The Scriptures do not support a “Rapture” that happens before the Tribulation starts, as millions have been taught. They do support a post-tribulation event where Christians are “caught up to meet the Lord in the air” (see post “The Pre-Tribulation Rapture–A Parachute That Will Not Open here https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2008/08/02/the-rapture-a-parachute-that-will-not-open/ ).
If we can see in the Scriptures the church, actively and literally living on earth during the Great Tribulation, then we will have proof positive that Christians were not “raptured” out of the earth before Tribulation started. If you will stay with me for a moment, I will show you proof of this.
In Matthew 24, Christ’s disciples ask Him, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (v. 3). He lists many signs like deception, wars, famines, earthquakes, which “are the beginning of sorrows.” Then “false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many (v. 4-11).
Then He says, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (v. 12). The end of what? The “end” of the tribulation that precedes His coming back to earth. Then He says that “this gospel of the kingdom” will go out all over the world, and then the end will come.
Then the big sign comes when He says to watch for “the abomination of desolation.” This is when the Anti-Christ desecrates the newly rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. When you see that, you better run for cover. Remember He is talking only to His disciples, which are a type of all of His disciples. “For then shall be great tribulation” like the world’s never seen. It will be hellish, as seen during the seven trumpet plagues and the seven vials of wrath in Revelation ch’s 8, 9, 16.
Stay with me, now. Almost to the proof-text. It is so bad and destructive to mankind that “except those days be shortened, there should no flesh be saved” (Mt. 24:22). In other words, if God allows the destruction to continue, no human beings would survive! “But for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (v. 22).
If the church, God’s elect, have already been “raptured out” to safety before tribulation started, then why would God be so concerned about saving His elect from the physical destruction happening on earth?
“For the elect’s sake” means He doesn’t want His body of believers to die with the wicked in a total annihilation of earth. For their sake, so that they won’t perish with the wicked, He cuts the tribulation short to prevent total destruction.
It will be horrendously bleak. Christ’s followers will be looking for their Savior’s return. He warns that at that time false prophets “shall show great signs and wonders…that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Mt. 24:24). These false teachers are so convincing that they almost deceive the elect of God!
If God’s church, His elect, are already in heaven, then how could they almost be deceived by imposters on earth? They would be in the very presence of God. They couldn’t be deceived. No, during this horrible time, His church, His body of believers are still on earth, enduring the suffering, waiting patiently for their Savior’s return.
But some will say that “the elect” spoken of here in Matthew 24:22, 24 are not the church, the body of Christ. Don’t believe this falsehood. His elect is His true church. I will prove this in the next post entitled, “The Elect of God–His Body, His True Church.” Kenneth Wayne Hancock
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