What is your future in the Rapture? Find out with speaker Dr. Nathan Jones along with host Tim Moore on the television program, Christ in Prophecy!
Air Date: June 24, 2023
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Nathan Jones: Greetings in the name of Jesus our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy! We’re so glad you’ve joined us for the second in our four-episode series titled, “Hope Springs Eternal.”
Tim Moore: The rapid moral decay of our society has caused many Christians to lose hope that things will ever get any better. That’s why in March of 2023, Nathan and I were joined by our ministry’s founder David Reagan, Doug Cobb of The Finishing Fund, and Bob Russell of Bob Russell Ministries for a very special regional conference. We met at Hikes Point Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, along with hundreds of like-minded believers. Our goal was to rekindle passion for what the Bible calls our Blessed Hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Likewise, through this series, we hope to also ignite your passion for our Lord’s soon return.
Nathan Jones: In our first episode, Dr. Reagan addressed the hope that was—identifying the Judeo-Christian hope that once guided America before our nation lost its way. Knowing that we cannot place our faith in any government, I will now identify just Who we can place our hope and trust in — Jesus Christ — and His promise to call His Church home to be with Him in an event called the Rapture.
And, since I am addressing the Rapture, we’ll follow with a pertinent answer to a question from our Question and Answers session, “Will the Rapture occur in the middle of the Tribulation?”
Part 1: Presentation by Dr. Nathan E. Jones
Nathan Jones: Do you know that the Bible teaches that one particular generation of the Church will not experience death? Isn’t that interesting? Let’s see what the Bible has to say about that.
Now, this promise is tied to Jesus’s promise, John 14 “I will come back and take you to be with Me.” Do you know the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is the most talked about event in the entire Bible? There are 500 prophecies in the Old Testament and 1 in 25 verses in the New Testament talk about the return of Jesus Christ. Now that 300 general prophecies and 109 specific prophecies about Jesus First Coming, and Jesus fulfilled how many of those prophecies in His First Coming? All 100%. So if you fulfilled all 100% of the First Coming prophecies, how much will He fulfill of the Second Coming prophecies? 100%.
You know folks there is a quick video I want to show you that shows what is the probability of Jesus Christ just fulfilling 8 of those 109?
I’m Nathan Jones with your Bible Prophecy Insight. Can math prove the accuracy of Bible prophecy? Well, let’s start with just 8 of the 108 prophecies fulfilled in Jesus’s life. Mathematician Peter Stoner calculated that the probability of all eight being fulfilled in the life of one person is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That’s 17 zeros. That’d be like filling the entire state of Texas two feet deep in quarters. Mark just one. Throw it in. The odds would be like walking for days, and then the very first coin picked up, that would be the one with the mark. Impossible, right? Not if the Bible is truly God’s Word. To learn more about Bible prophecy, visit us at lamblion.com.
People ask me afterwards, they say, did you get to keep all those quarters? I said, No, they’re bitcoins. Okay. Well, do you know that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, that’s one of my spiritual dad jokes, by the way. Just okay. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ coincides with what’s going to become the worst time period in all of human history. It’s called the Time of Jacob’s Trouble or Daniel’s 70th Week Prophecy or the Tribulation. It says how awful that day will be, none will be like it, it will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it. So we know that this begins, this time period with a covenant between Israel and the Antichrist. And Daniel 9 tells us that this tribulation time period coming upon the world would last for seven years.
Now, what is the purpose of God bringing a tribulation time period onto this earth? There are three reasons for it. For one, God’s going to punish evil. He’s going to pour out His wrath on the world for the evil that it has done. Dictionary.com describes wrath as vengeance or punishment as a consequence of anger. The Lord compares it to a cup that, as His anger fills at the sins of humanity, eventually it will overflow and that’s when He will act. It’s a unique time in the world, kind of like the Flood which came and destroyed the world to punish the world for its evil, the Tribulation is just like that. It’s a special time of God’s wrath. So the first purpose is for God to punish evil.
Number two, it’s to force a decision on the people. Now, when you have 21 judgments of God in the Book of Revelation, raining down destruction and earthquakes and the Antichrist’s repressive military coming and killing you, then you know that it’s a terrible time. And when terrible times come, what do people do? They bow a knee and turn to Jesus Christ.
Particularly the Lord is going to regather the Jewish people out of all the corners of the world and bring them back into the land of Israel. And the Bible says a remnant, a third of the Jewish people, will give their lives to Jesus Christ during that time. Matter of fact, there may be more people saved during the Tribulation than all the 2,000 years of Church history. Praise the Lord. So to punish evil, force a decision.
And my favorite for the Messiah’s victory to finally come. He’s going to return. He’s going to fight Satan, the false prophet and the Antichrist. We’re going to watch folks, and we’re going to see Jesus be victorious and set up His Kingdom on this earth of peace, and righteousness, and justice. And that’s what He’s going to come back for.
Now, you’re probably saying, Nathan, am I going to have to live during these 21 judgments? Demonic locusts, stinging people, the sky blackening, an oppressive government killing people, earthquakes that destroy a third of the world, no drinking water by the end of it. So few people that survive it that by the end of the Tribulation the angels gather enough people and it fills one valley, the Valley of Jehoshaphat. Will we as Christians have to live through that? Let’s see what the Bible says. Of course, right. Let’s go to Ephesians 5:6, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things God’s wrath comes on (who) those who are disobedient.” Now, who are those who are disobedient? Those who haven’t grasped onto Jesus’s lifeline of salvation. If you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are the obedient. So He’s talking about the disobedient, the people that are living in rebellion against God. Romans 5:9 confirms that believers in Christ will be saved from God’s wrath. “Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him.”
Or 1 Thessalonians 5:9, “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath, but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
How about 1 Thessalonians 1:10, “And to wait for His Son from Heaven, whom He raised from the dead, Jesus, who (does what) rescues us.” Rescues us, thank you. Yes. This is an exciting thing. You’re allowed to get excited. I know this is Kentucky you all don’t get very excited about things other than basketball. But yes, it’s an exciting thing.
All right, Colossians 3:4, “When Christ who is your life appears, then you will (what) also appear with Him in glory.” Yes, yes.
Or how about Revelation 3:10, “I will also keep you from (what) that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.” So folks, again and again and again in these verses, the promises made that those who put their trust in Jesus Christ, who are saved, are members of the Church universal, and the Church is the Bride of Christ. And the Bride of Christ is promised never to have to endure the wrath of God. Certainly the wrath of man, the wrath of Satan, sometimes Christians give wrath to each other, but for the most part, we do never, ever have to experience the wrath of God. Therefore, the Church will never experience the seven year Tribulation. I know it’s early. Keep it going. Alright.
There are examples in the Bible of this happening. This is God’s M.O. So to speak. Look at Enoch, for instance. Hebrews 11:5 says “By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: ‘He could not be found, because God had taken him away.’ For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.” Now Enoch lived and was taken up to heaven just before the flooding on this earth. But God needed to repopulate humanity. Right? So he had Noah. But what did he do? He put Noah in the ark, and the animals, and He put them above His wrath as the earth was flooded. Same with Lot. Lot was taken out of Sodom and Gomorrah before God’s wrath fell upon those cities. And Rahab was taken out of Jericho as its destruction was assured.
So again, and again, and again, when the Lord has His children in view, He rescues them from His own wrath. Now, if Jesus promised to spare us from the wrath, those who have accepted His lifeline of salvation, how is He going to do it? Well, how is He going to do it? Well, the Bible says, turn in your Bibles, please to 1 Thessalonians 4, I love the rustling of papers. Very good. “After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so will we will be with the Lord forever.” This term caught up in the original Hebrew because, you know, the Bible wasn’t written in King James English, right? I mean, some people say it was, but it wasn’t. It was written in Greek and Hebrew, a little Aramaic there. And the original term for caught up is harpazo. Now, when the Bible was translated into Latin, the Latin Vulgate, which is the only Bible we had for 1,100 years, it was translated to rapio. And then when that Latin Vulgate was translated to English, the word rapio was transliterated into the word rapture. So you hear people say, I can’t find that word rapture in the Bible. Well, if you read Latin, which I’m sure we all do, you will find the word rapio, in the Bible. But since we don’t, it’s been translated caught up. So the concept is there of Rapture.
Now, what is it like? What is that concept? You all like pizza? Now what do you do when you order a pizza and you go pick it up? It’s sitting there hot and ready, right? And you go in and you snatch it up. You rapture it out of that pizza parlor and you take it home with you. And the concept is the same thing. Now you’re all probably want lunch. But it’s true. So I could call it the great snatching up, or the great taking away, but let’s make it easy, let’s just call it the Rapture. Are we agreed? All right. Don’t send me angry emails. It’s there. I guarantee it.
Now we can find the Rapture described in a number of Scriptures in the Bible. I have to leave the pizza now, you’re ready. Okay, John 14, switch over there, verse one “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. (Where)My Father’s house has many rooms; if I were not so, I would have told you. I’m going, (where) there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, (Jesus will do what), I will come back and take (who) you to be with Me. That you also may be where I am. You know the way of the place where I’m going.” Where is that place? Right, Heaven. Excuse. I’m getting so excited, I’m verklempt.
Okay. Let’s look at Luke 21:36. Excuse me. “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to (what) escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” This verse says, we’re supposed to stay watchful, keep an eye out that we’ll escape this terrible time that’s coming, and we’ll be with the Son of Man, Jesus Himself. Excuse me.
First Corinthians 15. Let’s switch to there. It reads, “I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I’m going to tell you a mystery: (do you like mysteries) we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and (who will be changed) we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ ‘Where, O death, is your victory?'” Some of you sound like you want to die. Okay. Yes, ‘Where, O death, is your victory?’ Where, O death, is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to (who) God! He gives us (what) the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
So now the passage gives us a lot of details about what revelation is going to be like. We can go to learn that not everybody in the last generation of the Church is going to die. Exciting. You know, death isn’t such a bad thing because you know where you’re going. But you hear story after story of the pain of death or the surprise of death. Death isn’t a fun concept for you or anybody around, but we’re going to skip death that generation and receive this 2.0 upgrade. We’re going to get new bodies. Yeah. Yes. No more pains and aches and joint problems and graying hair that won’t lay down when you’re, you know, just all this stuff. It’s going away. We’re getting young bodies probably like 25 or so isn’t that cool.
Now when this happens, when the Rapture happens, folks, it’s going to be lightning fast. Lightning fast. Now, I don’t know if the whole world will see it, but we do know that the Church will see it. First Corinthians 15 says That our bodies are raised imperishable, they’re glorious, in other words, they’re sin free, they’re powerful, they’re spiritual bodies. Not that they’re ghosts, but they’re tangible. They’re spiritual and powerful.
And 1 John 3 says, “When He (Christ) appears, we shall also be like Him Jesus, for we shall see Him as He is.” In other words, our new bodies are based on the template of Jesus’ resurrected body. And remember, Jesus resurrected body was physical. He wasn’t a ghost. Matter of fact, He ate. Yeah. Baptists, yeah. Christians, yeah. Yeah, well you got to eat, right? We love to eat. But He also did some other things that are really cool, right? He just pop into a room and scare the bejezzus out of all the apostles. He loved to do that. And He ascended up to heaven. So who knows? We might have powers and abilities beyond what these current bodies have.
There will also be a trumpet that will be blasted from heaven, which we will hear. And the Bible considers this also Christ’s victory, the Rapture of the Church.
Well, let’s look at another passage, turn your Bibles to 1 Thessalonians 4, and we’re going to start with verse 13, it says, “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, (in other words, who die in Christ,) or to grieve like the rest of men who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him, who’ve already died in Christ. According to the Lord’s own words, we tell you that we who are still alive, (that’s us) who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, and with a loud command and the voice of the archangel and a trumpet call of God, the dead in Christ will rise first. And after that we are still alive and the left will be raptured, caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will be with the Lord forever.” Forever. “Therefore encourage each other with these words.” Encourage each other with these words.
Now, this passage also gives us a lot of detail about what the Rapture is going to be about. For one, it says that Jesus’ resurrection from the dead makes it possible for us to be resurrected. This is what the Bible calls the resurrection of the saints. And if Jesus didn’t resurrect, then there’s no way we could resurrect. So Jesus resurrection is extremely important to our salvation and our future.
Now people say, Well, Jesus is coming back to the Earth, well, yes, but Jesus doesn’t come down to the earth in this. Where does He stop? He never lands on the earth. He calls us up to meet Him in the sky. So this isn’t the Second Coming. Now, we also learn too that there’s a loud call, we’ll actually hear Michael’s voice or maybe Gabriel’s voice, the archangel pronounce, I don’t know what the angel’s going to say. He could say, it’s time, or come up here, or whatnot, but there is a call for us to come up. A great trumpet sound and the dead in Christ, in other words the Church from Pentecost to the Rapture will be resurrected before those who are alive. But it happens so fast that we won’t even notice the difference. And where do we go? Heaven, where we remain with the Lord forever. Right.
And what are we supposed to get out of knowing this? I’ve heard so many of you come up to me and say you’ve been raised never hearing about the Rapture. What is that church depriving you of? Hope. Absolutely.
Let’s go to the Old Testament. There are some hints about the Rapture in the Old Testament. Isaiah 26 says, “But your dead will live, their bodies will rise, you who dwell in dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning, and the earth will give birth to her dead. Go my people enter your rooms (the one Jesus is preparing for us) and shut the doors behind you, hide yourselves for a little while until His wrath has passed. See, the Lord is coming out of His dwelling to punish the people of the Earth for their sins. The Earth will disclose the bloodshed upon her, she will conceal her slain no longer.”
How about this verse, Malachi 3:17, “They will be mine.” Isn’t it wonderful to know that you’re the Lord’s? “In the day when I make up my treasured possession.” What does He call you? “I will spare them just as compassionate man spares his son.”
The latest statistic says that one in three teenage girls, attempts or thinks about attempting suicide. We live in a time period where the self-esteem of the world is at an all-time low. But if you’re in Christ, you’re a child of Christ, what does He call you? Your treasure. Isn’t that amazing? What do you do with treasure? You protect it. You take care of it. You’ll even love it if it’s a person. And that’s how He thinks of each and every one of you. Isn’t that awesome.
So what? While we’re waiting for Jesus to come and Rapture the Church. What are we to do? Well, folks, pack your bags, sit on the suitcase and just wait. Right. The Bible never says that. What does it say? Oh, first people ask what happens to the Old Testament Saints when do they get raptured? Daniel says the end of the Tribulation. And those who died, who got saved during the Tribulation, they get raptured at the end. So people ask, what happens to these two? Don’t ask me about the Millennial Saints, nobody knows. But we will learn one day.
Alright, so let’s move on to what should we do while we are waiting? Matthew 24 tells us, “So, you also must be ready because the Son of Man will come in an hour when you do not expect Him.” Now, with the Second Coming, there’s seven years of signs, and wrath, and events that happen, they know to the day when Jesus returns. But for the Rapture, we don’t know when to expect Him. He could come… It didn’t happen, but it will any minute now. All right. So you are to be ready.
How about this verse? “Therefore, keep watch because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” So, my friends, the Saunders invited me to stay with them while I’m here. And they had the front porch light on. I told them, okay, I’ll be there probably between 8:00 and 9:00. And so they knew they had the porch light on, occasionally they’d peek out and look for me. They were waiting. They were not doing nothing, but they were anticipating it. And the Lord says that we should be doing that. We should be anticipating His return. So keep the porch light on, spiritually speaking, because we don’t know when He’s going to arrive. And Luke 12:35 be dressed, ready for service and keep your lamps burning. So, the Lord wants us to be watchful, anticipating His return. So that’s the first thing.
The second, do good works. “For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do (what, why were you created) good works.” Right. While on earth. Up in Heaven were created to do what? Fellowship with God and bask in His glory. But right now we have a job to do. So don’t sit on those suitcases like some think that Christians who believe in the Rapture do. We do not. We do good works which God has prepared in advance for us to do. Isn’t that awesome? Which God has prepared in advance for us to do.
First Corinthians says, “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” Sometimes we go to conferences and we preach to the frozen chosen and we’re like, oh, why am I here? But it sounds like you guys are lively now. Good. It’s not in vain. If we’ve changed any life, our work is not in vain. So, folks, the Lord has gifted you with certain talents and abilities. When I was at Southeast, I used to teach the Discover Your Direction class. You have gifts and talents that the Lord wants you to use. Put them to use. If you don’t, God will take a check. All right.
Also have hope. Now we wait for the Blessed Hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. First Peter says, “Set your (what) hope fully on the grace to be given you when (who) Jesus Christ is revealed.” Folks, the teaching of the Rapture is meant to keep you with a little spring in your step every day.
First John three says, “When He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” Who’s wanted to see Jesus? I love to finally see what He looks like. I don’t know if I’ll look like Him, but you might. Everyone who has this hope in Him does what? He purifies himself just as He is pure.
You know, I love this poem by Emily Dickinson, a noted author. She says, “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.” We live in a very dark time period. But, you know, when we wake up in the middle of the night. When’s the darkest time? Just before the dawn. And, folks, I’d say the Tribulation is the darkest part. So we’re just at that darkest before the darkest. Right. But that means the dawn is coming soon.
Part 2: Q&A Session- Will the Rapture occur in the middle of the Tribulation?
Nathan Jones: Well, I think the key to that, I do have a video someone asked me for, it’s called, Why do I don’t believe in a Pre-Trib Rapture? Along with an article, go on our website christinprophecy.org, and I go through all the different points about why, as a ministry, we believe in a Pre-Trib Rapture. But to me, the most convincing argument was who opens the very first Seal Judgment in Revelation? It’s Jesus Christ. Every seal judgment, then you get to the seventh seal judgment, which open the seven trumpet judgments, which then open the seven bowl judgments. So the wrath of God, sure the wrath of man, the wrath of Satan is used by God, but Jesus Christ opens the seal. Therefore, all seven years of Daniel’s 70th Week of Prophecy is the wrath of God. And since all those verses I shared with you about the Lord says the Church will be spared from the wrath of God, then we will be spared from everything from Revelation 6 all the way to 19.
Dr. Reagan: Yes, in Revelation 6 where the Tribulation begins, it also refers to all the wrath poured out as the wrath of the Lamb. And so this is definitely part of the wrath of God. And as far as it saying that the second half is the Great Tribulation, the first half of the Tribulation, one half of the population of the world is going to die, it’s not going to be a peaceful time. It’s going to be a horrid time. The reason Jesus referred to the second half of the Tribulation, as the Great Tribulation, is because that is the portion that will apply to the Jewish people, and He was speaking to a Jewish audience at that time. And so it’s during the second half that the Jews will suffer and two-thirds of them will die during that time. But the whole period of the Tribulation is going to be absolutely horrendous.
Doug Cobb: I was going to say, before we get to that, there will be a season, I think, where God will be protecting His people in the midst of increasing difficulty.
Nathan Jones: He’s doing it now.
Doug Cobb: He’s doing it now in many parts around the places around the world where I have, you know, friends and, you know, living in very difficult circumstances. I think it’s likely that those things will come here before these things take place. We don’t know for sure, but, and during that season, He will be protecting us in the world from not His wrath, but from the enemy and from the enemy’s people. But ultimately, He’s going to take us out before He pours His wrath out.
Tim Moore: Nathan, for time’s sake, we had to cut out all of your sermon’s videos regarding what the Rapture may look like, including your wonderful video that debunks the objections to a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Where can our viewers watch your full presentation?
Nathan Jones: Okay, well you can watch the entire conference free from the Sermons page at our website at christinprophecy.org, on our Christ in Prophecy YouTube and Rumble channels, and through our downloadable Lamb and Lion App.
And, if you would like to share these messages of hope with your Sunday school or home Bible study, then order the Hope Springs Eternal Bible Conference DVD by contacting us at the information below. This 3-disc album includes sermons by Tim and me, David Reagan, Doug Cobb, and Bob Russell.
This inspirational DVD also includes the 52-minute Questions and Answers session where our speakers answer some very challenging questions. For a donation of $25 or more, and that includes shipping, order your copy of the Hope Springs Eternal Bible Conference DVD today!
Tim Moore: We are delighted to offer Conferences like “Hope Springs Eternal.” Please contact the number below if you would like to partner with us to host such a hope-filled conference locally or regionally. And, please consider joining us as a Prophecy Partner, ensuring our ability to proclaim the soon return of our Blessed Hope—Jesus Christ—until He comes.
Nathan Jones: We hope you’ll join us next week as Doug Cobb reveals just how close the Church is to fulfilling the Great Commission, followed by Bob Russell’s deep dive into the biblical story of Simeon and how he, like us, longed for the advent of the Messiah.
Tim Moore: Godspeed!
End of Program