Pre-Trib: The main purpose of the rapture is to spare the most holy believers from any exposure to the antichrist’s seven-year reign and God’s wrath poured out on the worrld at any time during that 7 years, not just the last 3 1/2 years.
Mid-Trib: The main purpose of the rapture is to spare believers from God’s wrath poured out on the world only in the last 3 1/2 worst years of the Great Tribulation.
Post-Trib: The main purpose of the rapture is so all believers–dead and alive–can witness [and perhaps participate in] the Second Coming of Jesus.
Pre-trib: Paul refers to a last trumpet in his 1 Cor 15:52 rapture commentary, but that does not automatically mean it is the last trumpet of Rev 11:15.
Mid-trib: The last trumpet is in the middle of the Great Tribulation, therefore the rapture is then, not before or at the end.
Post-trib: The rapture is announced at the trumpet of 1 Thess 4:16 and the last trumpet of 1 Cor 15:52, both of which are the last and seventh trumpet of Rev 11:15, heralding the Second Coming. There is only one last trumpet in scripture.
SECOND COMING AND RAPTURE – Part One
Pre-Trib: Second Coming and rapture happen at different times in history: the rapture is before Great Tribulation and the is Second Coming after the Great Tribulation.
Mid-Trib: Rapture takes place in the middle of the Great Tribulation as the 3 1/2 years of false peace end and the antichrist brings rampant evil.
Post-Trib: In Matthew 24:30-31, After describing the Great Tribulation, Jesus says, “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” According to this passage, Jesus is describing the Second Coming and the rapture of believers.
SECOND COMING AND RAPTURE – Part Two
Pre-Trib: Jesus comes three times: his birth, the rapture, the Second Coming.
Mid-Trib: Jesus comes three times: his birth, the rapture, the Second Coming.
Post-Trib: Jesus only comes two times: his birth and the Second Coming. There is no solid scriptural evidence of Jesus coming just for the rapture event.
NOT SUFFER WRATH
Pre-Trib: Believers will not suffer in the Tribulation, because the coming torment is worse than anything in history: 1 Thess 5:9 says, “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Because this torment is worse than anything in history, believers will be spared God’s outpouring of judgment on unbelievers.
Mid-Trib: Agree with Pre-Trib on this point.
Post-Trib: 1 Thess 5:4-9 has nothing to do with the rapture. In this passage, Paul is comparing believers with unbelievers, darkness with light, night with day, sleep with alertness, drunkenness with self-control, and finally wrath with salvation. We are saved from God’s eternal wrath (damnation) by faith in Jesus. This passage has nothing to do with the rapture or Second Coming.
NOT SUFFER ANYTHING
Pre-Trib: Like Noah and his family, true believers will not suffer God’s wrath poured out on the earth, because evil doers are being punished, not God’s people. Any believers suffering during the Great Tribulation must be unworthy people left behind after the rapture.
Mid-Trib: Mid-Trib agrees with Pre-Trib on this point.
Post-Trib: The antichrist is given power to harm all believers–all saints (Dan 7:21,25; Rev 13:7). According to Jesus and the apostles, believers can expect suffering (Matt 5:11-12; Mark 13:9-14; Luke 21:12-19; John 16:1-4,33; James 1:2-3,12; 1 Peter 4:12-14). And their lives bear out this testimony. Peter says it is an honor to suffer and/or die for Christ (1 Peter 4:12-19). So why would we expect God to spare us from something everyone experienced, including Jesus?
Pre-Trib: Rev 3:10 is talking about a Pre-Trib rapture, “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, 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.” This is all about true believers being raptured before the Great Tribulation.
Mid-Trib: Mid-Trib believers are often mute on this subject or agree.
Post-Trib: Rev 3:10 is only about the Persecuted Church worldwide. They have already endured patiently, so God offers them an Open Door–The Philadelphia Door–to temporarily escape the suffering, but only if they choose. Isaiah 26:20-21 talks about this idea. They will join the believers being raptured at end of Great Tribulation, during the Second Coming.
NO CHURCH AFTER REVELATION CHAPTER 3
Pre-Trib: If the Church is not mentioned after Rev 3, then only fallen and hopefully repentant Christians remain, going through the Great Tribulation.
Mid-Trib: The mid-Trib view is mixed: Some note that the Church is mentioned less after Rev 3 and wonder if that means the rapture took place.
Post-Trib: The Church and believers are mentioned repeatedly after Rev 3, but not emphasized. In Rev 2 and 3, Jesus speaks to the Church to prepare believers, then the emphasis is on the Great Tribulation and what follows.
WE CANNOT KNOW THE DATE
Pre-Trib: If the Lord comes like a thief in the night (1 Thess 5:2) and no one knows the day or hour (Matt 24:36), then the rapture cannot happen with the Second Coming at the end of the Great Tribulation, because Daniel 12:11-13 says 1,290 days after the Abomination of Desolation appears “you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.”
Mid-Trib: Agrees with the Pre-Trib view on this point.
Post-Trib: First, the only people surprised by the Second Coming of Jesus are those living in the dark (1 Thess 5:4). Second, Daniel presents us with a window: He does mention 1,290 days, but then adds 45 days: “Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.” Another mystery. Yes, we will not know the exact day or the exact hour. But we must always be ready nevertheless.
CHANGE IN ORIENTATION
Pre-Trib: The rapture takes place between Rev 3:22 and Rev 4:1, because some people (dispensationalists) believe Jesus’ comments to the churches is about church ages/epochs, so when John’s orientation changes, the Church should be gone.
Mid-Trib: While dispensationalism can be read into various Revelation passages, the idea that the change in subject between Rev 3:22 and Rev 4:1 reflects a dispensational event change is contrived and not good theology, using a scriptural passage to support an idea that, on itself, has no scholarly support.
Post-Trib: Rev 4 starts off with a Greek transitional statement–meta tauta–after these things. After the messages to the seven churches, John’s focus changes. Now John turns his attention, orientation, in another direction: he sees an opened door in heaven. This does not mean the Church is gone, it is simply and only a change in focus, which all writers employ.
HOLY SPIRIT REMOVED
Pre-Trib: Reference 2 Thess 2:7, if the Holy Spirit is removed, then no person can be saved during the Great Tribulation unless they die a martyr. The rapture takes place at same time Holy Spirit is removed.
Mid-Trib: Mid-Trib agrees but says this happens at the half-way point in the Great Tribulation.
Post-Trib: The Holy Spirit is not removed. 2 Thess 2:7 says that he has been restraining the antichrist’s power and only the restraining action is stopped. There is no indication that the Holy Spirit is removed; he only stops restraining. There is no scriptural evidence that the rapture takes place at this time or that the Holy Spirit is actually removed from the earth, if that is even possible.
JOHN 14:1-4 RAPTURE REFERENCE
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that 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. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Pre-Trib: John 14:1-4 is a direct reference to the rapture.
Mid-Trib: In John 14:1-4, Jesus explains that he will come back to his disciples with no specifics on whether it is a rapture event or Second Coming event.
Post-Trib: In John 14:1-4, Jesus tells the disciples [and by extension, all believers], to not worry. And if he prepares a place for them, he will come back for them. If anything, it is a reference to the Second Coming. But it cannot be argued that it is rapture specific. It is simply a passage of comfort and promise and hope.
WHERE WE MEET JESUS
Pre-Trib: Any reference to meeting Jesus in the air is about the rapture, because in the Second Coming, Jesus lands on the Mount of Olives, which then splits in two (Zechariah 14:4).
Mid-Trib: Mid-Trib view is quiet on this argument.
Post-Trib: In 2 Thess 2:1, Paul writes, “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him…” Paul is describing the Second Coming and our being gathered to Jesus Christ as one event. 1 Thess 4:16 describes Jesus coming down from heaven [the Second Coming] and the dead rising first, then the living being caught up (raptured). So again, the Second Coming and rapture are linked together–in the air, even though Jesus does land on the Mount of Olives, splitting it in two at the end of this arrival event.
WHERE GET NEW BODY
Pre-Trib: Believers get a new glorified body during the rapture, not the Second Coming. In the Second Coming, the few living believers who survived the Great Tribulation remain in the same body.
Mid-Trib: Quiet on this argument.
Post-Trib: We–the living–need to be transformed in order to experience the rapture, whether just watching or actually participating (1 Cor 15:52, “…we will be changed”). Paul writes that the dead in Christ rise first, then those remaining are transformed in the twinkling of an eye–a new body. In the new body, the angels transport believers to Jerusalem to witness the Second Coming.
Pre-Trib: Only before the Tribulation would believers need to be ready (Matt 24:44).
Mid-Trib: Would argue that believers need to be ready even during the first 3 1/2 years of peace.
Post-Trib: Believers are going to heaven every day–now and during the Great Tribulation. Those who are alive need to be ready all the time for either death or the Second Coming.
PEOPLE IN HEAVEN
Pre-Trib: Probably agree with the Mid-Trib view, but I could not find any references.
Mid-Trib: If people are with Jesus in Rev 14 and the Second Coming happens in Rev 19, then the rapture must have already happened before.
Post-Trib: The Book of Revelation was not written in chronological order (ref. Harvest of the Earth in Rev 14:14 should follow the Thousand Year Reign in Rev 20). But even then, people are going to heaven daily, regardless of when the Second Coming takes place.
Pre-Trib: Some people discount the Pre-Trib view because it is so popular.
Mid-Trib: Do not consider popularity.
Post-Trib: Do not consider popularity.
JESUS DESCRIBES A POST-TRIBULATION RAPTURE – Part 1
Pre-Trib: The Pre-Trib view discounts this passage.
Mid-Trib: The Mid-Trib view discounts this passage.
Post-Trib: Matt 24:29-31. “Immediately AFTER the Tribulation of those days…And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the clouds…and they will see the Son of Man COMING ON THE CLOUDS…And he will send forth his angels with a Great Trumpet, and they WILL GATHER TOGETHER HIS ELECT from the four winds…”
JESUS DESCRIBES A POST-TRIBULATION RAPTURE – Part 2
Pre-Trib: The Pre-Trib view discounts this passage.
Mid-Trib: The Mid-Trib view discounts this passage.
Post-Trib: Matt 24:39-40. “So also will the Coming of the Son of Man be [the Second Coming]. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left [the rapture].”
WHAT IF MY VIEW OF THE TRIBULATION IS WRONG?
Pre-Trib: You may think you are going, but could be LEFT BEHIND, to face the horrors of God’s wrath and punishment on the earth. Some people have suggested that they would commit suicide, if left behind. Others say they will fall apart. Still others say they will be angry but get it together eventually.
Mid-Trib: On this subject, some Mid-Trib people believe the Pre-Trib view and others the Post-Trib view.
Post-Trib: What’s the problem? We go through the Great Tribulation, and if God calls us to suffer for the sake of the Gospel, that is a privilege and honor. Either way, we will continue grow in our faith, share the Gospel, and lead people to Christ–up until the second we hear the trumpet call and he returns and we are caught up to meet him in the air.