The Rapture

Barry Stagner

As we consider the ways that the church has indulged in self-rule and a wholesale rejection of what makes the church what it is supposed to be, we need to keep in mind what Jesus said about the believer’s responsibility and calling in this dark and delusional world.

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. 
MATTHEW 5:13-16

When good works are viewed as imposing on being saved by grace, and when the light has largely gone out in the church (with light being representative of truth), then the end result is that the church is overrun by the world and trampled underfoot by men. When this happens, the Lord is no longer able to use the church to receive glory for the good work of “truth bearing” to a lost and dying world. While Jesus’ statements in the Sermon on the Mount are not related to the time of the signs, they do make a relevant point. When the church no longer has a purifying and preserving influence on the world, and it is no longer bringing glory to God, then it seems safe to say the timing is right for the world to transition back to the 70 weeks of Daniel and to experience the fulfillment of the seventieth and final week, or the tribulation.

While the rapture of the church is taught as being imminent and the day and hour are unknown, there are many clues that tell us this event is imminent. Among these clues is the rebirth of the nation of Israel. Because the purpose of the regathering of the Jewish people is to fulfill prophecy and complete the discipline of God’s chosen people, and because the church has no part in the seventieth week of Daniel, we can assume the rapture is getting closer.

We do not know the day or hour of the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. But we do know that the purpose of the regathering of the Jews in their covenantal homeland is for God to afflict them and cause a believing remnant (Zechariah 12:10) to recognize the error of rejecting Christ. As Hosea 5:15 says, the Jews’ affliction will cause them to receive the Lord: “They will seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.”

The first and obvious thing for us to recognize is that for “all Israel [to] be saved” (Romans 11:26), there has to be an Israel. The fact that the nation exists today is not just happenstance or a prophetically irrelevant reality. It is a miraculous fulfillment of multiple prophecies.

The whole tribulation is a time of God’s wrath, and the church does not have an appointment with it. As 1 Thessalonians 5:9 says, “God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” This necessitates the removal of the church before the tribulation, and Jesus directly promised this in the sixth letter of the seven He sent to the churches of Asia Minor in Revelation 2–3:

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 

The Greek preposition ἐκ, translated “from,” can also be translated “out of.” This eliminates the possibility of interpreting this as saying Jesus promised to keep the church “through” the tribulation, which is what will happen to the Jews who later look upon Him whom they pierced and mourn (Zechariah 12:10). The church will be kept out of the entire seven-year tribulation, not protected through it. What is the point of the church going through the tribulation and being protected during it? What benefit is there for the church to go through it yet not be impacted by it? Are we to be observers? Scripture does not mention the church as being among those who are witnesses during the tribulation, like the 144,000. It is not necessary for the church to go through this time to be purified, for to say that means the blood of Christ was not a sufficient sacrifice to cover our sins. To hold the view that the church will go through the tribulation is to say we are saved by grace and tribulation, or we are purified by trial.

None of that is true or biblically feasible!

Here’s another reason we can assume the rapture is getting close—while it is a bit speculative, it makes logical sense. If the church has largely ceased being a purifying influence in the world (being salt) and has replaced the light of God’s truth with doctrines of demons and socially acceptable ideas, then what is the point of having the church remain on earth during the tribulation? Again, this is speculation, but it makes sense. The Jews are back in their national homeland, and the church has largely defected from the truth (though a faithful remnant remains). Thus, for the rapture to happen soon seems likely. We also need to remember that the day and hour has already been determined. The trends we just talked about won’t cause the rapture, they are simply signs that indicate it is likely near.

Sadly, the truth that the church will be raptured has become a divisive subject in these last days instead of a glorious expectation. Some argue that the Bible presents no such doctrine, while others debate its timing. There are many today who view the subject of the rapture as inciting rather than exciting. They say inciting in the sense it elicits cries of heresy and sensationalism or escapism from a growing number of saints today. 

In response to the growing number of people who deny the presence of the rapture in Scripture, we need to address the issue for two reasons and from two perspectives: proper hermeneutics and accurate eschatology. I would hazard a guess that because you are reading this, you have an interest in Bible prophecy, and you likely have views about this hotly debated topic. We are going to answer these questions: What is the timing of the rapture in terms of the end-times chronology? And, can the rapture be defended biblically?

Hermeneutics is simply a fancy word for interpretation, and here’s our hermeneutical question: Does the Bible actually teach the rapture? The short answer is yes. And because the Bible clearly teaches the rapture, let’s review all the verses in which the word rapture is used so we can arrive at an accurate eschatology. Yet there aren’t any instances of the word rapture in Scripture, are there? Then how can a doctrine be valid when the word isn’t even used?

Let’s use that argument to make a point. We don’t find the word rapture in our English Bibles. Are there any other major doctrines that we believe that aren’t described by a specific word in the Bible? Yes—the Trinity or triunity of God is one example. The doctrine of the Trinity is an essential that cannot be denied without compromising the principles of saving faith.

One passage that affirms the doctrine of the Trinity has to do with Jesus’ baptism.

It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
MARK 1:9-11

We find in this scene the three distinct personages of the one eternal God, and yet the terms Trinity or triunity are not used. Still, all three members of the triune Godhead are simultaneously present.

We also find the Trinity mentioned in the creation narrative in Genesis: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:1-2).

The word translated “God” is the Hebrew term Elohim, and it speaks of the plurality of God—not multiple Gods, but the one God manifested in a Trinity. The Father and the Spirit are present and active at creation, and then later in the narrative, we find the Son: “God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth’” (verse 26).

Colossians 1:15-16 says that Jesus is the “image” of the invisible God, and that all things were created through and for Him. Though we find the invisible God, the Holy Spirit, and the physical manifestation of God in the person of Jesus in Genesis, we don’t find the word Trinity.

So the argument that there is no such thing as the rapture because the word doesn’t appear in our English Bibles is nullified by the precedent set by the word Trinity. The Trinity is clearly present in Genesis and is confirmed in the Gospels. Just because a word used to describe a doctrine or precept is not found in Scripture does not mean that doctrine or precept is invalid.

Another common objection is that the doctrine of the rapture arrived late in church history—it is not part of ancient or accurate eschatology. The problem with this thinking is that if we can find the doctrine mentioned in the Bible (even though the word rapture itself isn’t used), then the doctrine of the rapture is as old as the Bible. There are three ways we can establish the rapture of the church as sound doctrine: Old Testament precedent or typology, New Testament clarity, and prophetic necessity. By prophetic necessity, I mean this: Does the absence of the doctrine of the rapture leave holes in the prophetic narrative or time line?

If we can establish these three points, then we can safely conclude the rapture is neither new nor a mere human invention. It is as sound a doctrine as any other in Scripture. Before we dig in and respond to the claim that the doctrine of the rapture is recent, let’s start by looking at Daniel 12:4: “You, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

This passage tells us that those living closer to the end times will have more prophetic clarity than those further away. This is problematic for those who say belief in the rapture is false based on its recent development and popularity. Scripture clearly says some elements of the last days scenario will become knowable only to those living in those days. Even so, the teaching that the church will experience a pre-tribulation rapture has a much deeper biblical base than some people are willing to acknowledge. Our goal, then, is to be Bereans, and put this doctrine to the test and see if it holds up.

On to our first criterion: Do we find Old Testament precedents or typologies that validate the rapture as a doctrine taught cover to cover in Scripture? In search of our answer, let’s start with 1 Corinthians 15.

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:51-52

If you’re thinking, First Corinthians is in the New Testament, keep reading! The Greek word for “mystery” is μυστήριον (mysterion), and it means “not obvious to the understanding.” We will talk more about this verse in our second criterion, but the point here is that there are scriptural concepts in the Old Testament that were not obvious to the understanding of those who lived in the time of their writing, just as Daniel 12:4 states. For example: The full meanings of the statue in Daniel 2 and the four beasts in Daniel 7 were not obvious to readers when those passages were written. But as time marched on, the meaning of those passages became clearer. Now we can look back over history and see the successive world empires of the Babylonians, Medo-Persians, and the Greeks, who were named, and the Romans, who were not.

Can the mystery of the rapture be established by a foreshadowing of it in the Old Testament? First, we need to ask what exactly the rapture implies. As a doctrine, the rapture implies two things: an instantaneous translation of living human beings from this world to the next by means of a supernatural agent. And second, a separation of God’s people from His direct wrath on His enemies.

Let’s first look for Old Testament precedents for an instant translation from this life to the next. Here’s one:

Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
GENESIS 5:21-24

The word “took” is key. The Hebrew word means “to fetch or catch away.” The Greek word harpazo, translated as “caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, carries the same meaning: “to take up by force, to snatch away.” 

Here’s another Old Testament precedent:

Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
2 KINGS 2:11

Based on our findings in the Old Testament, we can say the first part of our criteria has been met. There is, in the Old Testament, a precedent that validates the possibility of an instantaneous translation from this life to the next by means of a supernatural agent—the translation of flesh-and-blood humans who pleased and served God.

There is another passage that helps us to refute any who would argue there are no Old Testament typologies of the New Testament rapture:

They themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

We will deal with other New Testament scriptures that teach about our deliverance from God’s direct wrath, but this will introduce the concept for us. There are those who say the church will go through the tribulation even as the saints of old have gone through tribulations. For support, they point to passages like John 16:33: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

The word translated “tribulation” means “anguish, troubles, afflictions.” There is nothing that implies these troubles are initiated by the Lord or are a form of His wrath. Having tribulations in this life does not mean we will go through the seven-year tribulation that is clearly a time of God’s wrath. In this life, we can expect troubling things to happen that will cause anguish and afflictions. But Christ has overcome this world, and these troubles are only temporary and are a normal part of the Christian life. They are not specific to a future seven-year time period.

With regard to Old Testament types of deliverance from God’s wrath, we can note that Noah was delivered from God’s wrath when the ark lifted him above the waters of the flood. Lot was delivered from God’s judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah when he was removed from the area. The Israelites were delivered from God’s wrath when the last seven plagues pounded the Egyptians into submission to God’s will for His people. There are some who argue that the Israelites were still on the planet when God poured out His wrath on the Egyptians, and they use this to claim the typology states the church will go through the tribulation and God will supernaturally protect it.

But that reasoning doesn’t hold up. Israel is Israel, and the church is the church. The church has not replaced Israel, and God is not finished with His people. The only principles relating to Israel that we can apply to the church are those pertaining to the nature and character of God. Now pay close attention: Neither Noah nor Lot were Jews. And God moved both of them to prevent them from exposure to His wrath. Noah was lifted above the waters; Lot was removed from Sodom.

Let’s look next at what happened with Israel:

In that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there, in order that you may know that I am the LORD in the midst of the land. I will make a difference between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall be.
EXODUS 8:22-23

Israel remained in Egypt, which is a type of the world, during the time of the ten plagues. But the Jewish people were supernaturally protected by God during the last seven plagues. How long is the tribulation? Seven years. So, too, will the Jewish people remain on the earth and be supernaturally protected throughout the time of God’s wrath.

However, Noah was removed from the flood when the door of the ark was shut by God. Lot was removed from wrath when the angels met him and led him out of Sodom. Therefore, in the cases of Noah and Lot, we have a supernatural agent and a change of location that delivered them from God’s wrath. In Egypt, we have the divine protection of Jews during the time of God’s wrath, just as will happen during the tribulation. Notice also that when the Lord spoke to Pharaoh, the separation of God’s people from wrath was a sign to the world.

In these ways, Old Testament precedents for the rapture are clear and well defined.

What about New Testament clarity? Again, some say the word rapture isn’t present in Scripture. How, then, is the mystery in the Old Testament made clear in the New? Are the words gracias or bonjour in the Bible? Yes, they are—just not in our English Bibles. Those words are translated “thanks” or “greetings.”

So is the word rapture in the Bible? Let’s take a closer look.

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. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

The word translated as “caught up” is ἁρπάζω (harpazo). It means “to pluck, to pull, to catch up by force.” If you have a Latin Bible, you would see the word rapturos instead of  ἁρπάζω, so yes, the word rapture is in the Bible—just not our English versions.

Paul says that living believers will be caught up together with the dead saints to meet the Lord in the air and be with Him forever. They will experience an instantaneous translation from this life to the next via a supernatural agent. For us to live eternally will require that we have a body able to do that. The bodies we currently dwell in cannot. So, for us to have bodies meant to exist eternally, we have to be changed at the rapture, and indeed, that’s what will happen.

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”
1 CORINTHIANS 15:51-55

“Sleep” is an idiom for death, and Paul says we will not all die, but we will all be changed. Changed into what? Incorruptible, immortal beings capable of existing eternally. How quickly? In the twinkling of an eye. That is instantaneous! Where are we meeting the Lord? In the air. And how long will we be with Him? Forever. Will death continue to be a threat to us? No!

We have to ask: What would be the figurative meaning of such verses if there is no rapture? This can’t be a picture of salvation because we don’t get new bodies when we are saved. This can’t speak of the soul because the soul never dies—it is already immortal. So, what can 1 Corinthians 15:51-55 mean? Let’s look at some other passages for the answer.

Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. 

Paul said we will not all die, which has to pertain to the human body, not the human soul, which doesn’t die. Our lowly and limited bodies are going to be transformed (also translated as transfigured) into their predestined form of the “image” (the Greek is εἰκών, eikon) of Christ.

We know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
ROMANS 8:22-25

“Redemption” refers to a release effected by the payment of a ransom. We are waiting for our bodies to be redeemed after long having been confined to the expectancy of death. Romans 8 does not give details about the transition of our bodies into glorious ones like Christ’s, but it does say that’s what awaits us.

First Corinthians 15:52 tells us about the speed of the transition: in the twinkling of an eye. And Philippians further explains we will become immortal and incorruptible. Our destination is glorious, Christlike bodies. The New Testament is clear about the mystery in the Old: We will someday be translated into bodies that are capable of existing eternally. There is no mistaking this.

We have established Old Testament types and precedence, and we have New Testament clarity. What about prophetic necessity? Will there be holes left in the prophetic narrative if there is no rapture of the church? Must all of the Bible’s prophecies come to pass for Scripture to be reliable and trustworthy? Can unconditional and eternal promises be forfeited or applied to another group of people in the Bible, and Scripture still be a source of immutable or unchanging truth? The answer is no, because what was once true must always be true.

Next, let’s address the matter of the church and God’s wrath, starting with this passage in Revelation:

The kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

The word translated “every” in John’s day meant “every.” What does it mean today? “Every.” In other words, rich or poor, slave or free, every person on the earth will try to hide from Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. Absolutely no one will be able to stand. We do not find the phrase “except the church” present anywhere in the text; thus, the church cannot be a part of this scene and is not present on the earth at the time of this event.

Is there a biblical precedent in Scripture for the Lamb of God becoming a lion against His own bride and killing her along with evildoers without discrimination? Are there any times when the church has had to hide from God’s wrath? The apostle Paul said no:

God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

If the rapture is not a sound biblical doctrine, then there is a discrepancy between 1 Thessalonians 5:9-22 and Revelation 6:15-17, and that opens up a plethora of problems. The Bible would not be trustworthy if verses contradict one another.

Even in the early church, there were some who spread confusion about the rapture. In response, Paul wrote,

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin 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.

Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 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. 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. 

There are some who see the phrase “falling away” as a reference to the rapture because the Greek word ἀποστασία, or apostasia, can be translated “departure.” The problem is that in Scripture, ἀποστασία is never used in the context of a physical departure. It is always used to refer to a departing from truth. The term is used only one other time in the Bible, in Acts 21:21, and that context has the same meaning intended here: forsaking God’s Word.

I believe the rapture is found here in the phrase “gathering together,” which means “the complete assembly,” or “to assemble in one place.” What is the end result of the rapture? The whole church is gathered in one place. If ἀποστασία were pointing to the rapture, as some say, and “gathering together” is pointing to the rapture, then this text would say, “The rapture can’t happen unless the rapture happens first.” That is obviously redundant. Paul ways saying, “Don’t let the words or letters of others shake you up with regard to what I’ve taught about our gathering together to Him.” We shouldn’t let the words of today’s naysayers trouble us either.

The idea of being gathered together to Christ is consistent with what Jesus said to the eleven on the night of His betrayal and arrest. He said He was going to prepare a place for them, and that He would come again and receive them unto Himself so that where He is, they (and we) may be also (John 14:2-3).

What about the timing of the rapture? That’s another hotly debated subject in the church. While most acknowledge the day and hour is unknowable, is that day and hour before the tribulation, during the tribulation, or at the end of the tribulation? (These are the pre-, mid-, and post-tribulation rapture views.) Does not knowing the day or hour mean we can’t know anything about the timing of the rapture in relation to the tribulation? That depends on which timing view you hold to. If you believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, then seeing things develop that will be fulfilled during the tribulation should stir up a sense of expectation and excitement because it could happen at any time. But if you are mid- or post-trib, then you know that because the tribulation has not yet begun, there is no expectation that the rapture could occur within the next three-and-a-half or seven years.

Not only has there been significant debate about the timing of the rapture, there are some who reject the idea of a rapture altogether:

Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
2 PETER 3:3-7

Sadly, there are a multitude of “rapture scoffers” with us today who are fulfilling Peter’s warning. This is also consistent with Jesus stating that He would come at a time when He was not expected (Matthew 24:44). If you don’t believe in the rapture, you certainly aren’t going to be expecting it.

In 2 Thessalonians 2, the next point Paul makes to the church is, “Let no one deceive you” about this (verse 3). Then he lists a progression of events that will initiate the march toward the destruction of the man of sin by the brightness of Jesus’ second coming. Here is our point of interest: Lawlessness is already at work. That which is restraining the rise of the antichrist and his kingdom is going to be taken out of the way, and then—and only then—will the lawless one be revealed. What is the restraining force holding back utter lawlessness in the world today? The Holy Spirit. What is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit? In the saints who make up the church.

That means that if the restraining force holding back the rise of the antichrist is the Holy Spirit, and if He dwells in the saints or the church, then the church must be taken out of the way for the lawless one to rise to power. If there is no rapture, then this progression doesn’t make sense. For how can the world’s only source of salt and light be present at a time when there is no restraining force on the earth?

This leads to another question: Can the true church be present on the earth and not be a restraining force by the power of the Holy Spirit? Can the true church cease from being salt and light? What is the solution to our question and prophetic dilemma? The rapture.

Take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
LUKE 21:34-36

The word “escape” means “to flee out of.” Jesus described this time as one that no flesh would survive [if] He did not return to stop it, and He warned that it would be a time of global judgment. Where, then, do hundreds of millions of Christians “flee out of” in order to escape that judgment? What do those verses mean if the church goes through the tribulation?

What about a mid-tribulation or pre-wrath rapture? These views say we will miss God’s wrath and be here for the first half of the tribulation. Those positions conflict with what 2 Thessalonians 2 says about the church hindering the antichrist’s rise to power, and the church’s departure (the removal of the Holy Spirit) being the event that allows him to rise. The antichrist will be given power to reign during the first 42 months of the tribulation. We know this because the first of the four horsemen of the apocalypse in Revelation 6 is a man on a white horse who brings a pseudo-peace to the world through the seven-year covenant he establishes with Israel, as prophesied in Daniel 9:27.

In spite of scoffers and deniers, the doctrine of the rapture of the church is as sound as any other doctrine of Scripture. It is clear that God can protect the Jews from His wrath, and it is clear that on other occasions, He has changed the location of Gentiles to remove them from His wrath. The New Testament not only teaches the rapture, it requires it. The prophetic narrative and sequence of end-times events is completely disrupted without the supernatural removal of the church from the earth prior to the tribulation.

No man knows the day or the hour of the Lord’s coming for His church. But if we can see events that are exclusive to the tribulation approaching, we can be sure the rapture of the church is near!

Excerpted from: The Time of the Signs. Copyright 2023 Barry Stagner. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon 97408. Used by Permission.

Midnight Call - 06/2024

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