and believe on Jesus before his 2nd coming. We see this mentioned twice in the book of Revelation. By the time of Jesus’ 2nd coming everyone has sealed their fate, decided whether or not to take the mark of the beast. Only those that refused to take the mark will inherit the Kingdom of God. Those that take the mark do not inherit the Kingdom of God, they do not live to go into the Kingdom.
Rev. 14: 9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, 10 they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”
We see from Mt. chapters 25 and 13 after Jesus has returned back to the earth Jesus will sit on his throne and separate those that believed on him during the Tribulation from those that did not. He will send his angels to weed out all those that did not believe on him, all those that took the mark of the beast.
Mt. 25: 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. ….
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. …. 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Mt. 13: 36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
Now it can’t be argued that there may be some that just hid from the anti-Christ so they didn’t receive the mark. Taking the mark means denying Jesus. Those that still don’t come to believe in Jesus during the Tribulation won’t have any problem taking the mark. Only those that refuse to reject Jesus, those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus will refuse to take the mark. We see today this can easily be done with micro-chips. We see people now not having a problem with taking a micro chip in their hands, which could be used as the mark of the beast.
It can’t be argued there will be some out in remote places of the earth that the anti-Christ’s search didn’t get to. There is now massive tracking systems all over the world. Plus, this would violate what Jesus said in the parable of Wedding Banquet in Mt. 22. 11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. 13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
We see with verse 9 of Revelation 19 the mention of the wedding super here on earth after Jesus and his bride, the Church have returned. 9 Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” … The only way to be invited, to have on the wedding clothes is to have believed on/in Jesus. Those that come to believe on/in Jesus during the Tribulation are the guest invited to the wedding supper. A bride is not invited to her own wedding. This to is an illustration from the Jewish Wedding custom.
The Jewish wedding custom, the groom would go to the bride to Be's house where he and his father would pay her father the price for her. You were legally married at this time; you just didn't come together as man and wife. Remember Joseph and Mary, how Joseph sought to divorce her quietly, but they hadn't come together as man and wife yet. The groom would return to his fathers house where he would build/prepare a room for her. Jesus came from heaven, from the Father's house to earth. He paid the price for us, his bride on the cross. With his ascension he returned to the Father's house where he is preparing rooms, dwelling places for his bride. John 14:1-3. With the Rapture he will return from the Father's to receive his bride and take her, us back to his Father's house.
With the Jewish wedding custom the bride and groom would stay in the room prepared for her, called the bridal chamber for 7 days. During these 7 days there was a celebration, the wedding banquet. This was also known as the bridal week. Guests were invited to the wedding banquet. After the 7 days they would come out of the bridal chamber for the wedding supper/feast. We see this in Rev. 19, Jesus and his bride coming out of the bridal chamber, the Church age saints returning with Jesus from heaven back to earth for the wedding supper/feast. For more details see the ‘Jewish Wedding and the Rapture’.
And, Jesus said, Mt. 24: 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. .. We see in the book of Revelation there's going to be 144,000 Jewish evangelist preaching all over the world, two witnesses with super natural power, and apparently, 3 angels testifying. So, by the time of Jesus' 2nd coming everyone would have heard about the deception of the anti-Christ, and about the truth concerning Jesus.
The point is that only those that are found righteous will go into the Kingdom of God. Only those that came to believe in Jesus during the Tribulation and stayed true to him will inherit the Kingdom of God. By the time of the post-trib rapture at the 2nd coming, if you are found worthy of going into the Kingdom you would have been found worthy of going up in the Rapture. PLUS, a post-trib Rapture would have already separated the righteous from the unrighteous. There would be no need for a separation after Jesus has returned as Jesus mentions in Mt. 13 & 25.
As I mentioned above, the a post-trib rapture would not leave anyone as mortals to go into the earthly Kingdom of God. You know, by the time of Jesus’ 2nd coming why would there even need to be a Rapture, a catching up. When Jesus returns he is only destroying those that are gathered in the valley of Megiddo to try to fight against his return. We know this from what we just read from Mt. 13, 25 and Rev. 19. By the way, we're told it's just by the word of his mouth. He's not going to use any weapons of mass destruction.
One of the arguments from the post-tirbers against a pre-trib Rapture is the mention of the first resurrection with verse 5 of Rev. 20. Most post-tribers base their whole view on the Rapture from this verse.
Rev. 20 4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
The post-trib view says since here it says this is the first resurrection, this is the resurrection that occurs with the Rapture, that this proves that the resurrection with the Rapture cannot be pre-trib, that it has to occur with the 2nd coming proving a post-trib Rapture. Well, we’ve just seen that this resurrection in chapter 20 is ‘after’ the resurrection and the catching up of the Church age saints, and that Jesus and the Church age saints have returned from heaven and the earthly Kingdom of God has begun. With the Rapture Paul said the dead in Christ will rise first then those that are alive and remain will be changed. As we saw above, these in chapter 20 if they were the Church age saints they would have already been raised.
This first resurrection has nothing to do with the resurrection with the Rapture. The resurrection with the Rapture is for the Church age saints. The resurrection after Jesus has returned is for the Tribulation saints and the Old Testament saints. We see from Daniel chapter 12 all those that are found righteous during the Old Testament times are raised at this time also.
We see with 1 Thes. 4 verse 14 that, 'God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep (died in Jesus) in him', and with verse 16 'the dead in Christ will rise first'. The catching up, the Rapture is of only the Church age saints, not the Old Testament Saints. The Old Testament Saints were not in Jesus, not in Christ. They are not included in the Church. They are not included in the body of Christ. We're told that the Church is the body of Christ. The Church wasn't created, formed until the day of Pentecost.
In Chapter 12 of Daniel he tells us that after the second half of the Tribulation, at the end of days he will rise to receive his allotted inheritance. He started the chapter off with, '“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress(Tribulation) such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time (your people)—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. 2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. … We see Jesus describes the 2nd half of the Tribulation in Mt.24 15-31.
The resurrection of the Old Testament Saints occurs with the Tribulation saints we see occurring in Rev. chapter 20. In John chapter 6 verses 39 thru 54 and John 11 v24 Jesus mentions the resurrection at the last day. We see this resurrection with Revelation chapter 20. The New Covenant hadn’t begun yet. Jesus was speaking still under the Old Covenant. Remember we just saw from the scriptures that there has to be a resurrection before Jesus’ 2nd coming, and we saw that this first resurrection in Rev. ch. 20 is after Jesus has returned and is seated on his Throne to judge.
Look at what we are told with John chapter 12, 48There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. We see from Matthew 13, 19 and 25 after the Tribulation, after Jesus has returned, that Jesus will sit on his Throne here on Earth and will Judge the nations. We see that here with Revelation chapter 20.
We see there is a resurrection before Jesus’ 2nd coming and there’s a resurrection after Jesus has returned. The resurrection that occurs with the Rapture is a resurrection of the Church age saints, not the Old Testament or Tribulation saints. We see the resurrection with the Rapture occurs before the day of Jesus' 2nd coming.
We see here that the Kingdom of God has begun. We’ve come to the end of the age. The new age has begun. This resurrection is the first that has to do with the Kingdom of God.
We see with verses 5 and 11 thru 15 after the 1000 year Kingdom of God another resurrection mentioned. Daniel’s 'others to shame and everlasting contempt'. The first resurrection is at the beginning of the Kingdom, the second is at the end of the Kingdom. This first resurrection has nothing to do with the resurrection with the Rapture. This is another case of not taking all the scriptures into account and not paying attention to what is being said.
One more point about this first resurrection. This is not the first resurrection mentioned in the New Testament. You know of course of Jesus’ resurrection, but read what we are told occurred after Jesus was raised. Mt. 27: 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. … We are not told weather these continued living and later died again or were taken up to heaven with Jesus. In either case, they would have been the wave offering the High Priest would make. When Jesus died on the cross, he was our sacrificial lamb, when he rose from the grave, he became our High Priest.
This first resurrection has nothing to do with the resurrection with the Rapture. This first resurrection is at the beginning of the Earthly Kingdom, the second is at the end of the Earthly Kingdom.
Another argument from the Post-tribers is because Paul and Peter referred to believers in Christ as the elect, and Jesus in Matthew 24 and Mark 13 said after the Tribulation of those days he will send his angles to gather his elect, the post-trib view says this is proof for a post-trib Rapture. But is it? Are the elect Jesus referred to the Church as the Post-trib views says? Well, click the link below 'Elect in Mt. 24-The Church or Jews' and give it a read to see.
One more thing. The post-tribers claim that the pre-trib Rapture wasn't taught until the 1800's and that all the early Church fathers believed and taught a post-trib Rapture. Disproving this assertion proves rather easy. Give 'Pre-Trib Rapture taught before 1800's' below a read.
The post-trib view has believers watching for, preparing for the Tribulation, watching for the anti-Christ. But that's not what we are told to be doing from the scriptures. We are told our focus should be on Jesus and His coming for his Church. (While we can see things lining up in the world as the Bible has predicted we still cannot predict just when the Rapture will occur). See 'Could the Rapture Occur any moment'.
The post-trib view ignores promises Paul gave about the Rapture. In 1 Thes. 4: 16 & 17 after telling us about the Rapture Paul with verse 18 says to encourage one another with these words. With Titus 2 verse 13 Paul describes the Rapture as our blessed hope. The only way for the Rapture to be a blessing and hope and to be encouraging is for it to occur before all the death and destruction of the Tribulation we see from the book of Revelation. We are promised in 1 Thes. 1:10, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. .. For if you're here during the Tribulation, as we see from Isaiah 24 and Revelation, the odds are, you won't survive to the end. See 'How Severe will the Tribulation Be'.
Titus 2: 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Let me point out something else. Notice the phrase that references the Church that is found in the first 3 chapters of Revelation but not once after Rev. 4:1. (He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.) Look at what you have after Rev. 4:1. Rev. 13:9 (He who has an ear, let him hear). No reference to the Church. Notice how Jesus used the phrase before the establishment of the Church, before the day of Pentecost. See Matthew 11:15, 13:9, 13:43, Mark 4:9, 4:23, Luke 8: 8, 14:35.
MT 11: 15 He who has ears, let him hear,
MT 13: 9 He who has ears, let him hear.
There was not yet a Church when Jesus made these statements. This is good evidence that the Church is not present during the Tribulation or John would have used the same phrase ‘to the churches’ in chapter 13. If the Church is not here during the Tribulation then it would make since not to say (what the Spirit says to the churches.) If John was also addressing the Church he would not have changed his statement. Because of all this it is believed that Rev. 4:1 is a reference as to where the Rapture fits in with the timing of the events in the book of Revelation. We see that it is before the opening of the Seals, the judgments of God, thus it is evidence for a pre-trib rapture of the Church.
Rev. 4: 1After this I looked, and there before me was a door (standing open in heaven). And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "(Come up here), and I will show you what must take place after this."
See the Bible Lesson, Comparison 1 Thes. 4:16-17 and Rev. 4:1.
Post-tribers say because the early Church went through persecution then the believers of the last days Church must go through persecution, that we, followers of Christ must go through the Tribulation to prove ourselves worthy to go into the Kingdom, that by going through the Tribulation we purify ourselves for the Kingdom. Well, what about all those that have already died before the Tribulation, that didn’t experienced persecution like that of the early Church, are they not worthy? Because we haven’t experienced persecution in our lives to the degree of the early Church are we not worthy of entering the Kingdom of God? Of course we are. When one dies that is in Jesus, because of their faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, are they not worthy of going to heaven. Have they not proven themselves by their faith? Are we not told that we have been made righteous by the blood of Jesus? Yes we have. We are proving ourselves faithful now. We’re purified by the blood of Jesus and the Spirit of God. We’re being justified and sanctified by our faith and trust in Jesus now. Our faith is credited to us as righteousness.
Ephesians 2: 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Romans 3: 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
Romans 4: 4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
7 “Blessed are those
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”
Romans 5: 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood,
how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
1 Corinthians 6: 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
The post-trib view having believers going through the Tribulation would fall under justification by works. The post-trib view having the Church going through the Tribulation is like a protestant purgatory.
Those who find themselves here during the Tribulation is because they were/are unbelievers, they had not accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. The judgements of the Tribulation are because of the unbeliever’s rejection of Jesus and to hopefully open their eyes to the truth before Jesus’ return to establish the Kingdom of God. They're to bring the Jews to the acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah. The judgments are to make a clear distinction of those that come to believe in/on Jesus from those that still reject him. By the time of Jesus’ 2nd coming everyone has sealed their fate, they have either taken the mark of the beast or they have come to believe in Jesus and refused it. The Kingdom of God will start out with only those who survived the Tribulation and are found righteous. For all those that have come to but their trust and faith in Jesus now, before the Tribulation, they have already been found righteous. And as we see throughout the Scriptures, the righteous are NEVER judged along with the unrighteous. There are no scriptures that place the Church here during the Tribulation, just the opposite. The evidence from the Scriptures reveal a Pre-Trib Rapture. I challenge you to check out the other Bible Lessons.
So from what we see from just these scriptures the Rapture does not, cannot occur on the same day as Jesus 2nd coming. The Rapture and 2nd Coming are not the same or occur at the same time. There are many many more scriptures that show that the Rapture does not occur with the 2nd coming AND that the Rapture occurs before the Tribulation. Give the lessons a read at the bottom of this for just a few.
Just like the Old Testament paints two separate comings of the Messiah, the first as a suffering servant, the second as a conquering King, the New Testament paints two separate pictures of Jesus returning, first one in which he doesn’t return back down to the earth, he only returns in the air and removes those that the Bible refers to as ‘in him’, they will not experience death but will return with him back to heaven, back to the Fathers house. 1 Thes. 4: 13-18 John 14: 1-3. It’s come to be called the Rapture. Then 7 years later will be his 2nd coming in which he returns back down to the earth with his bride, the Church. Rev. 19. This 7 years has come to be referred to as the Tribulation. It's during these 7 years that God the Father and Jesus will be judging those that previously had rejected the truth about Jesus, trying to get them to believe and turn to Jesus before he returns back down to the earth. After he returns back down to the earth he remains to rule the world for a 1000 years. After this 1000 years will be eternity.
Now more than ever we need to be encouraging each other of the hope we have. As followers of Christ we don’t have to be fearful of what is coming on the world, for we have the blessed hope and promises we will not be here during the time of Gods judgment and wrath on a Christ rejecting world. We are also to share this hope with those around us. You should learn all you can concerning what the Bible says is coming upon the world so you can share it with your unsaved friends and family. We are to warn those around us of the coming Tribulation in the hope that they will come to believe and turn to Jesus. So they won’t find themselves here during the time of the Tribulation. For our time is short. If not now, hopefully if they are still alive after the Rapture they will remember the things they have been told and realize that it all was true and that Jesus is indeed who the Bible says he is. More importantly so they won’t find themselves standing before God the Father as their judge, but will stand before Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Luke 21: 34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day (the tribulation) will close on you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape ALL that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
Maranatha, Our Lord Comes.