Q. I have heard several prophecy teachers state that the Rapture of the Church and the beginning of the Tribulation do not necessarily happen at the same time. I believe that to be true. I know that the Tribulation starts when the Antichrist signs a peace treaty with Israel. I know no one has inside information on the timing of the Rapture because it is a signless event. I just wonder how long of a gap there could possibly be between the Rapture and the Tribulation. The Rapture will undoubtedly put the world into a time of unprecedented crisis and I highly doubt the Antichrist will take too long to take advantage of this time of turmoil before he steps in as the “man with a plan”. Do you have any opinion on what kind of a time frame we might be looking at between these two events?
A. From the context of your question, I’m assuming that when you say the Tribulation, you mean the entire 7 years of Daniel’s 70th week, not just the last half, known as the Great Tribulation. I believe the rapture has to happen before the battle of Ezekiel 38 ends, and I also believe the treaty that kicks off Daniel’s 70th week is the one that put an end to that battle.
Therefore my personal opinion is that if there is a span of time between the rapture and the beginning of the 70th Week it will be relatively short. Also, following the “birth pangs” model, once the fulfillment of end times prophecies begin, the frequency of their fulfillment increases steadily. We can already see that happening.