The Bible gives us five proofs that the rapture comes before the wrath of God is poured out at the end of this age. The proofs are listed as follows:
1. GOD HAS PROMISED TO DELIVER US
God will not pour out His wrath on any innocent people because that would be unjust. From His perspective, believers are innocent because the price for their sins has been paid in full by the blood of Jesus the Messiah. Therefore He will not pour out His wrath on His own people because they are righteous in His sight. Here are several scriptures showing that God has promised to deliver His people from the wrath to come:
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. (Romans 5:9)
Wait for His Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come. (1 Thess 1:10)
For God has not destined us to wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we live together with Him. (1 Thess 5:9-10)
2. GOD PROTECTS THE 144,000 BOND-SERVANTS
The Bible reveals specific actions that will be taken by God and His angels during the tribulation period to protect His people from His wrath. For example, consider how the angels protect the 144,000 bond-servants.
In Revelation chapter 7 the four angels of God who had the power to harm the earth were told not to release any harm until the bond-servants of God were protected by the seal. It was granted to these angels to harm the earth and the sea. Before they released any harm, another angel with the seal of God said to them, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads” (Revelation 7:1-3) After that the seal of God was put on the forehead of 144,000 bond-servants of God. 12,000 came from each of the 12 tribes of Israel.
Later, in Revelation chapter 9, locusts from the pit are told they can harm everyone on earth except those who have the seal of God on their forehead. The locusts were given instructions to harm only those people who do not have the seal of God on the foreheads.
They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them. (Revelation 9:4-6)
The protective seal not only shows God’s plan to protect His people, but it also shows the rest of His people have already been removed from the earth in the rapture. This is a logical conclusion based on God’s promises to deliver His people from the coming wrath (as shown above) and His instructions to the locusts to harm everyone except for the 144,000 bond-servants who had the seal of God on their foreheads. God would not promise to deliver His people from His wrath, then instruct the locusts to harm His people. Therefore, we can conclude the rest of God’s servants had already been removed from the earth in the rapture. Otherwise, God would be going out of His way to protect a relatively small number of His servants while instructing the locusts to harm the rest of His servants. That makes no sense.
3. GOD WILL CUT SHORT THOSE DAYS
Another example of God’s protection of His people is found in a statement made by Jesus. He told us the seven-year period will be cut short for the sake of His people, the chosen ones, also called the elect.
Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the chosen ones those days will be cut short. (Matthew 24:22)
To understand what Jesus meant when He said those days will be cut short, we must understand what days He was referring to. He provided the complete list of events in Matthew chapter 24. There He identified the events happening during the first half of the seven year period. Then He identified the events happening in the middle of the seven-year period. Then He identified the events happening in the second half of the seven-year period. Reading His comments in context shows that He called the first half the tribulation period and described it as a time when believers would be persecuted, hated, and killed.
Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. (Matthew 24:9-10)
Then Jesus described the events occurring in the middle of the seven-year period, which is the Abomination of Desolation, which is when the antichrist takes his seat in the temple in Jerusalem, displaying himself to be God. Then He describes the events that come after the midpoint, which marks the beginning of what He called the great tribulation. As bad as things were in the first half, they get far worse after the Abomination of Desolation.
For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. (Matthew 24:21-22)
So Jesus called the first half of the seven-year period the “tribulation” and the second half the “great tribulation”. The tribulation period lasts three and a half years whereas the great tribulation period will be cut short for the sake of His chosen ones because that is when the wrath of God is poured out. The wrath of God is not poured out during the first half of the seven-year period, but there will be great persecution during that time.
The seven-year period is not cut short. It is only the trouble being caused by Satan through the antichrist that will be cut short. It will be cut short by the return of the Lord when He comes to gather together His people and pour out His wrath on the antichrist and all unrepentant sinners. This is the day of the Lord.
Contrary to what many people think, the day of the Lord does not come at the end of the seven-year period. It comes during the second half of the seven-year period, cutting short the great tribulation. The outpouring of the wrath of God puts an end to the great tribulation. That is what Jesus meant when He said those days would be cut short for the sake of His chosen ones. The Lord will gather together His chosen ones, which is the rapture. He will then proceed to slay the nations to destroy all ungodliness and the kingdom of the antichrist.
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. 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. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. (Revelation 24:29-31)
Just as Jesus said, the rapture comes immediately after the tribulation, not after the seven-year period has ended and certainly not before it begins. At the time when the Son of Man comes on the clouds of the sky, He sends forth His angels to gather together His chosen ones, which is the rapture of the church. So His promise to cut short the great tribulation is further evidence that the rapture comes before the wrath of God.
4. THE RAPTURED CHURCH IS BEFORE THE THRONE
In Revelation chapter 7, John saw the raptured church standing before the throne of God. It was a great multitude, too many to count, from every nation and language. The elder explained to John that these people came out of the great tribulation. It would not be possible for them to come out of the great tribulation unless they were in it to start with. (As a side note, the fact that they came out of the great tribulation reveals that they were also in the tribulation period because it precedes the great tribulation period.)
Not only did they come out of it, but the elder also explained how they suffered while they were in the great tribulation. They endured hunger, thirst, exposure to the elements as if they had been displaced from their homes, and the shedding of tears. Their days of suffering were over now that they were in heaven. God will wipe away their tears.
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “My lord, you know.”
And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:9-17)
We are not told specifically how this great multitude exited the earth to get to heaven. Given the large number of them with all of them coming during the same short period of time, it is not likely they all died of natural causes. It is also not likely they were martyred because other passages identify people who were martyred. Martyrs are honored for laying down their lives. Failure to acknowledge their ultimate sacrifice would be showing disrespect for what they did. Therefore, we can conclude the great multitude before the throne left the earth in the rapture. This is further evidence of God’s plan to deliver His people from the coming wrath of God through the rapture.
5. RAPTURE COMES ON THE DAY OF THE LORD
The proof for this point was so long I made it into a separate post. Don’t miss this one because it is loaded with insights into the scriptures! Click this link: The Rapture Comes on the Day of the Lord.
In conclusion, there are five reasons why we know God will protect His people from the wrath to come:
- God promised us that He would.
- God demonstrates it by protecting the 144,000 bond-servants from the locusts.
- God will cut short the great tribulation for the sake of His chosen ones.
- The Bible reveals the raptured church standing before the throne of God.
- The rapture comes on the day of the Lord.
For more information about the coming rapture of the church, see the following posts:
- Ten Things that Must Happen Before the Rapture
- Proof that the Rapture Comes on the Day of the Lord
- Corrie Ten Boom: Beware of False Teaching of Pre-Tribulation Rapture
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Author: James Bailey
James Bailey is an author, business owner, husband and father of two children. His vision is to broadcast the good news of Jesus Christ through blog sites and other media outlets.
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