THREE RAPTURE POSITIONS
By Ken Blue (Be sure and listen to the great gospel songs)
In a recent article we discussed the matter of whether or not the Bible teaches the event called the rapture. The two main passages on the rapture are found in I Thess. 4:13-18 and I Cor. 15:51-58. As stated, my goal is not to get you to believe in the rapture, but to admit that it is a doctrine taught in the Bible.
There are three main views about the time for the rapture. These are the Pre-Tribulation, the Mid-Tribulation, and the Post-Tribulation views. Of course these call for a period taught in the Bible as the Tribulation. The Bible has hundreds of references to that period and event. Jesus speaks of it in no uncertain terms. “15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. 29 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 the heavens shall be shaken: 30 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. 31 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.” Matthew 24:15-31.
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]…a time is coming upon the earth called The Tribulation.[/pullquote]
These Scriptures, and many like them, confirm that a time is coming upon the earth called The Tribulation. The Tribulation also has a specified number of years. We will deal with that in another article. Let me clarify, I am not implying that the above text concerns the rapture of the Church. The purpose is to call your attention to a time period of The Tribulation. My view is that the rapture of the Church takes place prior to those events.
The question is, if this view is correct, how soon after the rapture will the Tribulation take place? Also, what events will transpire at the moment of the rapture? First, there is nothing in Scripture stating what the time period between the rapture and the Tribulation will be. Many commentators assume it to be forty years. They give their reasons, which we cannot go into now. However, this would give the Jews ample time to build their new temple. The other question is, what events will take place at the rapture? Again, there is no answer to that question. Speculation is that great destruction will take place. The logic is that pilots, engineers, drivers, and millions of others will disappear, thus creating havoc throughout the world. This seems to be a rational conclusion.
If the rapture takes place prior to the Tribulation, and there is an unspecified period of time between the two. What are the events leading up to the Tribulation? Lord willing, we will cover that question in our next article on this subject.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.