Are you experiencing partial rapture trauma?
Nathan Jones: A fairly recent news story came out reporting that some Christians are coming down with what’s called “post-rapture trauma.” In other words, the person learns about the Rapture of the Church, but knowing about it ruins their lives because they spend their whole life worrying about whether they are actually going to be raptured or be left behind.
Christians know this errant doctrine to be called the Partial Rapture Theory. It’s this idea that only some Christians will be raptured up to Heaven while those not anticipating Christ’s return will be left behind to endure the Tribulation in some sort of purification ritual.
To find out if the Partial Rapture Theory is truly biblical doctrine, we are joined by Tyler, the host of the YouTube channel Generation 2434. Tyler is one of the new faces to Bible prophecy, and so new, in fact, Tyler, why don’t you tell us what Generation2434 means?
Tyler of Generation2434: Sure. Generation2434 comes from Matthew 24:34 where Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.”
Back in early 2020, I felt like the Lord was calling me to get on YouTube, which is something I never thought I would do. Okay, well, I have to have a YouTube channel name, so what do I call this new ministry? After I had prayed, that’s the verse I felt the Lord had placed on my heart, and so I named my channel after Matthew 24:34.
Tim Moore: The importance of passing this message — that Jesus is coming soon — to the next generation is absolutely critical. Christians for the last 2,000 years have looked forward to Jesus’ return, and many of them are very faithfully looking and expecting Him to return at any moment.
The Rapture Defined
Nathan Jones: First, let’s define what the Rapture is for those who don’t know about the Rapture, and then let’s get into defining what is a Partial Rapture, if there’s even such a thing?
Tyler of Generation2434: In Jesus’ own last words in Revelation 22:7,12, and 20, He promises, “Behold, I am coming quickly!” Therefore, there are a lot of Christians out there who don’t even want you saying Jesus is coming soon. But, I would look at Scripture and say that when Jesus said, “I come quickly” the word “quickly” also means “soon.” Then people want to define “soon.” That’s where interpretations can get a little bit more fractured and murky.
Regardless, the Rapture is very clearly defined in the Bible, such as in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. In these passages, Jesus promises that He is coming to gather all of those who are His — believers who are sealed with the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption — which I believe that day to be the Rapture. Christ is going to summon all who are called His children and take us to be with Him, as He says in John 14:1-3, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” This is what is clearly spoken of in the Bible — the Rapture.
I believe in what is called the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, meaning that the Rapture is going to occur before the prophesied Tribulation period begins. Titus 2:13 says that we are to be “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” The Rapture is the blessed hope for every believer in Christ.
Rapture Anxiety Woes
Tyler of Generation2434: It saddens me to see something that we’re told should be used to “comfort one another with these words” in 1 Thessalonians 4:18 seems to be stressing some people out. CNN even wrote this article on Rapture fatigue titled “For some Christians, ‘rapture anxiety’ can take a lifetime to heal.”
This anxiety is very similar to the days when Jesus was first here. The Pharisees used the Mosaic Law to put their people under bondage. But then, Jesus came with His message of grace and faith. We know from Scripture that we are saved by grace, through faith, and not by our works, as it says in Ephesians 2:8-9. Therefore, Ephesians 4:30 is something that’s really important to understand — that when we are saved we are sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption. That means that all of those who are His, whether you’re dead in Christ or alive, will be taken in the Rapture.
But then there’s this message out there which falls very much under the law of bondage. It declares that unless you are performing spiritually at a certain level, or unless your eschatology is correct, or that you’re actively anticipating the Rapture, then you’re just not going. The funny thing is, almost every time, it’s the ones who are saying that you have to be performing at a certain level are the same ones who also believe that they are the only ones meeting their requirements and so will be raptured. I’m concerned about that.
Tim Moore: According to Romans 4:5-8, for all who are saved, it’s not on the basis of our works. We are saved to then do good works. We still fall short every day. Romans 7:24 says: “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Not, “What a wretched man that I was.” The author of Romans knew that due to his own fallen sinful nature, he would still tend to stray.
One of my favorite hymns goes: “Prone to wonder, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.” And so, if I’m relying upon my own faithfulness, even as Scripture calls me to aspire to faithfulness, I’m still hopeless. My hope is not in my own faithfulness or my own understanding, rather my hope is in Christ and His faithfulness because He is always faithful.
I’ve got to tell you, one of the worst jokes I ever saw was played on a dear family member of mine. Her siblings decided that they would hide, and my wife and I would do the same so that when one of my daughters came home nobody would be there. She would end up thinking she’d been left behind. It ended up being rather traumatic for her for those few seconds until we realized she wasn’t realizing that this was just playing Hide-and-Seek. We had to come out of hiding and comfort her and assure her that she will not be left behind for she had put her trust in Jesus Christ.
I’m absolutely confident, more so than ever, that Jesus will be true to His word and return and take His Church up to Heaven.
Tyler of Generation2434: Amen! I get messages from people all over the world who are trying to turn the Rapture from being the blessed hope to a great anxiety. They’re saying, “Yes, Jesus is coming soon, but you may not be ready for it because you may not be performing well enough to have earned going.”
The Biblical Remedy
Nathan Jones: Tyler, what do you tell them? What is the Bible’s argument that it’s not just some Christians who will be raptured but all who are saved?
Tyler of Generation2434: I go back to Ephesians 2:8-9 which says that we are saved by grace through faith. Salvation is a package deal. First Thessalonians 4:13-18 says that whether you’re dead in Christ or one of those who are alive and currently remain, we will all be caught up together to meet Jesus in the air.
The only thing that makes you worthy of salvation and the Rapture is the shed blood of the Lamb of God. First John 1:7-9 is very clear on that. We place our faith in the blood Jesus shed on the cross. We are then covered by His righteousness alone. It’s never about our own righteousness. And so, if Jesus knows you, if you are His, if you’re covered by the blood of the Lamb, whether you’re dead or alive, when the moment the Rapture comes, you will be going up to be with Christ.
Tim Moore: John captured in John 3:16, “For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” It’s an “either-or” promise. Then, at the very end of that same chapter, in John 3:36 he says, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” That’s it! If you believe in the Son, you have eternal life. And, for the one who does not believe the Son, they will not see eternal life, for the wrath of God abides on them.
And so, to go back to your expressing people’s concern if they did enough to obey, well the obeying is in the believing. We obey in terms of trusting the Word of God — the testimony of God — knowing that the mechanism for our salvation is the blood of Jesus Christ. When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, we are now sealed and delivered unto eternal life. So, it’s either the wrath of God abides on you, or you have eternal life. That is truly our blessed hope!
Tyler of Generation2434: Yes, it’s so important to understand that salvation is not a merit-based thing, rather it’s a belief-based promise in Christ. The rapture is the very same. The Rapture is not a merit-based, performance-based event, rather it’s a belief-based event. It’s based on faith in Jesus Christ.
Nathan Jones: And if you take the Bride of Christ analogy to its full extent, when I married my wife, I didn’t marry half of her — the part that was anticipating our marriage. The other half didn’t need to stay behind and endure tribulation until it purified her to make her righteous, which is the argument for the Partial Rapturists who believe some Christians have to go through the Tribulation to purify themselves. No! “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin,” as 1 John 1:7 reveals. Jesus is going to take the entire Bride. He just doesn’t leave parts behind.
Tyler of Generation2434: In John 19:30, Jesus said while on the cross, “It is finished.” Therefore, Christians don’t need to earn anything more towards our salvation, or somehow purify ourselves in order to become saved. The shed blood of Jesus Christ is the only thing that can make us pure and worthy to go to Heaven in the Rapture.
Tim Moore: Knowing the firm foundation on which we stand in Christ, we encourage people to be looking for our blessed hope. In other words, there’s a promise of blessing just in the anticipation of our Lord’s return. Paul talks about this in 2 Timothy 4:8, “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” It’s considered righteousness for longing and anticipating Christ’s coming.
That eternal crown is not something that I deserve in and of myself, rather it is credited to me by God. Even as I receive it, I’m going to cast it back at Jesus’ feet as an act of worship. So, in all things, our works point back to Jesus Christ.
Nathan Jones: Put your hope in Jesus Christ alone. For those who know Jesus Christ as their Savior, one day you will be either raptured up to Heaven or you’ll die and be resurrected. Either way, you’ll be with your Lord and Savior. Nobody saved will be left behind to endure the Tribulation. You can count on that!