TIMING OF THE RAPTURE

The debate between pretribulation and prewrath rapture scholars about Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians has been fierce – mostly centred around 2 Thess. 2:3 and the meaning of the Greek word apostasia.

Image result for book Rapture Case Cosed by Neslon Walters

Dr Nelson Walters of Gospel in the End Times has written about that passage at length in his book Rapture: Case Closed?  However, he points out in this presentation that very little discussion has taken place about the passage that precedes 2 Thess. 2 and provides its “context,” that is 2 Thess. 1. The eschatological material in chapters one and two are really one continuous teaching! We cannot understand chapter two without understanding chapter one that provides introductory thoughts on the more hotly contested chapter.

Nelson does a stellar job of presenting the Prewrath case for the timing of the Rapture in this seven minute video.

 

TENETS OF PREWRATH RAPTURE

As some of my followers will have determined, I hold to a Prewrath Rapture position. It means that Christians will go through the tribulation period outlined by Daniel and John in Revelation, but not be subjected to the wrath of God that is poured out during the trumpet and bowl judgements.

For those of you who would like to explore this position further, I can recommend the resources produced by Alan Kurschner – Antichrist: Before the Day of the Lord and Nelson Walters – Rapture Case Closed? both who hold to the Prewrath Rapture position.

Don’t forget you can find sermons and videos relevant for these “last days” available for download on my other website http://www.powerpointsermons.net

I found the following fifteen tenets of the Prewrath position as outlined on Alan Kurschner’s website a great help and I hope you do too.

  1. There is a future seven-year period, and at the midpoint the Antichrist will be revealed and commit the abomination of desolation, initiating his great tribulation against the Church and Israel.
  2. There is a biblical distinction between the Antichrist’s great tribulation against the Church and Israel and the day of the Lord’s wrath against the ungodly. The latter event happens after the former event.
  3. The gathering of the elect mentioned in Matthew 24:31 refers to the rapture (cf. Mark 13:27; Luke 21:28; Rev 7:9–17; 1 Thess 4:13–18; 2 Thess 2:1).
  4. At an unknown day and hour during the second half of the seven-year period, the Antichrist’s great tribulation will be cut short by the Revelation of Christ to resurrect and rapture God’s people, and this will be followed immediately by the day of the Lord’s wrath with the trumpet and bowl judgements.
  5. On the same day the rapture happens, the onset of the day of the Lord’s wrath takes place, just as it was in the days of Noah and Lot (Luke 17:22–37; cf. 2 Thess 1:5–10).
  6. The second coming (parousia) is not a simple (instantaneous) event. The second coming is a complex-whole event containing various purposes of God, beginning with the Revelation of Christ in the sky displaying his Shekinah glory and power to the whole world, and resurrecting and rapturing God’s people, followed by the day of the Lord’s judgments upon the ungodly and Antichrist’s kingdom, restoring Israel to salvation, and culminating in Christ’s earthly reign.
  7. Although Armageddon is an element within the complex-whole second coming, Armageddon does not initiate the second coming; instead, the second coming begins between the sixth and seventh seal.
  8. The resurrection and rapture happens between the opening of the sixth seal and the seventh seal.
  9. The first six seals are not part of the day of the Lord’s wrath. The first six seals are conditional events that must happen before Christ’s return.
  10. The sixth seal signals the impending day of the Lord’s wrath as recorded in Joel 2:30–31; Matthew 24:29; Luke 21:25–26; Mark 13:23–25; and Revelation 6:12–17.
  11. The seventh seal pronounces the day of the Lord’s wrath.
  12. The trumpets, bowls, and Armageddon contain and execute the day of the Lord’s wrath.
  13. The trumpets, bowls, and Armageddon will not occur before the seventh seal is opened.
  14. Paul’s “last trumpet” (1 Cor 15:52) is not the seventh trumpet judgment in the book of Revelation.
  15. Christ’s return to resurrect and rapture God’s people is not imminent (“any moment”), since discernible prophesied events must happen first (e.g., the Antichrist’s revelation and his ensuing great tribulation; the apostasy; coming of Elijah; and a cluster of discernible celestial events). Christ can return in any generation of the Church.

—Alan Kurschner, 08/01/12

TIMING OF THE RAPTURE IS IMPORTANT

Once again Nelson does a great job of challenging us all about the state of the church in these last days. What is the state of your church? Has it compromised with the worlds values? How many in your church are actually born again? Is it even discussing Jesus Second Coming and prophesied tribulation at that time?

MOST AMAZING BIBLICAL PROPHECY

Seventy weeks are determined upon the people and upon the holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah, the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks.” Daniel 9:24-25

What an amazing prophecy!

Remember, Satan tried to stop this prophecy being delivered to Daniel by Gabriel. No wonder, as it predicts both the first and second coming of Jesus. At His second coming, first, to raise the dead in Christ and rapture the Saints, and then, to return with the Saints to rescue Israel and to rule and reign for one thousand years. It clearly states that at the end of the seventy weeks, almost all prophecy will be completed, all sin atoned for, and an everlasting righteousness achieved for those who are in Jesus.

Can you see the connection between Daniel’s prophecy and Jesus statement in Matthew 18:21?

Then Peter came to Him, and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? “Jesus said to him, I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.Matthew 18:21-22

Have you wondered why seventy times seven? It is seventy times seven because at the end of this period, all sin is atoned for and an everlasting righteousness given to all those who are in Jesus.


  1. JESUS COMING IN THE CLOUDS WITH HIS ANGELS WITH THE ANGELS. THE DEAD IN CHRIST ARE RAISED FIRST AND THEN THOSE ALIVE IN CHRIST WILL BE RAPTURED TO MEET HIM IN THE AIR.
  2. JESUS COMING TO EARTH WITH THE SAINTS ON WHITE HORSES TO RESCUE ISRAEL AND TO RULE AND REIGN FOR ONE THOUSAND YEARS.

God declares the end (REVELATION) from in the beginning (GENESIS).

 

IMPORTANCE OF RAPTURE TIMING

Increasingly, this site will focus on prophesied end times as they unfold in our time. The aim, to equip believers to use prophecy in evangelism. As I have mentioned in previous posts, there are far more prophecies about Jesus Second Coming than there were about His First coming. All the OT prophets were given a picture of a restored Israel with Jesus (descendant of King David) ruling and reigning from Jerusalem.

Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Nehemiah, Zechariah, and Micah are all stand outs for me in providing us with pictures of future “end times” events. All through Isaiah we get snippets of Jesus ruling from Jerusalem. As early as Isaiah 2, we read “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be firmly established above other mountains, and exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares  and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore”. Isaiah then goes on to paint a picture of The Day of the Lord when the Lord alone will be exalted on that day, everything proud and lofty, everything lifted up will be brought low.

As Nelson Walters states in this important video, the timing of the Rapture is not just a theological debate, its timing is critical, in terms of whether the church will face the tribulation, and even great tribulation outlined in Daniel’s 70th week. In the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21), Jesus gave His disciples and us, a lot of information about His Second Coming. He said, many times, WATCH, BE ALERT, for it will be like the days of Noah, they will be eating, sleeping etc and suddenly, He will appear in the clouds with the angels and every eye will see Him, believers will be taken up, but most look for rocks to hide under. God then pours out His wrath upon the unrepentant in the Trumpet and Bowl Judgements.

WILL THE CHURCH FACE THE ANTICHRIST?

What an important question. Will the church face the Antichrist? What is your understanding of when the Rapture will take place, if at all? Listen to Joel Richardson interview Nelson Walters author of Rapture: Case closed.

I have read two of Nelson’s previous books: Are We Ready for Jesus – How to Prepare for His Return and Revelation Deciphered, both I can recommend. Nelson is on the Board of Power Point Sermons for the end times  (www.powerpointsermons.net) which I set up late last year and which is shortly to be launched. I look forward to meeting up with both Nelson and Joel at the Understanding the Times – Israel, Islam and the Gospel Conference in Tyler Texas next week. I will give you a report week after next. Be blessed.

KEY QUESTIONS ON A PREWRATH RAPTURE

Alan Kurshner of Eschatos Ministries on the Prewrath Rapture.

What are key passages that best represent the Prewrath Rapture position?

I think the strongest passage is 2 Thessalonians 2, where Paul reassures Thessalonian believers that they are not experiencing the day of the Lord’s wrath. Paul explains that they are not experiencing the day of the Lord’s wrath because two discernible events must happen first—the revelation of Antichrist and the apostasy. Since they have not happened, Paul argues, the day of the Lord has not materialised. This passage eliminates the possibility of a  Pretribulation Rapture.

Image result for pictures of the rapture of the saints

I also see Jesus’ Olivet Discourse as a key passage that supports the Prewrath Rapture position. It depicts all the key elements: the Antichrist’s great tribulation, cutting short of the great tribulation, celestial disturbances, Son of Man’s return to the clouds, rescue of God’s people, and the impending wrath of God.

I would argue, as well, from the book of Daniel and Revelation, but the former two passages, in my view, form a strong case for the pre-wrath position.

What role does Daniel 9 have in your understanding of the timing of the rapture?

I do not see Daniel 9 informing a particular eschatological sequence vis-à-vis the rapture question (but I do in Daniel 11:36–12:4). There are at least two points that Daniel 9 informs us on: (1) There will be a future seven-year period during which time key events will unfold, and (2) the fulfilment of the salvation of Israel will happen when the seven-year period is complete.

How does your understanding of the rapture affect your life?

Jesus ominously warns believers, “See, I have told you beforehand” (Matt 24:25). This is not a cliché, but a real warning to God’s people. The great tribulation will be a concrete event occurring in the future just before the Lord returns. Jesus says it will be characterised by martyrdom, hatred, apostasy, betrayal, deception, and lawlessness. So much so that he says, “such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be” (Matt 24:21).

To be sure, if we do not experience this event in our lifetime, there are still important faith-principles that we can use to apply to our lives in the present time.

Since God has ordained that the last generation of church will experience tribulation before she meets her Rescuer bride-groom, should this not be an urgent warning for the church? The temptation during the great tribulation to capitulate to persecution, false teaching, and slothfulness will be intense. There will be two imperative duties for the believer during the great tribulation: to overcome the adversity through faith and to encourage the fellow believer to do the same.

One final implication is saliently portrayed in the angelic warning not to take the beast’s mark, lest they suffer eternal punishment in hell (see Revelation 14:9–12).

God perseveres the faith of his people through concrete warnings, so it is incumbent on Christian leaders not to dismiss these eschatological warnings for their people that God has entrusted to them. So the practical implications for the basic correct interpretation are sober for the believer.

This information is taken from Alan Kurshner’s book Antichrist Before the Day of the Lord: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Return of Christ.

ARE WE READY FOR JESUS COMING?

Many Christians, including me, like to think that God will keep us from the last days Tribulation period (7 years, particularly the last 3 ½ years), when He pours out His wrath upon the earth.

“Because you have kept my command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth.” Revelation 3:10

This is one of the strongest declarations that the church will not go through the Tribulation period. Nevertheless there are differing views which are worth considering so I suggest you take a look at the video by Nelson Walters.

He puts the view that “unless an individual is 100% sure of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, it is the moral imperative to prepare to face at least the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation and therefore the Antichrist.”

He says, “It is not just your own personal life at stake but the lives and souls of everyone you teach and come into contact with.  What could be more important?”

Sadly there is very little teaching in churches on what the Bible teaches on “end times” and yet the Bible clearly tells us that there is a great falling away during the “end times”.

Bottom line; we can trust God to be with us regardless of our circumstances, so draw closer to Him by spending more time in His Word and prayer.

People only have true understanding (wisdom) when they look at everything from God’s perspective.  R.C.Sproul