When will the Rapture of the church take place?
We know that Jesus Christ will return one day to the earth, because He said so Himself.
John 14 v3: Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.'2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Acts 1 v 11: Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
1 Thess 4. 13 - 18
13. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
SEE ALSO: 1 Thess 5. 1 - 3. - 2 Thess 2. 1—4. - 1 Cor 15. 50 - 54
There are many scriptures that tell us about the second coming of Jesus Christ but the timing of the Rapture is much debated.
The Pre Wrath view has it’s base on the scripture that states that the redeemed church is not appointed to wrath.
There are many scriptures that teach this very fact.
1 Thess 5:9 “ For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ”
Rev 3:10 “Because thou hast the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” ( Greek “ Tereho Ek” Keep From or out of)
Rom 5: 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
1 Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come.
Mathew 24: 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
It is clear from scripture that the church will be removed from the earth before the Wrath of God is poured out on the earth.
Just couple of examples from scripture of God’s people being removed, or put in a place of safety before He pours out His wrath. One example is Noah and his family.
Genesis 7. Noah, we are told was a righteous man and there was great evil on the earth at that time. God saw the wickedness and told Noah to build an Ark because He was going to destroy the earth by a flood. Seven days before the judgement of God came on the earth, God put Noah and his family into the Ark and saved them from the Wrath to come.
Also, God removed Lot and his family from the city of Sodom before He brought down His wrath onto that wicked city.Each of these is a type of the Rapture to come.If we are to be raptured, caught up, taken, removed, before the Wrath, then when is the Wrath of God.
Many people have a misconception regarding the time of Tribulation, The Great Tribulation and the Wrath of God and think that they are all the same event. However these three events are completely separate as can be seen from the greek text.Tribulation ( Greek, Thilipsis), Great Tribulation ( Greek, Megas Thilipsis) and Wrath (Greek, Orge).
Jesus said, “In the world you will have Tribulation” (Thilipsis).He also said in Mat 24: When you see the Abomination of Desolation, spoken of by Daniel the Prophet stand in the holy place. Then shall be Great Tribulation, (Megas Thilipsis).
Now the word used for Wrath in scripture is the Greek word Orge.
So we have Tribulation, Great Tribulation and Wrath.
Tribulation is that which has existed in the church from it’s inception and continues through the first three and a half years of the 70th week of Daniel, which is a seven year covenant made by the coming Antichrist and many. Dan 9.27.
Great Tribulation is what will happen during the second half of the reign of the Antichrist, as was pointed out by Jesus. Mat 24: 21
The Wrath of God begins towards the end of the Great Tribulation, which can be seen in Revelation Ch 6. 12. And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
The Wrath of God is poured out on the earth at the beginning of Rev ch 8.
In between chapter 6 and chapter 8 of Revelation, we see the Rapture of the church taking place in chapter 7. 9. After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
Also. Rev 7 13. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Here we see the church in Heaven before the Wrath of God is poured out on the world.So, the church suffers Tribulation, Great Tribulation but is removed before The Wrath of God.
Now concerning the Rapture of the church.
We are told in 2 Thess 2. 2.“That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”
According to the scriptures, the sequence of events seem to be this: At the end of this age and before the return of Jesus Christ, there will be a great apostasy ( falling away from the truth). The Antichrist will be revealed and be recognised by the believers. The antichrist will make a covenant with many for a seven year period. A third temple will be built and the Jews will begin to worship God in the Temple in what appears to be relative safety.
However at the mid point of the seven years, antichrist will break this covenant and will begin to persecute the Jews and Christians. This is the time that Jesus referred to in Mat 24: 15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place,(whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
So we see that this time shall be cut short for sake of the elect and sometime during this Great Tribulation the church will be Raptured.
No one knows the time or the hour but it will happen.
1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
In between the opening of the sixth seal and the seventh seal and before the first trumpet ( which begins the Wrath of God), The gathering of all the dead in Christ and those that are alive at that time, will take place and we shall meet the Lord in the air.
The Trumpet Judgements, followed by the Bowl plagues shall then be poured out on the unbelieving world.
At the end of the Wrath of God, Jesus will return physically to stand on the Mount of Olives.
Zechariah 14: 1. Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
He will then defeat His enemies at the Battle of Armageddon and execute judgement on the antichrist and the false prophet.
The battle of Armageddon refers to the final war between human governments and God. These governments and their supporters oppose God even now by refusing to submit to his rulership.
(Psalm 2:2) The battle of Armageddon will bring human rulership to an end.—Daniel 2:44.
The word “Armageddon” occurs only once in the Bible, at Revelation 16:16.
Prophetically, Revelation shows that at “the place that is called in Hebrew Armageddon,” “the kings of the entire inhabited earth” will be gathered “together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty.”—Revelation 16:14.
Who will fight at Armageddon? Jesus Christ will lead a heavenly army to victory over God’s enemies. (Revelation 19:11-16, 19-21) These enemies include those who oppose God’s authority and who treat God with contempt.—Ezekiel 39:7.
At the end of this battle, Satan shall be bound for a thousand years and Christ will rule on the earth for thousand years.
Revelation 20: 1 - 3 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should befulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
At the end of the one thousand years millennial reign of Christ, Satan will be released for a short time and there will be one final battle. Revelation 20: 7 - 10. 7. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Then shall be the final Judgement of ALL. Revelation 20: 11 - 15. 11.And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
The final act will be the creation of a New Heaven and a New Earth. Revelation 21: 1 - 3. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Tribulation, The Great Tribulation and The Wrath of God are separate events and the Rapture of the church takes place sometime towards the end of The Great Tribulation and before The Wrath of God.
This removal of the church is between the opening of the sixth seal and the opening of the seventh seal and the first Trumpet.
( Therefore, Pre Wrath)