MP3: The Rapture Road Thru 1 Thessalonians 5
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
Since the first installment of The Truth Will Set You Free podcast series titled “The Rapture Road,” Pastor Vic Batista and Nathan Jones have been teaching through the Bible’s prophetic book of 1 Thessalonians in a verse-by-verse study. We will now look at by what method Jesus Christ will arrive at the Rapture.
Like a Thief
Vic Batista: Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:2 reiterates Jesus’ teaching that “…the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.” When a thief breaks into your house, does he normally provide you with advance notice?
Nathan Jones: Never! You never know when a thief is coming. Jesus stated this condition of His return in Matthew 24 quite a number of times. Christ’s return and arrival would be like a thief in the night. Remember, though, for those of us who are saved, we know that when the Rapture happens there also will be no signs that need to precede the event. The Rapture is what’s called an imminent event. In other words, it could happen at any time and without warning. Like the intrusion of a thief, the Rapture happens when we will least expect it.
The Rapture then is very different than the Second Coming of Christ, for with the Second Coming the world will know to the very day when Jesus will return. Daniel’s Seventieth Week prophecy tells us the Day of the Lord will last exactly seven years made up of 360 days per each year. According to Daniel 9:26-27, when the Antichrist makes a peace treaty with Israel, that event will start the seven-year countdown until Jesus Christ returns.
Clearly the Rapture doesn’t happen at the end of the Tribulation, but before the Tribulation, because you can’t have the Rapture come like a thief in the night if everyone is expecting to the very day when Jesus is returning.
Vic Batista: We should also clarify that there will be many who will become saved during the Tribulation, and from reading the Bible they will at last know of Christ’s exact return at the Second Coming. But, then there will be those who remain lost and never will know until the moment the King of kings arrives. These Tribulation Saints will know, but the rest of the unbelieving world will remain in ignorance.
Nathan Jones: Right, excellent point! As Paul stated, since we are of the light, we have God’s Word, and so we expect that Jesus Christ is coming. The imminency of the Rapture leaves us to expect Christ’s return at any day like a thief. But, those who are of the darkness, who sleep at night as the Bible says, well they’re never ready. They do not know about these Bible prophecies. They don’t understand the Bible, and they haven’t given their hearts to Jesus. They’re the unfortunate ones who will end up having to live into the Tribulation and experience God’s wrath, as verse 9 describes it.
Vic Batista: I always encourage my fellow Christians that it’s our responsibility as Christians to know Bible prophecy. Too many of Christ’s followers are asleep at the wheel of their faith. They don’t think their Lord’s return really matters. They don’t think that it is something that is going to affect them. It’s almost as if they just don’t care. And yet, the Bible teaches in 1 Thessalonians 5 that Christians are of the light and so, therefore, nothing should take us by surprise. Christians possess the road map to life in the Bible, and so should always know what to expect with God’s plan.Vic Batista: Christians possess the road map to life in the #Bible, and so should always know what to expect with God's plan. Click To Tweet
Nathan Jones: Absolutely! Nothing should take us by surprise, that is if we have studied the Bible. If we know the Word, then we know what to expect.
You have to admit that there’s a huge vacuum among Christians nowadays when it comes to understanding Bible prophecy. We grow up on devotionals and seeker-sensitive sermons, and so we don’t ever get to the meat of the Bible. Much of the meat of the Bible contains Bible prophecy. Some 31% of the Bible is prophecy. That means that God wants us to know that all things today are going to end and the start of a new beginning. This is why I believe Paul is saying we receive encouragement with the teaching about the Rapture. For one, we won’t have to live through the horrors of the Tribulation, and two, we gain great encouragement knowing that Jesus wins, and because He wins, His children will win as well.
Vic Batista: I love that! What encouragement!
In the eighteenth part of our travels along the Rapture Road and our verse-by-verse study of 1 Thessalonians, we will explore chapter five’s proofs for a Pre-Tribulation Rapture.