Ask Your Preacher
“Up In The Air”Categories: DOCTRINE, NEW TESTAMENT, WORLD EVENTS
At what point in The Great Tribulation are we, the church, raptured? I struggle to understand who this "multitude" mentioned in Revelation chapter 7 is and at what time they arrived. Is there any information from the Bible that gives us any idea of when we will be raptured? Do we suffer through the tribulation with the unsaved? Do we all die as martyrs? Do we get "caught up" before the Tribulation begins?
Dear Looking Ahead,
The word ‘rapture’ means ‘caught up’ in Latin. The term ‘rapture’ is used to describe an event that many think will take place right before the days of tribulation in Revelation. The problem with this theory is that it is wrong. There will be a time when all christians will be caught up into the air to be with Christ – the end of time (1 Thess 4:14-18). The book of Revelation doesn’t describe events in the future; it describes events in the past. The book of Revelation deals with problems that the church was to “shortly” see come to pass (Rev 1:1).
Furthermore, the tribulation taught by many denominations is based off of a misinterpretation of Matthew chapter twenty-four. Matt 24 is dealing with the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the Jewish temple that would happen in 70 AD. If we carefully pay attention to the context, Jesus is talking about the Jewish temple’s destruction, not a worldwide trial thousands of years in the future (Matt 24:1-2). Jesus specifically said that the tribulation would occur within that generation’s lifetime (Matt 24:34).
There will be a day when all the faithful are caught up to meet Christ in the heavens. The day He returns (Acts 1:11), all mankind will be judged at the same time (Jhn 5:28-29). In that great day (Jude 1:6), the whole world will be burned up with fire (2 Pet 3:10-12). There will be no post-tribulation, pre-tribulation, semi-tribulation, etc.; there will only be the great Day of Judgment (2 Pet 3:7, 1 Jn 4:17). If you would like a more in-depth look at the book of Revelation, we have a series of classes on the book that can be found here.