We’re going to be talking today about Luke 12 and Matthew 24.
Post-tribulation rapture believers will insist that there is a rapture after the tribulation. We believe in this too! Yet, we believe that this is for tribulation saints. The church-age Christians have their own rapture before the tribulation. These are different. Before the tribulation saints get raptured, the church is already up in heaven at the marriage.
To support this, let’s look at Matthew 24. This is the famous passage that proves a post-tribulation rapture.
Matthew 24:42-44: “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”
Jesus is telling them that He will come like a thief and that they should be ready. Yet if you look at verses 15, 16, and 20, you’ll notice that this is all talking about Jews. This is not for the Christians.
Now let’s go to Luke 12. We know that this rapture will come like a thief and that we should be watching for it. Notice the wording of ‘aware’ and ‘had known’. Now notice a similar wording here in Luke 12.
Luke 12:39: “And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.”
These passages match!
Let’s work backward now.
- Verse 38 says, “And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.”
- Verse 37 says, “Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” So Christ comes down and raptures people up to join Him at His meal in heaven.
- Verse 36 then says, “And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.”
This clearly says that He will be returning from the marriage where the Christian church will already be! How can the wedding take place if the bride of the church is not present?
Revelation 19:7: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.”
The church has been made ready for the wedding, meaning the church has been raptured for the wedding before the events of Luke 12. To go even further,
Ephesians 5:30: “for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
This proves that the wife of the wedding is the church! All of these line up to prove that Christ is returning from the wedding with the church in Luke 12.
This means that the church has been raptured long before the tribulation saints are raptured. This makes sense when you look at the first seal of Revelation 6. What did Revelation 5 say? People are already in heaven, washed in the blood of the Lamb. The marriage supper cannot be after the tribulation. Jesus continues the wedding when He returns to rapture the tribulation saints. If you say that it starts after the tribulation, how are you going to explain Luke 12 when He returns from the wedding when He begins the rapture for tribulation saints?
Matthew 22:8-14: “Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.”
It seems as though a stranger invades the wedding. How could this happen if the wedding was in heaven? Therefore, it must continue on earth after the tribulation. God wants all people to partake in the marriage feast. He doesn’t start a second wedding. He merely continues it when He returns.
- Church gets raptured before the tribulation begins.
- Tribulation begins on earth (but the church is gone).
- The marriage supper takes place in heaven during the tribulation (church).
- The tribulation Jews (saints who are martyred) get raptured and are invited to the marriage supper.