When Is The Rapture Going To Happen?

The debate between Christians rages on and it probably won’t end here. Mind you we all believe the same thing about Jesus being our Lord and Savior but, when it comes to the timing of the Rapture, we cannot seem to come to an agreement. The Rapture is viewed as the time when Jesus comes back for His church (His bride) but, it is not the His second coming on earth. For this article I will view each of the three most commonly argued points of view when it comes to the Rapture and compare them with scripture. I will not go super in depth with each one but, I will give you every side of the argument so that you can make your own judgement call.

Pre-Tribulation

The Pre-Tribulation view is fairly popular and no doubt was helped by the Left Behind series of books. To sum up the basics of what the Pre-Tribulation view point is… Pre-Tribulation is when Jesus comes back to bring His bride (the church) up to heaven prior to the start of the Tribulation. The Tribulation begins when the Antichrist and Israel make a 7 year peace treaty (Daniel 9:27). There are many reasons Christians believe that the Rapture will happen prior to the Tribulation. In Revelations 1-3, the church is mentioned 19 times. However, once the apostle John is lifted up too Heaven in Revelation 4:1, the church is not again mentioned at all in Revelations 4-18. The church returns in Revelations 19:7 when the Bible talks about the bride being made ready. It is strange that the church is not mentioned once during the entire 7 years of Tribulation. Pre-Tribulation Christians also say that part of the salvation of Christ means we are saved from the wrath of God that we all deserve (Ephesians 2:3-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:9). A good example of this having happened before would be when lot and his family were spared from Sodom being destroyed (Genesis 18-19). The Bible also says that church-age (the age after Christ’s death) Christians will be spared from the coming wrath of God during the 7 year Tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; 5:9; Revelation 3:10). Prior to the apostle John being taken up to Heaven in Revelation 4:1, Revelation 3:10-11 says “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.” Some argue that the Pre-Tribulation view started in 1830. That is not true however, even if it was true, would that matter as long as scripture backs up what they are saying?

3

Mid-Tribulation

This viewpoint is that Christ will Rapture His church mid-way through the Tribulation (3 ½ years in). They believe that God’s wrath is held back until the second half of the Tribulation so Christians will be Raptured prior to His wrath pouring down on the world. 3 ½ years is mentioned quite frequently in Daniel and Revelation. The emphasis of that amount of time is the backbone of their argument for the amount of time God will lay His wrath on the earth. 1 Corinthians 15:52 is connected to Revelation 11:15 for them and that is when they place the Rapture. Others believe Revelation 14:1-4 is the time of the Rapture instead. While there are a few flaws with this line of thinking however, the one big flaw is that this kills the doctrine of imminency. The Rapture is presented in the Bible as something that can happen at any time and possibly without signs (1 Corinthians 1:7; 16:22; Jude 1:21; Revelation 3:11; 22:7; 22:12; 22:20) If the Rapture is imminent and no man can no the hour or day (Matthew 24:36), wouldn’t it happening at the midway point of the Tribulation mean that we know when it is happening? That would make Jesus a liar if we knew.

Post-Tribulation

Post-Tribulation is the view that the Rapture and Second Coming are one event that is separated by only a few moments. The Rapture will occur at the end of the 7 year Tribulation when Jesus comes back to earth fro the second time. This view also says that God’s wrath is restricted to just the tail end of the Tribulation. They view the trumpets mentioned in Matthew 24:31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; and 1 Corinthians 15:52 as being one and the same. Matthew 24:31’s trumpet happens at the end of the Tribulation and they view this as being the last trumpet in 1 Corinthians 15:52. The problem with this is that they are not the same trumpet. Matthew 24:31 is for the Jewish believers in the Tribulation with no mention of a resurrection. The trumpet in 1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16 are about raising the believers who have died which happens with no warning signs. The trumpet in Matthew has many warning signs. Also Revelation 19:11-21 is all about Jesus’ second coming yet not one time is there mention of a Rapture or resurrection. Quite strange if that is when the Rapture is supposed to take place. Plus the imminency mentioned in the Mid-Tribulation section, applies here.
As you might have guessed, I support the Pre-Tribulation idea over any of the others. The Bible supports it way more than any other view. There is much more evidence for it but, I did not want 2,000 words on Pre-Tribulation and only 500 on the Mid and Post-Tribulation.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

Wesley Wood

Wesley Wood is an aspiring film director. He would love to make GOOD films to help spread God's word and help Christians grow.

7 Comments

  1. pete on April 10, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Faith without the works, gets you nothing.
    Do you keep the Sabbath Holy?
    Enjoy the Tribulation folks.

  2. M64 on August 4, 2014 at 3:37 am

    Your saying that the book of Revelation is not in Chronological order? Revelation 1:19 NKJV

    Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.

    From what I understand, John is being told to write the book in chronological order, not however he feels it should be, also the fact that the church is given no instruction in regard to the tribulation would be reason enough to assume a pretribulation rapture, obviously God has given instruction for his people up to that point but none after.

    • Wesley Wood on August 4, 2014 at 3:56 am

      Bingo. God is very clear throughout the Bible, then magically once John is gone and we hit Revelations 4 all of a sudden the church isn’t mentioned.

  3. Thomas Martin on July 20, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    I agree with Tim. There are a few things here presented as fact that are still wildly contested in theological circles. Such things as the Rapture even happening or “The Antichrist” being a single, physical man, while widely believed, are still up for debate. I started as a “Pre-Trib” guy myself and I love the Left Behind books, but as I’ve grown older I have realized that many scholars have taken too much liberty with God’s Word in order to sell End Times theological books.

  4. Geoff on July 20, 2014 at 4:26 am

    I’m more of a Mid to late trib kind of guy myself. Why let the unbelievers have all fun? Specifically I think the rapture will take place at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, and we will be going up to Jesus as he’s coming down to us. Jesus will lead a flying procession around the earth (so every eye can see him) as the bowls of wrath are poured out before the final battle at Armageddon.

    Also, I wish people wouldn’t say, “my version is the one with the most biblical backing.” I mean, of course you think that, or else you would ascribe to a different camp, right? Right? I mean, people don’t just pick the camp they want if they think most of the evidence points to a different one, right? But I think rational people can disagree about what has the most biblical support on this topic.

  5. Timothy Lim on July 20, 2014 at 1:51 am

    Hi Wes, this article assumes that the rapture isn’t a myth. I would have suggested making a case that the biblical idea of the rapture exists first.

    • Charles Norrington on April 13, 2020 at 12:40 pm

      Amen Brother

Leave a Reply