Differences Between PreTrib, MidTrib and PostTrib Rapture
This one’s for those who enjoy prophecy studies and I hope it helps in explaining the differences between the Pre-Tribulation, the Mid-Tribulation, and the Post-Tribulation views.
The Pre-Tribulation View
The Pre-Tribulation view holds that a rapture of believers will occur prior to the seven-year tribulation but some feel that the rapture might occur somewhat before the tribulation starts while others believe it will occur just before the tribulation comes. Either way, the Pre-Tribulation view is where the church will be taken out of the world just before a seven-year tribulation period occurs and will be spared from going through what many believe is the “time of Jacob’s trouble” that matches some of the horrific events described in the Book of Revelation. They believe that this is what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 24:14 where the gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come with the end being the beginning of the Great Tribulation. The preaching of the gospel will be proclaimed throughout the world until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (Rom 11:25c) or when the very last believer that is going to be saved in this age is saved and then literally, all hell on earth breaks out. The wrath of God will be poured out on those who have refused to believe the gospel but no one knows when this day will come. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape (1 Thess 5:2-3).
For those who are the children of God, Paul declares “God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess 5:9) (also see Rev. 3:10) so Pre-Tribbers feel that believers will not go through the Great Tribulation. They also believe that this is when the Holy Spirit will depart from the earth along with the believers and this is what Paul was writing about in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8:
You know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.
The Mid-Tribulation View
The Mid-Tribulation view is just what it sounds like. The church will be taken out of the world mid-way through the Great Tribulation so those who hold this view believe that the church will go through the first half or the first three and one half years of the seven-year tribulation period but will be taken out of the world when the last half of the tribulation, the worst half, occurs. This view is relatively new and not as widely accepted as the Pre-Trib view and is sometimes associated with Jesus saying “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet” (Matt 24:6) and “nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” All these are but the beginning of the birth pains (Matt 24:7-8). Since it is the “beginning of the birth pains” and not the actual pains themselves, the Mid-Tribbers view is that the church will go through at least part of the tribulation evidenced by wars, famines, and earthquakes and so the end is not yet. Is this what Jesus meant when He said that many will be betrayed and afflicted and shall kill you and you’ll be hated for His name’s sake and there’ll be a great number of false prophets that will arise and deceive, and not just a few, but many and since iniquity (or sin) will increase, people’s love will grow very cold but Jesus says that only those who endure to the end will be saved (Matt 24:9-13). They believe this explains why Jesus told them that would be on the housetops to flee to the mountains because there’ll be such a great tribulation that the world has not seen since the beginning of the world and nor will ever see again (Matt 24:15-16). Some will be taken while others will not (Matt 24:40-41) and this “taking” or rapture is during the middle of the Great Tribulation. That is what those who believe in the Mid-Tribulation view believe.
The Post-Tribulation View
This might be the most terrifying of all views on the Great Tribulation. Those who believe this is true think that the church will not arrive in the kingdom until the very end of the seven-year Great Tribulation and this will come just prior to the millennial kingdom where God sets up His kingdom on earth. They feel that the church won’t enter the kingdom until the end of the Great Tribulation and the second coming of Christ, which is seen as a one-time event and not two separate events. They believe that there is only one second coming and not a secret rapture that comes before or during the middle of the Great Tribulation. They reason that this is what the angels meant after Jesus’ ascension to heaven in their saying to the disciples, “This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven”(Acts 1:11b) and why the Apostle John wrote in Revelation 1:7 “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.” Every eye seeing Him would seem to insinuate that every eye of every person who is living at the time or who has ever lived so there doesn’t seem to be anything very secret about this like the secret rapture is supposed to be like.
Is this what Jesus meant when He spoke in Matthew 24:30 when He was describing the end of the age, “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory?” So every eye will see Him return and all the people of the earth will mourn. “The very same phrases are used that all people or as in Luke 21:27 says they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory” while Mark says the “people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory” (Mark 13:26).
Whatever view you hold to, I believe that we can all agree to disagree and even if we disagree with one another, we don’t have to be disagreeable. I know some hold to the millennial views while others don’t, some are amillennialists, while others are pre-millennialists but for me, I am a pan-millennist. I know it will all pan out-I trust God. That’s enough for me.
The above article, “Differences Between PreTrib, MidTrib and PostTrib Rapture” was written by Jack Wellman. The article was excerpted from www. christianmediamagazine.com
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”