A Pre-Trib Rapture Is The Most Merciful Option

(reposted from other blog)

            Some people have a lot of trouble accepting the idea that God would rapture the church out but leave everyone else to go through the tribulation.  They think it is heartless and cruel of Him.  I, however, think that a pre-trib rapture is the most merciful thing God could do.

            In the movie Left Behind (with Nicolas Cage), a young woman who missed the rapture looks around at all the pain and heartbreak and devastation . . . and she screams out about how the loving God her mother worshipped would never cause something as tragic as that to happen.  He would never take people away and let others be left behind to face the troubles of the tribulation. 

            Or would He? 

            The thing is, I think a pre-trib rapture shows just how loving and merciful and patient He is, how much He wants everyone to come to Him. 



            Yes, the tribulation will be a terrible time, unlike any other on earth.  But it is also the best thing He could do. 

            To take out all believers before the tribulation (and to take out the newest believers before each new set of judgments is unleashed) shows great love and mercy for those who have chosen Him as Lord and Savior.    

            But it also shows great concern for those “left behind,” because the tribulation will be a “final call” when God clearly shows Himself and proves the Bible to be true, giving people a last chance to call Him Lord and Savior.  (And let’s not forget how many calls and warnings God has graciously given over time, even putting it all in print in the Bible.  No one will be able to say that God didn’t warn them.  It’s all there, in His Word.) 

            I believe the pre-trib rapture will be the greatest “wake-up call” the world receives.  There will be no ambiguity about Jesus and Satan, heaven and hell, anymore.  And it gives people time during the beginning of the tribulation to see the truth and to choose Him before He releases the divine judgments – His wrath – on the staunch unbelievers.

            If the rapture is mid-trib or post-trib (which is possible, if the theologians who believe this are correct) then the believers of the church age will face terrible persecution at the hands of man and Satan.  But if this were true, what incentive would there be for the unbelievers to turn to God during this time?  They would have no real reason to think that the Bible was true all along or to desire to turn to Christ in the face of such persecution. 

            But if the rapture is pre-trib and before the massive martyrdom starts, then the world would have the biggest wake-up call ever and the greatest proof that the Bible is true, causing many people to turn to God despite the fact that they know the persecution is coming.  The proof of God would be so shockingly clear that they would know that they have no other option than to choose God or choose eternal death. 

            And so, if the rapture will be the greatest wake-up call and the event that forces people to choose – if it brings many people to Christ – then it is indeed the most merciful thing God can do.

            If there’s one thing that I know about our God (especially as I read Jeremiah right now) it’s that our God is the God of many chances.  He is always calling and calling to the people.  And He constantly warns them about upcoming judgment, over and over again, in the hopes that they turn to Him and repent and that He won’t have to unleash judgment on them. 

            And in so many places, He shields or spares the righteous people when He releases His judgment or punishment.  He pulls out Lot and his family before destroying Sodom and Gomorrah.  He spares Noah and his family from the flood.  In Jeremiah 5:1, He says He will spare a whole city for one righteous person. 

            The way I see it, to spare believers from the tribulation and to send a huge wake-up call (and warning) at the same time to unbelievers - giving more people a chance to come to Him - fits very neatly with God’s character. 

            There are some theologians who claim that the next event on the “end times” schedule is not the rapture, but the final coming of Christ to rule.  They claim that we believers are waiting for Christ to come back and to pronounce final judgment and begin His final reign. 

            While this would be fine for the believers, it would be awful for unbelievers.  If Jesus came back again right now – if there was no rapture and no tribulation – then there would be no second chance for unbelievers.  When He returns, there is no chance to change your mind.  Your decision has been made.  Your final answer given. 

            While this sounds fine for believers, I think a rapture and tribulation are more merciful for unbelievers because it gives them another opportunity to choose God.  As terrible as the tribulation will be, it would be eternally tragic if they never had this last chance, if they never had this final proof that the Bible is true and the opportunity to get their souls and their allegiance in order. 

            The tribulation is not just meant to be a time of God’s judgment being unleashed, but it is also meant to be a time when people will clearly and knowingly decide who they will worship.  There will be no “I just didn’t realize that God was real and that the Bible was true.”  Everything will be made crystal clear to force people to decide, to pick a side.  And as I said in an earlier post, since the believers of the church-age have already decided, there is no reason for them to go into this “deciding time.”     


            All of these things put together (the things I looked at in these “End Times” posts) – the timing of the events, the explanation of the groups of people and how they are taken out of the earth, the descriptions of the elders, and the knowledge of God’s mercy and love and how He gives many chances and always spares the righteous – point clearly to a pre-trib rapture.  At least for me. 

            That being said, I know I could be wrong.  And if so, then at least I know what to expect during the trib.  And I know that even if we have to face persecution or martyrdom (as many people around the world are currently facing), my eternal soul is secure.  Satan may be able to destroy our bodies, but he can never destroy the souls of the saved. 




Are you ready?

            Studying and understanding the end times has only created in me a burning desire to live for eternity and to help as many people as possible find their way out of the fire.  (Not that I always succeed at that, but it is my passion.)  Maybe this is the “blessing” spoken of earlier for those who read Revelation and take it to heart. 

            Understanding the horrible events of the tribulation – and knowing that I would not want to go through them myself – makes me concerned for the unbelievers I know.  Yes, I know it says that there will be many that come to faith during the tribulation, but do we want our loved ones, neighbors, and friends to be left behind to experience that?   

            Believing in a pre-trib rapture shouldn’t make us lazy and comfortable, like “Oh, at least we’ll be out of here and don’t have to worry about going through that.”  It should make us go, “Hey, friends, this is what will happen if you are left behind.  Take the way out that God provides, not only the way out of the tribulation but also the only way out of hell.”

 

            2 Peter 3:11-14:  “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?  You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed it’s coming. . . . So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.”  


            Do you live in a holy, godly life?  In a way that draw others to Christ?  Are you at peace with God?  Are you living in a way that you can have confidence when you stand before Him?  Are you doing all that He is asking you to do?  Are you ready to die or for Christ to come back again, in the twinkling of an eye?  If that were to happen today, would there be any important task left undone?  Would He say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”?  Are there any unreached loved ones that don’t know about your faith and the reason for the hope you have?  Do they see anything different about you that would make them want to know our God?  Do you long for the coming of the Lord or have you made this earth your home?  Are you fighting for souls and God’s Kingdom in prayer, if not in action and word?  This will be all that remains when everything else burns up. 


            Where are your treasures?  What is your faith in?  What are you betting your soul on? 


Previous "end times" post:  Hell is a Real Place

Next "end times" post:  Is God Drawing Lines in the Sand?

Popular posts from this blog

Is Yoga Ok For Christians? (Here's a hint: It's not!)

Help for Anxiety, Depression, and Suicidal Thoughts

God is love, but love is NOT a god!