Christians will not be spared from persecution. Christians have never been spared from persecution. There will be many false prophets that arise and lie to people. He who stands firm to the end will be saved. “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matt. 24:9-13). We will need to stand firm and loyal to our testimony and to the Word of God, and not fall away. Because of this testimony, we will be hated and killed. “And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held” (Rev. 6:7-9). People may argue that God’s children would never need to undergo this kind of persecution or trials, that we will be spared from it all. Biblical? No. The fact is, dying for Christ (if necessary) has always been God’s will. “Then Paul answered, what mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, the will of the Lord be done” (Acts 21:13-14). We do not need to fear these things, for God will give us strength and grace, but we need to know the truth of God’s Word and not believe in fiction from the false prophets or fiction books. “The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace” (Psalm 29:11).
The ‘secret rapture’ – Biblical?
Every person will grow ‘together’ until the ‘harvest time’, not at separate times, 7 years prior to the harvest time. At ‘harvest time’, the angels (Matt. 13:39, Matt. 24:31,39) immediately after the tribulation (Matt. 24:29) will gather together His elect, which will happen at Christ’s appearing, at the end of the age, and will not be a quiet event (1 Thess. 4:16), but will be at the last trump (1 Cor. 15:52), and this harvest time (the time at Christ’s return) will be like the flood in Noah’s day when people were just going about their ordinary business, not paying attention and not ready, “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah” (Matt. 24:37), and at this harvest, at the ‘coming of the Son of Man’, not prior to the harvest, one will be taken and one left (the weeds to be burned, and the wheat into the ‘barn’), the flood analogy is not referring to anytime prior to the return of the Son of Man, but the time of his appearing (his coming, his descending), “and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man” (Matt. 24:39): “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn'” (Matthew 13:24-30).
2 Peter 3:10 makes it clear that when Jesus comes like a thief, it is not referring to a secret, quiet event…but is referring to His coming, the day of the Lord, THAT will be like a thief, and the elements will be destroyed by fire and the earth and the works therein shall be burned up and there will be a “terrible noise”. This scripture cannot be used to support a secret, quiet disappearance 7 years prior to the return of Christ which is not accompanied by intense heat and a loud noise. Those who teach this, twist the verse, knowingly or unknowingly.
Our hope should be in the return of Christ, the ‘second coming’. Grace will be brought to us when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. He will be revealed, it won’t be secretive. “Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” 1 Peter 1:13-16
God’s ‘elect’, God’s chosen, are gathered by angels, with a great sound, after the tribulation, at the return of Christ, at the ‘second coming’, there is only one return of Christ, on that day, and many will mourn on that day: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other”. (Matthew 24:29-31)
The word ‘rapture’ is not found anywhere in the Bible. But, ‘caught up’ is – in 1 Thessalonians 4. Those who teach that there will be a ‘secret rapture’ where believers in Christ will secretly, instantly and quietly be ‘caught up’ (or disappear!) seven years BEFORE (‘prevent’ or ‘preceding’) the resurrection of the dead and seven years BEFORE the return of Christ (his descending, with a shout, the last trump)…are ignoring this passage of scripture which states that believers being ‘caught up’ is not a secret disappearance AT ALL, but a loud event, and it cannot and will not occur BEFORE or ‘PRECEDE’ the resurrection of the dead, but immediately AFTER: “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the COMING OF THE LORD shall not PREVENT them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a SHOUT, with the voice of the archangel, and with the TRUMP of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise FIRST: THEN we which are alive and remain shall be CAUGHT UP together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with THESE words”. To make the ‘secret, pre-trib rapture’ true…the resurrection of the dead would have to happen seven years prior to the return of Christ, at the beginning of the tribulation, and besides, the resurrection of the dead is not a secretive event at all. I think people would notice if the dead were rising from their graves!!! That’s not secretive. The Bible does not contradict itself. The secret rapture is a theory, but cannot be proven in scripture (if so, I have yet to find the scriptures that do prove such a theory, because I have found that the scriptures which are used by rapture teachers, are twisted out of their context). Why does it matter? People need to know the Truth so they will not fall away from the faith when they are not rescued from persecution.