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#2. NEW TESTAMENT POST-TRIBULATION RAPTURE PARABLES

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Relevant Greek Word Studies
601 || ἀποκαλύπτω || apokalupto || to reveal.
602 || ἀποκάλυψις || apokalupsis || revelation.
2347 || θλῖψις || thlipsis || tribulation.
3952 || παρουσία || parousia || coming.

This bible study uses a Unicode Greek font and is printer friendly.

Introduction 2

The New Testament gospels are full of parables of spiritual truths that are revealed in the New Testament. Also parables are allegories or similes, in which things have a symbolic or figurative meaning, and where an earthly story is laid alongside some spiritual truth for comparison. Therefore, whenever we study out any doctrine from the New Testament, one principle of correct interpretation requires that we compare what we find in the New Testament, with the parables that are relevant to that subject. Parables, are not the basis of true doctrine by themselves, but they do confirm and illustrate it. All scripture is given by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16), and God does not change (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17), so if we are correct concerning whether there is a pre tribulation rapture or no pre tribulation rapture, we should find agreement between the parables, and the New Testament teaching about the rapture. This is a bible study concerning the rapture and the second coming of Jesus Christ, looking at three New Testament Testament parables which prove a post-tribulation rapture.

#2.1 THE PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS IS ABOUT THE RAPTURE

MATTHEW 25:1-13 (Jesus)
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened to ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 Those who were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said to the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are going out.
9 But the wise answered, saying, No; lest there is not enough for us and you: but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Amen I say to you, I do not know you.
13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of man comes.

Note: This is a parable about the second coming of Jesus, and just like the other types that we have considered, here there is only one entrance into the marriage (Matthew 25:10). This one entrance is equivalent to the rapture, and occurs after the Lamb's wife (the church) has made herself ready (Revelation 19:7), which is after Babylon the great is destroyed (Revelation 18:1-8) under the seventh vial judgment (Revelation 16:17-21), after the earth mourns its destruction (Revelation 18:9-19), and when Jesus returns at the end of this pre-millennial age. Those who did not make that one entrance were shut out permanently (v12), so refuting the teaching about a pre-tribulation rapture, after which people will be saved during the great tribulation. The one entrance into the marriage (v10) will be when all of God's chosen people will be raptured on the last day of this present age, at Jesus' second coming, after the tribulation, after the sun and moon have been darkened, after the heavens are shaken and the stars fall from heaven, after the heavens pass away, and after the seventh trumpet judgment. This Old Testament type therefore disproves any pre-tribulation rapture, or mid-tribulation rapture of the church, and is evidence for the post-tribulation rapture.

#2.2 THE PARABLE OF THE WHEAT AND THE TARES IS ABOUT THE RAPTURE

MATTHEW 13:24-30 (Jesus)
24 Another parable put he forth to them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26 But when the blade sprang up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said to him, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? from where then does it have tares?
28 He said to them, An enemy has done this. The servants said to him, Do you want then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, No; lest while you gather up the tares, you root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

MATTHEW 13:36-42 (Jesus)
36 And Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came to him, saying, Declare to us the parable of the tares of the field.
37 He answered and said to them, He who sows the good seed is the Son of man;
38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and those who do iniquity;
42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Note: As this parable refers to "the end of the world;" (Matthew 13:39), and the wicked being cast "into a furnace of fire:" (Matthew 13:42), some may think that this refers to the destruction of the wicked after the millennium (Revelation 20:7-9), but this is fairly easy to refute.
Firstly, the words translated "the end of the world" (Gr. συντελείᾳ τοῦ αἰῶνος, Gtr. sunteleia tou aionos) literally translate as, "the completion of the age", indicating that it refers to the end of this pre-millennial age, when Jesus returns.
Secondly, the end of the age is referred to as "the harvest" (Matthew 12:39), and the harvest of "the wheat" will be completed at the rapture, not at the end of the millennium.
Thirdly, the angels as reapers (Matthew 13:39) are clearly shown to come during the last days of this age (Revelation 14:14-20).
So what does this parable prove? Simply this; if we examine the phrase, "Gather together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them:" (Matthew 13:30), this shows that the tares are bound before the wheat, and so the wicked are bound before the harvest of the just. This being so, how can there be a pre-tribulation rapture, which would be equivalent to harvesting the wheat before the tares? In one sense, just as wicked angels were bound "in everlasting chains under darkness" (Jude 6), so wicked people will be bound by "strong delusion" (2 Thessalonians 2:11) before the end of this age, and so before the rapture. In another sense, the wicked will be destroyed by fire at Jerusalem before the rapture of the church takes place (#2.4). This parable argues against any pre-tribulation rapture, or mid-tribulation rapture of the church, and is evidence for the post-tribulation rapture.

#2.3 THE PARABLE OF THE NET AND THE FISH IS ABOUT THE RAPTURE

MATTHEW 13:47-50 (Jesus)
47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Note: The words translated "the end of the world" (Matthew 13:49) (Gr. τῇ συντελείᾳ τοῦ αἰῶνος, Gtr. te sunteleia tou aionos) literally translate as, "the completion of the age". This indicates that it refers to the end of this pre-millennial age, when Jesus returns, and not seven years before the end. Therefore it refutes the teaching of a pre-tribulation rapture.
Secondly, the angels take "the wicked from among the just" (Matthew 13:49), but as a pre-tribulation rapture would take "the just from among the wicked", it again refutes the erroneous teachings about a pre-tribulation rapture, or a mid-tribulation rapture of the church..

#2.4 THE FULFILMENT OF THE PARABLES ABOUT THE RAPTURE

Concerning the parable of the 10 virgins (#2.1) we can see that once the door had been shut no-one was allowed to enter afterwards (v11-12). If the virgins being caught up was equivalent to a pre-tribulation rapture, then no one could be saved after that. However, there is obviously saved people during the tribulation when people die as martyrs (Revelation 20:4-5), and pre-tribulation believers agree with this:

(Gerald B. Stanton KEPT FORM THE HOUR p40) "God will have His saints in the Tribulation - men who repent and secure salvation after the catching up of the church."

This New Testament parable therefore disproves any pre-tribulation rapture, or mid-tribulation rapture of the church.

Concerning the parable of the tares (#2.2), we see can see how it applies again to the very last day. The wicked are gathered up and burned first, but the gathering of the wheat into the barn, which on the last day is equivalent to the rapture, comes after (Matthew 13:30).
In the explanation of the parable of the net and the fish, the angels take "the wicked from among the just" (Matthew 13:49), so the wicked will be destroyed before the church is taken up. As a pre-tribulation rapture would take "the just from among the wicked", this parable argues against any pre-tribulation rapture, or mid-tribulation rapture of the church, and is evidence for the post-tribulation rapture.

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