Q. I have always been a pre-trib rapture person but could never connect the fact that Jesus promised to keep us from God’s wrath only. Pre-trib would keep us from God’s wrath which is the last half of the tribulation or the great tribulation. But the first half is Satan’s wrath or the wrath of the anti-christ. I see us going through that. We are promised tribulation but not the wrath of God. So I moved the rapture to between now and when the antichrist sits on the throne in the newly built temple. What do you think?
A. I think you’ve allowed someone from the pre-wrath persuasion to convince you that “Satan’s wrath” and “the wrath of the anti-Christ” are legitimate Biblical terms when in fact they are not. They are terms created by the pre-wrath folks to help explain their non-traditional position.
There are three Biblical terms that apply to specific periods of time at the end of the age. They are Daniel’s 70th Week, the Wrath of God, and the Great Tribulation. (I’m excluding “last days” and “Day of the Lord”) because they are somewhat elastic and have been used in reference to non-specific periods of time.
Daniel’s 70th week is the last seven years of human history before the 2nd coming (Daniel 9:27) and encompasses the Wrath of God and the Great Tribulation.
The Wrath of God will have begun by the time of the 6th Seal judgment (Rev. 6:16-17), and will end with the 7th Bowl judgment (Rev. 15:1, Rev. 16:21)
The Great Tribulation will begin with the Abomination of Desolation in the middle of Daniel’s 70th Week and will end just before the 2nd Coming (Matt. 24:15-21, Matt. 24:29)
Jesus said in this world we will have tribulation, or trouble (John 16:33) and it is true that our lives are characterized by periodic times of difficulty. But the Great Tribulation is a specific period of time at the end of the age that Jesus called the worst time the world ever has or ever will experience (Matt. 24:15-21). So it’s not the same as the tribulation we all face during our lives.
There are several other sound theological factors that put the pre-wrath position at odds with a literal understanding of Scripture, but this answer addresses the ones you brought up in your question.
Obviously you’re free to believe what ever you want about the end times without having an adverse impact on your salvation. But the Bible only teaches one rapture position, and it’s the one that takes place before the end times judgments begin. Paul (Romans 5:9, 1 Thes. 1:10) and Jesus (Rev. 3:10) taught this. In addition Paul (Romans 11:25) and James (Acts 15:13-18) taught that Jesus would take the Church before the 70th Week of Daniel begins.