Does the Rapture Come Before the Antichrist?
By Chris Schang
A frequent question that is often asked is "Does the Rapture Come Before the Antichrist?" The reason this is asked a lot of times is that people become fearful that they may be around to see the Antichrist. Others think they see a political leader on the world stage that has the potential to be the Antichrist that is spoken of in the Bible, so they are naturally curious.
A careful reading of the Bible shows us that there are two "revealings" of the Antichrist. One revealing of the Antichrist is for Gentiles which happens before the Tribulation period and the other revealing is at the mid-point of the Tribulation period that is for Israel when the Abomination of Desolation takes place in the Third Temple.
The initial revealing of the Antichrist will happen before the Tribulation and will most likely occur after the rapture in my opinion. I tend to see the revealing of the Antichrist to Gentiles as being after the rapture and for those who needed one final piece of evidence that God's word was true. This will be evidenced after the mass removal of the Lord's church.
"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?" -- 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5.
Unfortunately, these new found believers in Christ will have waited too long. However, they will have witnessed one of the most incredible events in history when the Lord returns to "catch up" his bride in a twinkling of an eye. This will be important as they will need to be able to keep their faith during the Tribulation period.
The second revealing of the Antichrist will be to Israel when they see the Abomination of Desolation occur in the Third Temple. The Bible warns them to flee when they see this event:
"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: -- Matthew 24:15-16.
This is of course referring to Daniel 9:27, "He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him."
This revealing of the Antichrist will show Israel that they have followed a false messiah. They will have recognized by the Abomination of Desolation that they have been deceived and will head for the place in Petra that has been put aside for them.
So with this close examination of the scriptures, it is my personal belief that the rapture will indeed come before the revealing of the Antichrist. I hope this helps someone.