The Pretribulational view of the Rapture
and the Second Coming of Jesus
The Pretribulational Rapture
The pretribulation position advocates that the rapture will occur before the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation period, while the second coming will occur at the end of the seven-year Tribulation period. Pre-tribulationists often describe the rapture as Jesus coming for the church and the second coming as Jesus coming with the church.
The Cross is the beginning point of our timeline. Those who hold to the various views of the end times all believe that Jesus was born and was crucified in the early part of the 1st Century AD. They also believe that 3 days after he died on a Roman Cross he rose from the dead and spent a brief period of time on earth before rising into heaven. While he lived on earth and briefly before he disappeared into heaven he promised that he would return in the future for all believers and would judge those who did not believe and would defeat Satan.
In John 14:3 Jesus promised:
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
In the Pretribulattional view the Church age began with the ascension of Jesus into heaven and will end at the Rapture of the Church. The age is marked by the work of God in and through the lives of those who are a part of his Church.
In Acts 2:42 – 47 we can read about the beginning of Christ’s church:
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
Rapture of the Church
The pretribulational view believes the Bible tells us that at some point in the future Jesus will return to the clouds above the earth and will raise the bodies of the believers who have died to up until that time and will then catch up every living believer to take them back to heaven for the next 7 years.
In the book of 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 it says:
“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
The Tribulation in the pretribulation view is a 7 year period of time that will be marked by destruction and pain. During this time a leader will present himself as a world leader who will begin to persecute the Jewish people and believe of Jesus. The leader will be called the Anti-Christ.
Jesus told us in Mathew 24:21:
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.”
Second Coming with the Church
The Second coming of Jesus occurs at the end of the 7 year Tribulation. Jesus comes back to Earth to defeat the Antichrist. Jesus gave us the description of this in the book of Matthew 24:29-31:
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
In the Millennium Jesus will rule for 1000 years. The Jewish people will be affected and the believers who come out of the Tribulation will be there as well. The believers from the Rapture 7 years before will be there as well ruling with Jesus.
This is described in Acts 15:16-17:
“After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things”
Satan and his evil demons will be bound during this time and put into a pit. In Revelation 20:1-3 it says:
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.”
At the end of the 1000 years Satan will be released for a final battle.
We see this in Revelation 20:7
"And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison."
Then Satan and his demons will be defeated and thrown into a lake of fire for eternity.
“and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10 ESV)