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1 Th 5:1-9  But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.  (2)  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.  (3)  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.  (4)  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.  (5)  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.  (6)  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.  (7)  For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.  (8)  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.  (9)  For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

Good morning, reader! What an exciting time to be alive! We are witnessing unprecedented events affecting the entire globe! Jesus spoke of what we are to expect in the end times in Matthew 24:3-51. To the average reader, these verses are frightening. But to the believer, they are exciting because we know that we will not be here to experience the horrific events that will occur on the entire earth!

As we discussed yesterday, the Rapture of the church has three very different groups of belief: Pre-Tribulation, Mid-Tribulation (or Pre-Wrath) and Post-Tribulation. They all pertain to the Rapture’s timing – when the event will occur. Which one is correct? One must turn to God’s Word to determine the answer. God would not want His children to be afraid of what is to come. Think of your earthly father: would he want you to be afraid as you live under his roof? No father would want this weighing on his children. An earthly father wants to protect his children. How much more a Heavenly Father: the Perfect Father?

What does each one mean? Pre-Tribulation refers to the Rapture occurring sometime before the start of the Tribulation. The Bible says that His return will be as a thief coming in the night. If you knew the hour a thief would enter your house, you would be prepared. That is why we are told to always be prepared. Noah didn’t know when the flood was going to come. The Bible answers all of our questions so let’s get to it.

(1Th 5:2)  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
(2Pe 3:10)  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

The Tribulation will begin once the antichrist is made known, not a minute before.

(2 Th 2:3-4)  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.

So we know that when the antichrist is revealed, the Tribulation begins. However, what about the Rapture? The Bible says:

Matt 24:36 “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only”
Matt 25:1-6 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him”
Mark 13:33-37 “Take ye heed, watch and pray; for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch”.

These verses indicate that Christ’s return for His church is imminent – it can happen at any time. No man knows the day or the hour. We are given a timeline of the Tribulation in the Book of Revelation. We know that it is a literal seven years from the time that the antichrist is revealed. This doesn’t fulfill the “imminent” return of Christ. There is a definite timeline here of Christ’s Second Coming. However, the above verses encourage believers to be waiting and watchful. This is the proof of His imminent return for the Rapture of the church.

Just as Noah was kept from the wrath on the entire earth, so will believers be kept from the Tribulation.

“And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” (1 Thess 1:10).
Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:13).

These verses would not make any sense if believers were to go through part or all of the Tribulation! There is no comfort or blessed hope if Christians have to experience the wrath which is to come to the world.

There is no timeline for the Rapture. The Thessalonians thought they missed the Rapture and that the Tribulation had begun. They were listening to heretics rather than remembering what Paul had taught them. Paul said:

2 Th 2:1-3  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,  (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;

Paul reminds them of the signs that will usher in the Tribulation: except there come a falling away first and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition! So there are definite signs and timelines for the Tribulation. We have been seeing a falling away from the faith for several decades and it is getting worse. So we know we are in those “end times.”

But there are no signs or timeline awaiting to happen for the Rapture. If a person believes in the Mid-Tribulation Rapture, then there is a definite timeline because that is half way through the seven years, which is three and a half years. If a person believes in the Post-Tribulation Rapture, then there is a definite timeline there as well: after the seven years of Tribulation.

So friend, be encouraged! Be watchful and pray that you are ready for Christ’s Rapture of His Church at any moment! We are not called to experience the wrath that is about to come to this earth! Praise Him!!! \o/

If you are like I me prior to salvation and are interested in the end times, I pray you find the Lord (as I did) before it’s too late! It is no coincidence that God has placed you here for such a time as this so that you may be saved. Please click here and the link will open up in a separate tab to You Can Be Born Again and Know It!