The world we live in has changed. Civility in communication seems to be a thing of the past. There was a time, not too long ago, when people could discuss any topic and agree to disagree over a cup of coffee or a meal without arguing or feeling threatened by the other interlocutor. Those days are gone! Additionally, there are topics that always seem to be more controversial than others. One such topic is the Rapture of the Believers by Yeshua. Some people believe that there is no such thing as a Rapture, while others firmly believe in the event but are arguing about the timing of such an event and if it will be before or during the Tribulation.
In other words…there are more views about the rapture than we can shake a stick at. I don’t intend to write another article defending the pre-tribulation and pre-millennial Rapture, but I will state my position from the start and assert that the Rapture will occur before the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (the Great Tribulation) begins. Taking a pre-tribulational and pre-millennial position, when we read 1 Corinthians 15:52, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed,” we are told of a “last trumpet”.
Many have argued that this is a reference to the last trumpet in God’s prophetic program, as in Revelation 11:15. In 1 Corinthians 15:52, the subject is the Church being caught up in the sky to be with Yeshua. The trumpet of God’s grace sounds to announce that event. It also connects to the Tekiah Gedolah, or the last trumpet of the Feast of Rosh Hashanah (this doesn’t necessitate for the Rapture to happen on Rosh Hashanah. It could, but it doesn’t have to, and if it does, it will not be because it was Rosh Hashanah since no one knows the exact date and time of the Rapture). On the other hand, the trumpet in Revelation 11:15 is within a different context. It relates to a fallen, rebellious world and the judgment of sinners and is part of a progressive series of judgments during the Great Tribulation. We are looking at two very different trumpets.
Based on the biblical premise that the Rapture is an event that will only include those (Jews and Gentiles) who have placed their trust in the death and resurrection of Yeshua for their sins, only Believers will be taken up at that time. Many will be left behind, and whoever is left behind will have to deal with the consequences triggered by the Great Tribulation one way or another. The Great Tribulation, also known as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7), will last seven years (Daniel 9:26-27).
In the beginning, things might appear to be under control on planet Earth. It is very likely that News and government agencies will hide the sudden disappearance of millions of people behind the cloak of alien abduction. Keep in mind that anyone who is a believer will disappear at the moment of the Rapture, a moment that nobody can schedule ahead of time. What happens when an airline pilot or train conductor disappears without any warning? What about the myriads of motorists that will also vanish at the same time? Whatever the reason people left behind will be given, they will still be in the midst of much chaos. A man will rise for the occasion and keep things under control, giving people much hope. In the Bible, this man is known as the Antichrist (Revelation 13). This charismatic, likable and convincing man will inspire people to follow and trust him until he demands to be worshipped as God Himself at the mid-point of the Tribulation.
During this time, people will have a choice to make that will have eternal consequences. If you are left behind, will you take the Mark of the Beast or will you decline to accept it? The Beast’s deputy, known is the Bible as the False Prophet, will run a propaganda campaign to entice people to take the Mark (Revelation 13:11-18). People who didn’t take the Mark will have severe limitations to their existence and survival. Nobody will be allowed to buy or sell without the Mark (Revelation 13:17). Eventually, those who decide not to take the Mark will be executed (Revelation 20:4). It will not be too late to refuse the Mark of the Beast and not worship the Antichrist, but that will result in suffering great harm and dying as Tribulation martyrs. It could all have been avoided if they had been Raptured.
Today, many people make fun of the Rapture and the Tribulation, mentioning that these are just superstitious beliefs with no foundation or that the Bible is a crutch used by people to go through life. I don’t expect everyone reading this article to agree with my views or even to believe that the Rapture is a literal future event that will take place right before the Great Tribulation. But if you find yourself on the other side of an event where millions of people have disappeared all over the planet at the exact same moment, don’t believe for a moment that aliens got them. If you find yourself “left behind”, you will have the most important choice of your life to make. Will you succumb under the pressure of the Antichrist, or will you reject his lies, effectively signing your death warrant from the world’s perspective but signing a new lease on eternal life in God’s presence from the Word’s perspective?
What is the best thing to do? Accept Yeshua today. Right now. If you die without Him now or without him during the Tribulation, you will still be separated from God and eternity with him. If you accept Him TODAY, you will spend eternity with Him AND be spared from the Tribulation. The Lake of Fire was always reserved for the devil and his angels, not for human beings. Truly, the best thing for you now is to accept Yeshua TODAY.