There is still one other way we can know with certainty that the Rapture will precede the Tribulation, and it's really a matter of common sense and logic. The Pre-Tribulation view is the only view that allows for the imminent return of Christ. Both the Mid- Tribulation and Post-Tribulation views would make it possible to know exactly when Christ will return. All one would need to do is count either three and a half years, in the case of a Mid-Tribulation Rapture, or seven years in the case of a Post-Tribulation Rapture, from the peace agreement between the Antichrist and Israel, and you would arrive at the date for Christ's return. So what's the problem with knowing the exact timing of Christ's return? The problem is, the Bible tells us that no one knows when Christ will return, not even the angels in heaven. It will be sudden and unexpected by every person on this planet. Consider the following verses and ask yourself why God would tell us to be on guard, always ready and alert, if we could predict when Christ was going to return.
Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come (Matthew 24:42).
So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him (Matthew 24:44).
No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father (Matthew 24:36).
Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour (Matthew 25:13).
THE GREAT DISAPPEARING 33
The answer is, He wouldn't warn us to be alert if He expected us to know when Christ was going to return. The Rapture will come like a "thief in the night," because there is nothing left to be fulfilled before Christ can return for His Church. It could happen tomorrow, and no prophecy would be left unfulfilled. You see, it's only a surprise if we don't need the Antichrist's rise to power and the Tribulation to happen first.
With a Pre-Tribulation view of the Rapture, no one can assume they have around three and a half, or seven years left to get their affairs in order and get right with God before Christ returns. It is the only view that makes sense in light of several verses that warn us to live as if Christ were returning tomorrow.
That is not to say we aren't supposed to watch for the signs of His return. While there are no prophetic events yet to be fulfilled before the Rapture can occur, there are many signs, including the signs Jesus told us to watch for, that indicate this is the generation that will be snatched up to meet the Lord in the air.
There's a reason Christ warned us 13 times in the New Testament to watch for the signs of His return, and be ready. He wanted us to be excited about His return, and be motivated by its imminence to save as many souls as we can in the time we have left. In the chapters ahead I will outline these signs for you, and together we will feel the same hope and assurance that sustained the Apostles and moved first-century believers to spread the good news far and wide, even while suffering horrible persecution for their efforts. As we watch the wicked world around us paving the way for the Antichrist's tyrannical rule, we will be able to look to the clouds with hope, and know that our rooms in heaven, prepared by Jesus Himself, await us.
Oh, by the way, remember Ashley and Bill, Madison's mom and dad? They went to church the next Sunday and listened while the preacher tried to explain away their sorrow. He gave a number of possibilities of what might have happened but nothing he said could fill the void that had been left in their hearts.
To finish reading It Could Happen Tomorrow: Future Events That Will Shake the World by Gary Frazier, visit New Leaf Publishing Group http://www.newleafpublishinggroup.com/product_info.php?products_id=935