The New Testament speaks of our Lord’s return as imminent, meaning that it could happen at any moment. Other events may occur before an imminent event, but nothing else must take place before it happens. Imminency passages instruct believers to look, watch, and wait for His coming (1 Cor. 1:7; Phil. 3:20; 1 Thes. 1:10; Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:28; 1 Peter 1:13; Jude 21). If either the appearance of the Antichrist, the Abomination of Desolation, or the unfolding of the Great Tribulation must occur before the Rapture, then a command to watch for Christ’s coming would not be relevant. Only pretribulationism teaches a truly imminent Rapture since it is the only view that does not require anything to happen before the Rapture. As required by the abovementioned passages, the New Testament indicates that the believer’s hope is to look, watch, and wait for a person, and that person is Jesus.
Only pretribulationism enables a believer to look for Christ and yet, at the same time, give full meaning to Second Coming passages and the signs that lead up to our Lord’s return to the earth. Imminency provides a strong argument for the pre-trib Rapture and provides the believer with true blessed hope. The Bible teaches that the Tribulation (i.e., the seven-year, 70th week of Daniel) is a time of preparation for Israel’s restoration and regeneration (Deut. 4:29-30; Jer. 30:4-11; Ezek. 20:22-44; 22:13-22). Revelation 3:10 notes that the Tribulation will not be for the church but for “those who dwell upon the earth” (Rev. 3:10; 6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:8, 12, 14; 17:2) as a time upon them for their rejection of Christ and His salvation. While the church will experience tribulation in general during this present age (John 16:33), she is never mentioned as participating in Israel’s time of trouble, which includes the Great Tribulation, the Day of the Lord, and the Wrath of God.
Petribulationalism gives the best answer to the biblical explanation of the fact that the church is never mentioned in passages that speak about tribulation events, while Israel is mentioned consistently throughout these passages.
Here is a great video by Dr. Thomas Ice on all aspects of the Rapture!
5 reasons for a Pre-Trib Rapture of the Church:
REASON #1: Not Appointed to Wrath
The primary proof of a pre-Tribulation rapture, given by the “experts,” is this: we are raptured before the Tribulation begins because the Church is not appointed to wrath. Coincidentally, that truth is revealed in Chapter 5 verse 9 of TWO separate books of the Bible: Romans 5:9 and 1 Thess. 5:9. Please look these verses up for yourself, to lock them into your thinking.
REASON #2: Kept From the Hour of Trial
Jesus Himself told the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos that we (the Philadelphia/faithful Church) will be kept from the hour of trial. “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth” (Rev. 3:10). Notice also that the world is being tested. Furthermore, throughout the Book of Revelation the term “earth dwellers” always refers to unsaved people.
REASON #3: God and the Jews
The seven year Tribulation is specifically a time for God to work with the Jews. Both the Angel Gabriel and the Apostle Paul make that point. Let’s listen first to Gabriel, who is God’s chief messenger angel and speaks for God Himself (remember as we read that the Tribulation is called “Daniel’s seventieth week”). “Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city…” (Daniel 9:24)
The Church was NOT present during the first 69 weeks of Gabriel’s prophecy, and it will not be here during Daniel’s 70th week either. Gabriel specifically said it was a time frame for God to work with Daniel’s people (the Jews) and his holy city (Jerusalem).
Next, let’s listen to the great Apostle Paul. Remember, we are making the point that scripture teaches the 70th week is a time for God to deal with the Jews. “…blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved…” (Romans 11:25)
Here we see God’s plan. The final gentile is won to the Lord after we are caught away. After we disappear the blinders come off of eyes of the Jewish people.
I personally believe we are in the time of Israel’s “jealousy” right now. The Christians love the Jews, support them, and defend them, even though the Jews have no deep love for us. But their “jealousy” turns to “anger” when we are caught away. They will be angry that we have left them without friends on the earth. This is explained in Deuteronomy and Romans. Let’s read it in Romans 10:19: “I will provoke you [the Jews] to jealousy by those who are not a nation [the Church]. I will move you to anger by a foolish nation” [the Church].
The inevitable result is God’s chosen people will be forced to turn back to Him, as they will have no friends left after we are gone. We see that in the Book of Hosea. The last line in Hosea 5 says: “In their affliction [Tribulation, indignation] they will earnestly seek Me.”
It is unfortunate that it takes a series of catastrophic events to bring them to the Lord as a nation. Mike Bickle explains the situation like this: “God loves the Jews, but the Jews don’t love Him.”
REASON #4: Escape Doctrine
The rapture is our “escape doctrine.” Some scoffers have used that term derisively. Never do that. This escape doctrine is not to be ridiculed, since it was coined by the Lord Himself — words in red, in Luke 21:36: “ Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man..”
REASON #5: We Receive Our Reward
Revelation 11 makes it quite clear that we receive our reward while the earth is being judged. They are simultaneous events. Revelation 11:18 declares:
The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,
And the time of the dead [saints], that they should be judged,
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints [that’s us],
And those who fear Your name, small and great,
And should destroy [concurrently] those who destroy the earth.
After we receive our rewards, we return to the earth with the Lord. It is literally a new day. The 7th one thousand year day we call the Millennium. The Jews call it the long awaited “Kingdom Age.”