1) Pre-Tribulation View – Christ comes before the Tribulation for his church in fulfillment of Rev. 3:10 “I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.”
2) Partial Rapture View – Christ will only rapture those are waiting for him. “He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him (Heb. 9:28)
3) Mid-Tribulation View – Christ raptures church in the middle of the Tribulation when the two witnesses are raptured.
4) Post-Tribulation View – second most popular view is where Christ takes the church at the end of the Tribulation just moments before his return. There are several problems. One, what’s the point then of having a rapture. Two, what about going to the Father’s house, the judgment seat of Christ, and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
Why Pre-tribulation Rapture?
1) Revelation 3:10, “I will also keep you from (“ek” literally means “out of”) the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.”
2) Imminent – the rapture is ready to take place at any time. By definition an imminent event can not have any signs that come before. There are no signs described in the scriptures that come before the rapture. That is why Paul is looking for the rapture even in his day. The rapture does serve as a sign of the tribulation and the coming of the man of lawlessness.
3) 1 “Thessalonians 1:10, “and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead – Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.”
4) 1 Thessalonians 5:9, “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
5) The word “church” is absent from Revelation 4-18 which deals with the tribulation. Revelation 1-3 deals with the churches before the rapture. The rapture occurs in the chapter 4. The church is addressed again when the Lord returns to set up the Millennium in chapter 19. The church is addressed in the closing chapter since the church is the recipient of the book of Revelation.
1) Enoch in Gen. 5:24 and Hebrews 11:5 where the words “taken up. . .God took him up. . . his being taken up” are used.
2) Elijah in 2 Kings 2:1
3) Isaiah in Isaiah 6
4) Philip in Acts 8:39-40 was “snatched . . .away” (“katabaino” and means “to ascend, to go up”)
5) Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:1-4
6) Two witnesses in Revelation 11:12
7) Male child in Revelation 12:5 is “harpazo” which means “to seize, to snatch, to take away.” It is the same word used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17
8) John in Revelation 4:1, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
“The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.”
1 Corinthians 1:7-8
“Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 13:9,1012
“For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. . .Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
1 Corinthians 15:51-53
“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not al sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ ”
1 Corinthians 16:22
“If anyone does not love the Lord – a curse be on him. Come, O Lord.”
“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”
“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
“When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
1 Thessalonians 1:10
“. . .wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead – Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.”
1 Thessalonians 2:19
“For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
1 Thessalonians 5:9
“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 5:23
“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 2:1
“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed. . .”
1 Timothy 6:14
“. . .keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Timothy 4:1
“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing ( “epephaneia” means “appearance, manifestation. The word was used in reference to the surprise appearance of a deity.) Also in 1 Tm.6:14; 2 Th.2:8) and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word.”
2 Timothy 4:8
”Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
“While we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.”
“He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”
“Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.”
1 Peter 1:7
“These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
1 Peter 1:13
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
1 Peter 5:4
“When the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”
1 John 2:28-3:2
“And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him. How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.”
“Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of Our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.”
“Only hold on to what you have until I come.”