WHEN IS THE RAPTURE RELATIVE TO THE FUTURE SEVEN-YEAR TRIBULATION PERIOD?

I.                    Four views

a.       Pre-tribulationalism

b.      Mid-tribulationalism

c.       Post-tribulationalism

d.      Pre-wrath rapturism

II.                 Seven arguments favoring the pre-tribulational view

a.       The purpose of the tribulation concerns Israel rather than the church (Jer 30:7; Dan 9:24)

b.      There is an absence of any reference to the church on the earth in Rev 4-19

c.       The church is promised an exemption from divine wrath (1 Thess 1:10; 5:9; Rom 5:9) and the tribulation represents a time of divine wrath (Rev 6:17; 11:18; 15:1, 7; 16:1, 19)

d.      Because the rapture is imminent it must take place before the tribulation period can begin (Jas 5:8; 1 Thess 1:10; 4:15; 1 Cor 1:7; 15:51; Philip 3:20)

e.       The doctrine of the rapture is designed to comfort believers (John 14:1; 1 Thess 4:18; Titus 2:13)

f.        The Antichrist cannot come to power until the church’s restraining ministry is removed  (2 Thess 2:6-7)

g.       Symbolic parallels mandate that the rapture must take place before the tribulation period begins (2 Pet 2:5-9)

© 2009 Andy Woods