This view holds that the Church will go through the seven-year Tribulation on earth. But because of the great diversity of views within the posttribulationist “camp”, it is difficult to arrive at a “standardized” position. Their theories are vague. Posttribulationists do not feel His return can be imminent when 2,000 years have passed since His first advent (the incarnation). They think the Rapture takes place at the conclusion of the Tribulation. They avoid the use of the term “Rapture” because they say it isn’t a biblical term (the term “Trinity” is not a biblical term either….but they still believe in the Trinity). They avoid the term “Rapture” because it suggests the church will escape the Tribulation period, which contradicts their theory.

Posttribulationists have a less literal interpretation of Revelation than do pretribulationists, for their views have their roots in liberal denominationalism. Many posttribulationists hold the Tribulation will last for a time even longer than seven years. Those who believe this say the Tribulation period may not be as bad as many people believe it will be, because the Church will have to endure it. They tend to have a hazy concept of the millennium, thinking that “a thousand years” is only symbolic of a more extensive period.

Some posttribulationists think of the Millennium as superfluous. They see the Church as present during the tribulation and that God will not spare the Church from it, but preserve the church throughout the Tribulation. Posttribulationists feel that since “tribulations” have been the norm for Christians throughout the centuries, they have a unclear distinction between normal everyday tribulations and the start of the Great Tribulation. Many posttribulationists feel that the “tribulation” may simply be a symbolic and indefinite period of time. They hold that the Church has been in “tribulation” since the day it was born. They point out that the same Greek word (tribulation) used in the phrase “great tribulation” (Acts 8:1 and in Acts 11:19) are the same, so the term great is applicable to entire Church Age. Haggling over the meaning of Greek terms is a favorite pasttime around posttribulationalists campfires.This group tends to consider the Second Coming as a series of events, rather than one single event. The hope of the posttribulationst is the Second Coming – not the Rapture. Refusing to acknowledge the many signs which precede the Second Coming, they have no hope of the imminent return of Christ.

Some posttribulationists hold that there is a time period between the Rapture and the Second Coming. Others feel that the Church will be raptured at the end of the Tribulation, but then come back immediately with Christ to earth, making the Rapture and the Second Coming one single event. Posttribulationists think in the same way the Israelites were preserved during the plagues that came upon Egypt, the Church will also avoid God’s wrath. They quote John 17:5;  “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.” Many posttribulationists feel the “rapture” is just our going out to meet the Bridegroom (as did the five wise virgins), then come back immediately with the Bridegroom to go into the wedding banquet (the Millennium), and help to establish the Millennial Kingdom on earth with Christ. This is “revolving-door” theology: why go up to meet Him only to come back down right away. What’s the point?

Posttribulationists have only one real Second Coming, for they feel there is no interlude of seven years between the Rapture and the Second Coming. For them, the Second Coming is the Rapture. They think there will be only two resurrections: one at the end of the tribulation (at the start of the millennium) and a resurrection of the ungodly at the end of the millennium.
Most posttribulationists are either postmillennialists or amillennialists. They speak of the Second Coming as being impending rather than imminent for their “blessed hope” is only that they will be preserved during the Tribulation. They hold Christians will have to trust in God and endure the Antichrist, and that there will be many who are martyred for their faith in Christ. They deny the Rapture and the Second Coming are two separate events. They argue that the Greek words parousia (presence/coming), apokalupsis (revelation) and epipbaneia are all words that apply only to the Second Advent. They hold that their view has been the dominant one throughout the Church Age, which is not true. Posttribulationists claim the early church did not split up Jesus’ coming into two stages – a Rapture and a Second Coming. Most will argue that the wrath the Church will escape (I Thessalonians 5:9) is actually the lake of fire. 

Posttribulationism is the view held by Roman Catholics and liberal Christianity in general. They argue the New Testament does not promise believers will escape tribulation and suffering. They miss the fact that this same Greek word ” tribulation ” also refers to daily anguish, troubles, pressures and trials which all Christians endure, but this is not the same as the Great Tribulation in which the wrath of God is outpoured. Some posttribulationists feel that the Tribulation has already taken place - during the first century. Others hold that the tribulation period is simply the struggles of the Church Age throughout the past 2,000 years.They argue that, since Jesus didn’t mention the Rapture, pretribulationists must be wrong. They use Hebrews 9:28, “to them that look for Him shall He appear the second time”…to prove that the Rapture and the Second Coming are one single event. The diversity of opinion between posttribulationists has caused a lot of contention - even between themselves. This view is not only unscriptural, it is depressing. While posttribulationalists fight to the death to defend their theology, pretribulationalists search the skies for Jesus to come and rescue His Church.


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