Bride of Christ or Body of Believers, departure, disappearance, Glorious Appearance, God's escape plan, Judgment Seat of Christ, kept from hour of testing/ trial, Olivet Discourse Timeline, Parousia or Second Coming, Pre-Tribulational Rapture interpretation, revealed mystery
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. ~ Titus 2:11-14, ESV
Parts of the Lord’s Olivet Discourse are recorded in The Gospels According to Saint Matthew, Saint Mark, and Saint Luke, which means the entire discourse is not in one particular synoptic gospel. Furthermore, it is important to note that in the Olivet Discourse the Lord is referring to two distinct events: the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple and Jerusalem, both of which happened in 70 A.D. (cf. Luke 21:20-24); and His own eschatological Second Coming (Parousia or His bodily return).
Moreover, the Olivet Discourse starts with the backdrop of the Lord’s severely critical judgment/criticism of the Jewish religious leaders’ hypocrisy (cf. Matthew 23:1-36; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 20:45-47), with the unbelief He found in the Jewish people, as a whole (cf. Matthew 23:33-36), and with His lament over Jerusalem and curse on the Temple (cf. Matthew 23:37-29; Luke 13:34-35). Then, after Christ Jesus leaves the Temple area and Jerusalem and climbs to the top of the Mount of Olives, the Olivet Discourse proceeds to the prediction of the Temple’s destruction (cf. Matthew 24:1-2; Mark 13:1-2; Luke 21:5-6), the disciples’ questions (cf. Matthew 24:3; Mark 13:4; Luke 21:7), and the signs and time of the Lord’s Parousia or Second Coming (cf. Matthew 24:4-39; Mark 13:5-32; Luke 21:8-34).
Now most believers are not in agreement with where the Rapture happens on the Olivet Discourse’s timeline, and they disagree because too many believers fail to see that the Olivet Discourse is not completely sequential. These believers also disagree because too many of them fail to understand that the Olivet Discourse is more about the disciples’ questions and Christ Jesus’ answers to those questions—the Lord’s predicted signs and the time of the His Parousia! Put differently, one of the Olivet Discourse’s focal points is on the nation of Israel’s expectations, which are based on Old Testament prophecies, and another focal point is on God’s worldwide plan for the Earth. The Rapture of the CHURCH, which is the New Testament’s Body of Christ or Bride of Christ, is not a focal point of the Olivet Discourse!
Furthermore, because not one of the synoptic gospels’ portions of the Olivet Discourse unambiguously predicts the Rapture the way apostle Paul clearly reveals the Rapture’s mystery in 1 Corinthians 15:50-53 and again in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, this scriptural truth is the main reason why most believers interpret the Rapture as either Pre-Tribulational (generally speaking, Christians who make this interpretation of when the Rapture takes places believe that the Rapture is before the beginning of the final seven years of prophet Daniel’s 70th Week, which is commonly referred to as the Tribulation Period), or Mid-Tribulational (generally speaking, Christians who make this interpretation of when the Rapture takes place believe that the Rapture is around the mid-point of the seven year Tribulation Period), or Post-Tribulational (generally speaking, Christians who make this interpretation of when the Rapture takes place believe that the Rapture is after the beginning of the Great Tribulation or second half of the Tribulation Period’s suffering and persecution but before the Lord’s actual bodily return).
For the record, the Rapture is God’s escape plan, God’s “New Ark” that’s not built by human hands. The Lord, thus, snatches/raptures His true believers, His CHURCH not built by human hands, out of this world so that He can keep/save them from the hour (the time) of testing/trial, which is the wrath to come. The Rapture also is apostle Paul’s biblical prediction about Christ Jesus. This apostle declares that Christ Jesus will come back for His true CHURCH/BODY of BELIEVERS/BRIDE, and when He does He will resurrect those believers who have died in Him, translate those believers who still are living when He comes for them, and then suddenly change both the dead and alive in Christ believers’ bodies before His true CHURCH/BODY of BELIEVERS/BRIDE meets Him in the air. Then, together they will proceed to Heaven. Moreover, even though the Scriptures do not unequivocally refer to the commotion the true CHURCH/BODY of BELIEVERS/BRIDE’s departure will cause, there can be no doubt, given how curious many people are about the lives of celebrities, that this sudden disappearance of well-known, decidedly successful, and/or extremely affluent artistic, athletic, spiritual, and political leaders will trigger an abundance of questions!
Having said that, for this blogger, who has a Pre-Tribulational interpretation of the Rapture, the Olivet Discourse Timeline is as follows:
- The Destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 A.D., when Jerusalem also is destroyed (cf. Matthew 24:2; Mark 13:1-2; Luke 21:5-6; Luke 21:20-24)
- Rebirth of Israel—the Nation Born in One Day (cf. Matthew 24:32-34; Mark 13:28-30; Luke 21:29-32; see also Isaiah 66:6-9; Ezekiel 37:1-11)
- The Increase in Frequency and Intensity of Birth Pains or the Beginning of Sorrows—events and situations that Announce the Imminent Birth of a New World Order (one-world government, one-world religion, one-world economy)—the current spasmodic worldwide geopolitical, socio-economic, geophysical, and astrophysical Birth Pains that are the signs of the times, like the frequency and intensity of false prophets and false teachers; wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes; portentous incidents in the sun, moon, stars and seas; perplexed nations in distress; and violence upon the Earth (cf. Matthew 24:4-5, 11; Matthew 24:6-7; Matthew 24:12, 37; Mark 13:6; Mark 13:7-8; Luke 21:8; Luke 21:10-11; Luke 21:25; see also Luke 17:26; Luke 19:42-44)
- The Rapture of the true CHURCH/BODY of BELIEVERS/BRIDE immediately followed by the Judgment Seat of Christ Jesus (cf. Matthew 24:37-47, Matthew 25:1-30; Mark 13:23, 33-37; Luke 21:34-36; see also Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 3:10-11; Revelation chapters 4-5; Revelation 22:12)
- Seven-Year Covenant Signed (cf. Matthew 24:9-12; Mark 13:9, 11-12; Luke 21:9, 12-13; see also Daniel 9:27)
- The Time of a Great Revival—the First Half of the Tribulation Period (cf. Matthew 24:9-12, 14; Mark 13:9-13a; Luke 21:9, 12-13)
- The Mid-Tribulation and Antichrist Is Revealed (cf. Matthew 24:15-20; Mark 13:14-18; Luke 21:12-15; see also Daniel 9:27; 1 Thessalonians 5:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8)
- The Second Half of the Tribulation Period (cf. Matthew 24:21-24; Mark 13:19-22; Luke 21:25-26; see also Revelation 16:12-14, 16)
- The Battle of Armageddon and Bodily Return of Christ Jesus—His Second Coming (cf. Matthew 24:26-28, 30; Mark 13:24-25, 26; Luke 21:27-28; see also Zechariah 14:3-4; Revelation 19:11-21)
- Those Left-Behinders Who Endure Until The End of the Seven Year Tribulation Period (cf. Matthew 24:13, 29; Mark 13:13; see also Daniel 12:1-2, 7-10)
- The Millennium (cf. Matthew 24:31; Mark 13:27; see also Revelation 20:1-3, 7)
For more details, please read my following blog entries: Countdown to the Rapture; God’s Soon-To-Be Repeated Pattern: The Disappearance, The Sign, The Warning, and The Destruction; Jewish Menorah Mirrors 7 Feasts: Reflections Made On 2011’s Feast of Trumpets; Ready or Not, It’s Rapture Season; The Bridegroom Is Coming: God’s Ultimate Marriage Story; The Controversial MYSTERY: The Rapture; The Fall Feast of Trumpets’ Spiritual Realities; The Three Most Important Crops of Israel’s Seven Major Crops; and Who Is Rapture Ready?