There is much speculation among Christians about when the rapture will occur, some believe pre-trib and others post. Information about timing of the rapture is fragmentary, but is sufficiently explicit when combined.
Christians, who persevere faithfully, will be protected from God’s wrath, as symbolized by the biblical church of Philadelphia in the following verse. Pre-trib would accomplish this, but God wouldn’t need to remove his children from the world in order to protect them from his judgment on the world.
“Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world.”
Revelation 3:10 NLT
I don’t want to be a translation critic, but sometimes am compelled to point out an egregious error. In Rev 3:10, the KJV has a translation error that must be revealed, it is significantly misleading. The translators chose to use “keep“, rather than “protect”, which implies a profoundly different meaning.
“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”
Revelation 3:10 KJV
By using “keep“, the intent is slanted toward pre-trib. But, the Greek word in the original scroll was paratereo, which means to stand beside, watch, and carefully observe.
‘Protect’ also aligns with other information God has revealed in his Word. As revealed later in this series, Christians will still be walking earth during reign of the beast, which is when God‘s wrath will be poured out onto the world.
Moving on, even though the faithful will be protected from God‘s wrath, he doesn’t say they will be protected from wrath of the beast, in fact he says they will be heavily persecuted. It’s paramount to know the truth, because people who are believing pre-trib, will likely not be sufficiently prepared to endure wrath of the beast, because they are expecting to be whisked away prior to the drastic events. Upon believing post-trib, it becomes perspectively even more crucial to draw nutrients from the vine, being fully prepared to faithfully withstand imprisonment, torture, or even death.
Another possible indication of pre-trib is the wedding feast, whereas the church is the bride and Jesus is the groom. Since the bride will return with Jesus as he descends onto Mt Zion during the battle of Armageddon, then perhaps ample time would be required for preparation and procession of the feast, which is revealed in Revelation 19:7-9.
But, this theory can also be weakened when realizing time is only relevant in the physical, whereas in the spiritual realm time has no bearing. Minutes, days, and years were designed for life on earth, presence in heaven doesn’t correlate with the planetary revolutions within our solar system. This is demonstrated in the following verse by an extraordinary comparison of days at a ratio of 365,000 to 1.
“But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.”
2 Peter 3:8 NLT
There are various scriptural references revealing the faithful will be on earth during the last seven years, and more specifically, the final 3 1/2 years. There are also multiple references indicating Christians will be vulnerable to wrath of the beast during that time. Since he won’t gain world dominating power until about midway through the final seven years, then indubitably, the rapture can’t occur prior.
In this following excerpt, the little horn is the beast (Antichrist), and the 10 horned beast is the reunified Holy Roman Empire (core of the beast’s empire), which was not the same as the Roman Empire. The Holy Roman Empire was established about 800 A.D., and consisted of a religious element, whereas the Pope wielded significant authority along with the Emperor. Also, in the following excerpt, the holy people are faithful Christians, they will be pursued and heavily persecuted by the beast during the final 3 1/2 years.
“I also asked about the ten horns on the fourth beast’s head and the little horn that came up afterward and destroyed three of the other horns. This horn had seemed greater than the others, and it had human eyes and a mouth that was boasting arrogantly.
As I watched, this horn was waging war against God’s holy people and was defeating them, until the Ancient One—the Most High—came and judged in favor of his holy people. Then the time arrived for the holy people to take over the kingdom.”
Dan 7:20-22 NLT
This following excerpt also reveals Christians will be heavily persecuted by the beast. When it indicates he will have ’authority’ to rule over all people, there will be a few pockets that will successfully deflect his aggression. The Bible reveals pockets will escape his rule, Israel is one of those pockets, Jordan (Dan 11:41-42) is another, and it looks like USA will be another.
“And the beast was allowed to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation...
Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand. Anyone who is destined for prison will be taken to prison. Anyone destined to die by the sword will die by the sword. This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful.”
Revelation 13:7, 9-10 NLT
The reason I say USA will successfully resist the beast’s rule, is because there is indication they will be protecting Israel from the beast. The Bible refers to USA as an eagle, it’s the national bird and it’s on the money.
“But she was given two wings like those of a great eagle so she could fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness. There she would be cared for and protected from the dragon for a time, times, and half a time.”
Revelation 12:14 NLT
Even before the beast’s rule begins, Jews will become increasingly persecuted all over the world, so USA will assist in moving them to Israel. When Abraham first lived in the land that is now Israel, it was considered a wilderness.
The 3 1/2 years in that verse are just prior to the return of Jesus, so this indicates both Israel and USA will successfully resist the beast’s efforts to take control. Although, it appears the beast will successfully take control of the area currently referred to as the temple mount, and perhaps even part of Jerusalem.
The third Jewish temple will have been built on the temple mount by then, and that is where the beast will announce to the world that he is God. The false prophet will set up a statue of the beast in the temple, and people will be required to worship the life-like statue prior to receiving mark of the beast.
Rapture 2 - Likeliness of Post-Trib
Rapture 3 - In the Blink of an Eye
Seven Headed Beast 2 - Empire of the Man Beast