Pretribulationism (the Rapture occurs before (pre) the Tribulation) is the view most commonly held by evangelical Believers. It is the only view that teaches the imminence of His return. The Rapture can occur anytime, for no prophecies need to be fulfilled prior to it.The Holy Spirit is the ‘restrainer’ of evil…..and the Holy Spirit leaves earth with us. Therefore, the Tribulation cannot begin until the Restrainer has left the earth, for evil will run rampant on earth after that point. The early Church looked forward to the Rapture as a reality by which they could govern their lives, for He might come at any moment.

Pretribulationists tend to take a more aggressive approach to soul-winning, for the time to win the lost is limited. They stress the uniqueness of the Tribulation period. Saved Jews, not the Church, will be present during the Tribulation. The Tribulation is a transition period preparing for the millennium.The Tribulation is not a time for discipling the believers or purifying the church.The rapture takes place prior to the Tribulation to remove the Church prior to the commencement of this horrific period. Thus, the church will be absent during the Tribulation. No sinner will see the Rapture, because the saints will be “caught up with Christ” (I Thessalonians 4:17)

Pre-Tribulationists hold that there will be three resurrections:

1.A resurrection of the dead in Christ at the time of the Rapture
2. One after the seven-year Tribulation; a resurrection of the saints who died during the Tribulation.
3. A resurrection of unbelievers at the end of the millennium.

They believe there is a 1,000-year gap in the two distinct resurrections (Rev. 20:4-6). The church and Israel are a strong aspect of pretribulationism,  for the Jewish nature/character of the millennium is recognized. The Tribulation period is seen as a time of preparation for Israel’s restoration. The “elect” of the Tribulation period refer to Israel. The Church is “spiritual Israel.” The godly remnant during the Tribulation are Israelites, not the Church. The Tribulation period is a transition from God dealing with the church on earth to His dealing with the Jewish people on earth and during this time many prophecies are fulfilled concering them.

For the pretribulationist, the Rapture is eminent and can occur anytime. Jesus urged watchfulness in Matthew 24, for there will be sudden separations - two women at the mill or two men working in the field - one is taken and the other left. The “Blessed Hope” of the Rapture is the next major item on the prophetic agenda. (Titus 2:13)
If the Antichrist/Tribulation were next on His schedule, we (the Church) would have been warned. Instead, Paul tells us to “comfort one another” with thoughts concerning the Rapture (I Thessalonians 4:18).

No Old Testament or New Testament passage concerning the Tribulation period mentions the Church. Pretibulationists feel that the Rapture is itself a judgment, for unbelievers are left behind. They hold that only the Father knows the day and hour of the Rapture (Acts 1:7). There is no connection between the seventh trumpet of Revelation 11, the last trump of I Corinthians 15:52 and the trumpet of Matthew 24:31 - they are three separate events.

In sharp contrast to the Midtribulation and Posttribulation views, Pretribulation offers hope. Jesus comes for His saints at the Rapture and returns with His saints at the end of the Tribulation. (Revelation 19:14).





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