Why People Don’t Understand The Timing Of The Rapture

If you have already picked a position regarding the rapture, usually your research will be to support that position – the potential truth is suppressed.

One of the many problems with understanding the events of the last days in general and the rapture in specific is that people reading the Bible, or buying books, are looking for the words, “the rapture is happening now.” Obviously I am overstating this, but by looking for a word, phrase, a sentence or a sign, you are essentially preventing yourself from seeing the forrest because the trees are in the way.

If you become fixated on a position you picked in advance of your study, whether pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or post-tribulation then all the research you do will be predisposed to fit your original opinion. Forming an opinion in advance of doing all your homework or research will generally lead you to the opinion you already have. If you don’t know all the events of the last days, as written in the book of Revelation and supporting scriptures like Daniel 7-9, Ezekiel 37-39, Joel 2, Zechariah 11-14, Matthew 24, and others, then your opinion is essentially meaningless. Even if you are right, you don’t know why you are right?

If you don’t believe the book of Revelation is in chronological order, then you can make it say anything you want and make it fit any timeline you can imagine – which is clearly wrong.

The bias mentioned above (picking a position before studying) and the failure to recognize that the book of Revelation is in chronological order will prevent you from seeing the events of the rapture, before, during and after. For example, people, generally pre-tribulationists, will look at a scripture like Revelation 3:10 and reach a conclusion that the rapture will prevent any bad things from happening because the verse says they will be kept from the hour of testing.

Because you have kept my admonition to endure, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that shall come upon all the world to test those who dwell on the earth. —Revelation 3:10

This verse of scripture was given to the church at Philadelphia. It wasn’t even the last church mentioned by the Lord in Revelation 3, so this scripture reference being used to identify the Church being is the last days is questionable. There is also some debate, among eschatological (last-days) minded people, over the word “keep” in the New Testament. 

“keep” – tereo (5083), to attend to carefully, take care of, to guard, to keep, one in the state in which he is, to observe, to reserve, to undergo something

There isn’t a reference in the above verse, Revelation 3:10, to being taken out of this world to avoid tribulation or persecution and yet this is often a verse of scripture that used to justify a pre-tribulation rapture. Another good example of a predisposition to bias is found in Revelation 4:4 after John goes up to heaven thru the open door in Revelation 4:1.

After this I looked and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking to me saying, “Come up here and I will show you things which must take place after this.” 2 And immediately I was in the spirit, and behold a throne was standing in heaven with someone seated on it. 3 And the one seated on the throne was like jasper, and carnelian in appearance, and a rainbow around the throne appeared like an emerald. 4 And around the throne were twenty-four elders sitting, clothed with white garments and had crowns of gold on their heads. —Revelation 4:1-4

Gregg F. Swift, J.D.