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But know this, that if the master of the house had known what time the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and not let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” – Matthew 24:43-44, TLV
Not everyone who claims to love Yeshua, as well as not everyone who claims to be born again and saved, will be “caught up” on the clouds where he/she will meet Yeshua before the Tribulation Period begins. That’s right! Not everyone who defines him or herself as a follower of Yeshua will be in the pre-Tribulation Rapture. Let there be no doubt about it, regardless if a professed Yeshua believer no longer believes in a pre-Tribulation Rapture, or if he or she never believed in it, the pre-Tribulation Rapture will happen.
In the Holy Bible, more than once, YeHoVaH shows His Children that His Wrath or Judgment cannot come until His Righteous Children are secure/safe. For example, in the Old Testament, only Noah and his family were considered righteous enough to enter the Ark and be secure/safe. Put differently, Noah and his family didn’t have to feel YeHoVaH’s Wrath or Judgment that was poured out upon the entire earth (see Genesis 6:6-7, Genesis 6:13-22; Genesis 7:6-24; The Flood). Similarly, in Genesis 19:22 and Genesis 19:24-25, Lot and his family safely escaped to Zoar before judgment was poured out on Sodom and Gomorrah (Fire and Brimstone). These Scriptures make it clear that only the folks YeHoVaH considered to be unrighteous felt His Wrath or Judgment.
Likewise, in the New Testament, YeHoVaH shows His Children that His Wrath or Judgment will only be poured out on the individuals who are considered to be unrighteous people. This Truth – YeHoVaH’s Wrath or Judgment is not meant for those who are considered to be His righteous Children – is why there will be a pre-Tribulation Rapture. Once again, more than once, YeHoVaH says in His holy Scriptures that His Wrath or Judgment cannot come until His Righteous Children are secure/safe.
The above-stated Truth about who feels YeHoVaH’s Wrath or Judgment is why there will be several types of unrighteous people who will miss the pre-Tribulation Rapture – YeHoVaH’s Ark in the end times. The following are the three groups of unrighteous people who will not enter the pre-Tribulation Rapture:
1. Unbelievers – the people who haven’t accepted Yeshua as Lord and Savior. Specifically, they are the ones who are described in Revelation 21:8; their final judgment, once the Tribulation period is over, will be the Lake of Fire.
2. Unbelieving believers – saved individuals who profess they know Yeshua, yet they don’t believe in what the Scriptures say about becoming overcomers, nor do they believe in what the Scriptures say about the power of YeHoVaH. Unbelieving believers, who are unrighteous because of their unbelief, can’t be raptured. Now, the precise kind of unrighteous unbelieving believers is described in Hebrews 2:1 as the individuals who didn’t pay close attention to what they heard and ended up becoming deceived apostates. These unrighteous unbelieving believers are also described in Hebrews 3:7-8 as the individuals who hardened their hearts to the Holy Spirit’s teachings and then fell away from the Truth; and in Hebrews 6:6, these fallen away from the Truth unrighteous unbelieving believers are devoted apostates who can’t be renewed again to repentance.
3. Unbelieving believers – in their unbelief, they mock the Truth that they hear and claim it will not happen (e.g., those who mock the pre-Tribulation Rapture) [see 2 Peter 3:3-4].
The above-mentioned three groups of unrighteous unbelieving people will miss the pre-Tribulation Rapture; however, the unrighteous unbelieving Yeshua believers will also miss the pre-Tribulation Rapture because they failed to meet Yeshua’s five godly conditions that would allow them to be counted worthy/righteous enough to be raptured. Here are the five godly conditions that must be met in order for believers in Yeshua to be prepared for and worthy to be chosen in the pre-Tribulation Rapture. Believers in Yeshua must be and do the following:
1. Must be an overcomer – Revelation 21:7 (see also Revelation chapters 2 & 3 . . . the one who overcomes references); all Yeshua believers must overcome the world, or the desires of the world; must overcome the flesh; and must overcome the devil
2. Must watch and pray for Yeshua’s thief in the night appearance – Mark 13:33
3. Must pray to be accounted worthy to escape the things that will happen in the end times – Luke 21:36
4. Must look for/anticipate Yeshua’s second appearance – Hebrews 9:28
5. Must cleanse themselves (get rid) of all filthiness so that they can achieve holiness – 2 Corinthians 7:1 (to get rid of every weight and entangling sin) – Hebrews 12:1
To be sure, there are things that only YeHoVaH via His Holy Spirit can cleanse in Yeshua believers. However, there are some things believers in Yeshua can do/can sacrifice to show YeHoVaH how much they hate sinning, how much they love Him, how much they want to be obedient and faithful, and how much they want to be like Yeshua.
Sadly, just as most believers in Yeshua won’t even try to purge themselves of every weight and entangling sin that is within their power to get rid of, there also are far too many professed Yeshua believers who refuse to believe/accept that Yeshua will come for His own like a thief in the night. The latter uses the fact that Yeshua is no sinner as their reason for their disbelief in the Scriptures that use the thief in the night simile. These Yeshua believers fail to understand that the thief in the night simile (image) is 100% figurative language, and, as figurative language, this simile means Yeshua isn’t a literal thief. However, the uncomfortably Truth they miss when they refuse to accept and believe the Scriptures that describe Yeshua as a THIEF is that, like a thief, Yeshua will indeed come secretly for His own.
This thief simile is found in the following biblical verses and found in one verse as a metaphor:
43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what time the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and not let his house be broken into. – Matthew 24:43, TLV
2 For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night. – 1 Thessalonians 5:2, TLV
4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the dark, so that the Day might overtake you like a thief. – 1 Thessalonians 5:4, TLV
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the elements will melt and disintegrate, and the earth and everything done on it shall be exposed. – 2 Peter 3:10, TLV
3 So remember what you have received and heard—keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you. – Revelation 3:3, TLV
15 “Behold, I am coming like a thief! How fortunate is the one who stays alert and keeps his clothes on, lest he walk around naked and they see his shamefulness.” – Revelation 16:15, TLV
It is in an Olivet Discourse’s mini-parable that Yeshua also compares His Overcomers to a collective Goodman who actually not only is prepared for the Thief but also watches for Him. Once again, Yeshua’s Overcomers are the righteous believers He is coming to get so that He can TAKE them with Him to a safe place before YeHoVaH pours out His Wrath and Judgment upon the entire earth for the very last time.
Now, right before the Goodman mini-parable (see Matthew 24:43-44), Yeshua describes the pre-Tribulation Rapture in two mini-parables. The Lord teaches about an individual who is working in the field and about a person who is grinding at the mill who are TAKEN by Him, while the second field worker and the second grain grinder are left behind (see Matthew 24:40-42). A similar pre-Tribulation Rapture description is also in Luke 17:34. In this mini-parable, Yeshua teaches about one of the two who are in bed is TAKEN, and the other is left behind. This mini-parable in Luke 17 is followed by the mini-parables about the two field workers and, in some translations, the two grain grinders.
In Matthew 24, the two pre-Tribulation Rapture mini-parables end with a warning to believers to be prepared and to stay alert so that they won’t miss the One who comes for them like a thief in the night (see Matthew 24:42). This warning is then restated as a parabolic statement in the Goodman mini-parable (Matthew 24:43-44). The Goodman (homeowner or master of the house) is robbed by a thief all because the Goodman was neither prepared nor on the lookout for the thief’s unannounced coming and, as a result, was not able to prevent the unfavorable outcomes – his house broken into, and his possessions stolen.
Just like the Lord is using the TAKEN righteous field worker and grain grinder as metaphors for His righteous Vineyard Workers or Overcomers, He also is comparing, by contrasting, the Goodman metaphor to His righteous Overcomers – His truly righteous believers. The bottom line is this: Yeshua’s parabolic statement in the Goodman mini-parable is that His Overcomers must stay prepared and stay alert because none of them knows the precise hour when Yeshua will return. In other words, Yeshua’s parabolic statement explains, by contrasting the Goodman in the mini-parable with the righteous Overcomes in the two preceding mini-parables, how serious Yeshua is about His righteous Overcomes being ready/prepared and staying alert so that they will not miss meeting Him in the air when He returns for them.
Now, while the Greek language has different meanings for the verbs to “take” and to “receive,” and these different meanings have different Greek verbs, the Greek verb paralambano is the same to TAKE verb that is used in John 14:3 (“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to Myself, so that where I am you may also be”), in Matthew 24:40 (“Then two men will be in the field, one taken and one left”), in Matthew 24:41 (“Two women will be grinding at the mill, one taken and one left”), and in Luke 17:34 (“I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken along and the other left”). In all four of these verses, paralambano means that the individuals who are TAKEN (snatched away/caught up) are Yeshua’s Overcomers who are saved from YeHoVaH’s Wrath or Judgment. Additionally, in all four of these verses, the folks who are left behind are the ones who receive YeHoVaH’s Judgment – His Wrath. In this case, YeHoVaH’s Judgment or Wrath is the seven-year Tribulation Period.
What is important to mention here is that the righteous Overcomers who are TAKEN in Matthew 24:40-41 (also see Luke 17:35-36) are TAKEN during a daylight moment while they are doing daytime jobs. In contrast, the one TAKEN from the bed who is sleeping (Luke 17:34) is TAKEN during a nighttime moment. It should be evident that these referenced Scriptures show how Yeshua has dealt with the issue of different time zones on this earth – some are rapture during the day (daylight time) and some are rapture in the night.
In Luke 17, some manuscripts add the following verse: “There will be two in the field. One will be taken along, and the other left.” – Luke 17:36
Finally, believers in Yeshua can only receive from YeHoVaH that which they believe He will do for them. Put differently, if believers in Yeshua don’t believe it is possible for something to happen; for example, if they have unbelief about what is presented in certain Scriptures about a pre-Tribulation Rapture, then they will not be in the pre-Tribulation Rapture. They can’t receive that part of salvation because they refuse to believe in it.
So, once again, the reasons why so many who say they are saved, born-again believers of Yeshua will miss the pre-Tribulation Rapture are because they will not take to heart the Scriptures that warn them about their need to get prepared, stay ready, and stay alert – keep looking out for Yeshua’s Return – and because they don’t believe in a pre-Tribulation Rapture. Matthew 13:58 says “And He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Romans 11:20 says “True enough. They were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith….” First Timothy 1:13 says, “even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a violent man. Yet I was shown mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,” but then Paul says in Hebrews 4:6, “So then it remains for some to enter into it; yet those who formerly had Good News proclaimed to them did not enter because of disobedience.” Lastly, Paul in Hebrews 4:11 says “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall through the same pattern of disobedience.” The point here is crucial. If Yeshua believers do not believe in the pre-Tribulation Rapture, their unbelief not only prevents them from being raptured before the Tribulation Period begins but also because their unbelief is a form of disobedience they cannot enter into the Shabbat rest.
It should be clear from the above-cited verses that apostle Paul also describes Yeshua believers’ unbelief as disobedience (see also Hebrews 3:18-19). This unbelief and a lack of trust/faith prevent unrighteous unbelieving believers from entering into eternal rest. Their kind of unbelief is the same as the unbelief that caused many Israelites to perish in the wilderness – to never see the Promised Land. In comparison, just like the unrighteous unbelieving Israelites couldn’t enter the Promised Land of Israel, Yeshua believers with unbelief won’t be able to enter into the Shabbat rest with Yeshua in Heaven (the Promised Land for believers in Yeshua) – see Hebrews 4:9, and see Hebrews 4:1-2). All believers in Yeshua must be Overcomers in order to receive Overcomers’ promises, but they will never be Overcomers if they have any bit of unbelief.
To be sure, not believing that a pre-Tribulation Rapture will happen is indeed unbelief. This unbelief is also the same kind of unbelief that prevented Yeshua from doing any miracles in His hometown synagogue. It is also the kind of unbelief that will prevent Yeshua from TAKING the unrighteous unbelieving believers during the pre-Tribulation Rapture – the only rapture event that no one will know or be able to figure out the day or the hour of Yeshua’s Return.
Any raptures that happen during the Tribulation won’t be hard to figure out, as the Scriptures mention Raptures happening at a particular time during and after the seven-year Tribulation. Therefore, neither the mid-Tribulation nor the post-Tribulation Rapture will happen secretly, so Yeshua will not be returning like a thief in the night for those raptures.
If Yeshua believers think that a pre-Tribulation Rapture is hooey, then they will not be TAKEN (caught-up) in it. Furthermore, their unbelief in a pre-Tribulation Rapture is a form of disobedience, so they also may not enter into Yeshua’s Shabbat rest. It will depend on whether they are able to renew their minds to righteous thinking during the Tribulation Period.
A word to the wise should be sufficient!