What is the Post-Tribulation Rapture Theory?
By Chris Schang
Question: What is the Post-Tribulation Rapture Theory?
Answer: There are four main views of the rapture in Christianity. These four views are the pre-trib, mid-trib, pre-wrath, and post-trib rapture timing views. The post-tribulation rapture view is the belief that the rapture will occur at the end of the Tribulation period. This view believes that Jesus will rapture the church and then defeat his armies at Armageddon. And not only that but he will have them go straight up to Heaven in the rapture and then come back immediately down to Earth with him at the Second Coming. This would require that the church do a full 360 degree loop from earth to Heaven to earth again.
Some of the arguments that post-tribulation rapture believers try to make for this theory is that they say that Jesus said that he would return after the "great tribulation" which is at the end of the Tribulation period. They often cite Matthew 24:21, 29 for this belief. The problem with this thinking is that the return of Jesus at the end of the Tribulation is not the rapture, but the Second Coming. Revelation tells us that Jesus will physically touch the ground at the end of the Tribulation period, in the rapture Jesus does not touch the ground but rather comes in the air to gather believers.
Another argument that post-tribulation rapture supporters cite is that Christians have all through the church period faced intense periods of trial and persecution. While this is true and that the Bible tells us that we will face trials and tribulations in life, the Bible has clearly told us that we have the promise that we will not have to go through THE TRIBULATION as we are not destined to wrath, but to salvation through Jesus Christ. Post-tribulationists have mistaken the context of the scriptures and misapplied them here. The seven year Tribulation period is the time of God's wrath on the world as he punishes unbelieving Israel and unrepentant sinners. God has never once punished the righteous with the wicked. He has always removed them from the time and place of his wrath. This has been illustrated over and over in the Bible. The church is made righteous by faith in the completed work of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
Another problem with the post-tribulation rapture view is that it tries to distinguish between "Satan's wrath" and God's wrath". This is a confusing issue as the truth is the entire seven year Tribulation period is God's wrath. How do we know? Because the scroll in Revelation is a two-sided scroll which in the Bible ALWAYS denotes wrath. In this case, the wrath of God will be poured out on the world as God unleashes one judgment after another until the end of the Tribulation period. Post-tribulation rapture timing advocates don't seem to realize this. The fact is that the Tribulation period or "the time of Jacob's trouble" is the entire Tribulation period as evidenced that the judgments are all "interconnected" together. The seals judgments give way to the trumpet judgments and the trumpet judgments give way to the bowl judgments. Further Revelation 6 clearly shows that the people on earth realize that the great and terrible wrath of God is being poured out after the have have experienced some of the judgments of God.
In summary the post-tribulation rapture timing view is not sound and biblical. The only view that is sound and takes in consideration of the entire "big picture" of Bible prophecy is the pre-tribulation rapture timing view that places the rapture before the terrible Tribulation period and the wrath of God. I hope this article has been helpful to you in understanding the truth taught in the Bible.