When Will The Rapture Occur?
There is absolutely no evidence in the Bible of any kind that would indicate that the Rapture, which is the bringing of the believers into Heaven, or into the presence of Christ, would occur before the final tribulation period.
The Word of God is crystal clear that the rapture will be the last day. It will be at the end of time.
In First Corinthians 15:51-52 we read, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 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.”
These verses are talking about the rapture. We’ll not all die, but we’re all going to receive our resurrected bodies, that is, those who are believers. And then it gives a time clue in that context, at the sound of “the last trump.”
Now when we search the Bible to find out when the last trumpet is, we turn to Revelation 11. This is where the seventh trumpet sounds. There is no eighth trumpet. It is the last trumpet, the seventh trumpet. And the context of Revelation 11, beginning with verse 15, when the seventh trumpet sounds, is that of Judgment Day. It’s the end of time.
In John 6 we read in 4 places where the Lord Jesus declared that all believers will be resurrected the last day.
And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
All believers will be resurrected the “last day.”
Christ made sure that we would get that, that all believers will be resurrected the last day.
And in 1st Thessalonians 4 there’s no question at all, that the rapture of the believers will be a simultaneous event with the resurrection of believers. Therefore, if the resurrection of believers is the last day, the rapture of believers is the last day.
Some may begin to say, “Well, the last day of what?”
Well, if it’s the last day, it has to be at the end of time, doesn’t it? It’s not the last day of part of God’s economy, or whatever. It’s the end of time. The fact is, when Pentecost rolled around, in AD 33, in Acts 2:17, God declares that these were the last days. The whole New Testament period is the last days. But in John 6 Jesus said, “on the last day” the believers will be resurrected.
To gain further assurance that that is the end of time, we can read John 12:48, where Christ also declared that this Word will judge the unbelievers on the last day. That means the last day is Judgment Day. And Judgment Day is at the end of time. Therefore, if the believers are resurrected the last day, they are raptured the last day. And therefore the rapture is the end of time.
He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
We can find Scripture after Scripture that teaches this. In Matthew 24, when Jesus is talking about the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, He talks about the final tribulation period. He says in verses 21-22, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”
For the sake of who?
Who are the elect?
They are the chosen ones. They are the born again believers. We who believe in the Lord Jesus are elect of God. We are chosen by God from before the foundations of the earth.
For our sake those days will be shortened. And Christ is talking about the great tribulation. And then He goes on in verse 29, and He says that “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.” In other words, it’s the end of this earth’s existence. It’s the collapse of the universe.
And then Christ will come with power and great glory, and all the tribes will mourn, when they see Him coming.
And what’s the very first thing that Jesus will do?
He will send out His angels, “with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” You see, the believers will be raptured as a first event upon Christ’s coming.
It is really quite amazing that supposed serious students of the Bible have trouble with this because the Bible is so plain about it. The passages are so many that indicate that the rapture is the last day, the end of time. And it fits precisely into everything the Bible teaches about the end time program.
One of the serious problems going on today is that when people begin to face questions of this nature, they run to their library shelves and begin to pick this book or that book off the wall, and see what this author had to say, or that author had to say. And they’ll read books that have lots of Biblical quotations. And these books will confidently assert that this is the way it’s going to be. And because you trust the author of that book, you trust every statement that he is making.
But frankly, while these authors may be right on other things that they write, they have not done careful homework on the rapture, if they conclude that the church is going to be raptured before the tribulation or before Judgment Day. This is not taught in the Bible. It is a deceptive lie.