It amazes me that born again believers can be so divided on what the Bible has to say concerning such an important prophetic event as the Rapture of the Church. Since there is only one Bible, and one Holy Spirit to interpret it for believers, you would think there would only be one view; sadly, there are several. Some believe the Church is removed prior to the seven year Tribulation (Pre-Tribers). Some believe the Rapture will occur half way through, or three and one half years after the Tribulation has begun (Mid-Tribers). Still others hold that only the faithful will be removed, and the rest will go through the whole seven years (Partial-Tribers). Finally, there are those who believe there will be a Rapture, but it will involve a "u-turn" in the clouds. The Church will join Christ and His saints for the Lord's Second Coming (Post-Tribers).
Since God's Word says that He is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33), why is the Church so divided on this and many other Bible doctrines? First of all, not everyone who says they are a Christian is born again. Secondly, even those who have been partakers of the spiritual birth do not always walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16, 25); apparently Christians "leak." That is why we are told to keep being filled (Eph. 5:18; also cp. Acts 2:4 with Acts 4:8). And finally, understanding God's Word requires diligent study. 2 Timothy 2:15 says, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
Perhaps the most common error made by students of the Bible is their failure to rightly divide the Word of God. The Bible clearly teaches that Israel and the Church are separate and distinct entities (Rom. 6:14; 9:1-11:36; Gal. 1:1-6:18, etc.). If one fails to determine which one the Lord is addressing, the Bible soon appears to be confusing and contradictory. In some passages, it does not take a seminary degree to know to whom the Lord is speaking. Daniel 9:24-27 is a perfect example. It says,
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."
To be continued, Lord willing.