Now that we have reached a critical time in world history, many have taken to heart to find whether the church will be raptured before the tribulation or after the tribulation have begun?

For all those who are probably wondering about the meaning of those terms, let me just explain in a brief manner what they mean.

The rapture: " the rapture refers to the event where Jesus will come and take His Church to the Heavens (Ref: Matthew 24:29-31).The end time tribulation is a reference to the final hours of trial that will upon the whole Earth and which will culminate with the arrival of the Antichrist.

The Antichrist is a reference to a man who will be a global leader and he will be instituted as a substitute for Christ.

It is very important that you familiarize yourself with those three terms so that you do not fall for any deception or tricks of the devil. Regardless of your spiritual level, you must make sure that you have a clear idea on the rapture, the end-time tribulation and the Anti-Christ.

Here is a big question that has been doing the rounds around Christian circles: “ Are we going to be raptured before the tribulations or after the tribulation?”

This is an excellent question because the right response to that question can add value to our walk of faith.

First of all, in order to ensure that you get a good response to the above question, you need to ensure that your response comes from the Scriptures alone.Your response to the question should not come from a man or a famous author or from a movie.

One of the best and simplest way to get a response to the question is by reading the book of Matthew in chapter 24. Many people have tried to find the responses to such question from the book of Revelation and as a result they ended up twisting their understanding about the second coming of Jesus and about the rapture. The book of Revelation is extremely codified and I personally don’t expect a preacher to teach on the book of Revelation without making any form of interpretative errors.

Therefore, regardless of your spiritual background or level, I recommend that you first read the book of Matthew 24 in order to find a response to the question. In the book of Matthew 24, Jesus Himself gives a prophetic account of the end times where he speaks about the things to come such as: the wars, rumors of wars, false prophets, persecutions, the false Messiahs and many other things… Notice that Matthew 24:29-31, the Bible states that:

“Immediately after the distress of those days

“the sun will be darkened,

and the moon will not give its light;

the stars will fall from the sky,

and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other."

The above passage is a description of the Second coming of our Lord and the rapture of the Church. Notice that in verse 29, Jesus mentions the following words: ‘Immediately after the distress of those days…”

The keyword to underline is the word ‘after’. The Second coming and the rapture of the Church will occur after the hour of trial. Therefore, it simply means that the Church will go through the tribulations.

The Apostle Paul gives some details on the Second Coming of Jesus and on the Antichrist in 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-4:

“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”

From the above passage,there are two things to note:

a) The Apostle Paul warns us not to be alarmed or deceived by the teachings of people who will claim that the day of the Lord has already come. Furthermore, I, personally, warn you not to be deceived by teachings claiming that the rapture will occur before the tribulations because that teaching does not come from the Scriptures.

b) The Apostle Paul clearly writes that the day of the Lord (Jesus Second Coming) will not occur until the rebellion occurs and until the man of lawlessness (the Antichrist) is revealed. In simpler words, the Second Coming of Jesus will occur after the great rebellion and after the arrival of the Antichrist. In other words, the Church will be on Earth when the Antichrist arrives.

Why is there so much confusion on the knowledge related to the rapture?

There are three top reasons as to why people are confused concerning the timing of the rapture:

The first reason is rooted in the fact that people who believe in ‘pre-tribulation rapture’ are mostly inspired by sources that are not scriptural or by Scriptures that don’t talk about the rapture. Furthermore, I notice that preachers and teachers who believe in the ‘pre-tribulation’ rapture stay away from reading Matthew 24:29-31 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 because those two passages don’t fit their narratives.

The second reason for the confusion is rooted in Western culture’s inability to handle pain. You see my friend, most of the preachers ,who teach a ‘pre-tribulation’ rapture, come from the Western developed world. Of course there are a few of them who live in third world countries but the ‘pre-tribulation’ rapture mostly originated from Western countries and the USA tops the list in this matter. In Western developed countries, citizens are catered with all sorts of socio-economic protections ranging from insurance, retirement funds, social government spendings, grants, etc…As a result of those socio-economic protections, many of Western countries have grown to long for perpetual comfort. The ‘pre-tribulation’ rapture teaching is a message that does not exist in the Scriptures.

The third reason for the confusion is often rooted from Hollywood pop culture that has promoted blockbusters movies such as ‘Left behind’. In most of those movies, a pre-tribulation rapture was promoted. Please read this well: ‘simply because something is popular, it does mean it comes from the Scripture.’

What are the dangers of believing in a ‘pre-tribulation’ rapture?

Those who believe in a ‘pre-tribulation rapture’ are setting themselves up for deception. When the hour of trial will come, the ‘pre-tribulation’ supporters will have a hard time and many will even think that God is a liar and has abandoned them. As a result, many of them might fall away from the faith. And in some cases, pre-tribulation supporters may easily be seduced by false messiahs promising comfort.

On the other hand, those who believe in a post-tribulation rapture are better prepared psychologically and mentally to face what the enemy is planning.

Concerning the Second coming of the Lord,I did not bring you any fables or stories written in pop culture. My argument was solely based on the Scriptures. I strongly encourage you to base your views on the Scriptures alone.