13 May 2024

Pre-Trib Trigger Points

Many within the Pre-Trib Rapture belief camp understand that the Rapture is dealt with in Jesus’ Olivet Discourse. My dear friend, the late Dave Hunt, gave an excellent session on the subject, which he was assigned to address at a conference.

However, in his uncompromising, straight-ahead way of exposition, Dave changed the title of that session early on the morning of December 1998 at the Pre-Trib Study Group gathering in Dallas from “Is the Rapture in the Olivet Discourse?” to “The Rapture Is in the Olivet Discourse.” He told us who were in attendance that he just couldn’t see how the Rapture of the Church was not in that tremendous prophetic teaching the Lord Himself gave as an answer to His disciples’ question: “What will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world [age]?”

I have both the transcript and the audio of that session; they are treasures I pull out every once in a while to bolster my understanding of God’s Holy Word on the profound matters involved in the pre-Trib Rapture of believers.

Jesus, in the discourse, gave a number of signals that would be prevalent at the time of His return to Earth in the Second Coming. Mixed within His description of coming back in the Second Advent was the first phase of that return to the earth.

The first things He said to look for were deception and deceiversHe went on to say there would be great upheaval among the populations of Earth. There would be, He said, great ethnic strife.

He further said there would be signs in the sun, moon, and stars. There would be pestilences and an increase of earthquakes in many places. He said that eventually, these terrible things going on would get so frightening that people’s hearts would fail them when they look at what is coming their way.

He stated that the entire world of rebels against God and His order would increasingly come to hate both the disciples—who, of course, were Christians by this time—and the Jewish people. The people with reprobate minds (Romans 1:28) would think to kill both classes of those who are associated with God. For unbelieving Israel – the Jews of the seven-year Tribulation era – persecution by the one who will become Antichrist, the world’s final great dictator, would eventuate in the most terrible time in human history. It would be the same for those, both Jews and Gentiles, who will have accepted Christ for salvation during that horrendous time. Most of these would be martyred—many beheaded—for their belief. For those accepting Antichrist’s satanic mark (Revelation 13:16–18), the wrath and judgment of God would be even worse than for the martyred saints.

So we come to Luke 21:28. Jesus commanded all who are alive when these signals become obvious to do the following:

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”

With this great commandment by the Lord Himself to look for these signals of His return in the first phase of His Second Advent–that is, when they begin to come to pass—we must consider whether we’re now witnessing the pre-Trib trigger points to the Rapture of the Church.

The things we’ve seen “coming to pass” for quite some time include the following:

>Deception in every direction we look. Just the political deception alone is in our faces daily. But the lies coming even from governmental institutions, attempting to change America into an anti-God mindset, cannot be missed.

>The seas of humanity are roaring; there is great ethnic upheaval. Protests are no longer peaceful but are turning into physical battles, especially among the young on the campuses of higher education. Much of this turmoil is being fomented by the very professors who are supposed to be teaching the young.

>The hatred of the Jews is on the rise as it was in the late 1930s of Nazi Germany, bringing to mind our Lord telling about the hatred that would eventuate. Zechariah’s words (Zechariah chapter 12) are being borne out. Israel and Jerusalem are becoming a “cup of trembling” and a “burdensome stone” for the entire world.

>Additionally, we see the stage being set for Antichrist controls once the Rapture takes the Church to Glory. Artificial intelligence, fused with demonically inspired acumen, will give Satan’s man of sin godlike powers in the eyes of those left behind on earth to suffer under Antichrist’s rule.

>And, of course, there is the unmistakable pre-Trib trigger point of looming globalism storming upon the world scene in preparation for that son of perdition. Antichrist will take over when the Restrainer, resident within the Christians who are with the Lord in the Rapture, no longer holds back evil. Antichrist’s dictatorship is even now in its late stage of development, as the following analysis indicates.

Planetary Emergency

Over the last couple of years, the phrase “planetary emergency” has become increasingly used by the United Nations and aligned organizations to describe their belief that the planet is passing from various states of crisis to emergencies from which humanity might not return unless drastic action is taken. We have even seen the release of opinion pieces calling for “a formal declaration of a ‘planetary emergency’ by the UN General Assembly at the Summit of the Future in September and the activation of an ‘emergency platform.’”

The calls for declaration of an emergency have also reached the White House. Last week, Bloomberg reported the Biden administration is considering declaring a climate emergency.

“White House officials have renewed discussions about potentially declaring a national climate emergency, an unprecedented step that could unlock federal powers to stifle oil development,” Bloomberg wrote.

White House spokesperson Angelo Fernandez Hernandez told Bloomberg that Biden “has treated the climate crisis as an emergency since day one.” (“UN 2.0 Coming This Fall—Setting the Stage for Global Government,” Derrick Broze, Activist Post, May 1, 2024)

All we must do is observe the anti-Semitism—the growing, worldwide hatred of Jews—to know we are very late in the final hours of this Age of Grace. I believe that, soon, Jews in America will become so fearful as to want to move to Israel, where God’s Word says all of Israel will eventually accept their Messiah. Now, of course, that means only the prophesied remnant of Israel will believe and be saved to go into the Millennium under the King of all kings. But the things that are coming against Jews of America at this very moment look to be something that will only grow worse in the prophetic sense. Likely, this movement to Israel in total won’t happen until all Christians have gone to be with Christ. Few defenders of Israel will be left once the Rapture happens. And all the pre-Trib trigger points seem to be in place for that to occur very, very soon.

Whether Jew or Gentile, here is how to go to the Lord Jesus Christ when He calls all believers to Himself, thus fulfilling His promise of Revelation 3:10:

“That if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and will believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”(Romans 10:9–10).


Rapture Weariness

It was a warm evening, and the window in my college dorm room was open wide. I don’t recall if I decided to give in to the drowsiness I felt or if I just dozed off in the midst of studying. Suddenly, the loud blaring of a trumpet awoke me from a deep sleep, and I instantly thought, “This is it, the Rapture!”

That was fifty years ago. I had just finished reading The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey, and for a fleeting moment, I imagined an upward pull of my body toward the ceiling.

What I might have regarded as signs of the approaching Tribulation five decades ago pale in significance to the signs that abound all around us today. Yet we still wait and feel a bit impatient for the Lord to intervene in a world that’s gone crazy.

I remember an illustration that JD Farag used a few years back. He compared the events of our world to the stretching of a rubber band, which at some point will break. When I look at today’s world, particularly recent events in America, it seems as though we are well past the snapping of the rubber band. The Lord is holding things together until the appointed time; He’s keeping the rubber band intact, for now.

In the U.S., inflation continues to soar far beyond the official numbers with no end in sight. The impact of higher insurance rates for cars and homes, along with hikes in property taxes, will push many more families to the breaking point.

I’m amazed that we still exist as a nation. I often wonder if America’s enemies are not attacking, either from within or without, because they sense it will soon implode and they can pick up the pieces.

Is it any wonder that we grow increasingly fatigued as we wait for Jesus to take us home? If you feel increasingly weary in your wait for Jesus’ appearing, I understand.

That’s why I want to share a couple of truths from Scripture that recently helped with my Rapture weariness.

The Father Has Set the Time

I recently came across these verses from Psalm 75 that brought a degree of relief to my impatience:

“At the set time that I appoint
I will judge with equity.
When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants,
it is I who keep steady its pillars.” Selah (vv. 2-3).

Although these verses don’t refer to the Rapture, they speak to God’s judgments upon the world that will occur soon after Jesus takes us home to glory. They reminded me of His sovereignty over all things. He sees all that’s happening around us today, and He will surely respond. It’s not a matter of if the Rapture happens soon, followed by the day-of-the-Lord judgments (see 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10), but when.

Jesus referred to the Father’s role in setting the timing for end-time events in both Matthew 24:36 and Acts 1:7. Perhaps it’s because we cannot know the day or the hour that the Lord instructs us to remain watchful (Matthew 24:44).

These thoughts helped soothe my anxious feelings. Contrary to what the scoffers tell us, the Rapture and seven-year Tribulation will most certainly happen. The two-thousand-year gap between Jesus’ command for us to wait and today has not nullified Jesus’ solemn promise to take us to Heaven (John 14:2-3). If anything, what we see today intensifies our expectation of meeting Jesus in the air in the near future.

Although waiting for Jesus’ appearing is not easy at times, we know it will surely happen because God the Father long ago determined when it would happen. We trust His perfect timing for all things.

It Will Be Worth the Wait

Waiting for the Rapture reminds me of past vacations where the arrival at the destination made the arduous journey to get there worthwhile. When Jesus appears, the glory we will then experience will instantly make us forget about dreary weeks and months of waiting for it to happen.

The greatest tragedy that flows from the silence regarding the Rapture in most pulpits today is that it focuses the attention of the saints on this life where they find no solace for these perilous times. Some hear that the church will prevail against the evils of our time. Others believe that our world will eventually return to a sense of normalcy.

It’s because we know what Scripture says about wonders ahead for us in eternity that we can face the extreme wickedness, lawlessness, deception, and violence around us. Hearing about the promise of Jesus’ appearing reminds us that a far better day is coming, one that will exceed anything we can now imagine!

Paul summed up the New Testament mindset regarding the fact that whatever we suffer in the interim, our experience at Jesus’ appearing will be so much worth the wait.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).

Romans 8:23-24 clarifies that the apostle had the Rapture in mind when he wrote about “glory” ahead for us. It’s at Jesus’ appearing that we will fully experience our “adoption as sons” and receive “the redemption of our bodies.” Imagine enduring all the affliction and persecution that Paul experienced and then saying that our experience when we get to Heaven will be so spectacular that it’s beyond comparison with all the grief of this life.

The days may be long in this vale of tears, but oh, what a joyous and glorious day awaits when the trumpet sounds (for real) and we meet Jesus in the air.