Commentary By: Gordon King
There are many people who fear what is coming upon the world, even many Christians who fear what is to come. They neglect to read and study parts of scripture because of what they perceive as a “doom and gloom” scenario. I believe that this is also the case in many of the churches today in America, they neglect to teach from several parts of the bible, especially from the book of Revelation, because they don’t want to offend anyone nor do they want people to fear what is coming.
Why is it that a Christian would fear what is coming upon the world? Why is that?! It’s because they are not taught correctly, they do not see what the church is headed for and what it’s not. If you are a part of the church then you have nothing to fear but fear itself!
The world will get ugly before the Tribulation period begins, but it will get very, very ugly after it begins. We are to be comforted by the words of the apostle Paul.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.“
For those who say that there is no rapture of the church in the bible think again! The preceding verses from scripture tell us that there most certainly is a rapture of the church. And I believe with all of my heart, mind, and soul that the rapture will take place before the Tribulation period begins, this is the only way for this passage to be comforting to the church! Otherwise how would it be a comfort to know that we would go through the Tribulation period before the rapture? It wouldn’t be much of a comfort at all my friends.
God did not appoint the church to wrath but to salvation through Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.“
The verses immediately following the verse once again tell us to comfort each other regarding the rapture, they tell us about the day of the Lord, that He comes as a thief in the night, and that sudden destruction comes upon them and they shall not escape. I believe that Paul is telling us when the rapture will occur, that it will happen before the Tribulation period. This is the time of God’s wrath upon the wicked not the saints! We are not appointed to wrath but to salvation. To me this is a great comfort to know! We shall escape the Tribulation period. Why would the apostle tell us to comfort one another with these words? This is what we as believers are supposed to be doing!
The apostle Paul goes on to tell us in 2 Thessalonians 2 that the gathering together of us (the church) to Himself will not happen until He who now restrains is taken out of the way, and then the man of sin (the Antichrist) is revealed.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 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. 3 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, 4 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.
5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 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. 8 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. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.“
Who is “He who now restrains”? Who could it be? It could only be the Holy Spirit filled church, the body of Christ living in the world! The Holy Spirit filled church is what is restraining the world from evil, and if you think that the world is bad now just wait until after the Tribulation period begins! Those remaining who did not believe will be sent a strong delusion to believe the lie, that they may be condemned.
If you think that it’s not the Holy Spirit filled church but only the Holy Spirit that will be taken out of the way, think again! The Holy Spirit will be around at all times, the Holy Spirit is God, and God is Omnipresent, He will always be present on earth, always, even without the church.
There are those who don’t believe that the rapture of the church will be pre-Tribulation but mid-Tribulation or post-Tribulation. But I am telling you that the entire Tribulation period is God’s wrath upon the world, not only the second half! Jesus Christ is the only one found worthy to open the seals of the scrolls, and when He does He unleashes wrath upon the world! This won’t be a pleasant time to be living in the world or on earth for that matter. And if the church remains during this time then why is Christ pouring out His wrath upon the church? Why would He punish His bride just before being wed to her? It makes no sense whatsoever! Remember, we are not destined for wrath but for salvation through Jesus Christ.
I can understand some Christians fearing what is coming upon the world if they listen to and believe the mid or post Tribulation rapture views, this would make sense. But God is not pouring out His wrath upon His precious children my friends, He is not going to do it! God loves us dearly, He saved us, we are most precious to Him, we are His prized possessions, why would anyone want to destroy what is most precious to them? They wouldn’t!
When Christians read and study Revelation they fear what is coming because they believe that they will still be here at that time. This is where I believe that they are in error. If we see things from a pre-Tribulation rapture view then we can rest assured that we will be with Jesus Christ in heaven at this time.
This is what we have to look forward to, escaping the wrath of God upon the world, this is a good thing, being with Christ in heaven preparing ourselves for the wedding of the Lamb of God, the actual wedding of the church with Christ, the wedding feast, the Bema Seat Judgment where all believers will be judged according to their works when we shall receive imperishable rewards in heaven that will last forever! God has forgotten the sins of the saints, removed them as far as the East is from the West, we will not be judged for them, Jesus Christ already took that upon Himself for us! How is any of that bad, why should we not look forward to all of these things, and with great joy and excitement?! What is there to fear?
Not only that but we also have many other things to look forward to, such as the changing of our immortal bodies into eternal bodies, bodies like Christ! We also have to look forward to the second coming of Christ to earth, when we shall be riding with Him on white horses, when He comes to take power and control of the earth, when He defeats His and our enemies, when He throws Satan into a bottomless pit for a thousand years! These are wonderful things to look forward to my friends, wonderful things!
And then we have the one thousand-year reign of Christ on earth, when we shall be ruling and reigning with Him, this is a great thing! And after the one thousand years are over we will be living on a new earth, with new heavens, in a new city, Jerusalem! A spectacular city that God has prepared for us, with streets paved with gold, with the tree of life, with things that we never could even imagine, and this will be forever with God! How great and magnificent is that?!
You can look at portions of the bible with doom and gloom if you want to, and if you are not born again then I can understand it, you have nothing to look forward to but doom and gloom! But, if you are a born again child of the Most High God of the universe then you have nothing but good and wonderful things to look forward to, our future is filled with the glory of God Himself!
I choose to believe that the rapture of the church is pre-Tribulation, that it could happen at any time, that there are no prophecies which must be fulfilled for it to happen. I don’t believe for one minute that God has destined us for His wrath upon the world and the wicked, not for one minute! Therefore, I have nothing to fear, only things to look forward to my friends, many miraculous things to look forward to!
God loves us and all He wants is for us to love Him back. And once we do then our fate is sealed by the Holy Spirit. Once we do then we have received the inheritance of God, not the wrath of God! Do not be deceived by evil spirits, do not be led astray, Satan and his demons want you to fear what is coming, they want you to be afraid. But God says otherwise, God tells us that we have many wonderful and beautiful things to look forward to my friends, and they are eternal!
The rapture of the church is coming my friends, it is coming! And when it does the world will be shaken to its core.
God bless my friends! Maranatha!