I told the Lord I didn’t want to speak about His return until He told me to. A short while later, while I was in worship, the Lord spoke through me, “Warn the people. I am returning.”
As you begin this chapter, please know I do not intend to be dogmatic. I don’t claim to be an expert on this topic, but I have learned a few things over the past 40 years. Even so, throughout church history there were always those who believed that the Lord would return during their lifetime. Even the writers of the New Testament thought so. God’s plan of salvation was much bigger than they imagined—so many more people would be saved!
There were also certain events that needed to happen first. Open your eyes, beloved; these things have begun to happen! Here are a few reasons why I believe we are now living in the last days:
• Israel has returned to its own land (1948). The Jewish people had been scattered all over the world and have now returned. Israel is re-established with Jerusalem its capital. Scriptures clearly say that end time events will center around Jerusalem.
• The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been preached all over the world. • Many Christians have fallen away from the truth of God’s word. Apostle Paul tells us this falling away (apostasy) will happen before Jesus returns.
• God has begun to shake everything that can be shaken: Covid (pestilence), drought, famine, violent storms, wildfires, floods, increased earthquakes, and increased lawlessness. Jesus mentions these things when speaking about the end times. This is the beginning of sorrows, the birth pangs of labor. The worst is yet to come. (Matthew 24).
• Middle Eastern countries like Turkey and Iran are beginning to unite for the purpose of conquering Jerusalem. These nations, listed in Ezekiel 38, will attack Israel when it is at peace.
I told the Lord I didn’t want to speak about His return until He told me to. A short while later, while I was in worship, the Lord spoke through me, “Warn the people. I am returning.” I was overwhelmed and began to cry – my wife witnessed this. I mentioned it to our daughter, Lauren, and she said, “this is exactly what I heard over the last two days!” Hear the word of the Lord: “Turn away from your sins now; you are running out of time. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken. Trouble is coming; I am about to return.”
No one knows who the Antichrist is, but he certainly could be alive today. Some believe he is of European descent; others believe he is Middle Eastern, even the “Gog” who is mentioned in Ezekiel 38. Either way, it is likely he will temporarily bring peace to the Middle East after the war of Ezekiel 38, and may facilitate the building of the 3rd Temple in Jerusalem. Daily Temple sacrifice will be restored and then taken away. (Daniel 11:31).
When he arrives on the scene, he will most likely reveal a plan to fix the world economy. At first, he will charm the world with cunning (Dan.8:25) and will deceive many. And with his false prophet will do lying signs and wonders. (Revelation 13:13). We are uncertain who the false prophet will be, but we are sure that both the Antichrist and the false prophet are possessed by Satan. The false prophet could be a religious leader…Muslim? Jewish? Christian? This false prophet will cause most of the world to worship the beast (Antichrist).
The Antichrist will utter blasphemies, enter the Temple and seat himself as God. (Daniel 12:11, Matthew 24:15, 2 Thessalonians 2:4). He will make war on the saints who refuse to take his mark (Revelation 13:16-17) and will overcome them. (Revelation 13:7). He is given this authority for 42 months. (Revelation 13:5). Don’t be surprised if he begins to spread lies about Christians and accuse us of being extremists who commit heinous crimes like Nero accused the Christians of burning Rome, and Hitler accused the Jews in Germany.
During this difficult time, Christians will betray one another even delivering relatives to death. (Mark 13:12). I pray that you will remember these things; you don’t need to be deceived. Have courage and be a light in the darkness, even if it costs your life. Stay close to the Lord, and remember that it’s an awesome privilege to be martyred for Jesus. Your reward will be great!
The good news: When Jesus returns “immediately after the tribulation of those days” “with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:29-30), the Antichrist and his false prophet will be captured and thrown into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20). King Jesus will establish His Kingdom in Jerusalem and will reign over all the Earth. Maranatha! Even so come quickly, Lord!
The following are scriptures that describe the last days:
• Matthew 24:3-42 – “‘Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’ And Jesus answered and said to them…’”
• “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.’”
• “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation (ethnos – ethnic) will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”
• “And there will be famines…”
• “Pestilences, and…”
• “Earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
• “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.”
• “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.”
• “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.”
• “And because lawlessness will abound, the love (Greek-agape is God’s love in Christians) of many will grow cold. “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
• “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
• “Therefore, when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.’”
• “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.”
• “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore, if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.
• “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.’”
• “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
• “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
• “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. “So, you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near – at the doors!”
“Assuredly, I say to you, this generation (the generation that sees Israel return?) will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”
“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.”
2 Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”
Revelation 16:15 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” Note that Jesus warns He is coming as a thief. (Revelation 16:15). This warning comes AFTER the seals and trumpets and just before the 7th bowl of wrath is poured out.
2 Peter 3:3-15 “Knowing this first-that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in which, the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat, both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” (Note that the day of the Lord is not a secret rapture. It will be cataclysmic!)
“Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you…”
Daniel 7:2-27 Daniel spoke, saying, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other.”
• “The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.”
• “And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh! ‘“
• “After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions…”
• “And behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words. I watched till thrones were put in place…”
“And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand-thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.”
“I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One, like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.”
“His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed. I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit within my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near to one of those who stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So, he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things:
• “Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth.”
• ‘But the saints of the Most-High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.’”
• “Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet; and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most-High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.”
• “Thus, he said: ‘The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces.’”
• ‘The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom.’
• ‘And another shall rise after them; he shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings.’ Then…
• He shall speak pompous words against the Most-High…
• Shall persecute the saints of the Most High
• And shall intend to change times and law.
• ‘Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time. ‘But the court shall be seated and they shall take away his dominion to consume and destroy it forever.’
• ‘Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.’”
Daniel 8: 2-26 “I saw in the vision, and it so happened while I was looking, that I was in Shushan, the citadel, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in the vision that I was by the River Ulai. Then I lifted my eyes and saw, and there, standing beside the river, was a ram which had two horns, and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, northward, and southward, so that no animal could withstand him; nor was there any that could deliver from his hand, but he did according to his will and became great. \”
“And as I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. Then he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing beside the river, and ran at him with furious power. And I saw him confronting the ram; he was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram, and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to withstand him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled him; and there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand.”
“Therefore, the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it. Four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven. And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land. And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them. He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host. And by him the daily sacrifices were taken away. And the place of His sanctuary was cast down. Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.”
“Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, ‘How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?’ And he said to me, ‘For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.’”
“Then it happened, when I, Daniel, had seen the vision and was seeking the meaning, that suddenly there stood before me one having the appearance of a man. And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, who called, and said, ‘Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.’ So, he came near where I stood, and when he came, I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, ‘Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.’ Now, as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep with my face to the ground; but he touched me, and stood me upright. And he said, ‘Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall be…’
‘The ram which you saw, having the two horns—they are the kings of Media and Persia.’ ‘And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king. As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power.’ ‘And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their fullness, a king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power. He shall destroy fearfully and shall prosper and thrive. He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. Through his cunning he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule and. He shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without human means. And the vision of the evenings and mornings which was told is true; therefore, seal up the vision for it refers to many days in the future.’”
2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition…
• “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that…”
• “he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” “Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed…”
• “Whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.”
• The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all…
• Signs and lying wonders
• And with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
• And for this reason- God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
2 Timothy 3:1-5 – “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come…” • “For men will be lovers of themselves…”
• “Lovers of money…’
• “Disobedient to parents…”
• “Without self-control…”
• “Despisers of good…’
• “Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…”
• “Having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
Revelation 6:1-17 – “‘Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, ‘Come and see.’
And I looked, and behold…’”A white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, ‘Come and see.’ Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, ‘Come and see.’
So, I looked, and behold…’”A black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, ‘A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.’ When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, ‘Come and see.’ So, I looked, and behold… A pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth to kill with sword, with hunger, with death and by the beasts of the earth.”
“When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then, the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’”
Revelation 13:1-18 “Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having…”
• Seven heads and ten horns
• On his horns ten crowns
• On his heads a blasphemous name “The beast which I saw was like a leopard…his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. And I saw…
• One of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed.
• All the world marveled and followed the beast. So…
• They worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and…”
• They worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”
• He was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies
• He was given authority to continue for forty-two months.
• He opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.
• It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.
• Authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.
• All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. “If anyone has an ear, let him hear. “He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity. He who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” (If you try to resist the Antichrist forces you will be killed and will not receive a martyr’s reward.)
“Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast. Telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: his number is 666.”
The Last Trumpet
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 incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
Matthew 24:29-31 – “Immediately, AFTER THE TRIBULATION of those days, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great SOUND OF A TRUMPET, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Revelation 8:6 – “So the seven angels who had the SEVEN TRUMPETS prepared themselves to sound.”
Revelation 10:7 – “but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.
Revelation 11:15 – “Then the seventh angel sounded (the LAST TRUMPET): And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’”
We believe what we believe because we believe it’s true. Right? But what if some of the things you believe are not true? Those who were raised in the church tend to believe the doctrines they were taught as a child. Those who came to Christ later in life usually accept the doctrines and practices of the church they attend. Nevertheless, many of us believe things that aren’t true; we may even practice unbiblical traditions. Isn’t it time to ask the Lord to show you the truth? Do you have the courage to do that? Can you humble yourself and admit that none of us have a perfect understanding of the truth? “For we know in part…” (1 Corinthians 13:9).
Please don’t be satisfied with anything less than the TRUTH. Seek the Lord in this matter; ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten you and teach you. Cling to the fact that Jesus is God, and obediently follow Him, but hold your peripheral doctrines in an open hand, allowing the Lord to remove what is not true, replacing it with the genuine TRUTH of Scripture. Years ago, a leader and seminary professor with a doctorate in theology, who was a member of a very conservative denomination, was gloriously filled with the Holy Spirit. He began to operate in the spiritual gifts, especially the gifts of healings. Soon after, his denominational leaders said he must renounce this, or he would be removed from ministry. To his credit, he would not renounce the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, and they removed him from ministry. We became friends after this and traveled together to several countries. Many were saved, healed, and delivered. Glory to God!
One day, I distinctly remember him telling me, “I have come to understand that a lot of my theology is wrong.” I was impressed by his humble honesty to recognize the error in the doctrines of his former denomination. My friend had a hunger for the truth, and over the years, the Lord gave him many revelations and excellent spiritual insight. Be hungry for the truth, beloved. Don’t let your old way of thinking prevent you from receiving the full truth of God’s word.
Now, in regards to the rapture: If you believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, I hope you’re correct, but I don’t think so. Some say that God would never allow His children to suffer such difficult things, but that is simply not true. Throughout the centuries, millions of Christians have been imprisoned, tortured, and killed for believing in Jesus Christ; they have also suffered great loss in wars, fires, floods, hurricanes, etc. Perhaps you are saying, “We are not appointed to wrath.” Here is something that you may not know: The tribulation is the wrath of the Antichrist. The wrath of God is poured out near the end of the tribulation period after the Antichrist makes war against the saints. Just as the wrath of God is about to be poured out on the whole earth through cataclysmic celestial events, the Lord appears in the sky, and the true believers are raptured. Then the final battle occurs (Armageddon), and the Antichrist and false prophet are captured and cast into the lake of fire. The King of Glory will now establish His kingdom on earth. Hallelujah!
Here are the current eschatological views of the rapture:
The entire Church could be raptured at any time, before the Tribulation. This view has only been popular for the past 100 years; it has the least number of supporting Scriptures. Only the Bride of Christ will be raptured before the Tribulation—those who are loving and serving Jesus with all of their heart. This will occur after the “falling away” and the “son of perdition” is revealed. The lukewarm Christians who remain will go through the Tribulation. Some will be broken and refined during this extremely difficult time and will draw closer to the Lord. Many will deny Him and receive the “mark of the beast.” All Christians will go through the Tribulation. Some will deny the Lord and worship the beast. Some will be martyred for their steadfast faith in Jesus Christ.
There is also a “mid-tribulation” theory:
The Church is raptured after 42 months (3 ½ years) in the middle of the 7-year Tribulation period, before the “7 bowls of wrath” are poured out. I understand this is a controversial topic, and I really don’t want to debate. Nevertheless, this is why I don’t believe in a pre-tribulation, secret rapture: It’s not found in the Bible. Some will use metaphors to prove a pre-tribulation rapture, but Matthew 24:29 speaks of a post-tribulation rapture.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 says the day of the Lord will not come until AFTER there is a falling away (apostasy) and the Antichrist is revealed.
2 Thessalonians 1:8 states Jesus is coming in flaming fire, not a secret rapture.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52 mentions the last trumpet. The Lord returns after the last trumpet. Paul does not say there will be two raptures.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 speaks of a “shout,” and a “trumpet blast” when the Lord returns, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
The pre-tribulation rapture is not found in Church history:
The early Church fathers believed in a post-tribulation rapture. John Darby was the first to promote this doctrine in the 1840s. The pre-tribulation rapture is not taught outside of the comfortable Western Church and the message of escape is just not there, as we clearly see in Matthew 24. Jesus told us to endure. (Matthew 24:13). We must be prepared to give our life for Jesus—to be martyred. We are not exempt from suffering.
Matthew 24:29-31 – Jesus never speaks of two comings, only one and that is AFTER the Tribulation. If I am wrong about this, I will be pleasantly surprised. But if those who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture are wrong, they will be unprepared. Some may even accept the Antichrist, thinking, “This can’t be the Antichrist! We will be raptured before that happens!” No man knows the day nor the hour (Matthew 24:36), but we should be aware of the signs of the time.
Regardless of when the rapture will occur, and the Lord returns, my assignment from God is to help prepare the Bride of Christ for her Bridegroom and to warn the Church to turn away from sin, for the time is short. Are you ready? Please abandon your life, and make Jesus your main reason for living. Make yourself ready. (Revelation 19:7).