A Sign For The Rapture?

By Grant Phillips – http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips151.html

Most people have an idea of the coming Biblical judgment on earth, although their skepticism may override their thinking on the matter. It is portrayed on the evening news and in the Hollywood movies. Armageddon, for example, is a term used often by the secular world, even though they have little to no knowledge of the subject matter. Rapture, Tribulation, Armageddon, these words are thrown around like rice at a wedding, usually in order to induce excitement or to make a point. I’m still speaking of the secular part of society of course. Unfortunately, many Christians are no more educated on these terms than they.

My only intent at this time is to clear up a misconception about the Rapture. Is there anything that must be fulfilled before the Rapture can take place? For those who may not know what I mean by “Rapture,” it is the event when Jesus Christ comes for His Church, His Bride, and removes all true Christians from the earth prior to the beginning of the seven years of Tribulation.

Jesus told us in His Word that there would be signs ushering in and included in the Tribulation that will be on earth (Matthew 24, et al). The Tribulation is a commonly recognized name for Daniel’s Seventieth Week, which is simply the remaining seven years God promised Israel. These remaining seven years will occur just prior to Christ’s second coming to the earth (Matthew 24:29-31). His first coming was to die on the cross and leave an empty grave to make provision for all who come to Him in belief to be spiritually born again (John 3). His second coming is to put an end to the seventieth year, the Tribulation, and rule the world for the next one thousand years. I understand that this is very simply stated and basic, but my intention again is the Rapture.

The seven years of Tribulation on this earth is going to take place soon. When? I don’t know. I do know that there are so many signs that are self-evident and exponentially increasing, it can’t be far off. This period will be the most horrific time mankind has every endured upon this earth. It cannot be hell, for hell is far worse, but it will seem like hell on earth.

Prior to this seven year period of judgment and reconciliation, judgment for the world and reconciliation for Israel, Jesus will remove all those who have put their trust in Him (Revelation 3:10, et al). They are called Christians, His Church and His Bride. These are true believers, not those who espouse Christianity for their convenience, but actually have put their trust in Jesus Christ through their belief in Him, and have been saved by His grace. By removing His Church He will end the dispensation of the Church Age and return to Israel to complete the promises He made her.

Is there any sign, any prophecy, anything that needs to happen before the Rapture occurs, now that we understand what the Rapture means? No. The Rapture has always been an imminent event, meaning that it is always looming and pending with sudden expectancy. It can occur at any time, and will be over within the “twinkling of an eye” after it starts. There will be no time to think, no time to call forth, “Take me too!” At the snap of a finger, God’s in this case, the world will be thrust into the last seven years it has to exist, prior to the thousand years where Christ will rule the earth as it should be, a time called the Millennium, meaning “thousand years.”

Two things will happen, in case you haven’t noticed it yet, that will be so instantaneous and unchanging when the Rapture occurs. In the “twinkling of an eye” those who know Jesus as their Savior will be transported to Heaven, and in that same “twinkling of an eye” those who have not trusted in Jesus will be left to endure all that the Tribulation has to offer.

I ask again. Is there anything that must happen that could forewarn the world that the Rapture is about to take place? Is there something that the world can grab hold of at the last minute, so they won’t miss it? No.

Here is where I find it unfortunate that some prophecy students and/or scholars make one statement that seems to nullify this thing about signs for the Rapture. I am dismayed that some will say that when the Gospel has been preached in all the world, then Christ will come for His Church. This is taken from Matthew 24:14.

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

They go on to state that in the electronic age we live in with television, internet, travel, etc. we have almost reached everyone and it won’t be long now.

My dear friends please pass the word along that Matthew 24:14 has nothing to do with the Church Age. The Church will be long gone at this point. This Scripture passage is for those in the Tribulation. Before the Tribulation ends, the world will hear the preaching of the “gospel of the kingdom.” Then the end will come.

Notice four truths of this verse:

1. “gospel of the kingdom” – the Gospel that Jesus Christ is coming to reign (Millennium)

2. “shall be preached in all the world” – by 144,000 Jews, by two prophets, and one angel

3. “for a witness unto all nations” – all nations, and their peoples, that have been in rebellion against God during the Tribulation

4. “then the end shall come” – the Second Coming, when Jesus Christ will return with His Church (Bride) to end the seven year Tribulation period and usher in His one thousand year reign, the Millennium.

Notice the verses preceding and following Matthew 24:14. Jesus is talking about the seven year period of Tribulation, not the time prior to the Rapture, the period we are now in, which is prior to the Tribulation.

However, notice this also, as I have previously said. Since we are seeing so many signs attributable to the Tribulation, which follows the Rapture, doesn’t that tell us that the Rapture could be close at hand? How close? I haven’t a clue. We’ll have to wait and see, but there are no signs for the Rapture, including Matthew 24:14. It can happen at any time, and it will happen without warning.

Grant Phillips

grantphillips@windstream.net

My articles are posted at “Pre-Rapture Commentary” http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com and many are also posted at “Rapture Ready” http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html .

Even though I am very limited on time, I will respond to any who email me and request a reply, unless I sense they just want to argue.

 



Categories: Bible Prophecy, Breaking News

Tags: , , , , ,

8 replies

  1. Your right! , I’ll do that , thanks

  2. Thanks for this post as I here and recieve what you are saying, can you help me here
    1)When does the falling away happen before rapture or before Christ returns and is believers in Christ or Jews departing from their faith

    2) using Matt 24, at what point is the church rapture or is the hole chapter the signs after rapture

    3) Last point Where does the laodicean concept fit in to church history

    • This is a hard question for me to answer because I read a book by John Shorey titled, “The Window of the Lord’s Return.” http://www.tribulationtruth.com I would suggest that you get this book. John makes a stronger case in regards to mid tribulation than the case of pre tribulation. I used to only believe in pre trib, but to be honest, anymore, I really just don’t know. Both sides make good cases. The best thing i can say is that we should all at this point just focus on being ready..because in truth, it could happen at any time. The great falling away is the false religion, and it has already been happening for some time now. More and more Christians are accepting false doctrine, like Chrislam, and perverting God’s truth..watering down and becoming lukewarm.

    • Why would Christians depart from their faith? Jesus answers this issue in Mark 4 with the parable of the sower. He tells us that those who are carry a doctrine that keeps them unprepared for tribulation and persecution. When persecution and tribulation come, the immediately stumble… vs. 18. Jesus calls the soil stony rather than the preferred fertile soil. Obviously, the great “falling away” must happen first before our gathering together to Him… 2 Thess 2:1-3. So obviously, a great tribulation and persecution is coming prior to our gathering together with Him so that the stony soil can be revealed by the great falling away.

      The Chinese church experienced a type of great falling away when the Red Curtain closed in the first half of the 20th century. When the Chinese leaders who lived through the tribulation and persecution were interviewed they showed great remorse for teaching the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine because so many fell away. Rather they wished that they had prepared the church for tribulation and persecution that the scripture promises us…. John 16:33, 2 Tim 3:12, Rom 5:3.

      Only someone who carries the doctrine of a pre-tribulation rapture can mock, “Where is the promise of His coming?” Everyone else believes that we are assigned to tribulation… John 16:33, and knows that His coming comes “immediately after the tribulation…” as Jesus states in Matt. 24:29-31.

      In your question 2 concerning Matt. 24, “is the whole chapter about the rapture?” Notice the first 3 verses… It is about the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. This happened in 70 AD where not one stone was left upon another. The disciples ask about THIS event as well as the time of the end. Note Mark 13 as well.. the disciples ask about the time that the temple would be destroyed, but not the time of the end. Much of the begining of the chapter is about the temple and 70 AD.

      Consider this: “Of that day, no one knows the day or the hour…” This element of surprise ALWAYS is referenced in the context of the second coming, and this element of a “thief in the night” is not referenced in context of the rapture… See 2 Peter 3:10, Rev. 16:15, Matt. 24:36 (of THAT day… referring to THAT day just discussed in vs. 29-34) Exception: Some see 1 Thess. 5:3 as rapture and others as second coming, but no matter Jesus places the element of surprise upon the second coming. If a rapture were to take place exactly 7 years prior then Jesus would have to have stated, “like a politician in the daylight” rather than like a “thief in the night” The rapture would DECLARE the timing of the second coming. Even if it were not exactly seven years afterward, the “goodman of the house would know at what hour to keep watch…”… Luke 24:41,42. So either Jesus lied in the nature in which said he would come, “like a thief”, or the pretrib doctrine of a rapture prior to the tribulation is totally conjured up. No wonder it is considered a “mystery rapture” The truth of the matter is that the rapture and the second coming are one in the same. All attempts to separate them is based entirely on dubious conjecture.

      Read the Word for yourself… Jesus warns, “Let no man deceive you…” Matt 24, Mark 13:5, Luke 21, Paul says the same in 2 Thess. 2:3. The pretrib doctrine is ALWAYS taught by man, and they will always refer you to a book, movie, or some man’s opinon. If you remove the conjecture, assumption and opinion, the view disappears entirely. It is possible to study eschatology without opinion, and assumption, and conjecture… Try it! You will discover the truth.

      • Thanks..but I am not a pre-tribber. I believe we should be ready for no man knows the day or the hour..that is why there is much confusion over pre, mid, post theories. I am of the faith that we just need to bee ready..spiritually and physically..for whatever may come. Thanks.

  3. We are one day closer.
    Maybe today . . .

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