Scripture reveals that the Tribulation (Day of the Lord) will begin hot on the heels of the Rapture. The Lord gives us powerful symbols of the Rapture in the Old Testament. Noah is a symbol of the Rapture; he was carried away to safety in the Ark just before the flood came.
In the book of Genesis we see that the flood began on the same 24-hour day that Noah entered the ark. This is symbolic of the Rapture.
“In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lifted up above the earth” (Genesis 7:13, 17 emphasis added).
The situation with Lot is another symbol of the Rapture. On the very same day that Lot fled Sodom, God brought judgment upon it:
“And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, ‘Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters that are here, lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.’ But he lingered; and the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters, Jehovah being merciful unto him; and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. (Genesis 19:15-16 emphasis added)
The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot came unto Zoar. Then Jehovah rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Jehovah out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground” (Genesis 19:23-25 emphasis added).
Again, in the book of Luke we read about Noah and Lot:
“They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise even as it came to pass in the days of Lot; they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but in the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all: after the same manner shall it be in the day that the Son of man is revealed. In that day, he that shall be on the housetop, and his goods in the house, let him not go down to take them away: and let him that is in the field likewise not return back” (Luke 17:27-31).
The flood began on the same 24-hour day Noah and his family entered the ark. Sodom was destroyed on the same 24-hour day that Lot departed. A “day” must be a normal 24-hour day or the statement in verse 31 about not going down from the rooftop or back to the house does not make sense (Luke 17:31).
Jesus said that on the very “day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:27), and “in the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:29).
He then said, “After the same manner shall it be in the day that the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17:30). This is a reference to the Rapture of the Church.
The late Dr. John Walvoord made the following statement:
“When the day of grace ends with the translation of the Church, the Day of the Lord [the Tribulation] begins at once.” (The Rapture Question, page 162)
Dave Breese was a beloved televangelist and pastor. He founded Christian Destiny Ministry, helped start the AWANA Youth Association and served with Youth for Christ for 13 years. He taught the Pre-Tribulation Rapture during his distinguished ministry, yet he did not teach that there would be a gap between the Rapture and the Tribulation. In his essay, “The Rapture,” he explains:
The Tribulation is the beginning of “the day of the Lord.” As we have seen, the Christians were conscious – because they read about it in the Old Testament – that there was a time of fearful judgment coming upon the world called “the day of the Lord.” The churches, however, needed instruction as to how to discern the presence of the day of the Lord and the way to know that the day of grace was finished.
Concerning this, the apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, saying, “Now we beseech you brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of the Christ is at hand” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2).
The apostle Paul is, therefore, saying that the Rapture of the Church, concerning which he had carefully instructed the Thessalonians, was the watershed point ending the day of grace and beginning the day of the Lord. In that the Rapture had not taken place, the day of the Lord was not yet present.
Here, the apostle Paul gives us a clear line of demarcation between the Church Age, the day of grace, and the day of the Lord, which is the day of divine judgment. That line of demarcation is the Rapture of the Church. (James T. William, Storming Toward Armageddon, pp. 298-299 emphasis added)
The Rapture is the event that separates the “Day of Grace” (Church Age) from the “Day of the Lord” (Tribulation). Some well-studied Pre-Tribulationists understand this, and do not allow for a gap between the two events. Remember what Jesus Himself said about the timing of the Rapture. He said that on the “day” the Church is raptured the Tribulation begins (Luke 17:29-30). Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed on the very 24-hour day that Lot departed Sodom. Jesus said it will be the same when He returns.
Dwight Pentecost was a theologian best known for his book, Things to Come. He was the Distinguished Professor of Bible Exposition, Emeritus, at Dallas Theological Seminary. He was a leading Pre-Tribulationist who did not allow room for a time gap between the Rapture and the Tribulation. In his book, Things to Come, he states that the Tribulation begins immediately after the Rapture:
The only way this day could break unexpectedly upon the world is to have it begin immediately after the rapture of the church. It is thus concluded that the Day of the Lord is that extended period of time beginning with God’s dealing with Israel after the Rapture at the beginning of the Tribulation period and extending through the Second Advent and the millennial age unto the creation of the new heavens and new earth after the millennium. (Things to Come, pp. 230-231 emphasis added)
In 2006, the late Dave Hunt wrote this in a newsletter:
Not only is it logical that Satan will act quickly once the Church is gone, but he must. Only the sudden, terrifying disappearance of perhaps 50-100 million persons from this earth could unite the entire world under Antichrist and cause the world to worship him. Nothing else could do it. Satan won’t let that opportunity pass! So I believe that the Tribulation under Antichrist and the rule of Satan will begin immediately after the Rapture. (The Berean Call, January 6, 2006)
Another beloved and respected man, the late J. Vernon McGee, a popular Bible teacher (Thru the Bible radio programs) taught the Tribulation (Day of the Lord) would begin immediately after the Rapture:
“The one event of the Rapture will end the day of grace and begin the Day of the Lord. It closes one day and opens another.” (J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible, Volume Five, p. 400)
On the same page of the same book, J. Vernon McGee also discusses how the world will be expecting to enter a new era of peace, but instead will be “plunged” unexpectedly into the Tribulation, indicating that there will be a false peace just prior to the beginning of the Tribulation.
“While they are saying, ‘Peace and safety!’ then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they [unbelievers] shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3 emphasis added).
Please notice what Paul states next to Christians of the Church Age in 1 Thessalonians 5:4: “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day [Rapture/Tribulation] should overtake you as a thief.” Believers should be watching and be aware of unfolding events and situations leading up to the Rapture of the Church and the Tribulation (Luke 21:36).
Scripture is clear that the Tribulation begins when the Antichrist signs the covenant with Israel (Daniel (9:24-27). But that does not negate the Scriptures that tell us there is no gap between the Rapture and Tribulation. Some who want to place a time gap between the Rapture and the Tribulation say that Scripture does not say the Tribulation begins with the Rapture, which is of course true. But by saying that does not mean there is a time gap or negate the Scriptures that show there is no gap.
The Scriptures show us that very quickly after the Rapture, in the “selfsame day” which means within a 24-hour hour period, the Tribulation begins. Therefore the signing of the covenant must take place, then. The Rapture will be the perfect epic event that would set-in-motion the signing of the covenant. To be clear, I am not saying the Rapture triggers the Tribulation. I am saying the Rapture would trigger the signing of the covenant, which then inevitably marks the beginning of the Tribulation.
To try to place a gap between the Rapture and the Tribulation discredits the Lord’s Scriptures which disprove such a hypothesis. The very day the Rapture takes place, the seven-year Tribulation will begin within a 24-hour period. If we diligently study our Bibles we will see that Scripture does not permit a time gap between the Rapture and the Tribulation.
Footnote: “Anyone who loves God’s chosen people will want to read Kit’s book, Israel’s Guaranteed Future Glory. The most recent May 2017 edition includes a powerful, updated Presidential Inaugural chapter and additional information of historical value. Kit’s wonderful book highlights the State of Israel showing that God’s prophetic promises have not been broken, and that He still has a plan for mankind.
The history of the Jews proves the validity of His Holy Word; and the geopolitical climate unfolding today falls in line with God’s prophetic messages. Kit has been my dedicated editor/writer for the site since 2012. I am very pleased to share some of her additional work with our readers and feature her new book on the site in our Recommended Resource Section.” –Todd Strandberg