Question: Is there anything that should happen before the Rapture?
If you are studying the end times described in the Bible and are anticipating our Lord’s glorious return, you are blessed indeed.
Revelation 1:3 King James Version (KJV)
3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
The answer is – nothing. There is nothing that must happen before the rapture – the rapture is imminent. We at AskBible.org believe this is what the Bible teaches. Let us see why.
The rapture and the second coming of Christ are two promises that every believer is waiting for and anticipating. These events are clearly taught in the Bible and it is impossible to deny them. While there may be disagreement among Christians about the timing of the Rapture, this is because of a flawed approach to studying the topic. While there is no one verse that specifically addresses the rapture, understanding the timing of the end-time events including the rapture is a matter of deduction based on a careful study of the passages that address the Lord’s return, and one can only arrive at a rapture that precedes the 7 year tribulation period.
Let’s look at the verses that talk about this event called the rapture. The English word ‘rapture’ is not found in the Bible, it comes from the Latin word ‘rapturo‘ used in the Latin Vulgate Bible. Rapturo itself is a translation of the Greek verb harpazo which means ‘to snatch out or away’ or ‘caught up’, found in 1 Thes. 4:16-18:
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
There are different views of the Rapture held by Christians but only one can be true. We believe that the pre-tribulational view is the one best supported by the Bible. Briefly, in the pre-tribulational view, the rapture occurs before the 7 year tribulation period begins.
The Pre-tribulational view teaches the Doctrine of Imminency
Imminency, meaning nearness, is the doctrine that Jesus can return at any moment to take believers with Him to the Father’s house.
Look at the many verses that admonish believers to watch for Jesus’ coming:
- Luke 12:40 King James Version (KJV)
Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.
- Mark 13:32-37 King James Version (KJV)
32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
34 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.
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:
36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:2 King James Version (KJV)
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
If any event needs to happen before Jesus’ coming for the saints in the rapture, there is no need to watch.
Thus a pre-tribulational rapture means that Jesus’ return is imminent. The Bible does not identify any event that needs to happen before the Rapture – there is nothing that needs to happen before Jesus comes to rapture His own and take them to the Father’s house! How wonderful the promises of God are!
Are you waiting for the trumpet to sound, signaling the rapture of the saints? If not, do not waste a single moment, read the Gospel and receive the gift of eternal life God has freely made available to all men!
Recommended Resource: [amazon asin[us]=0310308909&asin[uk]=0310308909&text=Things to Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology by J. Dwight Pentecost]
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