One of the most debated doctrines in the church today is the timing of the rapture in relation to the coming reign of the Antichrist. Post-tribulationists say we will remain on earth through the entire tribulation period, while pre-tribs would remove us before he noticeably comes on the scene, at the start of the seven year end time period. But both of these view can show numerous Scriptural problems with the other, and also with most of the other popular theories, such as mid-trib, amillennialism, and post-millennialism. The pre-wrath rapture view answers these problems.
In my opinion, and that of many thousands of other believers and Bible teachers, the pre-wrath position best fits all of Scripture. This view maintains a consistent method of interpretation at all times, following a plain and careful reading of Scripture.
In Matthew 24, the disciples asked what would be the sign of His second coming and the end of the age, which is logically the church age. In reply, Jesus described a number of things which must happen first. This includes the great tribulation of the Antichrist which begins at the midpoint of the final seven years of this age (Daniel 9 and 12, Revelation 12). He says that for the sake of the elect those days of the tribulation will be cut short or amputated. Certain heavenly signs – which exactly match the sixth seal judgment in Revelation 6:12-17, appear at the amputation. At this time is the gathering of the elect from earth to heaven (Mark 13). I thoroughly demonstrate in my book that the elect is the church in the New Testament.
If you turn to Revelation 6 and 7, you will find in the context of the sixth seal an innumerable multitude which appears in heaven standing before God’s throne from all the nations of the earth. This certainly is an apt description of the number of Christians that have lived throughout the age. And this event must precede the trumpet and bowls judgments. This is most clearly seen in the fact that the angels receive the trumpets at the seventh seal (Revelation 8), which obviously follows the sixth seal. The wrath of God and the Day of the Lord also begin at this point (Joel 2:31; Revelation 6:16-17). Scripture is clear the church will not undergo God’s divine wrath on the earth, but be removed beforehand (1Thessalonians 5:1-11). This is exactly where the pre-wrath view places the DOL and the rapture.
In 2Thessalonians 1 and 2 the Apostle Paul also taught this. To paraphrase his teaching, he said that the persecution the church undergoes proves that God is just in sending His wrath upon them, and that we will receive rest when Christ appears with his angels in flaming fire taking vengeance. He then beseeches by the rapture coming of Christ that the Day of the Lord (when He comes in vengeance) cannot begin until after the apostasy and the revealing of Antichrist. This is the Abomination of Desolation at the midpoint of the seven years, when he sits in the temple declaring himself God. Thus Paul lines up with what Jesus taught. Finally, the first trumpet judgment is flaming fire.
There is much more evidence that the Day of the Lord and God’s wrath begin at the sixth seal.
The evidence for the pre-wrath rapture in Scripture is plenteous, and every point presented here, and many more, is fully explained in my book, The Prewrath Rapture: Answering the Critics.