An Evangelical is defined as one who believes God is the Creator, that the Bible is His holy Word; that Christ, born of a virgin, died for our sins; that we must accept Him as Savior (be born again) to have eternal life.
We believe that all Scriptural references related to Christ’s return are fulfilled and that the Rapture will take place when God gives the command to His son to return for us.
No single verse in the Bible states “Christ will come before the Tribulation.” On the other hand, no reference says He will come in the middle or the end of the Tribulation, as some believe.
If the Scriptures were that specific, there would be no debate. Our task is to gather all the references on the Rapture, place them in order, and then prayerfully interpret those Scriptural passages according to solid Bible-study principles.
We start with taking the Bible for what it says. For example, Christ revealed for the first time in John 14:3 His purpose for coming back would be to take the disciples (and us) to be with Him in heaven.
Then the Bible seems to tell us He will come before the Tribulation. First Thessalonians says “Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath” (1:10).
In fact, the Bible uses the term “coming wrath” several times referring to the Tribulation (see Matthew 3:7; Luke 3:7).
Many Evangelical preachers and teachers embrace the pre-Tribulation Rapture position.
Warren Wiersbe, who is widely loved and appreciated for his solid Bible teaching, said about the Rapture: “I realize that good and godly students of the Word disagree on this matter, and I will not make it a test of fellowship or spirituality.
“But I do believe the church will be raptured to heaven prior to the Tribulation period.” He later shared these three reasons why he was convinced:
1. THE NATURE OF THE CHURCH. The church is the body of Christ, and He is the Head (Colossians 2:17-19). He bore for us all the divine judgment necessary . . . and has promised that we shall never taste any of God’s wrath (John 5:24).
2. THE NATURE OF THE TRIBULATION. This is the time when God will judge the Gentile nations and purge Israel . . . for the coming of her Messiah.
3. The promise of Christ’s imminent return. The word IMMINENT means “ready to happen.” Nothing has to occur for Christ to return. . . .
If our Lord did not return for us until the end of the Tribulation period, then we would know WHEN He was coming, Wiersbe concluded.
Here are five reasons supporting a pre-Tribulation Rapture. They are directly from the Bible.
1. CHRIST WILL RESCUE US. Regularly, the Bible uses the term WRATH in discussing the Tribulation. As mentioned earlier, note Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians.
“You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead — Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come” (1:9, 10).
2. WE ARE PROMISED DELIVERANCE. “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world” (Revelation 3:10).
3. OUR DEPARTURE USHERS IN THE TRIBULATION. “For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so until he is taken out of the way” (2 Thessalonians 2:7).
We believe the “he” is the Holy Spirit within us, for we are temples of the Holy Spirit. Apparently after the Rapture the Holy Spirit will be active in the world in the same capacity that He was before the Day of Pentecost.
4. WE ESCAPE WRATH. “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” Thessalonians 5:9).
5. BIBLICAL EXAMPLES. Both Lot and Noah escaped, and Christ named them as examples when speaking of His return.
So Christ could return any time. Are you ready for the grand event?