I would love for you to go back and review what we have studied thus far about two topics: The Rapture and The Day of the Lord. Here are links that will allow you to do that:
Go HERE to find every single post in this Revelation series.
Go HERE to find the first post on The Rapture.
Go HERE to find the first post on The Day of the Lord.
Go HERE to find the second post on The Day the Lord.
Go HERE to read the second post on The Rapture
Did you read The Left Behind series of books that were written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins? I read every single one of them and really enjoyed them. In case you did not, the Left Behind series is a collection of fiction novels that focus on events that might take place when the Rapture happens. The characters are interesting and very relatable. The events are catastrophic, and likely, very realistic. The ultimate goal of these books is to point the reader to the need for a relationship with Jesus by using the coming Rapture and other end-time events to point out that salvation through Christ is the only way to heaven.
In our post today I want to give you my assessment and thoughts about the timing of the Rapture. I could be wrong, and I know that many people have a different interpretation of these events than I. But, after a great deal of study about this topic under more learned teachers, this is where I fall on the topic. No one can know for sure when and how it will happen, but the Bible seems pretty clear that it will take place at some point, and Scripture gives us sign posts that we can watch for on the journey toward that day.
Let’s summarize what we know about the Rapture from our previous discussions:
From 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 we learned:
- The Lord will descend from heaven
- The dead in Christ will rise first (the bodies of those who have died as Christ-followers)
- Believers living at that time will be caught up together with the dead in Christ in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (this is NOT the second coming of Christ)
From 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 we learned:
- A trumpet will sound
- Dead will be raised imperishable
- Those who are alive will be changed, too
In 2 Thessalonians 2 we learned a few things that must take place before the Day of the Lord:
- An apostasy/rebellion/falling away
- The ‘restrainer’ must be taken out of the way
- The man of lawlessness (antichrist) will come on the scene in a big way
In 1 Thessalonians 5 Paul teaches on the rapture before he teaches on the Day of the Lord. Although we cannot write it in permanent marker, is it possible we can assume that the rapture precedes the Day of the Lord on the timeline of end-time events? I think it is highly possible.
Also in 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul, in teaching about the Day of the Lord, adamantly proclaims that believers in Jesus Christ are not appointed or destined to wrath. Scripture places the wrath of God within the events of the Day of the Lord, which begins at or shortly after the 7th trumpet. So, again, it seems that the rapture might take place before the Day of the Lord.
Although we have not studied the 7th trumpet yet, Scripture tells us that the man of lawlessness will be revealed at the 7th trumpet. (Revelation 13) So, it is reasonable to assume that the Rapture occurs prior to the 7th trumpet, perhaps?
Most people refer to the last 7 years/Daniel’s 70th week as the tribulation, and make no mistake, there will be horrors and tribulation. However, the judgments that come on the earth and on mankind ramp up significantly during the final 3 ½ years of this period. Matthew 24:21 records Jesus as saying there will be ‘great tribulation’ during this final 3 ½ year period. It seems that the trigger for this final 3 ½ year period are the events of the 7th trumpet.
It is my sincere belief, after much study, that the Rapture takes place just prior to the sounding of the 7th trumpet. Could I be wrong? Of course. Are there other rational explanations and timings for the Rapture? Absolutely. This is only my opinion, and my opinion is only worth what you paid for it. I do not write this in permanent marker,, and neither should you.
So, am I a pre-tribulation person? Well, yes, if you consider the last half of the 7 years to be the Great Tribulation. Maybe I am a mid-tribulation person. Yes, if you consider the entire 7 years to be the tribulation. Am I a pre-wrath supporter? Yep, if you believe that the wrath of God begins at the 7th trumpet and the 7th trumpet sounds in the middle of the 7 years. I am clearly not a supporter of the post-tribulation wrath hypothesis.
What I am is a woman whose faith rests in knowing that God has it all figured out and timed perfectly, so there is little reason for me to stress over the semantics and timing of the Rapture. I hope this teaching on the rapture has been interesting and informative for you. I strongly encourage you to search the Scriptures for yourself and formulate your own opinions on this, and other, end-time events. I also encourage you to give grace to those who belief differently from you.
Thanks for taking this journey through Revelation with me. We will continue our study back in Revelation 11 with a look at the events of the sounding of the 7th trumpet soon.
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