- Pastor Steve Conley
The Pre-Wrath Eschatological Model
The Pre-Wrath model for the timing of the catching up of the saints is the teaching of the Apostles, Prophets, and our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a synthesis of what is true and correct about the pre, mid, and post trib models, but unlike them, it does not conflict with any of the explicit statements of the Holy Scriptures. The pre-wrath model is a harmony of all that Christ, the Prophets, and the Apostles had to say about the matter.
Here is a short synopsis of the pre-wrath model for the timing of the rapture.
There is a future week of seven years spoken of by Daniel the prophet (Dan 9:27) which comes at the end of the present age (Mat 24:3).
This seven-year period of time is initiated by the Antichrist when he confirms the covenant with many for seven years (Dan. 9:27).
In the midst (middle) of the seven years the Antichrist, or Beast as he is called by John in the book of Revelation, sits in a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem and demands to be worshipped as God (2 Thes 2:3-4).
This revelation of the man of sin (Beast) is the abomination of desolation that Jesus refers to (Matt 24:15).
When this takes place, Jesus says, “then shall be great tribulation” (Matt 24:21).
The great tribulation is a time of unprecedented violent persecution opon both Israel and believers in Jesus Christ, the Church (Deut 4:30; 32:36; Jer 30:7; Dan 12:1; Matt 24:9, 21-22; Rev 6:9-11; 7:9-14; 12:11-17; 13:7, 15).
To prevent the Beast and the False Prophet from killing every last believer the great tribulation is shortened by the earthquake caused when Christ arises (Matt 24:22, 29; Isa 2:19; Rev 6:12-14). At that point, the focus of the Beast worshippers will be self-preservation instead of persecuting the few remaining saints.
Jesus says that “immediately after the tribulation of those days” (the days in context it is the “great tribulation” of verse 21 and “those days” of verse 22) the cosmic disturbance, which announces the arrival of the day of the LORD, happens (Matt 24:29; Joel 2:31; Acts 2:20; Rev 6:12-17).
There is a great earthquake, the sun, moon, and stars go dark, and Jesus is seen coming in glory in the clouds of heaven (Rev 6:12-14; Matt 24:29-30; Luke 21:25-27; Rev 1:7; 2Thes 1:7).
The dead in Christ are resurrected (1Cor 15:23; Dan 12:2; Rev 20:4-6; 1Thes 4:15-17). The persecuted saints (the elect), who remain alive, will lift up their heads (be encouraged), look up (Lk 21:28), and are changed (their bodies are made immortal) (1Cor 15:51-52). Then the resurrected saints and the changed saints are together caught up by the angels to be with Jesus in the clouds (Luke 21:28; Matt 24:31; 1Thes 4:15-17; 2Thes 2:1).
The unbelieving Beast followers hide themselves for fear of the wrath of the Lamb (Rev 6:15-17; Isa 2:19).
The very same day the Lord begins to pour out His wrath in the form of the fire of the first trumpet judgement (Lk 17:26-30; 2Thes 1:6-10; Rev 8).
This teaching is extremely important to communicate to pretribulationists, because their eschatological misunderstanding leaves them unprepared to face the unprecedented violent persecution and supernatural deception of the great tribulation. They do not prepare for that which they believe they will never face. It is those who have embraced the great escape (pre-trib rapture) that are at the greatest risk.