The Rapture and Escape Theology

Often, the enemies of the great truth of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture have attacked us with the criticism of teaching "Escape Theology." I would love to accept that accusation. Yes, we teach exactly what the Lord Jesus Himself told us to teach. The Lord said, "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21:36). Jesus had just finished painting a dire picture of the coming Great Tribulation. His terms were unmistakable. Then, He clearly called His disciples and all saints to "watch" and be prepared to "escape" the coming pain and horror of the AntichristÂ’s revenge and the LordÂ’s judgment of sin.

ItÂ’s impossible not to call the LordÂ’s words "Escape Theology." Words can convey very misleading ideas and those that accuse us of this in a negative way confuse many souls. ItÂ’s absolutely honorable to so live and follow Christ that we escape the worldÂ’s coming sorrows. A study of the Great Tribulation and the murder of millions of Jews and of Gentiles that repent and are converted to Christ will leave any wise person with the desire to be out of here. Our Father never intended for His family to be judged with the wicked.

This great text of truth from the LordÂ’s ministry talks about SatanÂ’s snares which are already evident. Read the way Jesus approached this idea of escape. "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth." (Luke 21:34-35). Satan is set on hindering every saint of God from being ready to go in the Rapture.

Jesus has always declared that this idea of His Coming and our being "caught up" to meet Him would be sudden and without warning. Any careless person living in a backslidden or disobedient state will not be ready and "…so that day (will) come upon you unawares." Very few ministers will preach this truth because the popular theology refutes the LordÂ’s warning and words. Do you want to believe the modern apostasy or the plain Word of God? Millions in the church world will be heartsick when they wake to find Jesus has come and gone. If you are living in sin, there is no possibility of your being ready. If the world has stolen your attention and rules your life, you are going to be left unless you repent and turn wholly to God.

The snares to trap you are many. The world is casting a net to catch you and entrap you. The television, internet, radio, or newsprint is full of attention getting things to fill your time. Many wholesome pleasures can so consume you that prayer and Bible reading is out the window. Dreaming of success that takes no time for the will of God will rob your soul. Never has a generation been so lured by wealth. The joy of the Lord used to fill the church, now the church loves pleasure in equal proportion to the world. Most churches are societies of fun and games. Fellowship is grand, but Biblical fellowship is centered on church life, Bible study, and soul winning, mixed with a small amount of clean fun. Music has so filled the church life that the average believer can quote many songs, but not any Scripture. Scripture memorization has almost vanished.

"Watch therefore, and pray always." Vigilance is the watchword that GodÂ’s Word plainly requires. There is no other way to stay on course and to keep looking up for Jesus to come. Daily prayer life is the first step in watching. He is not talking about looking at the sky when He says, "Watch." He is talking about your heart condition. A person that is ready for the Rapture has his heart set on Him and being in His eternal presence. Prayer becomes something absolutely wonderful when you are watching for Him. The worldÂ’s pleasures are empty at best. We live by grace through faith and the Blood cleanses us every day from resorting to the flesh life.

The Word of God is GodÂ’s sanctifying authority and no believer can stay in that sanctifying power without the Word. We should baptize ourselves with truth with absolute longing for its life-changing power. Jesus prayed, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." (John 17:17). Unsanctified living has no chance of going in the Rapture. When your soul is sanctified to Him, it means your personal life is dead, your flesh appetites have been crucified, and your heart is set to do His whole will. Being full of the Spirit is the daily delight of a Rapture-ready believer.

You might say, "IÂ’m not ready to escape anything." That is your choice. For me, I know that, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die (or be Raptured) is gain." (Phillippians 1:21). To go in the Rapture is the grand prize for the Bible champions of all generations. IÂ’m looking up in my heart, and I believe He is looking down.

Joseph R. Chambers