Q: Pastor Rogers, do you believe that the church will
be taken from the earth before or after the great tribulation?
A: Now, I want to give you three reasons why I believe
that the church is going to be raptured before the great tribulation.
Here are three words to write on your heart: explanation, expectation,
and edification. First of all theres an explanation: were
not appointed to wrath. Secondly, theres an expectation:
Jesus can come at any moment. Finally, there is edification:
comfort comes from knowing that Jesus could come at any moment.
1. Explanation: First, Paul gives us an explanation about
Gods wrath. God chastises His children, but His wrath is
for the unsaved. 1 Thessalonians 5:9 states, For God hath
not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord
Jesus delivered us from the wrath to
come. God delivers His children from His wrath. Two classic examples
are Noah and Lot. Both men lived in times of economic prosperity
and moral perversion, without thought of destruction (Luke 17:26-30).
In those days, the sin that used to slink down the back alleys
was strutting down main street! Wrath was due for both societies.
But, before the flood came, God took Noah out and put him in
the ark. Before the fire fell on Sodom and Gomorrah, God took
Lot out of the city. God hath not appointed His children to wrath.
2. Expectation: Not only is there an explanation, theres
an expectation. Paul was expecting Christ. Look in 1Thessalonians
5:10: Who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we
should live together with Him. Paul says we.
He was expecting Jesus in his lifetime. Was Paul wrong? No, Paul
was right. Go back to chapter 4, verse 17. Paul is explaining
the rapture and he says: Then we which are alive and remain
shall be caught up with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord
in the air. He included himself. That was two thousand
years ago. Two thousand years ago they were living on the edge
of eternity. Were always on the edge of eternity. As Paul
was expecting Christ, we should be expecting Christ. If the tribulation
comes first, then were not looking for Christ, were
looking for anti-Christ. Paul was looking for the Lord Jesus
Christ. Like Paul, we need to be looking for Jesus at any moment.
3. Edification: Look in 1 Thessalonians 5, verse 11: Wherefore,
comfort yourselves together and edify one another, even as also
ye do. Now, the fact that Jesus is coming at any moment
is a great comfort and a great edification. (1 Thess. 16-18).
If I believed the church was going to go through seven years
of a time so horrible and so terrible that Jesus, Jeremiah, Daniel
and Joel all said, theres never, never been a day like
that--how do you think that would edify me?
Even so, come great tribulation? No, even so, come Lord Jesus.
Im not looking for anti-Christ, Im looking for Christ.
Im waiting for the trumpet sound at any moment. Just as
God said, Noah, go into that ark-and just as God said, Lot, get
out of that city; Hes going to say to His church, Come
up hither! And the trumpet will sound, and were going
to meet Jesus just like that.