Do Things Have to Get Worse Before the Rapture? :: By Arden Kierce

Do Things Have to Get Worse Before the Rapture? :: By Arden Kierce

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Among the different end-times prophecy sources I follow, it seems there are two main trends regarding what Christians are saying about what they see happening in the world today in relation to the Rapture.

The first (and most common) trend is for Christians to be very excited by how it seems that the Rapture could occur literally any day now. These Christians look at all the news surrounding the challenges facing Israel, natural disasters occurring in various places around the world, the wars and threats of wars, and developments moving toward world government and digital currencies, and see that the Tribulation is practically ready to begin. All that is left is for the Rapture to happen, and everything else could quickly fall right into prophetic place.

However, there is also a less common and more pessimistic view held by some Christians that, despite all these signs that seem to indicate the nearness of the Tribulation, the Rapture still can’t happen yet because things still need to get worse.

These more pessimistic Christians might say things like:

“Well, ten years ago, I didn’t imagine that things would get this bad before the Rapture, but here we are. Therefore, things could still get worse, and we need to be ready for it.”

Perhaps in their own way, these people are simply trying to care for fellow Christians who they fear might become disappointed if the Rapture doesn’t happen as soon as we hope it might.

However, to those Christians in the first category, to hear fellow believers in the Rapture say such things is disheartening, discouraging, and maybe even downright scary. It can seem to be a denial of our blessed hope (Titus 2:13) and a rejection of the encouragement that the Rapture should offer Christians (e.g., 1 Thessalonians 4:18).

These pessimistic Christians might even seem to us to be on the verge of becoming the prophesied ‘scoffers’ who say that these sorts of things have always happened, but still, Jesus has not returned, so don’t get your hopes up—we might still be here for decades (2 Peter 3:3-4).

Being told this by fellow believers in the Rapture can feel like a stab in the heart to all those who are eagerly longing for Jesus’ appearance and who are desperately praying for him to come soon.

So in this article, I want to argue that there is no reason why things must become worse before the Rapture can happen. In fact, I believe that things cannot become much worse than they are now before the world would effectively enter the Tribulation period.

My argument is based on how Jesus said that the next time he comes, it will be like it was in the days of Noah and the days of Lot.

The Bible describes Noah and Lot’s societies as being full of sin and evil (Genesis 6:5-8, 18:20-21). Yet at the same time, civilization was still holding together. People were eating, drinking, marrying, working, buying, selling, planting, and building (Matthew 24:37-42, Luke 17:26-30). These activities would not have been possible if there were not a relative level of peace and security in society, just like it is prophesied there will be before the Tribulation begins (1 Thessalonians 5:3).

It was bad enough that Lot felt distressed by all the evil around him (2 Peter 2:7-10), but still, it appears he was able to live and work in his wicked city without too much difficulty. It was only at the very end, when the angels evacuated him and his family, that their lives were at risk (Genesis 19:1-17).

Therefore, it is clear that Jesus’ prophecy about the world being like it was in the days of Noah and Lot must be speaking about the time just before the Rapture rather than Jesus’ Second Coming.

This is because Jesus warned that the seven-year Tribulation will be the worst time in the history of the entire world. It will be so bad that if Jesus does not cut the days short, no one on Earth would survive it (Matthew 24:21-22). People’s hearts will be failing with fear when they begin to see and experience all the terrible things that are prophesied to occur during the Tribulation (Luke 21:25-26 KJV).

As I describe in more detail in my book, A Detailed Biblical Introduction To The End Times (The Pre-Tribulation Rapture, Seven-Year Tribulation, and Pre-Millennial Return of Jesus Christ), at the time of Jesus’ Second Coming, the world will be nearly uninhabitable, thanks to the twenty-one judgments that God will send on the world during the Tribulation.

At least a quarter of the world’s population will have died after the Fourth Seal judgment (Revelation 6:7-8). Another third of humanity will be killed by the fire, smoke, and sulfur associated with the demonic army that will be released in the Sixth Trumpet judgment (Revelation 9:13-18).

Some of these divine judgments will likely include astronomical events beyond anything the world has experienced before.

A near miss of Earth by another large celestial body, like an asteroid or rogue planet, could theoretically shift the Earth’s orientation around its axis, thus changing the location of every geological landmark. Smaller asteroids that could be following such an enormous object might be pulled in by Earth’s gravity to become meteorites that cause widespread destruction (Revelation 6:12-17).

Later on during the Tribulation, an asteroid will directly impact the Earth’s ocean (Revelation 8:8-9), and another will poison a third of the world’s drinkable water (Revelation 8:10-11).

Earth being hit by a massive solar flare might explain the Fourth Bowl judgment (Revelation 16:8-9). If this flare were to wipe out the world’s power grid, it might explain the ‘darkness’ that cripples the Antichrist’s kingdom in the Fifth Bowl judgment (Revelation 16:10-11).

Such destruction of the planet’s power grid would be a blessing, as it would destroy the Antichrist’s digital system that will control all buying and selling through the Mark of the Beast (Revelation 13:16-18). A solar flare that shorts out all means of electronic communication would also explain the need for the Antichrist to use demonic couriers to quickly transmit messages long distances to the kings of the east, to summon them for the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:13-16).

By the end of the Tribulation, all the oceans and rivers will have been turned to blood (Revelation 16:3-4). Babylon will have been destroyed in an hour, apparently collapsing the world’s economy and thus causing all political leaders, merchants, and ship captains to mourn (Revelation 18:9-20). Finally, just before the battle of Armageddon, all the world’s cities will be flattened by hundred-pound hailstones, as well as an earthquake that is so severe that even islands and mountains will collapse (Revelation 16:18-21).

Due to all of this, I cannot imagine that anyone will be buying or selling, marrying, building, or planting at Jesus’ Second Coming. Thus, Matthew 24:37-42 and Luke 17:26-30 must be talking about the time when the Rapture happens, when life is going on normally for most of the world.

But how bad could things get before we are no longer in times that could be called ‘normal’?

I think we can say at least a few things because of how the church of Philadelphia is promised that they will not enter the time of the Tribulation (Revelation 3:10). This is because the “departure” (the literal meaning of the Greek term apostasia) of all true Christians to heaven in the Rapture will happen before the Antichrist is revealed in the First Seal judgment (2 Thessalonians 2:3-8, Revelation 6:1-2). The Antichrist will be identifiable when he confirms some sort of seven-year covenant between Israel and “many” (Daniel 9:27), which will probably be a peace treaty (Daniel 8:25 KJV, 1 Thessalonians 5:3).

Therefore, Christians today can trust that we will not see things become so bad before the Rapture that they fulfill events that are only prophesied to occur during the Tribulation. Thus, we can be confident that:

  1. The world will not see a major nuclear war, such as might occur in the Second Seal judgment (Revelation 6:3-4).
  2. Inflation, famine, or economic collapse will not become so bad that for most people in the world, it takes an entire day’s wages to buy a loaf or two of bread like it will in the Third Seal judgment (Revelation 6:5-6).
  3. The spread of disease will not become so bad that 25% of the world dies, as in the Fourth Seal judgment (Revelation 6:7-8).
  4. The Mark of the Beast will not be implemented (Revelation 13:16-18), even if we might see the system that enables it start coming into view through digital currencies and/or digital identification.

These reassurances, though, might not feel so comforting. What if inflation gets so bad that it takes 75% of a day’s wages to feed a family? What if a new plague were to wipe out 20% of the world’s people? What if Christians and other dissenters begin to be persecuted so badly by corrupt and lawless governments that we are no longer allowed to hold jobs, or buy or sell, even before the Mark of the Beast is created? Could these things still happen before the Rapture?

It is true that Jesus said the signs of the end times will resemble the labor pains of a pregnant woman, by how they will increase in frequency and intensity as the Tribulation approaches (Matthew 24:7-8, Mark 13:8).

However, the Bible also says that Jesus will come like a thief who breaks into a house when people are not expecting it (Matthew 24:42-44, Luke 12:35-40, 2 Peter 3:10, Revelation 3:3). Or it will be like when an unsuspecting person walks into a trap (Luke 21:34-35).

Jesus warns that Christians who are not watching for his return risk being caught off guard when he returns at the Rapture (Matthew 24:48-51, Mark 13:32-36, Luke 12:45-48). This group likely includes the lukewarm Laodicean Christians who will think they are rich and prosperous (Revelation 3:17). So things must remain ‘normal’ enough before the Rapture that at least some Christians will still be unaware of the approaching Tribulation, and at least some churches will appear to be very wealthy and successful.

Yet Christians who are paying attention to the signs and watching for Jesus’ return will not be surprised by the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6), even if we do not know the exact day or hour that it will occur (Matthew 24:36, 25:13, Mark 13:32).

When all of these verses are taken together, along with the earlier discussion of the days of Noah and Lot, the picture of what we should expect the world to be like before the Rapture is clear.

The signs will increase in frequency and intensity, and people will become worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:12-13). Yet things will remain normal enough that scoffers will continue to scoff about Jesus’ soon return (2 Peter 3:3-4), and at least some Christians will not see the Tribulation coming.

Thus, the world will not gradually enter the Tribulation in a series of continually escalating crises and disasters. Instead, the world will be in a state of “business as usual” until sudden disaster strikes them without warning, like when a person steps into a trap or when a woman in labor has her water suddenly break as the unstoppable delivery process begins.

This instantaneous transition point will be the Rapture. In the chaos that follows the disappearance of millions or maybe even billions of people, everything will quickly fall into place to allow for the rise of the Antichrist to power and the signing of a peace deal between Israel and “many.” Then, the sudden destruction of the twenty-one divine judgments will begin (1 Thessalonians 5:3).

So there is no reason why the world must become any worse than it is now before the Rapture can happen.

Indeed, given the increasing intensity of the rumors of major wars, earthquakes, persecution of anyone with traditional conservative and/or Christian values, rising violence and immorality in Western societies, and so forth, it does not seem that things can get much worse before “business as usual” would be interrupted.

If someone argues that Christians are not suffering enough yet to justify God rescuing us in the Rapture, this seems to be a very Western-centric perspective. Around the world, Christian persecution has increased 70% in just the last six years, and currently, over 360 million Christians are suffering greatly for their faith.[1]

Christians in the West are also quickly waking up to these ominous trends. A survey done one year ago in April of 2022 by the Pew Research Center said that 39% of all adults in the USA believed that humanity is in the end times. This increased to 63% among evangelical Christians.[2] How much higher would these numbers be if the survey were done today?

Even secular analysts are seeing that the world cannot continue on indefinitely as it is now. Several months ago, Israel’s Intelligence Ministry put out a report in which they said:

“The world is at a transition point analogous to being on the verge of a cliff, after which a series of crises striking simultaneously will reorder the planet’s geopolitics, the place of technology, the economic order, and a variety of other disciplines from health to energy, according to Israel’s first government national intelligence estimate.”[3]

If China were to invade Taiwan, as it continues to threaten, UK foreign secretary James Cleverly warns that it would likely “destroy world trade.” He “added that he shuddered to think of the financial and human ruin that would ensue.”[4] Thus, it does not seem that such an invasion could occur before the Rapture because it would severely disrupt “business as usual.”

For the same reason, it is very unlikely that the Russia-Ukraine war will break out into World War III before the Rapture, despite the former Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev recently warning that it could.[5]

Ongoing concerns about the world’s economy, inflation, the banking system, and potential future food or energy shortages are obvious to anyone who follows the news. Some experts have predicted a food crisis in 2023.[6] Other experts say there will be at least a recession [7], if not an outright depression.[8]

There are many experts warning about a coming war between Israel and its neighbors.[9] Current tensions make it seem that the Psalm 83 war could break out at any moment, which would be a perfect setup for the Gog-Magog war that is prophesied in Ezekiel 38. Either of these wars could be the precondition for the Antichrist to confirm a peace treaty in Daniel 9:27.

Furthermore, the rapid advance of artificial intelligence threatens to change the world in ways that we cannot predict. Some experts have said the impact of AI will be “orders of magnitude” greater than the invention of electricity or the Internet.[10] Other experts are calling for a worldwide stop to AI development out of fear that it could kill everyone on the planet.[11]

Either way, such developments would likely not allow the world to remain ‘normal’ for long. Personally, I suspect that some sort of AI might become part of the Image of the Beast that can speak and will greatly aid the Antichrist in his control of the world during the Tribulation.

Thus, the world today perfectly matches the conditions that are prophesied to be in place just before the Rapture. All the signs are here, especially regarding events that foreshadow the first few Seal judgments. Yet somehow, the world is still going along like normal, and most people (even Christians) are oblivious to the nearness of the Tribulation.

It does not seem that there is time for any more world wars, economic collapses, hyperinflation and/or global famines, or another pandemic to disrupt things for a few years, followed by even longer for the world to recover back to a state of “business as usual” before the Rapture can happen.

Instead, all of the things that experts warn are lining up to happen in the near future prove that if there was ever a time for Christians to wake up and watch intently for Jesus’ appearance in the clouds at the Rapture (Luke 21:28), it is now!

If you have never believed in Jesus, it is very urgent that you do so now in order to be accounted worthy of escaping all these things that will be coming on the world after the Rapture happens (Luke 21:36, KJV).

Simply admit that you have sinned by not loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind and by not loving others like you love yourself (Matthew 22:35-40). Then trust that Jesus Christ really is who he said he is—the Son of God—and believe that because of his death on the cross and his bodily resurrection, all your sins are forgiven (John 3:13-18, 3:36, 6:28-29, Romans 4:22-25, 1 Corinthians 15:14-17).

If you believe this, you are guaranteed to experience eternity in the amazing New Heavens and New Earth with God the Father, Jesus, and all other believers (Ephesians 1:13–14, Hebrews 12:22-24, Revelation 21:1-8). Hold on to your hope in Jesus’ soon return because it will not be long until we are taken out of this world by Jesus himself, and you will be rewarded with a crown (Revelation 3:11, 2 Timothy 4:8).


If you are interested in reading an easy-to-understand introduction to what the Bible teaches about the end times and the gospel, check out Arden’s newest book, A Detailed Biblical Introduction To The End Times: The Pre-Tribulation Rapture, Seven-Year Tribulation, and Pre-Millennial Return of Jesus Christ. Links to Arden Kierce’s books and writings can also be found at



[1] Raymond Ibrahim, The Never-Ending ‘Pandemic’: 360 Million Christians Persecuted Worldwide, Gatestone Institute, February 2, 2023

[2] Jeff Diamant, About four-in-ten U.S. adults believe humanity is ‘living in the end times’, Pew Research Center, December 8, 2022

[3] Yonah Jeremy Bob, World order on verge of cliff – first Israeli national intel assessment, The Jerusalem Post, December 19, 2022

[4] Patrick Wilmour, If China invaded Taiwan it would destroy world trade, says James Cleverly, The Guardian, April 25, 2023

[5] Danielle Ong, Nations’ On The Verge’ Of A ‘Full Scale’ World War 3, Russian Official Says, International Business Times, April 25, 2023

[6] Michael Snyder, The Food Crisis of 2023 Is Going To Be Worse Than Most People Would Dare To Imagine, The Washington Standard, October 17, 2022

[7] Murray Sabrin, A recession in 2023 is now inevitable. Layoffs in tech and finance will spread to other sectors,, March 27, 2023

[8] Crispus Nyaga, The Great Depression is coming: Elon Musk tells Tucker Carlson,, April 19, 2023

[9] Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Middle East Expert: Iran Planning Multi-Front Attack on Israel, Israel 365 News, April 10, 2023

[10] Julie Jammot, How AI could upend the world even more than electricity or the internet, ABS CBN News, March 19, 2023

[11] Eliezer Yudkowsky, Pausing AI Developments Isn’t Enough. We Need to Shut it All Down,, March 29, 2023




















The post Do Things Have to Get Worse Before the Rapture? :: By Arden Kierce appeared first on Rapture Ready.


  • Reply October 25, 2023


    34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matt 6:34 – People are dying today and going to hell. When will we stop this speculatory guessing and preach what we now is truth. 2 Cor 6:2 For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. — Tomorrow may be too late. Be spent in sharing the Gospel today. Is there an eviler thing than an unregenerated sinner, dying in sin and thus spending an eternity damned.

    • Reply October 26, 2023


      tell you what John Mushenhouse our friends Link Hudson Brett Dobbs still cant show NO rapture in the Olivet Discourse and believe it is OK

    • Reply October 26, 2023


      Troy Day can show mo rapture before the tribulation in the Olivet discourse.

    • Reply October 26, 2023


      Link Hudson not sure what mo you can show there BUT You cannot show resurrection for 6mo now Duane L Burgess gave a great advice

  • Reply October 26, 2023


    Kyle Williams Philip Williams believe in the positive better The pope will find Noahs boat and take them awayS They will be deeply surprised Brett Dobbs John Mushenhouse Dale M. Coulter when the rapture really takes place very soon now

  • Reply October 26, 2023


    Why no! Peace, peace! Then sudden destruction!

  • Reply November 15, 2023


    Oscar Valdez The rapture or Rapture is secret, if we knew the day and the hour we would all prepare for the glorious event, yet many would say they would wait until that last hour and minute, to seek to go with the Lord, so that glorious day if it is secret, nor the angels themselves will you know, only the Father knows.
    So all Christians believe in that glorious event, but differ about a certain timeline or approximation because we interpret the passages relating to the subject differently.

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