The Rapture Survival Guide (TRSG) – Part 3 – Rapture Timing

This is the blog version of my PDF ‘The Rapture Survival Guide (TRSG)’.
Download the PDF Version Here

Rapture Timing
Among Christians there can often be some heated debates about the tribulational timing of the rapture, whether it’s pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, post-tribulation, that it’s already happened (Postmillennialism) or that it’s all allegorical (Amillennialism). This document uses the Pre-Tribulational viewpoint because it’s the only biblically accurate position, but to sum it up simply – we are to expect Him at any time.

This section doesn’t need to be read if the Rapture has already happened, because you would know it was pre-tribulational.

Pre-Tribulational (Biblically Accurate)
The pre-tribulation position advocates that the rapture will occur before the beginning of the seven-year tribulation period, while the second coming will occur at the end of it. Pre-tribulationists often describe the rapture as Jesus coming for the church and the second coming as Jesus coming with the church.
This is the view used throughout this document as explained below.

1. The Doctrine of Imminency – We are to expect Him at any time, there are no longer any preconditions to His return.
2. It mirrors a Jewish Wedding (Betrothal, Payment, Sanctification, Bridegroom Departs, Prepares Room, Bride Prepares for his Return, Surprise Gathering, Wedding)
3. Enoch’s rapture is a ‘type’ of the church before the great flood of Noah. (Type – a doctrine or theory concerning the relationship of events in the OT to the NT)
4. The church is mentioned repeatedly in the first 3 chapters but never again from the fourth chapter on – because it’s now in heaven before the tribulation.
5. John was taken to heaven in the spirit in Revelation chapter 4 which mirrors a type of the rapture in the correct position relative to Revelation.
6. Parable of the 10 virgins. Matthew 25:1-13. This is an example of a Pre-Tribulational rapture as they do not know the day or the hour.
7. The seven lamps of fire in Revelation represent the church and relate back to the parable of the 10 virgins.
8. The 24 elders in heaven are symbolic of the raptured church. Point of interest – there are also 24 references to raptures in the bible.
9. “Comfort another with these words”. 1 Thessalonians 4:18. How can you comfort others knowing you will go through even part of the tribulation?
10. The rapture of the church occurs before the tribulation so that God can focus His attention on Israel to bring them back to Him during this time.
11. Revelation 3:10 “Because you have persevered, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world”.
12. If the rapture occurs pre-tribulation – wouldn’t satan do his best to try and convince people otherwise so they feel they have more time?
13. 2 Thessalonians 1 tells us that God will put those who trouble believers through the tribulation and to give those who are troubled rest when Jesus returns.
14. Daniel’s absence during the events of the golden idol worship in Daniel 3 is a type of the rapture. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego symbolise Israel.
…and many other reasons and biblical ‘types’ too numerous to list.

Mid-Tribulational (Biblically Inaccurate)
The mid-tribulation position espouses that the rapture will occur at some point in the middle of the tribulation period, or ‘Daniel’s 70th Week’. The tribulation is divided into two periods of 3.5 years each. Mid-tribulationists hold that the saints will go through the first period (Beginning of Travail), but will be raptured into Heaven before the severe outpouring of God’s wrath in the second half of what is popularly called the great tribulation.

Why the view is biblically inaccurate:
1. The entire tribulation is God’s wrath on the unbelievers and we are to be spared the wrath of God. 1 Thessalonians 5:9
2. How can we expect Him at any time when the tribulation has obvious fixed events described in the bible? The disciples even expected Him.
3. The church is not mentioned in any of the events from chapter 4 onwards.
4. It is “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble”, Jacob’s name was changed to Israel, therefore the tribulation is for the salvation of Israel and not the church.
5. The antichrist can only be revealed after the church is raptured.

Prewrath Premillennialism (Biblically Inaccurate)
The prewrath rapture view also places the rapture at some point during the tribulation period before the second coming. This view holds that the tribulation of the church begins toward the latter part of a seven-year period, being Daniel’s 70th week, when the Antichrist is revealed in the temple. This latter half of a seven-year period (3.5 years) is defined as the great tribulation, although the exact duration is not known.

Why the view is biblically inaccurate:
1. The entire tribulation is God’s wrath on the unbelievers and we are to be spared the wrath of God. 1 Thessalonians 5:9
2. How can we expect Him at any time when the tribulation has obvious fixed events described in the bible? The disciples even expected Him.
3. The church is not mentioned in any of the events from Revelation 4 onwards.
4. It is “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble”, Jacob’s name was changed to Israel, therefore the tribulation is for the salvation of Israel and not the church.
5. The antichrist can only be revealed after the church is raptured. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

Post-Tribulational (Biblically Inaccurate)
In the post-tribulation premillennial position, the rapture would be identical to the second coming of Jesus or as a meeting in the air with Jesus that immediately precedes his return to the Earth before a literal millennium. The post-tribulation position places the rapture at the end of the tribulation period.

Why the view is biblically inaccurate:
1. The entire tribulation is God’s wrath on the unbelievers and we are to be spared the wrath of God. 1 Thessalonians 5:9
2. How can we expect Him at any time when the tribulation has obvious fixed events described in the bible? The disciples even expected Him.
3. The church is not mentioned in any of the events from Revelation 4 onwards.
4. It is “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble”, Jacob’s name was changed to Israel, therefore the tribulation is for the salvation of Israel and not the church.
5. The antichrist can only be revealed after the church is raptured. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
6. There won’t be time for the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb” if we go to heaven and then instantly come back with Jesus.

Postmillennialism (Kingdom Now) (Very Biblically Inaccurate)
Postmillennials believe: The Church has replaced Israel, and God has no purpose left for the Jews. Accordingly, many of the proponents are aggressively anti-Semitic, even to the point of arguing that the Jewish people are the Antichrist. They say that the Church is destined to take over the world by itself and reign over all the nations for at least one thousand years and that Jesus cannot return for the Church until the Church has completed its reign and is ready to present the kingdom to Him. They also claim that the Second Coming of Christ occurred in the First Century.

In the postmillennialist view the millennium is seen as an indefinitely long time thus precluding literal interpretation of a thousand-year period. According to Loraine Boettner “the world will be Christianised, and the return of Christ will occur at the close of a long period of righteousness and peace, commonly called the millennium.” Postmillennialists commonly view the rapture of the Church as one and the same event as the second coming of Christ. According to them the great tribulation was already fulfilled in the Jewish-Roman War of 66–73 AD that involved the destruction of Jerusalem.

Why the view is biblically inaccurate:
1. The world is obviously getting worse and not better, therefore Jesus will never be able to come according to this view. They will never be able to “Christianise” the world to prepare it for His return due to the fact that the vast majority of people will reject the bible. Matthew 7:14
2. Acts 3:21 does NOT mean that Jesus will wait in heaven until the earth is perfect, but that He will only come back when it’s time to set things straight.
3. Matthew 24:14 does NOT mean that the world will have to be Christianised before His return, but says the gospel must be preached to the world.
4. God has and never will abandon Israel as per Romans 9-11 and the tribulation is “The time of Israel’s Trouble”, to bring them back to Jesus.
5. The tribulation can’t have occurred in the past because the church is still on earth, the third temple hasn’t been built, we would have heard of huge plagues wiping out most of the earth, we would know who the antichrist was and Jesus would be back by now.
6. If the rapture and the second coming are at the same time, how is there time for the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb”?
7. The reason for the church is to preach the gospel to any and all who will hear it and NOT to try and convert the world in preparation for Jesus.
8. Imminency – Jesus’ return will not be imminent if the church will have to reign 1,000 years first.
9. “If we’re in the millennium, satan’s chain is too long”
10. Unfulfilled prophecies such as the destruction of Damascus (Isaiah 17), and the attempted invasion of Israel (Ezekiel 38).
…and many more reasons too numerous to list.

Amillennialism (Preterism) (Very Biblically Inaccurate)
Amillennialism is the spiritualizing or an allegorical interpretation of the end times bible passages. Amillennialists view the millennial rule of Christ as the current (in our hearts), but indefinite period that began with the foundation of the church and that will end with the Second Coming—a period where Christ already reigns with his saints through the Eucharist and his church. They believe that most Bible prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70 at the destruction of the Temple and they view the life of the church as Christ’s kingdom already established, but not to be made complete until his second coming.

Bishop Earl Paulk taught that we are “little gods” and that Jesus Christ cannot return until we rise to the full stature of our godhood, take over this world, and establish His kingdom for Him – this is dominionism. Amillennialists generally do not use “rapture” as a theological term, but they do view a similar event coinciding with the second coming—primarily as a mystical gathering with Christ. To amillennialists the final days already began on the day of the Pentecost, but that the great tribulation will occur during the final phase or conclusion of the millennium, with Christ then returning as the alpha and omega at the end of time.

Why the view is biblically inaccurate:
1. We can’t be living in the time of Jesus’ reign because of so much evil in the world and it’s continually getting worse.
2. The term rapture is used throughout the bible and can’t be ignored by this theory.
3. Jesus said his feet will touch the mount of olives on His second coming thus being a physical return.
4. When did Jesus begin to reign over the world from Jerusalem?
5. Satan is bound throughout the millennium and he obviously is out today deceiving people.
6. The millennium couldn’t have taken place in A.D. 70 because of all the unfulfilled prophecies and the knowledge that God’s word is perfect.
7. When was Jerusalem surrounded by the armies of all nations?
8. Was Israel established in AD 70 in her land, never to be removed again?
…and many more reasons too numerous to list.

If this post has made an impact on your life and you want to take the next step, head to:
Accepting Jesus

Jump To
◄ Previous – Part 2 – The Term Rapture     |     Next – Part 4 – Date Setters ►

Part 1 – Introduction
Part 7 – Left Behind?
Part 10 – Post Rapture Steps
Part 13 – The Tribulation (First Half)
Part 30 – Mid Tribulation
Part 38 – Armageddon
For a full list of the parts, see the bottom of Part 1.

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