5th in the series. Starts here.
Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,
[2Th 2:1 NASB]
Whenever possible, I prefer to go directly to the source, Jesus Christ, to solve Biblical issues. There are many Scriptural arguments one could make against a Pre-Trib Rapture. These would include the uses of certain word-pictures and analogies, etc., used by Peter and Paul. And, God willing, we will look at these things in the next post for additional confirmation, but, really, we need not look any further than Jesus who has told us everything in advance [Mark 13:23]. Let’s go directly to the Olivet Discourse.
Matthew. Jesus is speaking.
Mat 24:27-31 NASB “For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Jesus speaks of His Return as a singular “coming” not a plural “comings”.
 “Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
This is a reference to the aftermath of the final battle [Rev 19:17-18, 21].
 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
He says “immediately after the tribulation”.
 “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.
Christ returns here. The tribes of the earth will mourn. Why? They will mourn because Jesus is back to rule. If He took the Church and left, I would think they’d actually end up rejoicing rather than mourning since they don’t want the Church here anyway.
 “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
This is the Rapture.
Mat 24:36-41 NASB “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
What day? The day of His Return.
 “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.  “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,  and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Again, Jesus is talking about His “coming”, not “comings”.
 “Then there will be two men in the field;
When? On that day.
one will be taken and one will be left.
When? On that day.
 “Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.
When? On that day.
He has just described the Rapture as taking place at this time. Did you read anything about anyone avoiding tribulation by way of rapture? As we just saw, He says these things will take place “immediately after the tribulation” [Matthew 24:29].
In verse 27, He says “coming”. In verse 36, He says “coming”. It is the same event and it includes the Rapture.
Mark. Jesus is speaking.
Mark 13:23-27 NASB “But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.
Jesus says here that He has told us everything in advance. He then goes on to explain that the Rapture takes place at His Second Coming.
 “But in those days, after that tribulation, THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT,  AND THE STARS WILL BE FALLING from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken.  “Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN CLOUDS with great power and glory.  “And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.
Jesus says the His elect will be gathered from the earth and also from Heaven. Interestingly, 1Th 4:14, a verse in the same context as the verses Pre-Tribbers like to use [1Th 4:16-17], says people will indeed be returning with Christ just as it says here.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.
[1Th 4:14 NASB]
Those who have already died in Christ will be given their resurrected bodies before those who are alive at this time [1Th 4:15].
For this study, we have looked at the words that came out of Christ’s own mouth, and… I daresay… though we are prone to err, Christ knows what He is talking about.
© P2ALM 2011
3 responses to “Looking to Christ on His Return”
I don’t know if you check articles from this far back and I’m working my way forward, but I was wondering why you use the word “rapture” when the event you’re describing is, according to Paul, actually the resurrection. It’s just one of those little details I notice. I would also like to thank you for your well written articles. I always seem to run into stuff like this by accident (God’s “accidents” are the best) and come out of it with some new tidbit that has the ring of truth and is deserving of personal contemplation and prayer. Keep on doing what you’re doing brother.
i’m glad you picked up on that. yes, the rapture is a part of the resurrection. i actually prefer to use the word “gathering” and do so in later articles. the reason is because, for some reason, using the word “rapture” seems to cause people to think of it as a different an unrelated event altogether. so, the biblical definition of the rapture i came up with is this: the rapture – gathering – is the part of the resurrection for those who are alive at the time of Christ’s return to be gathered to Him. those who are dead in Him are already with Him [1 Thessalonians 4:13-18].
Paul calls the rapture the gathering and in 1 Corinthians 15 he speaks of the gathering and the resurrection interchangeably so i do agree with you. of course, this means that only those who are alive at the time of Christ’s return will be gathered (raptured). the rest of us will be returning with Him. i write about this in later articles.
What of the dead who are to rise first and, along with the living, join Christ in the air before returning with him as transformed beings by the spirit to conquer alongside him? I’m referencing 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 of course and Ezekiel 37 but specifically 37:10 and 11 where it says that they are the “whole house of Israel” and that they are a “vast army”.