TIMING OF THE RAPTURE

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will comeMatthew 24:14

The event Jesus is referring to hear may well be the angel who God commissions to preach the gospel to those who dwell on the earth – to every nation, tribe, tongue and people –

Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the ...

God sends out three angels before the wrath of God is poured out with the trumpet and bowl judgements. The third angel likewise tells all those who dwell on the earth the consequences of taking the mark of the beast.

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.” Revelation 14: 9-10

The church will not be raptured until the three angels deliver their messages to all the world. Five words demonstrate this point: “then the end will come” (Matt 24:14). The church will not be removed until this prophecy is fulfilled. It is simply another prophetic event that undermines an any-moment return of Jesus prior to Christians experiencing the Antichrist and tribulation.

On a related noted, having established that the church will be present on earth up to the end of the age in verse 14, notice in verse 15 Jesus says, “Therefore [oun] when you see the abomination of desolation…” The interpreter should not miss that Jesus has the same audience in view after verse 14. In verse 15, Jesus begins to describe the Antichrist’s great tribulation in more detail. There is no justification to claim that the referent “you” in verse 15 and afterwards is different from the “you” before verse 14. In other words, the disciples, who represent the new community of God (i.e. the church) will be on earth to see the Antichrist declare himself to be god and be the recipients of the tribulation even great tribulation that the Antichrist will inflict on Jews and Christians at that time.

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