Rapture Timing

Looking For The Rapture

Of the eight things we are watching for, the Rapture is the only one left that can actually be accomplished just like that…bam! Whish! Gone! No specific warning signs or pre-conditions required. From a scriptural point of view it could have happened 1000 years ago, or 100; it could happen today. Strange as it sounds, apparently believers are, indeed, “snatched” away at some point. (1Thes 4:16-17)

“Listen, I tell you a mystery, we will not all sleep but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.” (1Cor 15:51)

Most prophecy scholars expect the Rapture to occur around the time of the Tribulation. All of us want to know exactly when it’s going to happen. Unfortunately, God only provides a little information, so we’re left with best guesses. Most people gather Biblical support around three timing possibilities: Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib and Post-Trib

The Pre-Trib position says we’re outta here before things get bad. This group thinks that the Church will be taken out of the world at or just before the signing (or perhaps implementing) of a specific 7 year treaty that, among other things, guarantees the security of Israel and allows them to rebuild the Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

What this timing position has going for it

  • Although the Church is mentioned 20 times in the first three chapters in The Book of Revelation, the Church is not mentioned again until after the Tribulation in chapter 19, then she’s referred to as “the Bride” (Rev 19)
  • Daniel’s 70th Week, the Tribulation, is intended for the Jews, not for the Church (Dan 9: 24)
  • Church is promised it would be protected from the wrath of God (Rom 3:10-11, 1Thes 1:10, 5:9)

True, but questions remain with a Pre-Trib view:

  • How can the Rapture trumpet be the last trumpet (1Cor 15:51-52) since trumpets are mentioned all through the Book of Revelation
  • If Pre-Trib, why would there be a need of comfort for the saints (1Thes 4:18)
  • If people can accept salvation after the Rapture, wouldn’t the Marriage feast of the lamb have to take place after the Second Coming instead of occurring near the beginning of the Tribulation (Rev 6:9-11)

The Mid-Trib proponents place the Rapture at some point after the Seals of Revelation 6 but before the Bowl Judgments (Rev 15 and 16). Perhaps at the point in Revelation Chapter 11 where God says to His two faithful witnesses, “Come up here.”

What it’s got going for it

  • There’s reason think the first half of the Tribulation won’t be so bad, therefore, the “wrath of God” doesn’t start until the 3½ year mark and thus we are protected from the “coming wrath”
  • Although God has a history of protecting His people in place Noah, Lot, the Hebrews, He also tends to allow them to go through some of the early stages of judgments  (Is 26:19-21)

What isn’t explained in the Mid-Trib position is

  • Why would the Church even be in a part of Daniel’s 70th Week which is for the Jews
  • If the Church is still on earth, why isn’t the Church even mentioned in the pre-bowl judgments
  • How would it be unexpected when you could pretty much calculate its timing

The Post-Trib possibility states Christ will Rapture the Church close to the very end of the 7 year Tribulation and then the Saints return with Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords, and King of Kings! for the battle of Armageddon (Rev 19:11-19).

Many holding this position believe that the Seal judgments (Rev 4) are caused by man, the Trumpet judgments (Rev 8 and 9) are caused by Satan and God only causes the Bowl judgments (Rev 16), thus the “wrath of God” isn’t until about the Tribulation’s 5-6 year point. Could be. But the big problem is here is that right from the beginning, with opening of the 7 Seals, it’s Jesus Christ who, at His Father’s specific direction, initiates and controls all judgments unleashed upon mankind and the planet.  

Whatever the timing of the Rapture turns out to be, it is going to happen. Maybe soon.

“So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.” 1Thes 5:6-8

This may have been more information than you wanted on the Rapture but it’ll give you points to ponder. Next time I want to do less of a direct teaching and more of a thinking out loud. What should we do about the Rapture? Are we supposed to prepare? What would that look like?

Please, neither offhandedly accept nor reject what is said in this blog. Check it out. Look it up for yourself in the Bible. If you are a child of God, you are in good hands and there is the most wonderful eternity waiting for you. If you are not a Christ follower, now is a really good time to honestly explore the truth claims of the Bible.

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