We'll start here with a brief look at both terms side by side.
They are not synonyms. This is clear in God's Word. This is a VERY IMPORTANT point to understand when considering the different theories concerning when the Rapture will occur.
The pre- and mid-trib Rapture positions depend on these being
The thinking is: the church is not going to experience the wrath of God, so all the believers must be raptured before the trib. The mistake…equating these two terms.
This quickly turns into an
Me: "Do you believe the church will go through the Tribulation?"
Brother John: "No, God wouldn't let His bride undergo His wrath!" The emotions are at a peak very quickly here.
Me: "No He wouldn't, you are right. But that doesn't mean we won't go through the Tribulation. Biblically they are two very different entities. What makes you think you would be saved from it?"
Brother John: "God wouldn't do that to His church. He wouldn't do that to me." Now the motives for the theory begin to surface, and the foundation is exposed as very shaky.
Me: "As I understand it, we don't have much input as to what we go through or are spared from in life. We are to be dead to the flesh, Christ is living in us, and we are to walk in His steps."
Brother John: "Yes, but God wants me to be happy...He loves me."
Me: "Yes, He does indeed love you...enough to send His Son to die for your sins. But I'm not sure your (or my) happiness is His primary objective. If I went with what I thought made me happy, I would be in quite bit of trouble."
Brother John: (perplexed) "Hmph."
Me: "If I may ask, on what Scripture are you basing this belief?"
Brother John: "Well...uh...you know...pause...stall..." Then it comes, "I don't know, but God knows I couldn't handle that...so I know He'll take me home before that time." Here you can see that emotion (fear), comfort and safety are the driving force behind the belief in this theory.
Me: "Well, what if you or your grandchildren are alive at that time. Wouldn't you want to be properly prepared? Jesus got on the religious leaders pretty hard for not being able to discern the times and being prepared for them."
Brother John: (A sense of being overwhelmed hits at the thought of not having his family prepared) "...Th-that can't be right." (Finding a sense of confidence again) "All the movies, books, and teachings I've ever heard say we will be raptured before the that terrible time. No, I don't think what you're saying can be right."
Note the lack of Scriptural support referred to here. There is no legitimate foundation for this view of the Rapture.
Overwhelmingly, the most popular position on the Rapture is pre-trib. I write this that you won’t be fooled. Take heed, the results can be dangerous. Consider your future generations...identifying the biblical chronology is very important indeed!
Never do the Bible's precious promises seem more alive, and your relationship with Christ more vibrant, than when you are undergoing persecution for His name's sake. I have undergone some light persecutions as I shared the gospel.
I even lost my job when I had three children and my wife was pregnant with our fourth. I lost it because I wouldn't compromise on the truths God showed me in His Word. I could have kept a nice cushy job indefinitely, had I been willing to keep quiet and not teach the convictions God had given me.
The Tribulation is when Satan's anger (wrath) is poured out in vengeance on the people of the earth (primarily Christians) - seen in Revelation 13.
Do you know where the Rapture is in relation to the Trib. in Revelation 13 and the bowls of wrath in chapters 15 and 16? Find out...