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The three most often debated times for Rapture to occur are:
1) Prior to the 7 year Tribulation (Pre-Trib).
2) In the middle of the Tribulation (Mid-Trib).
3) At the end of the Tribulation (Post-Trib).
We believe Pre-Trib is the only time Rapture can occur if you are using a dispensational approach and interpret scripture using a literal hermeneutic. In other words, we take the Bible literally whenever possible. In the past, all Bible prophecy was fulfilled literally, so in the future we expect Bible prophecy to continue to be fulfilled literally (Ecc. 1:9). The main benefit of using dispensational theology is to define time periods where God deals differently with humans, while He Himself never changes. Therefore, when one dispensation ends, another begins. This, by definition, prohibits any overlap of dispensations. Since the Rapture marks the end of the Church Age dispensation, you can’t have part of the tribulation in the end of the Church Age. If the dispensation approach is confusing, Jesus, quite clearly, gave us a model to determine when Rapture occurs.
Matt. 24:37-39 “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
This is a perfect and exact template for determining the timing of Rapture. We know that Jesus’ statement can’t be referring to the time of the 2nd Coming of Christ because the end of the Tribulation is horrible. The passage indicates “business as usual” and the Tribulation, is anything but, “business as usual.” So this could only be referring to the time of the Rapture where there is an economy, food, drink and social events. The template Jesus gave us shows Noah building his boat in normal times. People are locked out of their only escape when God shuts the door on the ark. The ark floats up, above the destruction, returns back down to earth and a new dispensation begins. Jesus said the same situation would be true just prior to the Rapture. People will be living in normal times with plenty of food, drink and social events. Then Rapture happens (God shuts the door—Jesus is the door). Those Raptured are taken up, above the tribulation below, and return to the earth to begin a new dispensation. Jesus said that just as Noah was pre-flood, Rapture will be pre-tribulational. Not mid-flood/mid-trib or post-flood/post-trib. Jesus confirms Rapture is pre-trib. Compass recorded a presentation titled Steeling Studies-Vol. 1—Five “make you think” mini-Bible studies that you’ve probably never heard before. This material is one of the five studies and you can order this presentation by Clicking Here.
Bill Perkins is the founder and Executive Director of Compass International, Inc.
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