Will the rapture occur before or after the temple is built in Jerusalem?
The rapture of the church of Christ will occur before the tribulation period. The prophet Daniel prophesied that a seven year period known as the tribulation period would start at some time in the future.
And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate. Daniel 9:27 (NASB)
The Seven Year Tribulation
Daniel 9:27 states that this seven year period starts with a peace treaty or “covenant” with Israel. The peace treaty is broken after 3.5 years of peace. The last 3.5 years of the tribulation will be a time of famine, war and death. Satan and the demons will torment Christians and Jews and God will rain terror down upon non-Christians. The battle of Armageddon will occur at the end of the tribulation when Christ returns. His return is called the second coming of Christ. For more information about the tribulation visit, “Does the rapture occur before the tribulation period?”
The Rapture Occurs Before The Tribulation
The rapture occurs before the start of the tribulation. It is described in 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18.
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NASB)
The rapture is the removal of all Christians from the earth. Since Daniel 9:27 states that the tribulation begins with a peace treaty, that means the rapture will occur before the peace treaty becomes effective.
When Will The Third Temple Be Built?
Now that we understand the timeline of the rapture and the tribulation, the question is, “Will the rapture occur before or after the temple is built in Jerusalem?” There are two passages that tell us the temple will exist in the middle of the tribulation when the abomination of desolation occurs. The first passage is Matthew 24;15. Christ spoke these words,
Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place ( let the reader understand) . . . Matthew 24:15 (NASB)
Jesus reminds us that the prophet Daniel prophesied the abomination of desolation would occur 3.5 years into the tribulation. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 refers to the antichrist. The antichrist is the abomination of desolation.
Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 (NASB)
The antichrist declares that he is God while sitting in the temple. These two passages help us understand that the temple must exist by the middle of the tribulation in order for the antichrist to be able to sit in the temple. The temple must be built by that time. This means the temple could be built before the tribulation starts. It could also be built before the rapture. Therefore, the answer to the question is that the temple could be built before or after the rapture, but the temple is built before the antichrist declares himself to be God.
The rapture may occur before or after the temple is built. Scripture only requires that the temple be built by the middle of the tribulation. The only real answer will be personal experience. If Christians see the third temple built, then the rapture will occur later. If Christians are raptured and the temple does not exist in Jerusalem, then the temple will be built during the first part of the tribulation which follows.
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