Rapture

What Is the Rapture and When Will it Happen?

2 Thessalonians 2:3 

“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.

Note: The man of sin, ‘son of perdition’ is being revealed currently. The final ‘proof’ will be during his ‘abomination of desolation’ after 7 years. MBS became Crown Prince from the bottomless pit of Evil, House of Saud (5 – evil, money power, influence and corruption), in June of 2017 + 7 = 2024. Seven (7) denotes God’s divine completion to His plan or purpose. Fall (November) 2020 to Fall 2027 is the 7 year tribulation. 2028 is Israel’s 80th anniversary, ‘A new millennial beginning.’ Eight (8) represents a new era, a new beginning, the Millennial Reign of Christ on Earth. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 simply indicates that the ‘Day of the Lord’ (second physical coming of Christ to earth) WILL NOT occur until 3 ½ years AFTER the Beast identifies himself as the Antichrist during the event known as the ‘abomination of desolation’ where he declares himself to be God and demands the world to worship him accordingly, under threat of death. This will most likely occur sometime in 2024. Three things are to happen in order. 1. The ‘falling away’ or spiritual apostasy of many around the world regarding Christian faith. 2. The ‘abomination of desolation’ occurring at the midpoint of the tribulation. 3. Lastly, the ‘Day of the Lord’ will not occur until AFTER events noted one and two have already occurred. The revealing of the Beast (now) who becomes the Antichrist (future), takes EXACTLY Seven (7) years to be completed. 2017 to 2024 = 7 years. ‘Step 1’ has occurred (the falling away has occurred, the Bride is still waiting for the Rapture).

What Is the Rapture and When Will it Happen?

Dr. Roger Barrier Preach It, Teach It 202014 Jul Crosswalk

This Ask Roger article features insights from Roger’s daughter, Brie Barrier Wetherbee, a sought-after Bible teacher and conference speaker, author, analyst, and Christian theologian. 

Pastor Roger Barrier’s “Ask Roger” column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at roger@preachitteachit.org.

Dear Roger,

I’m a new Christian, and I’ve always associated the word rapture with something romantic or earthly. Can you help me understand, why is the word rapture associated with the return of Jesus? What does it mean to experience the rapture the Bible talks about?
– Jerry

Dear Jerry,

When I think of the word “rapture” or “enraptured,” I’m a lot like you. I think of being deeply in love with someone, perhaps captivated by their personality or their looks. When we are enraptured, many deep feelings overwhelm us in a good way. The word can also refer to a memorable, dramatic experience.

As followers of Jesus Christ, the word “rapture” has a very special, specific meaning. While the word “rapture” is never specifically found in the Bible, the concept is deeply embedded in God’s Word. “Rapture” is from the Latin word “rapturo,” which means “to catch away.”

Night Watchman Note;

Revelation 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was ‘caught up’ unto God, and to his throne.

The Rapture: Christians Meet Him in the Air!

In biblical terms, the rapture is an event near the end times, when Jesus will secretly come in the air to gather His followers up into heaven. Those Christians who are already in their graves will be resurrected and join with Christians who are alive and be taken straight into heaven. “rapture” is from the Latin word “rapturo,” which means “to catch away.” It is used here to describe this moment, when we will be “caught up together…to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

Those people who do not know Christ as their Savior will be left behind. Jesus explained the nature of the rapture in Matthew 24:39-41:

That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

Later, Paul expanded on Jesus’ teaching in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death…For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore, encourage one another with these words.

I imagine that Jesus will shout the same words that he shouted when he called Lazarus up out of the grave in Bethany: “Lazarus, come forth”! (John 11:38-44).

Have you ever thought about the fact that if Jesus had not specifically shouted the name “Lazarus,” the entire graveyard may well have emptied? What a sight the rapture will be!

His shout will penetrate every grave, pierce the deepest seas, and be heard by every one of His followers on earth.

Christian bodies will resurrect from all over the world. Many will be in manmade graves. Others have gone down at sea; some were burned to death; some were cremated; some died in deserts and their bones were left to scorch in the heat; some were torn to bits in explosions.

It doesn’t matter to Jesus. He knows everything; He knows where they are.

After all, God created Adam out of the dust of the earth. I suppose that He can create bodies out of dust as often as He likes.

What About Those Left Behind After the Rapture?

Woe to those non-Christians who are left behind. They will enter a world of horrible hell on earth dominated by (5) plagues, trials, tribulations, famine, and death.

I need to give you a little contextual overview of the end times for you to understand just how and where the rapture fits. You need to know that rapture and the second coming of Christ are NOT the same. The rapture happens first, before the tribulation begins

The second coming of Christ comes at the end of the seven-year tribulation.

I just threw a lot of terms at you—the end times are pretty complicated and filled with mystery. But I can share with you some of the highlights:

When the tribulation begins, a wicked man known in the Bible as the Antichrist will come to power and control ten countries which once occupied the area of the old Roman Empire. This area is essentially present-day Western Europe

The seven-year clock starts when the Antichrist signs a peace treaty with the nation of Israel. After three-and-a-half years, he breaks the treaty and desecrates the Jewish Temple by putting a small image of himself inside. Scripture calls this moment the “Abomination of Desolation.” The small statute speaks ungodly blasphemies. At that point, the Antichrist breaks the treaty.

When the Peace Treaty Is Broken, All Hell Breaks Loose

Tormenting pains and destruction devastate the earth as described in the book of Revelation chapters 6 to 19. Seven seals reveal man’s destruction upon himself. Seven trumpets sound out Satan’s dastardly deeds against mankind. Seven bowls depict God’s wrath and subsequent great destruction upon earth.

Many activities occur during the seven years. Like the German Holocaust in which six (6) million Jews were slaughtered, the Antichrist will practice genocide on those Christians who remain. These were non-Christians who missed the rapture. When they realize what’s happened, they turn their lives over to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. In Revelation 5, John gives us a good look at the martyrs from the Great tribulation who are begging God to avenge their sacrifice by the Antichrist.

Next, famine, pestilence, disease, earthquakes, war, incredible heat, darkness and worldwide oceanic pollution devastate the seas. The pictures of the sky rolling back upon itself likely describes a nuclear holocaust. Demonic forces are released from the pit to bring all sorts of suffering and misery to mankind.

Then the Antichrist receives a mortal wound and comes back to life, which deceives the entire world into identifying him as God. He sets up an economic system by which the followers of Jesus cannot buy or sell anything unless they bow down to worship Him.

A clue to the Antichrist’s identity is found by adding up the Greek numbers corresponding to his name, which will add up to the sum of 666.

Why Does God Let These Things Occur? 

God will use these tragedies in the hope that they will encourage men and women to come to him for help and salvation. He utilizes all sorts of evangelistic tools to bring people to salvation. In fact, the end will not come until every person on earth has had the chance to hear the gospel!

When that finally happens, near the end of the seven years, Antichrist and his forces face an army of 200 million soldiers from the East for the battle of Armageddon.

At that moment the second coming of Christ occurs. The leaders of the two armies quickly recognizes that the real battle is not against each other; the real battle is against Jesus. Christ destroys both armies and conquers the earth. Man is no longer in charge. Jesus is the eternal Victor!

Shortly thereafter, Christ begins a reign of a thousand years of peace and harmony on earth. Scripture doesn’t reveal much more about that time, but it is clear that those alive at the end of the tribulation will be subject to Jesus.

At the end of His thousand-year reign, a series of judgments occur in which Satan and his forces—and all of those who are not Christians, are cast into the lake of fire. Afterward, Jesus creates a new heaven and a new earth…then we will spend eternity in heaven with Him!

Jerry, I know this sounds very complex, and it is. But you’ll discover in your studies of the end times great insights into the character, life, and power of Jesus Christ! 

The Big Question: When Will the Rapture Happen? 

The timing of the rapture in relation to the tribulation is one of the most controversial issues in the church today…and it has always been so.

While no one knows the exact time of Jesus’ return for His followers, the Bible does give us some insights as to when it might occur.

The first interpretation is called “pre-tribulation.” This position declares that the rapture of the church will occur before the seven years of tribulation begin. I suppose that most Christians hold this view, which guarantees that Christians will avoid all of the suffering and trauma that will occur during the seven-year tribulation.

Historians tell us that the early Christians topped every hill looking for Jesus. They were constantly looking for His return. They expected Him to be right around the corner.

It’s important to note that no prophetic events remain that must be fulfilled before the rapture can occur. None! His return is imminent. Jesus could come for you and me at any moment.

It will happen in the twinkling of an eye.

The second possibility is called “mid-tribulation,” where scholars posit that the rapture will occur three and a half years after the peace treaty which guarantees Israel’s safety. The book of Revelation teaches that the first three and half years will be peaceful. Again, Christians will not have to suffer through the punishments of the great tribulation.

So, in that order of events, the rapture happens, the peace treaty is broken, and all hell breaks loose as the seals, trumpets, and bowls of God’s wrath are unreleased.

I believe that both the pre-tribulation and mid-tribulation viewpoints are possible according to Scripture.

1. At the rapture, believers meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17). At the second coming, believers return with the Lord to the earth (Revelation 19:14).

2. The second coming occurs after the great and terrible tribulation concludes (Revelation 6-19). The rapture occurs before the tribulation begins (1 Thessalonians 5:9Revelation 3:10).

3. The rapture is the removal of believers from the earth as an act of deliverance (1 Thessalonians 4:13-171 Thessalonians 5:9). The second coming includes the removal of unbelievers as an act of judgment (Matthew 24:40-41).

4. The rapture will be secret and instant (1 Corinthians 15:50-54). The second coming will be visible to all (Revelation 1:7Matthew 24:29-30).

5. The second coming of Christ will not occur until after certain other End-Times events take place (2 Thessalonians 2:4Matthew 24:15-30Revelation 6–18). The rapture is imminent; it could take place at any moment (Titus 2:131 Thessalonians 4:13-181 Corinthians 15:50-54).

A Final Word of Encouragement

Jerry, let me encourage you to seek out these and other related verses across the Bible and compare/contrast the timing of the rapture. You’ll be able to make your own determination about which side makes the most sense—and it’s important to remember that this is a true mystery in Scripture. We will only know the complete answer when the rapture occurs!

I’m so glad you asked this question. As a new Christian, you are beginning a great adventure! There is much that you will learn. Best of all, the rapture is one of the greatest hopes for all Christians.

I hope you find this answer helpful. If you have more questions, please feel free to ask.

Love, Roger

Dr. Roger Barrier retired as senior teaching pastor from Casas Church in Tucson, Arizona. In addition to being an author and sought-after conference speaker, Roger has mentored or taught thousands of pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders worldwide. Casas Church, where Roger served throughout his 35-year career, is a megachurch known for a well-integrated, multi-generational ministry. The value of including new generations is deeply ingrained throughout Casas to help the church move strongly right through the twenty-first century and beyond. Dr. Barrier holds degrees from Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Golden Gate Seminary in Greek, religion, theology, and pastoral care. His popular book, Listening to the Voice of God, published by Bethany House, is in its second printing and is available in Thai and Portuguese. His latest work is, Got Guts? Get Godly! Pray the Prayer God Guarantees to Answer, from Xulon Press. Roger can be found blogging at Preach It, Teach It, the pastoral teaching site founded with his wife, Dr. Julie Barrier.

8 References to ‘BE WATCHING or WATCHFUL.’ ‘8’ indicates that a new ‘era or epoch’ is arriving. Be it the rapture, the tribulation, the year of the Jews redemption or the year of the onset (2028) of the 1000 year millennial reign of Christ (2028-3028).

Matthew 24:42; Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

Matthew 25:13; Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Mark 13:35; Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning.

Luke 21:36; Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man

Luke 12:37-39; Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.

7 Verses to be ‘WATCHING, WATCHFUL and FAITHFUL.’

1 Thessalonians 5:2-4; For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 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. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. (Be Watching and Faithful).

John 13:19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.

John 14:29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

Luke 21:31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.

Mark 13:29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.

Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: (Watch for that which will come to pass or occur, as I said it would.)

‘Increasing Like Labor Pains.’ ‘Fearful Sights.’ ‘Perilous Times.’ ‘Men’s hearts failing with fear.’ Great Convergence of Signs.’ REDEMPTION IMMINENT.

In His Service,

Night Watchman

Paul Rolland

Night Watchman Ministries

Make Your Decision for Christ NOW!!!!!!! Time is Up!!!!!!!

Jesus Christ’s Offer of Salvation:

The ABCs of Salvation through Jesus Christ (the Lamb)

A. Admit/Acknowledge/Accept that you are sinner. Ask God’s forgiveness and repent of your sins.

. . . “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).

. . . “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10).

. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).

B. Believe Jesus is Lord. Believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be; that He was both fully God and fully man and that we are saved through His death, burial, and resurrection. Put your trust in Him as your only hope of salvation. Become a son or daughter of God by receiving Christ.

. . . “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:15-17). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).

C. Call upon His name, Confess with your heart and with your lips that Jesus is your Lord and Savior.

. . . “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10).

. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (John 1:8-10).

. . . “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (John 2:2).

. . . “In this was manifested the love of god toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:9, 14-15).

. . . “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8-10).

. . . “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).

. . . “Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).

. . . “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” (Romans 1:16).

. . . “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts: 4:12).

. . . “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:4-6).

. . . “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

. . . “But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12).

True Church / Bride of Christ Spared from God’s Wrath:

 Romans 5:8-10. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

Romans 12:19. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 1:10. 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 Thessalonians 5:9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

Romans 8:35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Jeremiah 30:7. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.

Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept 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.

Categories: Rapture

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