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At the rapture "the dead in Christ rise first" 1 Thess 4 ... at the "first resurrection" Rev 20:4-5 which is part of the Rev 19-Rev 20:5 second coming event -- When Christ "comes again" to take all the saints to heaven "to My Father's house" as in John 14:1-3 It is after the tribulation. How about Matt 24? 20 But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. ... 29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. It is just ONE event - the second coming: John 14:1 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. Christ does not say "I will come again... and again... and again..." It is sudden and surprising Matt 24 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 1 Thess 5: . 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 2 Thess 1: 6 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction
The Blessed Hope - What is it? First off, it is located in Titus 2:13: 11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and Godly in this present age, 13looking forward to that blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14who gave Himself for us, to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good works. No real definition is provided in the above passage, and nothing tells us what it is not either. One thing we do know, is that is is something to look forward to. Some people think this is a reference to the rapture, that catching up of believers, referred to by Paul in 1 Thess 4: 13But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18Therefore comfort one another with these words. Interesting. Paul here mentions in verse 13, that there are some who have no hope, I never noticed that as a contrast to a blessed hope before - just an observation. Back to my original thought: If this catching up (or rapture as it is sometimes called) is a pre-tribulation event, then it would indeed be a blessed hope (at least for those who will be around near the end), because if would be a meeting with our savior, and an escape from a horrible time that is about to take place. I am wondering though, what in Titus 2, indicates that this is what is being spoken of? Well, to be honest, I am not wondering that exactly, because the answer to my question is "NOTHING". Nothing there indicates that it is a pre-trib rapture. Some take it upon themselves to go beyond the word of God and just define the blessed hope as the pre-trib rapture. I have the hope, one day, that I will meet my savior, face to face, and enter into His rest. I have the hope, that I will be delivered from His wrath He intends to appliy to the ungodly, that I deserve because of my rebellions, my sins. My hope is based upon the promise that rather than endure torment, I will join Him in Heaven, because by His grace alone, I will have been brought there. So anyway, take a look at Titus 2:13 in it's context, and see if you think that the context indicates that the blessed hope is a pre-trib rapture, or is it possible something else? Personally I have a blessed hope, not unlike this idea, in that I am looking forward to the blessed hope of salvation (Titus 2:11) and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, mentioned in Titus 2:13 and described in Matt 24:29 and 30 where we are told that after the tribulation and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds with great glory. So, what are your thoughts. Do you think that Titus 2 tells us that the blessed hope is a pre-trib rapture? Why or why not?