About the Rapture

Why I Am Avoiding the Rapture Debate

The short explanation as to why I try to avoid Rapture timing debates on this site, is because they are a distraction to the message of the Signposts.  The longer explanation follows below.

Pre-Trib, Post-Trib, Mid-Trib, and Pre-Wrath – these are the typical positions people defend when discussing the Rapture.  The first two are the more common, while the latter two are less common.  It is inevitable, it seems, that whenever there is a discussion of the end times and Bible prophecy that the subject of the Rapture pops up.  And why not?  It is a most wonderful event, eclipsed only by the appearance of Jesus Christ himself.  Scripture tells us,

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” (I Corinthians 15:51)

But a discussion of the Rapture also more often than not becomes a debate – and a heated one – as to its timing.  On this website, as well as in Daniel Revisited, I go out of the way to avoid the Rapture debate, and specifically say so.  I do this for two reasons.

The first reason is that the timing of the Rapture really is a moot point when considering the message of Daniel Revisited.  Let me explain.  The message of the Four Signposts is that there are four sets of events happening continuously one after the other right up to the Rapture or Tribulation.

Understanding the Four Signposts, a believer with a Pre-Trib Rapture position would view the series of events in the end times as:

1) First signpost – Iraq;

2) Second Signpost – Iran;

3) Third Signpost – Four Nations;

4) Fourth signpost – Emergence of  the New Islamic Empire;

5) Rapture;

6) Tribulation;

7) The visible, physical, glorious return of Jesus Christ.

Understanding the Four Signposts, a believer with a Post-Trib Rapture position might view the series of events in the end times as:

1) First signpost – Iraq;

2) Second Signpost – Iran;

3) Third Signpost – Four Nations;

4) Fourth signpost – Emergence of  the New Islamic Empire;

5) Tribulation;

6) Rapture;

7) The visible, physical, glorious return of Jesus Christ.

See the difference?  Event #5 and #6 exchange places in the order of events between the two lists.  And whether the Rapture comes before the Tribulation or after, the Four Signposts still occur, per God’s Word.  Events #1 to #4 remain constant.  This message of the Signposts is new and so unexpected by the Church, because it is part of the unsealing of prophecy in the end times.  Any debate on the Rapture (or of the Tribulation for that matter) tends to cloud the message and send many on a tangent so that the Signposts remain hidden.

The second reason I avoid the debate of the Rapture is because people might get turned off if I choose a side.  If I do that I believe I will shut out all those who support the other schools of thought on that subject.  I know this from discussions I’ve had with others.

If I say I believe in a Pre-Trib Rapture then all the Post-Trib Rapture people will say that I haven’t studied my Bible enough and so why would they take time to check out the message of the Signposts?  Any message I put out that is new and unheard of (Signpost theology) couldn’t be truth because I don’t hold to truth (a Post-Trib Rapture).  I have received this impression from more than a few Christians.

But if I say I hold to a Post-Trib Rapture, another problem emerges in addition to hearing the same argument as those in the other schools.  Signpost theology, or as I have formally called it, the Doctrine of the Pre-Trib Event Sign Sequence, if true, will displace the Doctrine of Imminency.  Let me explain why.  The Doctrine of Imminency says that following the founding of Israel in 1948, nothing more prophetically must happen until the Rapture occurs.  Prior to the discovery of the Signposts, anyone who said the Doctrine of Imminency was false would be seen as antagonistic by those who hold to the Pre-Trib Rapture.  The reason I say Signpost theology will displace the Doctrine of Imminency is not because I claim the Rapture is Mid-Trib or Post-Trib, but only because there are four sets of prophetic events, having started in 1979, that precede and fill the space of time prior to the Rapture (or the Tribulation).  In other words, there are other prophetic events to occur prior to a Pre-Trib Rapture.

In conclusion, this message of the Four Signposts is for the Church – the entire Church.  Hopefully most, if not all, Christians from all schools of thought about the Rapture of either school of thought of the Rapture see their brothers and sisters of the other school as equally saved as themselves.  In that spirit I am trying to reach out to all Christians and I will not put a stumbling block for a whole community that believes in one school of thought on the Rapture, by taking a position.  Not only is this message of the Signposts too important for saints to miss (it is in God’s Word after all and so it is to be noticed and provide comfort), but if the Signpost message is true we won’t have to wait very long to see which school is correct.  If the Pre-Trib Rapture is true, then we should expect it to happen toward the end or at the end of the Fourth, and last, Signpost.  The Tribulation will immediately commence following the Fourth Signpost.

It is my sincere hope and prayer that the saints will be comforted by seeing that all these events are God’s Signposts and know that all these terrible things are obvious signs that our Lord Jesus Christ is approaching.  I also hope that they will not be caught unaware and will know when to expect the Rapture or Tribulation, whichever is the case.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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