The Window of the Lord's Return

Chapter Previews

1. Could We be Wrong about a pre-Tribulation Rapture?

Could it be possible that many mainstream churches have taken a doctrinal position for their churches - a doctrine on the second coming and the imminent return of Christ that was based on incomplete information and poor interpretation of Scripture?

I do not understand why it is so hard to accept the fact that we do not always get our theology right. Throughout church history, time has had a way of revealing the truth and correcting our errors. Based on what Jesus said about John, one of His disciples, Jesus disciples thought Jesus would return in their lifetime. All but one of Jesus disciples was martyred, and they were wrong about the timing of Christ’s return.

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2. A Needed Second Look at the Rapture.

I want to pose the question that some will ask, “Is it really that important as to when the rapture happens? Should not we just be ready?” This is a good question. The problem I see is if the churches are teaching the rapture will come before the Great Tribulation, then this gives the church a false sense of security. I have heard pastors say, God would not allow his church to go through suffering. Yet as I mentioned above, in Revelation 14:11-13, it says the saints will have to have patient endurance during the Great Tribulation, when the anti-christ is pushing his system of the mark of the beast. If the saints, who have expected the pre-Tribulation rapture, are all of a sudden seeing themselves in the Great Tribulation without warning and having no time to get ready for this turbulent time, I believe it will cause many Christians to turn away from God. I believe many will believe that they have been abandoned by God, and it will lead to many accepting the system of the antichrist rather than starve to death.

I believe the events happening today, with the world economies on the verge of collapse, are setting the world stage to cause the world populations to accept a savior in the form of the antichrist.

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3. The Sealing of the 144,000 and other Pre-Rapture Events

As I have studied the book of Revelation, I have noticed that the 144,000 Jews were mentioned in chapter 7 and again in chapter 14. In chapter 7, the sealing of these Jews happens just before what I am convinced is the time of the rapture of the church. As it says in Revelation 7:9 (NIV), “After this, I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count...” Now, if you look at Revelation 14, you will see the mentioning of the 144,000 again, and as you continue reading Revelation 14:14-19, you will see what appears to be Jesus Christ in the clouds. Is this a second Rapture? I will show in this chapter that there is only one Rapture but two descriptions of this same event.

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4. How does the United States fit into the prophetic picture?

This is a question that has intrigued me forever. The Bible does not address the United States in plain-speak, so you have to wonder how do we fit into all this? I guess an easy answer would be that we just become absorbed into and under the rule of the antichrist. Our Constitution is cancelled, and the USA becomes irrelevant as we know it. I was told by one pastor that it might be that the United States will pull back from world affairs and we will be left out of the events concerning the antichrist and the mark of the beast altogether. Do not hold your breath on that hope. That is truly wishful thinking. Do you really think that satan, indwelling a world leader who has designs to rule the planet forever, would think of leaving America to be free to do its own thing?

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5. God’s “No Man Left Behind”

Going back to the 144,000 Jews who have been sealed and commissioned to bring the Gospel of Christ to the nation of Israel, I believe part of their commission is to warn the Jews that Jesus is their Messiah and He is coming for those who accept him. Then when the plagues of God’s wrath fall on the earth, I believe I can show you from God’s word that the children of Israel who miss the rapture will be told to leave all nations where they are living and head back to the Holy Land before the plagues of God's wrath start to fall.

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6. Can Gentiles be saved after the Rapture?

Over the years, I have heard a few scenarios concerning this question. Some may ask, “But who are the Gentiles?” They are anyone from any nation or people group who are not Jewish.

One scenario is there will be Tribulation saints who knew about God’s plan of Salvation but did not accept it or live it before the rapture. They would turn to Christ during the Great Tribulation and not accept the mark of the beast. They would struggle through the Great Tribulation and become the Tribulation saints. This explanation is necessary in order to have a pre-Tribulation rapture theory. If the rapture does not happen until Revelation 7, then the term “Tribulation saints” would not be necessary, for all the saints would be raptured at the same time. Further evidence of this scenario is the fact that there is no mention of saints on the earth during the outpouring of God’s wrath.

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7. Other Bible Teachers’ Perspectives concerning the Rapture

After putting many of my thoughts on paper, I started looking on the internet and at available books to see what other Bible teachers were saying about these topics. It is interesting what I found. I am not Paul, but what he wrote in the book of Acts is a worthwhile challenge to all of us, specifically in Acts 17:11 (NIV): “Now the Bereans were of more noble character then the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures everyday to see if what Paul said was true.”

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8. The Coming Antichrist

When I first wrote the outline for this study, I included a chapter on the antichrist. Well, as this study was taking shape, I felt all I would be writing concerning the antichrist would be a rehash of what everyone else had been saying. I felt unless I had something fresh to write, I should just drop this topic from my study. A few weeks later, as I was finishing the last chapter, things started to change my mind about writing this chapter on the antichrist. As I was reading the book of Revelation, two fresh truths jumped out at me. As I studied further to confirm if I was seeing the Word of God correctly, I had further insights jumping out at me. At that point, I realized I had to write this chapter.

As you read further in this chapter, you will see insights uncovered from God's word that will blow you away.

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9. Pre. vs. Mid-Tribulation view of the Rapture.

For most of my thirty-five years as a Christian, I have held to the pre-Tribulation view and know this position quite well. What I want to accomplish in this chapter is to do a comparison of the four best Scriptural reasons for believing in the pre-Tribulation rapture versus the mid-Tribulation rapture. I will be looking at the volume of Bible verses that can be found to support each side of this doctrinal issue. Below I will touch on each of the four arguments for the pre-Tribulation view that are covered in this chapter.

  1. The restrainer must be removed
  2. God has not appointed us to wrath
  3. Revelation 4:1, the open door to heaven
  4. The church is not mentioned after Rev. 4:1

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10. Mid.-Tribulation Rapture? I Make my Case.

This chapter has three parts.

First, I will cover seven Bible-backed events that must take place in the last generation before the Rapture can happen. Only one of these events has happened to date.

Second, I will do a study from the book of Daniel that clearly shows that the Rapture will be a mid-Tribulation event.

Third, I will present the teaching from my timeline chart showing a mid-Tribulation Rapture.

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11. Post-Tribulation view of the rapture

In my study, I have read that five to ten percent of Christians believe the rapture will not happen until the end of the Great Tribulation. I was not going to cover this view in my study; because, I have always seen this position as indefensible. If you keep the integrity of God’s word, I do not believe you can defend a doctrinal position that contradicts other portions of God’s Word. God’s Word will not contradict itself. When I decided to cover this position, I decided I would pick the two strongest Scriptural arguments in favor of the post-Tribulation view and show why this position is flawed.

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12. A Warning to Those Who Add or Subtract from God’s Word

The Bible gives a warning to anyone who adds or subtracts from the Word of God and more specifically adding or subtracting from the prophecy of the Book of Revelation. Revelation 22:18-19 (NIV) says, “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book; if anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” I think it is interesting God puts this warning in the Book of Revelation. It is as if God knew man would struggle to get its interpretation right. In this chapter I will show how, many prophetic teachers are adding and subtracting from God's word to strengthen their position on their End Time’s teachings.

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13. Can we know when the Lord is actually coming?

I do not believe we can know when Christ will return at this time, but I believe once a series of events start to happen, then we can start to figure things out. In Matthew 24:36 (NIV) it says, “No one knows about that day or hour...” This is the verse that is often quoted as saying that, "no man knows when the Lord will return." The Bible says "No man knows about that day or hour... of His Return." It does not say we would not know the year. I do not know the year yet, but once certain foretold events start to unfold I believe we will know it is the season of Christ’s Return.

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14. The window of the Lord’s return

In this chapter, the thought I would like to explore concerns the prediction of the Lord’s return or the start of the Great Tribulation coming during a window of time from 2012-2020. Then as we approach the Lord’s return, it may be possible to narrow the time down as we see the Great Tribulation actually getting started.

I am not setting a date but the Lord told us to watch for the signs of his coming. What is interesting is how many events of a prophetic nature are falling into this window of time, 2012 - 2020. In this chapter I will cover a list of coming events that either are happening or could happen during this window of time.

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15. A possible scenario story leading up to the rapture

The following chapter is a fictitious story outlining how future world events could come together in just a few short years. It illustrates just how close we are to the Lord’s coming.

I will be basing this scenario on scripture as much as possible, but some will be conjecture on my part based on my study of the Word of God. God has not told me more than what I have found written in his word. I do not claim to be a prophet and do not want to be stoned for not getting it right. I do believe that God could have given me some help in connecting the dots, but only time will tell if that is the case.

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16. How to Prepare for the Last Days.

If this study makes sense to you, we are fast approaching the coming of the Lord and we will be going through part of the Great Tribulation. This begs the question of what can we do to prepare for this time? I outline a few important steps we can take to prepare for what is coming in my book. I include the most important step you need to take to get ready for our Lords Return.

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17. Closing Thoughts about the Lord’s Return.

Imagine this; God is giving his church a last chance to finish the Great Commission and preach the Gospel to the millions who will be seeing hard times. As we are approaching the Great Tribulation, there will be many lost and confused souls who will want to know where to turn. Remember when 911 hit, and the churches were full for a week or two? When the Great Tribulation gets started, and the seals start to pop open, the global events that will be taking place will make 911 and the twin towers look like a picnic.

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May we be ready for His Coming!