“Rapture” is a word which is not in the Bible, but the word “tribulation“ can be found several times and is translated from the Greek word thlipsis (2347 Strongs), and can mean tribulation, persecution, affliction, trouble and/or distress. Below you can find each case where this word is used in the New Testament, and note that there is no mention anywhere that born again christians will be exempted from any tribulations. On the contrary, christians have always been the target of various persecutions throughout history and there is no reason to why we should be exempted from any future tribulations – especially if you think about that christians are constantly warned in the Bible about future persecutions.
The pretribulation rapture is actually a very modern idea and was not taught before 1830 AD. We can blame Edward Irving and John Nelson Darby for the advent of this false teaching, and later on also Scofield. See more here. Today most churches have sadly been deceived to believe in the pretrib rapture, and preachers continue to keep listeners in a steady grip in this area. Yet, the Bible is very clear that Jesus will not return until the Antichrist has places himself on the throne, and the elect will be gathered AFTER that the sun and moon have been darkened. We are exempted from the wrath of God and the tribulations related to it, but not from other tribulations which occur before then. God is not the God of confusion. If all christians will be exempted from the tribulation, this could easily have been stated somewhere in the Bible, but it’s not.
Matthew 24:29 IMMEDIATELY AFTER the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, —: 30And THEN shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: — 31And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
1 Cor. 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away FIRST, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:17THEN we which are ALIVE and REMAIN shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Here are the Biblical cases with the word thlipsis
It’s true that we don’t know the day of the hour of the return of Jesus, but we can still see some signs when it’s getting close and which events that must precede this event. For those who are not prepared, the day will come as a thief in the night. Also born again christians are warned that they must endure tribulations, meaning it’s a risk some won’t. The Bible says the second coming will be as in the days of Noah, and the people who lived during that time had all chances to get saved along with Noah and his family if they only adhered to his preaching and believed him, which they didn’t. For them the end came very sudden and unexpected.
Matt. 13:20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when TRIBULATION or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
Matt. 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.9 Then shall they deliver you up to be AFFLICTED, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:—20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:21 For then shall be great TRIBULATION, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.—27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.29 IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:30 And THEN shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
Mark 4:16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when AFFLICTION or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
Mark 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:—19 For in those days shall be AFFLICTION, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.24 But in those days, AFTER THE TRIBULATION, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.26 And THEN shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
John 16:21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the ANGUISH, for joy that a man is born into the world.—31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have TRIBULATION: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Acts 7:10 And delivered him out of all his AFFLICTIONS, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.11 Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great AFFLICTION: and our fathers found no sustenance.
Acts 11:19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the PERSECUTION that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.
Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much TRIBULATION enter into the kingdom of God.
Acts 20:22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and AFFLICTIONS abide me.
Rom. 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,9 TRIBULATION and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile
Romans 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in TRIBULATIONS also: knowing that TRIBULATION worketh patience
Rom. 8:8 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.—35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall TRIBULATION, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in TRIBULATION; continuing instant in prayer;
2 Corinthians 1:4 Who comforteth us in all our TRIBULATION, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any TROUBLE, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.—7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
1 Cor. 7:28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have TROUBLE in the flesh: but I spare you.
2 Cor. 2:4 For out of much AFFLICTION and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.
2 Cor. 4:17 For our light AFFLICTION, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory
2 Cor. 6:4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in AFFLICTIONS, in necessities, in distresses,5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
2 Cor. 7:4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our TRIBULATION.
2 Cor. 8:1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;2 How that in a great trial of AFFLICTION the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality—13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye BURDENED:
Ephesians 3:13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my TRIBULATIONS for you, which is your glory.
Phil 1:17 (word not in the KJV)
Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my AFFLICTION.
Col. 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the AFFLICTIONS of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
1 Thess. 1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much AFFLICTION, with joy of the Holy Ghost.
1 Thess. 3:3 That no man should be moved by these AFFLICTIONS: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.—7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our AFFLICTION and distress by your faith:
2 Thessalonians 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and TRIBULATIONS that ye endure:—6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense TRIBULATION to them that trouble you;
Hebr. 10:32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and AFFLICTIONS; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.
James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their AFFLICTION, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Revelation 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in TRIBULATION, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 2:9 I know thy works, and TRIBULATION, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have TRIBULATION ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. —22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great TRIBULATION, except they repent of their deeds.
Rev. 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of GREAT TRIBULATION, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.