Over the next few weeks, I want to provide you with seven scriptural reasons for a pre-tribulational rapture.
Reason One: The Church Is Not in the “Seventy Week” Prophecy of Daniel
The final period that we call the tribulation is a seven-year period connected to a previous series of seven-year periods. Confused yet? In Daniel 9:24–27, we read about the seventieth “week,” which logically comes after the preceding sixty-nine weeks. Here is the important thing to realize: The church did not exist during the sixty-nine weeks. Therefore, there is no reason to believe that the church will have any part in the final seventieth week. The seventy weeks, in their entirety, pertain primarily to the nation of Israel.
Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks … even in troublesome times (Daniel 9:24–25).
According to Sir Robert Anderson, Artaxerxes gave the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem on March 14, 445 BC. Beginning from the date that Nehemiah was given the command, 483 years later to the day, Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey and was hailed as the King. That event brought the sixty-nine seven-year periods to an end. The prophetic clock, in a sense, was turned off, and the church was birthed. The seventieth week, or that final seven-year period, is yet future. But remember, this prophecy applies solely to Israel. It has nothing to do with the church whatsoever. Therefore, for the church to be referred to during the seventieth week, when it was not in the sixty-nine weeks, does not seem to be consistent.
Reason Two: The Tribulation Has No Relation to the Church
The Bible tells us that there is a twofold purpose to the great tribulation. The first purpose is to break the pride of Israel, to finally humble them, and bring them to faith. The Bible says, “When the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished” (Daniel 12:7). The second purpose of the tribulation is to judge the wicked, which is clearly stated in Isaiah 13:9 and 11:
Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it … I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity.
Since these are the purposes of the tribulation, there is absolutely no reason for us as the church to go through the tribulation period.
Next week, we will continue to consider the scriptural reasons for a pre-tribulational rapture. But may you be encouraged with these words in the days ahead:
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:23–24