Georgetown Prophecy Conference, 2002
Studies in Prophecy

by Darrel Cline

Rapture Issues

Question: What Are the Particulars of the Prophecies Concerning Israel That Address the Question of the Timing of the Rapture?

Thesis: The correct view of the timing of the Rapture will permit the particulars established by prophecy.

Introductory Remarks: As we zero in on the prophecy that most affects us, we find two helpful facts: a) first, the focus of prophecy is fundamentally upon Israel [very little prophecy is given of the Church]; and b) second, every false position has an Achilles tendon. It is our task to locate, and sever, this tendon so that it cannot run in our hearts or in the hearts of those to whom we minister. It is my conviction that we can find the most help in identifying the Achilles tendon in the false views of the timing of the Rapture by looking into the prophetic scenario that the Bible gives us regarding Israel.

  1. I. What Are the Various Views of the Timing of the Rapture?
    1. A. Post-tribulation: Matthew 24:40-41 compared with 24:29ff.
    2. B. Pre-wrath: I Thessalonians 5:9 connected with a special definition of wrath.
    3. C. Mid-tribulation: Revelation 11 compared with I Corinthians 15:52.
    4. D. Pre-tribulation: 2 Thessalonians 2:3
  2. II. What Are the Crucial Particulars in the Prophetic Scenario That Affect the Question of the Timing of the Rapture?
    1. A. A collection of texts that establish the presence of mortal men in the Kingdom of Messiah is the Achilles heel of the post-tribulation view.
      1. 1. The verses...
        1. a. Isaiah 65:17-25 (especially 65:20).
        2. b. Revelation 20:7-9.
        3. c. Zechariah 14 (esp. 14:17).
      2. 2. The requirement of the verses in regard to the post-tribulation view.
        1. a. The Rapture is selectively partial so that there are some believers left in their mortal state.
        2. b. There are people who trust Christ immediately after His Coming and the Rapture and before He casts all unbelievers out...a position totally denied by the mark of the beast and 2 Thessalonians 2:10.
        3. c. These are "scampering" plausibilities -- created by a firm commitment to the post-trib view and having no revelational base whatsoever.
    2. B. Jesus' personal teaching about the significance of the Abomination of Desolation to believers who are dwelling in Jerusalem creates an Achilles heel for the mid-tribulation position.
      1. 1. The specifics of His teaching...
        1. a. Matthew 24:15ff.
        2. b. Mark 13:14ff.
      2. 2. The futility of flight if the Rapture is to occur.
    3. C. Revelation 11 teaches the active wrath of God during the first 1260 days of the seventieth week of Daniel, thus creating an Achilles heel for the pre-wrath view.
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