Q. You are teaching a pre-trib rapture. 1 Thes 4:16 mentions a trumpet of God as one of those things that call us to meet the Lord in the sky. If that was all I had, I could see how the rapture is pre-trib., but 1 Cor. 15:52 says at the last trumpet, and isn’t the last trumpet toward the end of the Trib. according to Rev.?
A. Let’s see if we can put this bit of incorrect interpretation to rest once and for all. There is no Biblical basis for connecting either the 7th Trumpet of Rev.11:15 or the trumpet call of Matt. 24:31 with the last trump of 1 Cor. 15:52. In the case of Rev. 11:15 this was originally done to support the old mid-trib rapture position but the truth is it’s never called the last trump in the Bible, nor is it the last trumpet blown before the 2nd Coming (Matt. 24:31). It’s simply the last in the series of seven trumpets in the 2nd set of Revelation judgments and is always called the 7th Trumpet, never the last trump.
The term last trump refers to the fact that the trumpet call of God from 1 Thes. 4:16 will signal the end of the Church Age, at which time the Church will disappear from Earth. In 1 Thes. 1:10 Paul had already said Jesus would rescue the Church from the time and place of God’s wrath (which will have begun during Rev. 6), so he would have been contradicting himself by referring to the 7th Trumpet in Rev. 11:15 as the last trump.
Some try to tie the last trump reference in 1 Cor 15:52 to the mention of a trumpet in Matt. 24:31 to justify a rapture after the end of the Great Tribulation. This also contradicts the promises Paul made to the Church. The trumpet of Matt 24:31 is blown to gather the Lord’s elect from one end of the heavens to the other, so it refers to those who are already with the Lord. The companion verse in Mark 13:27 doesn’t mention a trumpet, but does say the elect on Earth (Tribulation believers) will be gathered together at this time as well.
But both passages clearly describe the Lord in His 2nd Coming in power and glory on His way to Earth in full view of everyone to establish His Kingdom. This is different in every respect from Paul’s claims in 1 Cor. 15:51-52, 1 Thes. 4:16-17 (supported by John and Isaiah) that in an instant the Lord will snatch believers off the Earth to meet Him in the air and then hide us in His Father’s house (John 14:2-3) to protect us from the coming wrath (Isaiah 26:20).
No, Matt. 24:31 and Mark 13:27 describe a call to His elect to join Him in the Kingdom. Since the Church will have already been raptured and housed in our “mansions in the sky” Matt. 24:31 could simply be referring to the resurrection of Israel (Daniel 12:1-2) and Tribulation martyrs (Rev. 20:4) both of which happen at the time of the 2nd Coming. Mark 13:27 could be adding Tribulation believers who survive the judgments and will enter the Kingdom live (Matt. 25:34) which also happens at the time of the 2nd Coming. But neither of them can be describing the rapture of the church.