God Offers Us Protection–But How?

“American Hiroshima”… “Nuclear Nightmare for America”… “Nuclear
Attack against Iran”… “Preparations for Nuclear Holocaust within the
USA.” These are frightening news reports, which should wake us up to
the dangerous and terrible times in which we are living. Man’s
civilization, as we know it, is drawing closer to its end. Devastating
and disastrous events– unparalleled in the history of man– are fast

Is there no hope for any of us? Is there no protection even for those who are obedient to God and who are pleasing Him?

have felt the need to explain God’s mercy and justice by developing the
concept of the “secret rapture.” The assumption is that Jesus will
first come secretly for His disciples or saints by “rapturing” them to
heaven where they will be protected during the time of the “Great
Tribulation” which will ravage the earth. According to that theory,
Christ will return with His disciples or saints from heaven to this
earth after that terrible time of devastation has past. Books and
movies have popularized this idea in recent years–known as the “Left
Behind” series.

However, as “The Plain Truth” magazine explains
in an article, which was published in February of 1963, “The idea of a
secret rapture of the saints was unknown to any Christian body before
the sixteenth century. Joseph Ribera, Cardinal Bellarmine and Alcasar,
Jesuit Priests of the sixteenth century, were the first Christian
authorities to promulgate this idea. Even in their day the idea was
unclear, but the basic roots of the doctrine began at this time
(Sources omitted). Later, around 1825, Samuel R. Maitland, Librarian to
the Archbishop of Canterbury, embraced the belief, although its basic
tenets were still unclear in his day. It wasn’t until 1830 that this
belief began to take its modern definition. ‘The Catholic Apostolic
Church had its beginning in 1830. It was founded in Britain… by men
who claimed divine inspiration. They said the Holy Spirit revealed to
them that the last days had come, that the Lord was about to return,
that first He would “rapture” the believers who were ready, at a secret
coming… after which [the great tribulation] Christ would come in
manifest power’ (Sources omitted).”

The Bible does not teach a
secret rapture. Rather, God’s Word reveals that Christ will return
ONCE, NOT TWICE (Hebrews 9:28). He will come openly, not in secret
(Matthew 24:21-31; Revelation 1:7; Acts 1:10-11), and He will END the
Great Tribulation at the time of His Coming by establishing the Kingdom
of God here on earth (Revelation 11:15-18). Mark 13:24-27 specifically
states: “But in those days, AFTER that tribulation, the sun will be
darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven
will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. THEN they will
SEE the Son of Man COMING in the clouds with great power and glory. And
THEN [not before then] He will send His angels, and gather together His

Christ will come at the time of the LAST TRUMPET when
His elect will be resurrected from the dead or changed to immortality
(1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 1 Corinthians 15:50-52). There can only be
ONE last trumpet, which means, there can only be ONE return of Christ.

the Bible reveals that there can be protection from the terrible times
to come–but that protection will not be provided in heaven, but on
earth. As we explain in our free booklet, “The Great Tribulation and
the Day of the Lord
,” beginning on page 58, Christ promises His people,
who are worthy, a way to “escape all these things that will come to
pass” (Luke 21:34-36; compare Revelation 3:10; Zephaniah 2:3; Psalm
31:19-20). That “place of refuge” (Proverbs 14:26) will be on this
earth–not in heaven (Revelation 12:14; Isaiah 33:16; Isaiah 26:20-21).
Yes, God will have prepared “a place for us” to protect us from the
Great Tribulation. Even though God CAN protect us anywhere He wants, He
has decreed that His people will be protected at a certain place here
on earth–the place of safety and “shelter” (Joel 3:14-16). Christ
compares the time preceding His coming with the time of Noah (Matthew
24:37-39), and as God protected Noah and his family in the ark, here on
earth, so He will protect His people on this earth in the way that HE
has chosen. And He will NOT protect them by “rapturing” them to heaven!

idea of a rapture to heaven–secret or otherwise–is nowhere taught in
Scripture. It is an invention by man which can give us no real hope, as
it is not based on God’s Word. But God does offer us His protection, if
we prove ourselves worthy to receive it.

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