In recent years the pre-tribulation rapture position has come into
question due to the apparent Biblical accuracy of the pre-wrath rapture
theory. This position holds to the rapture of the church prIor to
God's wrath which is the Day of the Lord.
However, the pre-wrath rapture and the Day of the Lord are both
placed within Daniel's seventieth week. This is where the pre-wrath
theory parts ways with the standard fundamental pre-tribulation rapture
Although the Bible teaches that we cannot know the specific hour the rapture will occur, it does tell us we can and should know "the times and the seasons". (I Thess. 5:1-10) The Lord Jesus, after answering His disciples questions by laying out the end times events in chronological order, told them "When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near even at the door"(Matt. 24:33) speaking of His Coming to rapture the church.
It is just prior to this passage the Lord also tells us of heavenly wonders that will precede His Coming: "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory . And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other" (Matt.24:29-31).
The significance of this passage is profound. It is these "wonders in heaven", the darkening of the sun and moon, and the stars falling from heaven, that bind together the rapture of the church with the Day of the Lord. These same wonders will also precede the Day of the Lord (Joel 2:30,31;2:14,15; Acts 2:19,20) The timing of these wonders is clear by the context in which they are found. In Matthew 24 the Lord Jesus places them after the "abomination of desolation" which takes place at the middle of Daniel's Seventieth Week. This fully agrees with the context of Revelation 6. This key chapter is taken up with the opening of the seals showing that these same wonders follow the opening of the Sixth Seal (Rev. 6:12,13).
Likewise, Luke 21:25-28 places these same wonders just before the Rapture "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; Mens hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." This rapture text is one of the most descriptive in the entire Word of God.
Mark 13:24-27 also testifies to this Rapture truth:"But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall He send His angels,and shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven." It is obvious that the Lord was giving a chronological order of events that would take place during Daniel's seventieth week. Time and again He uses the words "then, when, and after " to indicate that His answers to the disciples questions are in precise chronological order.
I Thess. 4:13-18 the classic Rapture passage is also connected to the Day of the Lord. Paul, after penning 4:13-18 covering the Rapture, continues in context discussing the Day of the Lord 5:1-10 as though they were one and the same event. Although this only scratches the surface concerning the Bible's teaching on the Rapture, the Bible is clear, the Rapture and the Day of the Lord are tied closely together, and they will be preceded by wonders in heaven sometime after the abomination of desolation.
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