Some pretribs argue that the Rapture occurs in verse 14 of Matt.24 in the Olivet Discourse, and supports the Pretribulational Rapture Position. Let us examine this verse together and see what it says.
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”(Matthew 24:14 KJV).
In the Olivet Discourse in Matt.24, the 70th week of Daniel begins in verse 5 with the emergence of false christs and the ultimate false christ, the antiChrist. This is followed by wars and rumors of wars(6, 7a). Though there shall be wars, commotions, rumors and threats of wars, the end(of the ages) is not yet(Mk.13:7). The famines, pestilence and earthquakes of verse 7b and 8 bring the first half of three and one-half years of the 70th week of Daniel to close. The Great Tribulation begins in verse 9. In verse 14, we are in the thick of the Great Tribulation. If the Rapture occurs in verse 14, that Rapture cannot be pretribualtional. It will be intratribulational. It means also that the Rapture cannot occur before the 70th week begins. It means that the Rapture cannot occur outside of the 70th week nor in the first half of the 70th week of Daniel. This assumption contradicts the pretribulational Rapture position. What this shows is that some pretribs do not understanding the sequence of events of the end times. Some of them will even dismiss the Olivet Discourse out of hand as having nothing to do with the Church but rather refers to the Jews, regardless of the fact that the NT and the Gospel according to Matthew is not read in the Jewish synagogues.
This verse says that the Gospel of the kingdom of God shall be preached in all the world as witness to all nations, then shall the end come. Are the Jews preaching the Gospel Of The Kingdom? Will the Jews be preaching the Gospel Of The Kingdom till the End Of The Ages? Is the Gospel of Matthew read in the synagogues? The answer to all these questions is No. What is the end? The end is the end of the ages: the transition period between the present age and the age to come which is the Millennium. At this juncture in human history, God intervenes decisively to rescue the righteous who are under sever persecution by the unrighteous wicked and institutes His Day Of The Lord Wrath on the wicked earth-dwellers. Jesus promised to be with us till the End Of The Ages. The teaching and preaching of the word of God are to go on till the End Of The Ages.
“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”(Matthew 28:20 KJV).
The believers who endure till the end(Of The Ages) shall be saved(delivered).
“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”(Matthew 10:22, 24:13 KJV).
At this time, believers shall be hated of all nations. The Greek word rendered saved is “sothesetai” which could mean saved, delivered, rescued or even healed. The context determines how it should be rendered. Believers are already saved from sin and may even be already healed. In all those instances where this verb denotes healed, the recipient was already sick before his or her healing. In like manner also, the one being delivered must be in some sort of trouble, persecution, distress or tribulation before being delivered. Deliverance from sickness does not mean the beneficiary never experiences sickness but rather that he or she is healed when sick. The one being delivered from trouble must be in some sort of trouble before being delivered from trouble. So, what are they being delivered from in this context? They are being delivered from severe persecution or tribulation by the antiChrist. Remember that the context is the second half of the 70th week of Daniel which all pretribs label the Great Tribulation. So we see that the believers shall be rescued from the midst of the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist at the End Of The Ages. And we are also told that the Coming(Parousia) of the Lord shall occur at the End Of the Ages.
There is a confluence of events at the End Of The Ages. (1) This Gospel of the kingdom shall have been preached to all the world 🌎 as a testimony or witness 🙌 to all nations(Matt.24:14). (2) The complement of the saints to be martyred is reached(Rev.6:9-11). (3) The saints must have endured to the end, that is, given full proof of their faithfulness to Jesus by their refusal to bear the mark of the Beast or the number of his name, bow to him or his image by being willing to die rather than deny His name(Matt.10:22; Matt.24:13). And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”(Rev.12:11 KJV). In other words, they are willing to die for their faith in the Messiah of Israel and the Saviour of all mankind.
“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”(Matthew 24:3 KJV).
The sign of His Coming and the End of the Ages are concurrent. They occur back-to-back. They are given in reverse order. The sign of the End Of The Ages is the darkening of the Sun, Moon, and Stars. The whole Earth shall be thrown into utter darkness, and become cold and frigid. The darkness and frigidity shall be dispelled by the sign of His Coming(Parousia) which is the Shekinah in the Heavens.
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”(Matthew 24:30 KJV).
This darkening of the Sun, Moon, and Stars, or the cosmic and celestial disturbances as some theologians call it shall be preceded by the [Great] Tribulation of those days. As a matter of fact, the darkening of the Sun, Moon, and Stars terminates the Great Tribulation. It is the sign of the End Of The Ages. Christ’s Coming or His appearance in the Heavens is linked up with the Gathering of the saints unto Him. Moses spoke of this a thousand years before Christ.
“The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”(Genesis 49:10 KJV).
Our brother Apostle Paul in his Second Epistle to the Thessalonians linked His Second Advent with our gathering together unto Him.
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,”(2 Thessalonians 2:1 KJV).
If the Rapture(our gathering together unto Him) occurs at the Parousia, and the Parousia occurs at the End(Of The Ages), it therefore follows that the Rapture(our gathering together unto Him) occurs at the End Of The Ages. This makes perfect sense because the Gospel of the kingdom is committed to the saints. Before the saints can be evacuated from the Earth, the Gospel of the kingdom must be preached to all the world as a witness to all nations. Has the Gospel of the kingdom being preached to all the world as a witness to all nations? No. How then can the saints be evacuated any time, any moment, any day? Any moment Rapture is called imminency. It is the Central pillar of Pretribulation Rapturism. It means that no prophesied event must occur before the Rapture can take place. Which means the Rapture can occur at any moment. Another way to say that is the Rapture will be signless. In other words no prophesied events need occur before the Rapture can take place. The Scriptures teach, as we have seen, that the Rapture occurs at the End Of The Ages when the Gospel of the Kingdom shall have being preached to all the world for a witness to all nations. Is this not a prophesied event? In the middle of the 70th week of Daniel, the first of the three angelic announcements shall be the proclamation of the message of the Gospel.
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”(Revelation 14:6-7 KJV).
This announcement shall be made in the THICK OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION. Angels are not allowed to preach the Gospel to men at all. They can give them direction where to get it. For example, the case of Cornelius, the Roman centurion(Acts10). So, when this proclamation is made in the Heavens by the First angel, there must be believers here on Earth to chorus it. We have also shown previously that no saint is left here on Earth after the Rapture because what follows the Rapture is the wrath of God, and believers are not appointed unto God’s wrath as also saith the Pretribs(1 Thess.1:10, 5:9; Eph.5:6; Col.3:6). The fact that the pretribs teach that the wrath of God begins at the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel contradicts their assumption that the so called “ Tribulation Saints” or the “Left Behind” shall be here on Earth during the 70th week after the Rapture has taken place retribulationally inasmuch as the saints(believers) are not appointed unto God’s wrath. So the “Tribulations Saints” or “Left Behind” are an anomaly, a spiritual aberration which has not biblical support. We conclude therefore, that the Rapture occurs at the End Of The Ages after the Good News Of The Kingdom shall have been preached to the whole world by believers who have endured to the End Of The Ages as a witness to all nations.