If the Rapture of the Church is at the Second Coming, and all the wicked followers of Antichrist are now dead and in Hell, who is left to populate the Millennium?
After over 29 years of studying my King James Bible, I have come safely to the conclusion that the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church is not mine or anyone else’s opinion, but as established a Bible doctrine as the virgin birth, the blood atonement, eternal security, or any of the other “essentials” of the faith. It’s high time we considered it as Bible doctrine, and in fact, I say that it is long overdue.
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 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: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (KJV)
I did not learn about the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church from CI Scofield, good man though he was, and I did not hear about it in the writings surrounding the lives of Margaret McDonald and John Nelson Darby. No, sir, I got it from the source. The apostle Paul first told me of the coming Pretribulation Rapture of the Church, as he speaks of it at length and in grand fashion. So you might say to me, “hey, what gives? I read the everything from Romans to Philemon, and I don’t see a pre-trib rapture of the church, how come??” The answer is an easy one, you are not rightly dividing the word as Paul instructs us, and yes, commands us to do as we read here:
“Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
See that? Paul is telling us that we can study the Bible until the cows come home, but without rightly dividing the word that we read, it won’t make much sense and will continually lead us to seeming contradictions and dead ends. The gospels will show us places where people can lose their salvation, while Paul says we are “sealed” in and can never lose it. Which is it? I can bring you to places in the New Testament that tells us we cannot be saved without works, and I can also show you places that say if you worked for it then you’re not actually saved. And I can show you not dozens but literally hundreds of places where this odd phenomena repeats itself over and over. But you needn’t fret, rightly dividing sorts all of that out and presents you with an error and contradiction free Bible that you can put your utmost trust and faith in.
The Basics Of Rightly Dividing:
- WHO IS GOD SPEAKING TO? As Christians, we like to think that all the New Testament is written to us as doctrine, but guess what? It’s not. In the Bible, God can be speaking to 1). the Jews and Israel, 2). to saved Christians, and 3). to unsaved gentiles. So the first step in learning how to rightly divide is identifying who God is talking to. The New Testament contains scriptures speaking to the Kingdom Age we see in Matthew, Mark and Luke, the Church Age that we see in Romans to Philemon, the coming time of Jacob’s trouble, the Thousand Year Reign of King Jesus, and so on. If you are a born again Christian reading this right now on September 3, 2019, you are in the Church Age. But if you are reading this after being Left Behind, passages speaking about the time of Jacob’s trouble would then apply to you.
- CONTEXT IS KEY: Context is key when you are learning how to rightly divide, miss it and you’ve missed a whole lot. For example. If you want to ascertain who Jesus is talking to in Matthew 24, lead the last 4 verses of chapter 23 for the context, and you know instantly to whom Matthew 24 is written. But miss the context and you make the classic rookie mistake of thinking Matthew 24 is for the Christian Church, and now you are left with a contradiction-filled mess. Jesus tells His intended audience “…let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:”, now if you’re a Christian, what help is that for you? And it only gets worse from there. But by applying our first rule of “who is God speaking to”, we understand instantly from the context of Matthew 23 He is talking to Jews in Israel in the time of Jacob’s trouble.
- BELIEVE WHAT YOU READ, WHERE YOU READ IT: The first step helps us to identify to whom God is speaking, the second step leads us to read about things in its proper context, and the all-important third step seals the deal. When Paul tells us that born again Christians “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” take him at his word and believe him. Then, when one of your Charismatic or Pentecostal friends wants to get you to learn more about the “gifts of the spirit”, you know right away that signs, miracles and wonders are not for born again people in the Church Age. Not because I say so, but because Paul says so. If the book of Revelation shows us locusts that come up out of the bottomless pit to torment men for five months, that’s exactly what they are. And sorry Hal Lindsey, they are not ‘Apache attack helicopters’, or any kind of man-made weapons of war, they are locusts from Hell! The Bible is not a hard Book to understand if you’re saved, but it can be a hard Book to believe. Believing what you read in the context you find it in will do wonders for your rightly dividing skills.
- READ WHAT OTHER RIGHTLY DIVIDERS HAVE WRITTEN: After you’ve gotten a firm grasp on what’s on the inside of your King James Bible, reading commentaries from men of God who knew how to rightly divide will be quite helpful to you. Every Christian should have a copy of Clarence Larkin’s ‘Dispensational Truth‘, it is the gold standard of Bible commentaries and has not been improved upon since its first publication in 1918. Additionally, commentaries from people like Dr. Peter Ruckman in Pensacola , Florida will also be quite helpful to you.
- LISTEN TO OUR WEEKLY RADIO BROADCAST: Just about every Sunday night we broadcast a live 2-hour King James bible study where we look at bible prophecy, rightly dividing, dispensationalism, giving you all the tools you need to fulfill 2 Timothy 2:15. You can access our show archive here, and listen live here every Sunday night beginning at 8:45 PM EST. We even have a chat room where you can ask questions and get answers in real-time. Come join the NTEB family of bible believers!
So with all that in mind, let’s take a look at a few more reasons why the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church is established Bible doctrine. We will not be playing the Laodicean “let’s just agree to disagree game” here, the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church is a fact, and we can prove it. One more thing, we always say the Pretribulation Rapture “of the church” because there is more than one rapture in the Bible. The rapture we see in Matthew 24, when we rightly divide it, is the rapture of the Tribulation Saints, and not the Church.
More Proofs For A Pretribulation Rapture of the Church
- JESUS RETURNS FROM THE WEDDING AT THE SECOND COMING: King Jesus does not come looking for His Bride at the Second Coming, the Bible says He comes as a married man. Obviously that marriage takes place in Heaven, as we read in Revelation 19:7-9 (KJV), so His Bride would already have to be there as the time of Jacob’s Trouble rages down on earth. How do we get there without a Pretribulation Rapture? 🤔 “And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.” Luke 12:36 (KJV)
- NO RESURRECTION AT THE SECOND COMING: Revelation 19 is the greatest picture in all the Bible of conditions that will be present at the Second Coming. We see King Jesus, mounted and ready for battle, we see us His Bride mounted on white horses as His army, and then we see the Battle of Armageddon as it takes place when we all arrive on Earth. What we do not see mentioned anywhere at all is a resurrection and/or rapture of anyone. The parallel passages in Zechariah 14 don’t mention it either. Why? Because it’s not there. The Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming are two very different and distinct events, separated by a minimum of a 7-year period. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:11-16 (KJV)
- ONE IS COMFORTING, THE OTHER IS TERRIFYING: The apostle Paul tells us that the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church, also called the Day of Christ, is a doctrine that brings hope (Titus 2:13) and comfort (1 Thessalonians 4:18). It is a happy time and something we are to be looking forward to being a part of. Not so with the Day of the Lord! The Bible warns us against finding ourselves here, and if we are, that death, danger and perils lurk around every corner. Now, if these two events were the same, how could that make any sense at all? “Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?” Amos 5:18-20 (KJV)
- NO MENTION OF THE CHURCH IN CHAPTERS 4 – 22 OF REVELATION: We see the word “church” or “churches” mentioned 19 times in the first three chapters of Revelation, then in Revelation 4 John who is a type of the Church is called UP to Heaven. The word “church” is not mentioned again until Revelation 22:16, it is not mentioned one time ever in connection with the time of Jacob’s trouble. Why? Because the Church is taken to Heaven at the start of chapter 4. “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.” Revelation 4:1,2 (KJV)
- WHO WILL MAKE THE BABIES IN THE MILLENNIUM? If the Rapture of the Church is at the Second Coming, and all the wicked followers of Antichrist are now dead and in Hell, who is left to populate the Millennium? The Bible clearly teaches that once we are raptured and given glorified bodies, we will never again have sex and make babies like non-glorified bodied people do. The Pretrib happens, an unsaved world is left behind, then the Jewish remnant who flee to Selah Petra and the gentiles who become Tribulation Saints are now able to repopulate the world when Jesus returns. Rapture these same people and you have lost the ability to repopulate the earth. Only with a Pretribulation Rapture can this be possible. “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” Matthew 22:30 (KJV)
As you can now see, what you believe about the timing of the Rapture of the Church is not only important, it is essential to your understanding of the whole rest of the Bible. If you put the Rapture of the Church at the Second Coming, you have lost doctrines like eternal security, you have no one left to populate the Millennium, and the list goes on and on. It is time to consider the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church one of the very important essentials of the faith.
In closing, for all you Pretrib deniers who love to say that no one before the 1800’s and John Nelson Darby talked about the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church, enjoy this: