So far we have heard six different general renditions about the timing of the Rapture and the most destructive is the notion of no Rapture. They are those who believe the destruction of the second temple was the beginning of the Millennium. Now Christians are to change the world to present it to Jesus at the end of the Millennium. That is also what cults teach in many cases.
The Apocalypse, another name for the last Book of the Bible: The Revelation to John, is the only book in the Bible that contains a special promise to obedient readers. (see Rev. 1:3) At the same time it pronounces a curse upon those who tamper with it's contents. (see Rev. 22:18,19). This is a likely reason why not much is taught of this book by pastors and much confusion exists considering pan-, pre-, pre-wrath, mid-, post-, post Armageddon, post Millennium and no Resurrection/ Rapture.
Why does there need to be a Rapture? The Bible states that believers are already redeemed and spiritually in the presence of God. The Rapture is a redemption of our bodies through the transformation. We have been sealed for this by the Holy Spirit, who will clothe us, envelop us, at the Rapture. Because we have this hope, we should take care that we do not grieve the Holy Spirit through walking in the flesh. "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:" (Ephesians 4:31)
We must honor the Lord by walking in the Spirit, "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (vs.32) Fear and despondency is our greatest enemy because many Christians are afraid of what awaits them, they think they cannot stand before the Lord and prefer not to hear about this event. This is a sign of not understanding the teachings.
Studying His Word has a marvelous, comforting effect of eagerly anticipating the last trumpet before the curtain goes up for the secular world.
In answer to those who do not believe in a pretrib Rapture, how can a God who teaches us to have charity - not have this charity for us. His name is `Love'. The only unforgivable sin is our rejection the Holy Spirit, because without Him we are lost. There is no end to His charity. Even the unforgivable sin is only detrimental to us because without the Holy Spirit we are dead. We cannot inherit eternal life without Him.
"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:17,18)
Obviously the seven year tribulation can safely be considered to be the wrath the Scriptures describe beginning with the seven trumpets each depicting specific calamities, aligned with angels warning people at the same time to fear God, that Babylon has fallen. They warn not to take the mark of the beast. They are harvesting tribulation saints. After more harvesting followed by fire, which is the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ in person on the Mount of Olives (see Zecharia 14:4).
At Mid Tribulation the bowls are added which are used to pore out wrath on the
people for taking the mark after the Anti Christ is exposed in the temple. Paul assures us in 1 Thessalonians 1:10: ".. to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, [even] Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come." (1 Thessalonians 1:10)
The children of God have already come under the wrath of God and His judgment at Calvary's cross where the Lord Jesus substitutionally took upon Himself our judgment and the wrath of God, meant for our sins. That is exactly why everyone who belongs to the Lord Jesus is justified before God (justified = not guilty) and will not experience the Great Tribulation of the final judgment.
Confirmed in 1 Thessalonians 5:9,10 we are reassured that the Pre-tribulation Rapture can be the only one which is true. "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him."
Posttribulationists contend that there should be at least one passage in Scripture which clearly teaches that there is more than one distinct event at the second coming of Christ Jesus. God is not in the habit of giving us truth directly stated. The Trinity is an example.
It can only be discerned by enlightenment and study. To Jesus's followers the concept of the Trinity is very obvious and cannot be denied. Similarly, biblical passages reveal two separate comings of Jesus, one in the clouds, unrevealed to the world and one on the Mount of Olives with the saints. How could He be accompanied by His saints, if they had not been taken up at some time prior to this particular coming.
The Rapture is most clearly presented in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, emphasizing the English phrase: caught up, translated from the Greek word `harpazo', which means to `seize upon with force' or to `snatch up'. The word `Rapture' comes from the Latin word `rapere'. Living believers will be `caught up' in the air, translated into the clouds, in a moment of time.
The Rapture is characterized in the Bible as `translation coming' see 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 in which Christ comes for His Church. The second advent is Christ returning with His saints, descending from heaven to establish His earthly kingdom. (Zecharia 14:4-5; Matthew 24:27-31)
For post-trib believers the Rapture requires that the believers will be present during the 70th week of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27) although it was absent the first 69 weeks. The post-trib position denies imminency - emphasized by Jesus Himself. He could come any moment without warning, which means there are no signs before this event occurs. Post-trib contradicts Jesus's promise, because the Bible clearly states an exact sequence of events during the tribulation.
There is also the Scripture in Revelatiom 19:7,8,14 indicating that the Church, Christ's Bride, is made ready to accompany Christ to earth before the Second Coming.
RAPTURE IS FOUNDED ON THE SEPARATION
BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH.
The Rapture restarts God's program for Israel after the Church is removed. This foundation is the only one that meets the test of biblical consistency. Salvation is based on having faith, believing, trusting God for promises He has made. One promise is written in the blood of certain animals. God asked for a heifer, 2 goats, a ram and turtledoves for a blood sacrifice, so He Himself could swear an oath in blood in the Old Testament to the Jews (re. to the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 15).
The second promise made was in the blood of His own Son in the New Testament on the cross of Calvary to those who believe that Jesus was God in the flesh. Like Abraham who believed in what God had revealed to him, we are expected to believe what God has revealed to us.
Without the fulfillment of the first promise, that Abraham would father a son and become the father of many nations; and later through him, Mary would be the mother of Jesus Christ, a Jew, we would not have had the cross of Calvary. Our belief can't be vague to be of value. It must be specific.
The first blood oath was a promise of an inheritance of land to Abraham through an heir out of his bowels, which was at the time a physical impossibility. But Abraham believed God in spite of it and it was counted to him for righteousness. The second promise was salvation to all who accept His Son. God demands from us, Christ's righteousness, the only righteousness that will satisfy God.
Jesus admonished us in Revelation 3:18, "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." The white raiment is the wedding gown that the Bride of Christ, the Church, will place over herself for the wedding which is the righteousness of Christ Jesus.
The Old Testament Jews could not participate in Christ's gift. They had the opportunity through the law, but rejected the spiritual opportunity of being translated like Enoch, which places them into a slightly different situation than the Gentiles. This becomes the foundation of the two separate events, actually a series of events. The parable Jesus spoke of in Matthew 19:30; 20:16; Mark 10:31 gives us clearly two events: the first and the last.