Most of us who have been in mainstream Christianity have heard about the rapture. The rapture is the idea that Jesus will suddenly return and remove the church from this world. Mainstream Christianity is conflicted on when this will happen, some say it happens before the great tribulation, and some say it happens in the midst of it while others say it happens at the end of it. But is this what the Bible teaches?
We know from previous teachings which the chosen people of Yahweh (God) is. It is not those who are born in Israel or born from a bloodline of Jews. It is and will always be those who obey the Torah of Yahweh and believe in what Yeshua did for them at the cross. They are the true Jews, Gods chosen Israel. (Rom 2:29, Exodus 19:5, Lev 17:11, John 3:16)
In Matthew 24:29-31 Yeshua (Jesus) describes His second coming. It will happen immediately after the tribulation and everyone who is alive at the time will see it happening. When He comes back He will gather His chosen people to Him from the four corners of the world. Everyone who is alive at the time will see this happen and they will mourn and grieve the fact that they are not amongst His chosen people.
So to understand Matthew 24:29-31 we first have to understand the identity of His chosen people. Who are the elect people of Yeshua, those He will gather from the four corners of the earth when He returns? Rom 2:29, Exodus 19:5, Lev 17:11, John 3:16 gives us the answer. When He returns, He will gather to Himself all people, regardless of bloodline, who obeys His Torah and believes in Yeshua dying for them on a cross.
So the people who will be “raptured” is not the church, and it is not the Jews born in Israel. It is all people, regardless of bloodline, who believes in the cross and obeys His Torah.
But when He returns, there will be Christians who will expect to be raptured. They have bought into the lie that the Torah has been done away with. Those people will mourn and grieve because they will not be the one who is gathered to Him. This happens every day when a Christian who believes the Torah has been done away with dies. Every day millions if not billions of Christians end up in hell after having heard those terrible words in Matthew 7:21-23 “Depart from me for I never knew you”.
Do not believe the lie the Torah has been done away with!
Right now at this very moment, there are Christians who have died and heard those terrible words. They lived their lives believing everything was ok because they had “asked Jesus into their hearts” one time in their lives. So when they died, they expected to be welcomed home to heaven. Instead, they got to hear Jesus denying that He ever knew them, and now they are in the outer darkness where there are weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Luke 13:27,28)
So do NOT believe the lie the Torah has been done away with!
Believe Yeshua died for you and believe and obey the Torah.
But what about 1.Thes 4:17?
1.Thes 4:17 is not describing a rapture before the great tribulation. It is illustrating in further detail what happens in Matthew 24:29-31. When Yeshua returns, His chosen people (all people regardless of bloodline who believes in the cross and obeys the Torah), will be caught up to meet Him in the air. If we are alive at the time, we will be changed in the twinkling of an eye. We will be changed from being in a mortal body to suddenly having an immortal body. When we have met Him in the air, we will not go with Him to heaven. We will instead follow Him to Jerusalem and live with Him forever in the New Jerusalem on this earth.
The Bible does not teach that the church will be raptured before the great tribulation. There will be a rapture, but that will happen after the great tribulation. It will not be the church that gets raptured; it will be the biblical Jews. A biblical Jew is the one, regardless of bloodline and ancestry, who believes in the cross and obeys the Torah. We are the ones who will be caught up to meet our Lord in the air when He returns. We will then accompany Him to Jerusalem in Israel where we will live together with Him forever and ever.
So make sure you are one of us who will be caught up to meet Him in the air when He returns. Make sure you obey the Torah and believe in the cross of Yeshua. It does not matter if you are born Jewish or born a gentile. What matters is what you believe. If you believe in the cross of Yeshua and you obey the Torah, the Bible says you are a Jew.
We do not know for sure when the great tribulation will begin. But we know all Jews who are alive at the time will experience it. We will have to go through the great tribulation. But we also know from Deut 28:1-13 that we have nothing to fear. Yahweh, our Elohim, will protect us, provide for us and fight for us.
We do not know for sure if we will be alive when this happens. But we know for sure we are all going to die one day. Right now, at this very moment, there are billions of Christians dying on this earth. Some experience physical death because of natural causes, some because of violence and accidents. They expect to be let into heaven when they die. They expect to be welcomed home by Jesus because they have “asked Jesus into their hearts.”
The sad truth is this, most of them have been told the lie the Torah was done away with at the cross. So they died believing all they had to do was to “ask Jesus into their hearts” because He did it all and they did not have to do anything. Those people are not in heaven right now.
When they died, they heard the terrible words “depart from me for I never knew you” (Matthew 7:21-23) and then they were cast out into the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Luke 13:27,28)
We do not know when Yeshua will return and the great tribulation will begin. We do not know when we will die. But make sure you are ready for His return and your physical death. Make sure you believe in the cross and what He did for you, and make sure to obey the Torah. For if you do this, you can know for sure you will be caught up to meet Him in the air when He returns no matter if you are alive or dead when He returns. And if you are going to die before He returns, you will know for sure He will be standing at the door to heaven welcoming you home.