March 1, 2021 @ 7:00 AM

The Rapture of the Church

What is the “rapture of the Church?” Rapture comes from a Latin term meaning to catch up or snatch and describes the return of Christ in the clouds to rescue His Bride, the Church from the coming Great Tribulation. There are multiple positions on the second coming of Christ. Some believe it will be premillennial (before the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth). Some believe it will be postmillennial (after the 1000 years reign of Christ on earth). Some believe it is amillennial (at the end of the Church age, no millennium).

Some who believe in premillennial second coming believe the rapture will be pretribulation (before the Great Tribulation). Some believe the rapture will be mid-tribulation (halfway through the Great Tribulation). Some believe the rapture will be post-tribulation (after the Great Tribulation).

It is our position that Jesus’ Second Coming is in two parts: the Rapture of the Church and The Return of the King. At the Rapture of the Church, Jesus comes and rescues His Bride from the Great Tribulation (wrath of God, Jacob’s Trouble). His purpose is to rescue His Bride. He never touches the earth but rather calls the Church to come to Him in a cloud in the air and takes them back to heaven with Him.

At the Return of the King, Jesus comes to earth touching down on the Mount of Olives and defeats the wicked at the Battle of Armageddon before ruling for 1000 years from the 3rd Temple in Jerusalem.. His purpose is to rule as King over all the earth.

Old Testament principles for a pretribulation rapture

  • Noahic principle-Genesis 7:1-5-God preserves the righteous from the destruction of the earth
  • Abrahamic principle-Genesis 18:25-God never treats the righteous and wicked alike

Rapture promises

  • Jesus promised to return for His own-John 14:3
  • Jesus will return for both living and dead believers-1 Thess. 4:13-18
  • Jesus promises that believers will not endure the wrath of God upon sinners-Rev. 3:10

Rapture descriptions

  • Christ descends in a cloud followed by the angelic armies of heaven-1 Thess. 4:13-18
  • Angelic trumpet is blown-1 Thess. 4:13-18
  • Christ shouts for His Bride to come to meet Him in the cloud-1 Thess. 4:13-18
  • The dead in Christ rise from the grave and are taken up to meet Christ-1 Thess. 4:13-18
  • The living in Christ are transformed and are taken up to meet Christ-1 Thess. 4:13-18, 1 Cor. 15:51-53
  • Christ does NOT touch the earth but rescues His Church in the air-1 Thess. 4:13-18
  • It occurs in the “twinkling of an eye”-1 Cor. 15:51
  • Christ returns to heaven with His Bride, the Church-1 Thess. 4:17

An Overview of The Great Tribulation

The Great Tribulation, sometimes called “Jacob’s Trouble” or the Wrath of God. It is a seven year period of time after the rapture of the Church in which God’s wrath and anger is poured out upon the unsaved, wicked inhabitants of the earth. It is marked by the following:

First half of the Great Tribulation (3.5 years)

  1. The revelation of the Anti-Christ (literally substitute Christ) (Dan. 9:27, 11:36-39, Rev. 13:1-10)
  2. The building of a 3rd temple (Dan. 9:27)
  3. The institution of animal & grain sacrifices in the temple by Jewish priests (Dan. 9:27)

Midway point of the Great Tribulation

  1. The Abomination of Desolation occurs in the temple (Dan. 9:27, 11:31, 12:11, Matt. 24:15, 2 Thess. 2:3, 4)

Last half of the Great Tribulation (3.5 years)

  1. The mark of the beast-666--is issued to the whole world (Rev. 13:16-18)
  2. The revelation of the False Prophet who glorifies the Anti-Christ (the Beast) (Rev. 13:11-17)
  3. The 144,000 Jewish evangelists (Rev. 7:1-8, 14:1-5)
  4. The appearance and martyrdom of the two witnesses (Rev. 11:3-13)
  5. The 10 plagues of God upon the earth (as when God sent plagues upon Egypt) (Rev. 6, 8-9, 16)
  6. The Battle of Armageddon and Return of the King (Rev. 16:16, 19:17-21)