How I Know A Pretribulation Rapture Is Right
by David J. Stewart | August 2020
Mark 13:37, “And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”
Kindly said, how can we “WATCH” if Jesus cannot return at any time? Respectfully, Pastor Steven L. Anderson says that Jesus couldn't possibly return at any time. ...
“The Rapture simply cannot happen at any moment.” —Pastor Steven L. Anderson ('After The Tribulation' movie - 01:27:05 video)
That is not what the Bible says! The Bible commands us to “WATCH.” Titus 2:13, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;" We are told as saints to look for Jesus Christ! Only a pretribulation Rapture position supports this truth. If Pastor Anderson is correct that the Second Coming and the Rapture are the SAME event, which is what he teaches, then the Man of Sin (the Antichrist) must appear first. So it wouldn't make any sense to look for Jesus, would it, if the Antichrist must appear first. Perhaps we should all be looking for the Man of Sin instead!
Also, the Bible clearly says that NO MAN, not even the angels, know WHEN Christ will return. Mark 13:32, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." If the Antichrist must appear first, then we would definitely know the time of Christ's return. The "Days of Daniel" even tell us the exact number of days... 1290 DAYS. Daniel 12:11, “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” As you can see, we would KNOW exactly the time of the Lord's return! To me these are irrefutable evidences that the Rapture must precede the 7-year Tribulation Period.
There is considerable disagreement among theologians, Bible students and pastors about the rapture. Paul called the rapture "a mystery" in 1st Corinthians 15:51b. Respectfully, some preachers say that the word "mystery" means nobody ever heard about the Rapture before that time. So they say that in the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), the writers never mention the Rapture at all. They say the disciples couldn't have known about the Rapture. However, Jesus certainly knew! Jesus gave us specific details in Matthew chapter 24 about the end times during the Tribulation. So I do believe that Jesus spoke of the Rapture when he said these words...Mark 13:34-37, "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. 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: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch."
Now, if this refers to Jesus' Second Coming, then it makes no sense, because Daniel 12:11 teaches from the time the Antichrist breaks his agreement with Israel, and proclaims to be God almighty, and the False Prophet kills anyone who refuses to worship the Beast (i.e., the Abomination of Desolation), until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, will be 1290 days! So everyone would know exactly WHEN Jesus is coming! I could be wrong. I am not saying that other preachers are wrong. I am just sharing how I see these Scriptures.
One of two major Scripture passages for the Rapture is 1st Corinthians 15:52-58...1st Corinthians 15:52-58, "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. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 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. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."
Notice that in 1st Corinthians 15:52 that the Bible says we will be CHANGED in the twinkling of an eye (a fraction of a second) and our mortal bodies will become immortal. This is the Rapture! In sharp contrast, the Lord is coming down to the earth at His Second Coming. But at the Rapture all the saints are going up, to be "CAUGHT UP" (1st Thessalonians 4:17) into the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.
The second major Scripture passage about the Rapture is found in 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18...1st Thessalonians 4:13-18, "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."
I made this helpful chart of 33 contrasts between the RAPTURE and the SECOND COMING of Jesus, which will help you see the difference...
Full Sized Chart
If you would like more information, there's tons of stuff on my websites. There are quotes and lots of resources. I'll be glad to answer questions if you have any, at my email at the top of the blog. I hope some of that is helpful. The only position that makes sense to me is a pretribulation Rapture. I feel sorry for people who don't think Jesus could return at any time. I think it is beautiful to always be looking for the dear Lord's return. That is what Jesus commanded us to do... “WATCH.” Mark 13:37, “And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”
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