The Post Tribulation Rapture!
Does the Bible reveal the timing of the Rapture?
Dr. David Reagan of the Lion and Lamb Ministries made this statement, about the Rapture, at a Prophecy Conference in 2003. First of all, let me just say that the reason this is a controversial topic and a controversial question is that there is not any verse in the Bible that tells you point blank when the Rapture is going to occur. You cant turn to any verse that says the Rapture is going to occur at the beginning of the tribulation, the middle of the tribulation, the latter part of the tribulation or at the end of the tribulation. There is just not one there. The timing of the Rapture is something that the Bible does not clearly reveal.
Many leaders in the Pre Tribulation Rapture movement make statements like this about the Rapture, which throws the timing of the rapture into the realm of speculation. If this were true, then the timing of the Rapture would be impossible to determine.
Fortunately, these statements are false! Scripture does reveal the timing of the Resurrection and Rapture. God wants His Church to know what He has planned for the last days. God says,
Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets (Amos 3:7).
Before we go any further about the Rapture, we must understand what the Rapture is. The Rapture is a part the Resurrection of the Church.
At the Resurrection those who have died prior to the Second Coming will be "resurrected from the dead".
At the Resurrection those that are still alive and left at the Second Coming will (raptured) caught up and resurrected.
At the Second Coming both the living and the dead in Christ, will be gathered together in the clouds to meet Christ in the air. This gathering is referred to in Scripture as the harvest which will take place at the end of the age.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels (Matthew 13:39).
Now, lets see if the Bible says regarding the gathering at the time of the Resurrection and Rapture. What did Jesus tell the disciples about the timing?
For then there will be great tribulation, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now--and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. "So if anyone tells you, 'There he is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, 'Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. "Immediately after the tribulation of those days "'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other (Matthew 24:21-31).
Pray that this will not take place in winter, because those will be days of tribulation unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now--and never to be equaled again. If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them. At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'Look, there he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect--if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time. "But in those days, following that tribulation, "'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' "At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens (Mark 13:18-27).
These accounts of the Resurrection and Rapture clearly state that the elect (believers) will be gathered together by the angels when Christ comes in the clouds in great power and glory. These passages describe the elect being gathered from the four winds of the earth and from the heavens. The dead in Christ are gathered from heaven and those left alive are gathered from the earth.
Does the Word of God reveal when the Resurrection and Rapture will occur?
Paul also wrote about the gathering at the Second Coming.
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4).
Paul states, that the Second Coming and our gathering will not happen until after the Antichrist is revealed which is when he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
This event is called the abomination that causes desolation. Let's read wheat Daniel wrote about the abomination that causes desolation.
He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him" (Daniel 9:27).
His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place (Daniel 11:31, 36).
The Antichrist will be revealed, at the abomination that causes desolation, which begins the Great Tribulation.
Therefore, the Bible does state when the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him will occur. It will be after the Great Tribulation.
There will be NO Pre Trib Rapture!
Richard H Perry