As the world slowly faces the reality of the immediate effects of the Rapture, and as those left behind are still trying to figure out what happened, key leaders of key countries will begin to organize global summits in order to find unified global solutions. And, according to the Scriptures, we know that the world will come to an agreement on establishing a new global government, a new global religion, and a new global leader.
It is likely that these key events will start, or be set up, pre-Tribulation, but won’t actually be fulfilled until the Tribulation. Some insist that the Tribulation will begin almost immediately after the Rapture, and therefore the key events that we mentioned won’t begin to happen until the Tribulation. However, many others have suggested that there simply won’t be enough time during the Tribulation to fulfill these events.
Here are three reasons why I agree that there needs to be a gap of time between the Rapture and the Tribulation:
1. There needs to be a sufficient amount of time to set up the key events: a new global government with a new world currency; a new global religion; a new global leader (the anti-Christ); and also to finalize plans for the new Jewish temple. All these things will take time.
2. There needs to be time to establish a period of peace (which will be a false peace), so that the new world leader (anti-Christ) can appear to be a man of peace before he signs the peace covenant with Israel (Dan. 9:27).
3. Time will be needed to burn Israel’s enemy’s weapons. Most prophecy scholars agree that the war of Gog (Ezek. 38-39) will occur sometime after the Rapture and probably just before the Tribulation begins. We are told in Ezekiel 39:27 that it will take Israel seven years to burn their weapons for fuel. But since Israel will be forced out of their land at mid-Tribulation (Matt. 24:16), that means that the burning of the weapons will have to begin at least three and one-half years before the Tribulation begins. Therefore, this will mean that the gap of time between the Rapture and the Tribulation must be at least three and one-half years in length.
But of course we are just guessing, because we are assuming that this war occurs after the Rapture. If it occurs any time before the Rapture—which could happen—then our numbers of three and one-half years are wrong. Also, when Israel flees from their country it may be probable that they will take these enemy weapons with them; for they may suppose that they will need them for fuel, especially if they are going into the mountains.
I agree that my last point is questionable, however the other two points I think are sound. A period of time will be needed after the Rapture and before the Tribulation to set things up for the Tribulation. Some have put a great deal of effort and thought in trying to guess how long this gap period will be. They have suggested three and one-half years, or maybe seven years, or even ten years. I really don’t care to put any effort into guessing; however, it seems logical that it will be a few years.