“…and so that day come upon you unawares. For like a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye, therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” (Luke 21:34-36)
When it comes to reconciling the end-times worldwide task of evangelism, the necessity of experiencing the cross of Christ in our lives, and the all-important timing of the rapture, each Christian must make up their own mind. The scriptures are not definitive in this regard. This is why the Left Behind books and movies insert fictional conjecture into the storyline to fill-in the missing detail in the biblical end-times prophesies.
Does the rapture absolutely have to occur a few years prior to, or right at the beginning of the seven-year tribulation? Is there something biblically unacceptable about the rapture occurring one, two, three, four, or even five years into the seven-year tribulation period described in Daniel? Is the basis of Christian hope, that is an integral part of the doctrine of imminence, completely nullified by a mid-tribulation rapture? Does this possible prophetic interpretation completely upset everyone’s preferred theology? Do we all have to uniformly fall into lock-step conformity with the currently popular pretribulation rapture viewpoint as presented in books and movies?
Is it a form of minor heresy to entertain a rapture that falls somewhere mid-stream during the tribulation, giving the main Christian church an opportunity to participate in the final end-times harvest of souls, and at the same time experience first-century quality faith and trust in Jesus Christ through service under intense enemy fire? Have Christians, who politely and gracefully dissent from the currently popular pretribulation rapture teaching, somehow fallen into the reduced status of becoming second-rate Christians?
Does a precisely timed rapture, placed amidst the occurring natural disasters and judgment plagues of Revelation to provide maximum evangelical impact in concert with all of God’s last-ditch outreach efforts, make more sense than a pretribulation rapture fixed rigidly in place as a foreknown milestone in the sequence of events? Does a mid-tribulation rapture placed after tens or even hundreds of millions of Christians have commendably sealed their testimony of faith in Jesus Christ with their lives as martyrs, before everyone alive on earth has made their irrevocable decision to receive the mark of the beast, make more sense in terms of Joel 2:28-29, Matthew 24:7-14, and Revelation 7:9-17? Does Revelation 3:10 still maintain its full force and effect, if Christians are in actuality experiencing the early symptoms of the tribulation around the world right now? Can Revelation 3:10, Daniel 7:25, Daniel 12:10, Matthew 24:21-22, 1 Peter 1:5-8, and Hebrews eleven, all be reconciled like James 2:14-26 is correctly balanced and reconciled with Romans 3:28?