The rapture tribulation refers to two events that are closely related. It is a belief held strongly by many evangelical Christians as they see this as the time when Jesus returns and the world reaches the end days.
What is the rapture tribulation?
The word rapture comes from the Latin word rapio and means “caught up”. Those who believe in the rapture are convinced that at some point Jesus is going to come back and lift up his followers so as to allow them to escape the coming tribulation; although some believers think that this won’t happen until after or half way through the tribulation.
The tribulation is believed to be a time in the not too distant future when humans will endure great hardship and suffering; tribulation comes from the Latin word tribulatio meaning to oppress. It is generally believed by many evangelical groups that this will last for a period of seven years. This can further be divided into two halves each of three and a half years.
When will the rapture tribulation occur?
There is much debate on this subject among evangelicals in regards to rapture tribulation. The views can basically be divided into four camps;
Pretribulationists are convinced that Jesus will come and save the real Christians before the actual start of the tribulation period. This way they will escape all the suffering and be safely tucked away while all hell breaks loss on Earth.
Prewrath tribulationists feel certain that they will make their escape at sometime during the tribulation; before things get really bad.
Midtribulationists are of the view that the rapture will occur half way through the tribulation and those “raptured” will escape the worst of the suffering.
Posttribulationists are convinced that they will need to sweat the tribulation out like everyone else but that Jesus will come and save them as soon as it ends.
What happens with rapture tribulation?
There is disagreement about this as well. Some believe that they will be taking by Jesus to another planet while others are of the view that they will be taken to heaven. Many posttribulationists believe that there will be another flood but they will be enjoying full room and board on an ark; just like Noah.
Why do people believe in the rapture?
This is a very heated topic and most Christians outside of the evangelical traditions of the United States would not be convinced by it. The idea is believed to have originated in the UK among a group called the Plymouth Brethren back in the nineteenth century. They came to their conclusions through bible study. There is no direct reference to such an event in the bible, but those who believe in it claim that there are plenty of biblical references if you know how to interpret them. The problem with this is that there are countless interpretations and it would be impossible to prove who if anyone is right. There is increased interest in the UK recently as American evangelical missionaries spread the word.
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