Must The Church Be Physically Removed?

Q. Is there a reason why the Church must be physically removed from the earth for the prophetic clock to begin ticking again so that Daniel’s prophesied 70th week can be completed?

A. I think there are good reasons for physically removing the Church from the time and place of Daniel’s 70th Week.

One big one is the theological incompatibility between the age of Grace and the Age of Law. In the New Testament we’re told that the Law was only a shadow of things to come (Hebrews 10:1), and that no one can be saved by keeping it (Romans 3:20). But when God turns His attention back to Israel it will be within the context of the Old Covenant, which has seven years yet to fullfill. Imagine the conflict that would create between Israel and the Church.

Also Acts 15:13-18 says that after the Lord has taken out of the Gentiles a people for Himself He will rebuild David’s fallen tabernacle. The Greek words translated “taken out of” literally mean “to carry away from the time and place.” It’s a reference to the rapture of the Church and indicates it will happen before the Temple is rebuilt.

Paul confirmed this in Romans 11:25 when he said Israel has been hardened in part until the full number of Gentiles has come in. The hardening Israel is experiencing is what keeps them from reuniting with God. Paul said it will remain in place for as long as the Church is on Earth, meaning the 70th week can not begin until we’re gone.

A variation on this theme appears in 1 Thes. 1:10 where Paul said Jesus will rescue (deliver) us out of the time and place of the coming wrath. The 70th Week of Daniel is the time of God’s wrath and Earth is the place.

And finally, Jeremiah 30:11 tells us the purpose of the end times judgments is to completely destroy the nations among which Israel has been scattered and to discipline Israel in preparation for the coming Kingdom. The Church has neither part nor place in this, and would just be in the way.

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