I am trying to get a sound grip on a pre-trib rapture. Perhaps it would be easier to accept this as the next event in the Church age if it was explained in this manner.
The main purpose of the Rapture is not to provide an escape from coming events on earth but as God’s s way of restarting the prophetic clock to bring about the necessary completion of Daniel’s 70th week, Since the Church came into existence at Pentecost, there has been a 2000 year interlude between the end of the 69th week of Daniel and the final 70th week. That 70th week is necessary for Israel to come to salvation, and the Kingdom of God with Christ ruling in Jerusalem to be established. The Church age has to end before the final matter with Israel is completed. Is there a hint of truth in any of this?
I think the purpose of the pre-trib rapture is both. Paul and Jesus promised that the Church would be kept out of the time and place of the end time judgments. Paul said Jesus would rescue us from them because we are not appointed to suffer them (1 Thes. 1:10, 1 Thes. 5:9) and Jesus said He would do this because we have kept His command to endure patiently (Rev. 3:10). Both Paul (Romans 11:25) and James (Acts 15:13-18) said taking the church away will allow Israel to come to salvation.