Bible Study: Rapture in the End Times
Written by Jenn Arman | January 13, 2013
Ladies, many of you have asked for an article regarding the end times. This is an extremely difficult subject to cover, but I’m going to try my best to discuss a tiny segment of it here. With respect to the end times and the second coming of Jesus Christ, I stand firm by what Jesus says in Acts 1:7:
He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority.’
That said, I‘m a post-tribulation believer. For those of you who may be unclear on these terms, here are a few clarifications:
- Rapture: This particular word doesn’t appear in the Bible. It’s said to come from the phrase “caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. The word “caught” is actually the Greek word “harpazo,” which means to seize, carry off by force, claim for one’s self eagerly or snatch out or away. Therefore, it means that at some point God is going to claim us for Himself and carry us off. This is what Christians are talking about when they discuss the rapture–the time when God snatches us out of the world to be in His physical presence forever.
- Post-tribulation: These believers, like myself, hold the belief that Christians won’t be raptured prior to or during the tribulation. We’ll be here for the whole seven years and raptured at the end.
- Mid-tribulation: These believers hold the belief that Christians will remain on earth for approximately half of the seven years of tribulation before we’re raptured.
- Pre-tribulation: These believers hold the belief that Christians won’t experience any part of the tribulation because we’ll be raptured prior to the start of the seven years of tribulation.
My personal hope and belief is that we’ll experience the full tribulation along with the unsaved; I’m a post-tribulationist. This is my personal opinion from both reading the Bible and my own thoughts. First, let me share with you why I choose to believe a post-tribulation scenario.
I have unsaved family. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to be hanging out with God face-to-face in eternity. However, if my family isn’t saved by the time the seven years of tribulation come around (if it were to happen in our lifetime), then my sincere hope is that we, as believers, would still be here to preach hope to those who have none.
No one, except followers of the Almighty God, can face and endure the time of tribulation with any hope. What a testimony we could be to the unsaved–a remnant of people with hope in Christ here on earth with them during the seven years of tribulation. The testimony of our hope could still cause people to turn to Christ even in that very dark time. That’s what I hope would be available to my family if they’re alive during the tribulation.
There are many arguments in favor of all three tribulation views–the thing is, many of them use exactly the same verses to argue their points. The Bible doesn’t clearly say at what point the Lord is coming back. The difficulty in understanding the end times and the book of Revelation is the amount of symbolism involved. I would love to go into that with you girls, but then this article would be about 300 pages long!
I have exactly one answer for you regarding the second coming of Jesus Christ and the rapture of His people–it’s the same answer that I gave my youth group when they asked how I could be sure that the world wasn’t going to end on December 21, 2012.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, not the Son, but the Father alone (Matthew 24:35-36).
Beautiful girls, my advice to you regarding the end times is this: Live every day like Jesus could come back tomorrow!
What are your thoughts on the rapture and tribulation?
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).