Q. It seems that people who don’t believe in the rapture see the tribulation time period as the wrath of the anti-Christ only – a persecution of Christians being allowed by God. Is it accurate to say that the tribulation time period is the wrath of God being unleashed after the rapture, and that the anti-Christ is using the time to make himself God while he can?
A. According to Rev. 6:15-17 the time of God’s wrath begins with the seal judgments. The first of these is the appearance of the anti-Christ. This coincides with Daniel 9:27 which says the anti-Christ will confirm a seven year covenant with Israel, beginning Daniel’s 70th Week. Therefore all of Daniel’s 70th Week is the time of God’s wrath. The term “wrath of the anti-Christ” is not Biblically accurate.
Remember, Daniel’s 70th Week will unfold according to God’s plan. That means the anti-Christ will be playing the part God has assigned to him in bringing about His judgment upon the Earth. In Rev. 17:16-17 John wrote,
“The beast (anti-Christ) and the ten horns (10 kings) you saw will hate the prostitute (end times apostate church). They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish His purpose by agreeing to give the beast (anti-Christ) their power to rule until God’s words are fulfilled.”
Paul said the Lord will rescue the true Church from the time and place of God’s wrath (1 Thes. 1:10), but this protection has not been extended to those who will come to faith after the Rapture (Rev. 14:12-13). Post-Church Christians will be persecuted during the end times judgments, and many of them will be martyred for their faith, so your “no-rapture” friends are right about that part. This is why it’s so important to be sure we’ve settled the question of our eternal destiny now, while the Church is still here.