The Time of the Rapture as Indicated in Certain Scriptures Part III: The Time of the Rapture in the Light of Matthew 24 -- By: William K. Harrison

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 115:458 (Apr 1958)
Article: The Time of the Rapture as Indicated in Certain Scriptures Part III: The Time of the Rapture in the Light of Matthew 24
Author: William K. Harrison


The Time of the Rapture as Indicated in Certain Scriptures
Part III:
The Time of the Rapture in the Light of Matthew 24

William K. Harrison

[William K. Harrison is a Lieutenant General (retired) in the United States Army and now serves as Executive Director of the Evangelical Welfare Agency, Chicago, Illinois.]

The Time of the Rapture in the Light of Matthew 24

As the days of Noah were. In Matthew 24:37–41 the coming of the Lord is compared to the days of Noah. The peoples of the world will have reached the very depth of sin without suspicion of Christ’s coming. Then when the Lord returns judgment falls on them; some are removed and others left. Unless we violate the very essence of the comparison between the advent and the flood, we must believe that those who remain are the righteous (as was Noah). Those who are left will be left on earth as shown by their being in the field or in bed. This picture parallels exactly the scene at the end of the age as told by Christ in the parable of the wheat and the tares, which He clearly and definitely interpreted for His disciples (Matt 13:24–30, 36–43). In this discourse He said that first the evil ones would be taken out for destruction by fire. Then the righteous will “shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matt 13:41–43). This shining forth is obviously on earth where they will be before the sinners are removed.

We see then that there will be some of God’s people on earth as human beings (in the field, in bed) after Christ comes again. As regards the Church, however, it (all of it) is to be removed from the earth, (1 Thess 4:13–17; 1 Cor 15:51–52).

The interval between the end of the great tribulation and the heavenly signs is nil, as shown by the use of the word immediately in Matthew 24:29, and as the powers of the heavens are shaken, then shall Christ come. The time consumed by the shaking of heaven is

not stated but the language clearly does not indicate more than a very short space. If the rapture takes place after the great tribulation, it must be in that very brief interval just before the actual advent of Christ to the Mount of Olives. That is, it would be at the end of the age and could precede the removal of the sinners by only an insignificant time at most. But in the parable of the tares i...

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