Why Different Views
If you’ve never studied about the Rapture and Bible prophecy, I know it can be very confusing with all the different teachings. You may have done an internet search and seen some believe the Rapture occurs before the Tribulation, some believe in the middle and some believe at the end of the Tribulation at the same time as Jesus’ 2nd coming and there are some that don’t believe there’s a Rapture at all. And you may have seen some saying we are in the trumpet judgments of Revelation. And some who hold to the belief that what are referred to as End time Prophecies are not to be taken literally, that all Bible prophecy was fulfilled by 70 a.d. when the Roman army destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple, and that Jesus already returned in 70 a.d. in the form of judgment from the destruction by the Romans.
For those that are new to all this, the Tribulation is the last 7 years that are allotted to Daniels people, the Jews, we see from Daniel chapter 9, which will be the time of Gods judgment on a Christ rejecting world. These 7 years are the last 7 years that lead to the 2nd coming of Christ. These 7 years have come to be referred to as the Tribulation. On the Bible Lessons page I have a lesson that shows from the Bible where the 7 years of the Tribulation come from and why.
Concerning the Rapture, the Bible does indeed teach there will be a Rapture, a catching up of the followers of Christ. Check out the Bible Lesson 'Is the Rapture in the Bible'. I have a Lessons page dedicated to all about the Rapture. The reason for these differing viewpoints on the timing of the rapture in relation to the Tribulation is that the Bible nowhere tells us explicitly when the rapture will occur, but there is scriptural evidence in relation to the Tribulation and the Rapture, so we must search the scriptures putting them together to determine when Jesus will return for the Church. Just like Prophecies about Jesus' first coming are spread throughout the Old Testament, it’s the same in the New Testament concerning the Rapture. No one Prophet was given all the revelation of the coming of the Messiah. They had to search the scriptures putting them together to get a complete understanding concerning the coming of the Messiah. It's the same with the New Testament. You have to search the scriptures putting them together to get a clearer picture concerning the Rapture, to get the truth concerning the timing of the catching up of the followers of Jesus. You have to put them ALL together. A failure to take into account all the scriptures is what lead to the Jews rejection of Jesus as the Messiah which continues today. To attempt to make your view work you can’t just pick the ones that seem to make how you view the timing of the Rapture work while ignoring all the other scriptures. And you can’t change a plain sense reading of scriptures to make your view work.
Just like the Old Testament paints two separate comings of the Messiah, the first as a suffering servant, the second as a conquering King, the New Testament paints two different pictures of Jesus returning. First one in which he doesn’t return back down to the earth, he only returns in the air and removes those that the Bible refers to as ‘in him’, they will not experience death but will return with him back to heaven, back to the Fathers house. See 1 Thes. 4: 13-18, John 14: 1-3. Then 7 years later will be his 2nd coming in which he returns back down to the earth with his bride, the Church. See Rev. 19. As I said above, this 7 year period comes from Daniel chapter 9. After he returns back down to the earth he remains to rule the world for a 1000 years. After this 1000 years will be eternity.
You may ask why does it matter to know the timing of the Rapture. With all the Bible prophecies we can see lining up and falling into place, with all the signs now coming together and happening at the same time, it looks like we could be really close to the beginning of the Tribulation. Heck, just looking at whats going on in the world you can see that things can't keep going on for much longer before it all falls apart. You can see we are on the brink of a one world socialist government and what we will know as World War III. This can easily cause people to lose hope and become discouraged.
Paul gave us promises about the Rapture. In 1 Thes. 4 16 & 17 after telling us about the rapture Paul with verse 18 says to encourage one another with these words. With Titus 2 verse 13 Paul describes the Rapture as our blessed hope. If you step back and think about it, the only way for the rapture to be a blessing and hope and to be encouraging is for it to occur before all the death and destruction of the Tribulation we see in the book of Revelation. We are promised in 1 Thes. 1:10, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. For if you're here during the Tribulation, as we see from Isaiah 24 and Revelation, the odds are, you won't survive to the end. Now more than ever we need to be encouraging each other of the hope we have.
With all the prophecies we have in the Bible and with seeing how a literal plain sense reading of the scriptures describe perfectly what we see happening in the world today, it should be clear that all Bible prophecy has not be fulfilled. With seeing how all the prophecies of the past and those concerning Jesus’ first coming came true literally, we should expect all the ones concerning his 2nd coming and how the Bible describes the world before his 2nd coming to come true literally also. That’s exactly what we see happening now. It’s amazing to see how accurately the Bible has foretold the things we see happening right before our very eyes. There is so much in the world lining up and falling into place with Bible Prophecy now like no other time in history. For the first time prophecies are beginning to come together at the same time just like Jesus said they would. From what the Bible tells us, it certainly looks like we are in the season of the Lord’s return for his faithful followers. There is so much falling into place today with Bible prophecy that Jesus could just actually return for his bride, the Church in our life time.
If you’re not sure what to believe, then check out the Bible Lessons page. I have many lessons there about the Rapture and End Time Prophecies. I point out how the scriptures show there is indeed a Rapture, a catching up of the Church and why only a Pre-trib Rapture works from what we see from the scriptures. I point out from the scriptures why the Rapture cannot occur on the same day as Jesus' 2nd coming. You will see that the Rapture and the 2nd Coming are not the same or occur at the same time. I also have lessons all about Jesus, who the Bible says Jesus is.
You should learn all you can concerning what the Bible says is coming upon the world. For our time is short.
Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus.