Here is a simplified view of the different "positions" concerning the Rapture:
1. Pre-Trib - All believers are Raptured before ANY Tribulation OR Great Tribulation, aka God's Wrath, takes place.
2. Mid-Trib - All believers face 1260 days of Tribulation and then get Raptured before the Great Tribulation, aka God's Wrath, in the middle of the 7 years of Tribulation.
3. Post-Trib - All believers face 1260 days of Tribulation AND 1260 days of Great Tribulation aka God's Wrath for a total of 7 years of Tribulation.
4. Post-Trib Pre-Wrath - All believers face 1260 days of Tribulation and 75 days of Great Tribulation. After that the Rapture. After the Rapture the unbelievers left on earth will face God's Wrath for 1185 days. This position is rarely discussed... probably because it's complicated.
Let me point out one thing first. When I say all believers FACE tribulation that means there WILL be believers KILLED during the Tribulation and the Great Tribulation. Death is the concern for most proponents of any version of events leading up to the Rapture.
The easiest position to dismiss is #3 Post-Trib. The Bible says we are NOT appointed unto Wrath. Therefore, Post-Trib is not possible. No believer will face God's Wrath.
Most people do not want to believe the Bible in the first place so they automatically go for the pain free Rapture which is Pre-Trib. The Pre-Trib Rapture guarantees a pain free existence. However, the bible says:
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye SHALL HAVE tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
The Pre-Trib Rapture could easily be dismissed upon reading that verse but, people insist on having a pain free Rapture option. Most preachers are menpleasers who do not fear God. So, the Pre-Trib Rapture is the most popular option that has been taught for years.
The Mid-Trip Rapture people recognize John 16:33 and say yes... we will go through tribulation we just won't go through the GREAT Tribulation, aka God's Wrath.
This verse is absolutely 100% true:
1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath... And everybody said AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!
Why are the first three positions 'wrong'?
The first three say the Great Tribulation is aka God's Wrath. That is wrong. Therefore, the first three positions are all wrong for that one reason.
The Great Tribulation is when the antichrist tries his best to kill every believer on earth.
God's Wrath is when God pours out His judgment on earth with the 7 Trumpet and Vial judgments.
The proponents of the first three positions don't understand the difference between the Great Tribulation and God's WRATH. I will cover the difference between the two in another post. Suffice it to say the 5th Seal takes place during the Great Tribulation. The 7th seal marks the beginning of God's Wrath.
The Post-Trib Pre-Wrath position is the most convoluted complicated position because it recognizes 1260 days of Tribulation followed by 75 days of Great Tribulation then 1185 days of God's Wrath. The numbers are in the bible. It just really blows your mind trying to put everything together.
The Tribulation starts with the opening of the 1st Seal. It lasts for 1260 days. At the end of that period the antichrist will enter the temple, sit down and proclaim himself to BE God. This is known as the Abomination of Desolation. At that point there will be 75 days of GREAT Tribulation such as the world has never known. The antichrist will do his best to slaughter as many believers as possible during this time so much so that Matthew 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
At the end of 75 days of GREAT Tribulation Jesus will return on a white horse. The sun and moon will be darkened. The stars will fall from the sky. The dead in Christ shall rise first and then we who are alive and remain will be gathered up by the angels to meet them in the clouds. Once all of the believers have been removed from the earth the 7th Seal is opened and then Revelation 8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. After that God will pour out His WRATH on the world for the balance of the 3.5 years, or 1185 days, in the form of 7 Trumpet and Vial judgments.
This is a short comparison between the 4 positions on the Rapture.
Many believers, if not MOST of the believers on earth, will be killed. Those who are beheaded for the cause of Christ will get to rule and reign with him for a thousand years.
I will create another post to put the Post-Trib Pre-Wrath Rapture details in chronological order as best I can. It is challenging trying to wrap your mind around everything because there is so much to go through and consider.
One final note on Tribulation, the Pre-Trib people want to avoid Tribulation. That makes people happy. They tend to ignore this verse, however:
1 Thessalonians 3:3 that no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. 4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation...