By: Loren Due, Ph.D.
To some this is an issue of doctrine and/or salvation; I do not believe you will go to heaven or hell because you believe that the tribulation period will come sometime either simultaneously with the rapture or a very short time after. It is a matter of interest to many believers concerning how we get from here to there. Unfortunately many believers stop communicating with other believers if they do not believe the way they do. It is a point of much contention among many brothers and sisters of all denominations and non-denominations. It is the type of discussion you might be afraid to broach because of possible fear of losing friends and colleagues.
In order to properly rightly divide the Word of truth we must remember that God’s Word and His doctrine are found in the Old and New Testament: Isaiah 28:9-10 (KJV) 9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little… In order to clearly understand what God wants us to know today from the scriptures we must utilize the entire Holy Bible.
Without further ado let’s explore the catching away of the church! I believe you should be able to express what you see in the scriptures even if others don’t agree. In this discourse many questions will be addressed that believers of a pre-tribulation can’t answer. You may wonder did Father God in writing the Bible want the readers and studiers of the Word to have so many diverse opinions on the return of Jesus to catch the church away. There are those who believe in the philosophy of a pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation and post-tribulation. I am sure that each of these discussion points is amply documented from the World of God by those who believe in them.
From what I gather from the scriptures I am inclined to go with a pre-tribulation scenario, but let me tell you that my wife and I have discussed these concepts and have come to one very important conclusion and that is whenever the Great Tribulation we will be ready to live through it by the grace of God.
One of the reasons I believe the saints of God will not go through the Great Tribulation period is because we go through test, trials and tribulations as we proceed on this journey of living a life for Christ. From the day we accept Him as Lord and Savior are journey begins with tests, trials and tribulations. It is the Devils job to attack us once we accept Jesus Christ as Lord of life. God allows the Devil to bring temptation which we must endure and not yield to in order to please God the Father. Test, trials, tribulation and temptation that we go through is allowed by God I believe to determine our character and level of faith in God.
The second reason I believe the saints of God will not go through the Great Tribulation is because of the scriptures listed below that talk about God’s wrath. I am encouraged to know that God’s people will not be tried by God’s wrath like the heathen who refuses to yield to the living God. The Word tells us in Psalm that God is angry with the wicked all the time. It says it like this: Psalm 7:11 (KJV) 11b God is angry with the wicked every day.
There are many scriptures that relate to the wrath of God that shall be poured out during the Great Tribulation period:
Psalm 110:5-6 (KJV) 5 The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. 6 He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.
Proverbs 11:4 (KJV) 4 Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.
Zephaniah 1:14-15 (KJV) 14 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. 15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,
Revelation 6:17 (KJV) 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Please note the last scripture is fulfilled during the Great Tribulation Revelation 6:17. Somewhere between the 4th and 6th chapters of Revelation is the beginning of the Great Tribulation and it continues until the 20th chapter.
The primary reason I believe we are not subject to the wrath of God is because of these scriptures that refer to those who have not accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord:
John 3:36 (KJV) 36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Romans 1:18 (KJV) 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Ephesians 2:3 (KJV) 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Ephesians 5:6 (KJV) 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
We find in the following scripture a promise that has already been fulfilled for us at the cross when Jesus died for us and redeemed us from damnation: 1 Thessalonians 1:10 (KJV) 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. This scripture lets us know that Jesus is coming back as proclaimed in Acts 1:11 (KJV) 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
I have underlined the salient points that are so important: “wait for his Son from heaven,” “come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” and “which delivered us from the wrath to come” We are expectantly waiting for Jesus Christ to meet us in the air from heaven which the angels said He would come again like he left here in the air. Glory to God He has already delivered us from the wrath to come which means that we will not be subject to it or go through the Great Tribulation as some propose.
Jesus went to heaven and will return for us at the prescribed time by the Father. Jesus said that He didn’t know when He would come again only the father knew according to: Matthew 24:36 (KJV) 36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. I believe the time is near for the return of the Lord and us being caught out of the earth. The Lord has given us hints as to his return, but it remains in the control of the Father the exact moment, minute, hour, day and year when Jesus returns for us.
The reason I believe that Jesus return is soon is because of the following hints that point to this very present age we live in. It says in Matthew 24:37-39 (KJV) 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
We also see what it says about the return of the Lord in Luke 17:26-30 (KJV) 26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
These two scriptures point out something that is unique to this present age (never happened like this before or will ever happen again) that we do not find anywhere else in scripture at the same time. The scripture takes us to the intersection of the times of Lot and Noah and what they had in common that is unique to the times we live in! If we recall in Genesis that Noah lived and preached some hundred years about sin and people did not believe him nor heed to be saved from the rain that would destroy them. Lot live in a time of raw homosexuality and sexual immorality that gripped Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding areas.
This intersection of gross sin in the time of Noah and Lot I believe is one of the key hints Jesus gives about when He believed the Father would send him back to catch us away. Jesus did say in Luke 18:8 (KJV) 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? I believe this hint from this verse relates to the grosses of sexual immorality we have in the earth today where people are openly marrying men with men and women with women and many countries are considering legalizing incest and many have already legalized sodomy and other gross sin against God and men.
I know many will reject this understanding but it remains a fact of what is happening in city, county, state and countries all over the world of embracing the damnable behavior Jesus warned us about that would happen like the time of Noah and Lot. You should read for yourself what it says in Matthew 24 and Luke 17 and then review the accounts in Genesis about Noah and Lot. When you discover what is happening in your local community know that things are only getting worse and worse – it’s only a matter of time before the end of things as we know it. The signs of judgement are evident in the rapid deterioration of our society and the need for revival in the church and the world is like never before.
I am not going to list all the things I know that is wrong now, I believe the Lord to open your eyes so you can see for yourself and make any changes to your life necessary to be ready when Jesus Christ returns so you may be caught away if you believe. I believe for a spiritual awakening of those who have grown cold and indifferent about the imminent return of Christ the Lord.
This is one of the many promises of the Lord for us as stated in 1 Corinthians 15:51-57 (KJV) 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Here the Apostle Paul lets us know what will happen in the end for those who are saved and ready to go with the Lord.
In this version of the transformation the Apostle Paul again wants us to know beyond a shadow of doubt what is going to happen: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (KJV) 13 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. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 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. 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.
Are you ready?