In the last days, the Bible tells us, God will pour His Spirit out and sons and daughters will prophesy. However, we are also told that many FALSE prophets will arise. At times, God puts "scales" on people's eyes and "sends delusions." Thus, those who have not come to Christ will believe lies. The plain, simple, logical truth will make no sense. There is much speculation over the rapture's existence, as well as its timing in relation to the tribulation. Some may have fallen for lies. We hear pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib, double, and everything in between. Not all can be correct. Some do not even try to guess. The Bible tells us that no one knows the "day or hour." (It does not say that no one knows the month or year.) The majority of those who have tried to forecast this have provided a day. <<Newsflash>> They Were Wrong. I do not know the hour, day, month, year, anything. I have no clue. BUT, there is something that can be settled here and now. Christians will be here during the tribulation - the WHOLE thing. Look, just like anyone, I'd love to miss it, believe me. But, we gotta get stoic! We are warriors of God, fighting the good fight. So, quit bein' a chicken and let's break this down. I will go straight through these passages in chronological fashion, no taking verses out of context - that's a promise! So, here we go…
Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
(This is somewhat like a judgment, a determination. This is determined. Seventy total weeks will be allotted to the completion of these things, to get the Israelites right with God, basically. The first sixty-nine "weeks" have already been used up. It is commonly understood that Daniel's weeks represent 7 years rather than 7 days. Thus, seven years remain.)
Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be 7 weeks (=7). 26 And after threescore and two weeks (= 62) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself (the crucifixion); and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. (This second part of the passage is explaining what transpires during the final seven years.)
Daniel 9:27 And he (the anti-Christ) shall confirm the covenant (peace?) with many for one week (7 years); and in the midst of the week (3 ½ years) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
(So, the anti-Christ enters the holy place - Jerusalem, possibly the temple. This begins the final 7 years.)
Matthew 24:15 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…21 For then shall be a 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.
(So, we have the elect still on Earth, and deadly days are happening.)
Matthew 24:29 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.
Mark 13:24 But, in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give light, 25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then shall He send his angels, and shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
(So, right AFTER the tribulation, with the elect still here, the sun is darkened and stars fall and there is shaking…THEN Jesus comes to gather His elect.)
Mark 13:37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be… 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken and the other left.
("One taken and the other left" is considered to be the rapture. Here, it occurs AFTER the tribulation.)
Luke 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies (the anti-Christ, the abomination of desolation), then know that the desolation thereof is nigh (likely, this is war in Israel). Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto 25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distresses of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
(So, redemption is nigh, but not here yet, when the anti-Christ destroys Jerusalem. Citizens are instructed to flee when this begins.)
Luke 21:26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
(This is aligned with Revelation. In 6:11, we have a group in Heaven with white robes, waiting for their brethren.)
Revelation 6:11 [The fifth seal is opened] and white robes were given them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season…12 and I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13 and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth …7:1 And AFTER these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth. Nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
(So, here is the earthquake, and the darkening of the sun and moon, etc.; and Jesus has not yet returned.)
Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne. And before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 13 and one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these, which are arrayed in white robes? (The "brethren" of the first group.) And whence came they? 14 and I said to him, sir, thou knowest, and he said to me, 'These are they which came out of great tribulation.'
So, scales off, case closed. No pre-trib rapture, no mid-trib rapture. No question. We cannot come out of something we are not in. Mark 13:24 - 27 CLEARLY says that AFTER the tribulation, the sun and moon will be dark, the stars will fall, and the heavens will shake AND THEN Jesus will come on the clouds and His angels will gather us. What it does NOT say is that when He gathers us, we all go straight to Heaven. Note: Israelites are still on Earth after the tribulation. This suggests the tribulation does not last the full seven years required for Israelites to be redeemed. Thus, it is somewhere in the middle of the SEVEN YEARS that Christians exit, but the "tribulation" is already over. Following this, however, it gets worse…but that's a whole other sermon. Amen.