What is the Mid-Tribulation Rapture Theory?
By Chris Schang
Question: What is the Mid-Tribulation Rapture Theory?
Answer: There are four main views of the rapture in Christianity. These four views are the pre-trib, mid-trib, pre-wrath, and post-trib rapture timing views. The mid-tribulation rapture timing view believes that the rapture will happen at the middle of the tribulation period. The mid-tribulation rapture proponent believes that the rapture will occur prior to the "great tribulation" which is the last three and a half years of the seven year tribulation period. This places three and a half years between the rapture of the church and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
One problem with the mid-tribulation rapture timing view is that it believes that the church will go through the Tribulation period for three and a half years but be removed before the great tribulation starts. This would assume that the church will undergo some of God's wrath but not the worst of it. This is completely contradictory to the rest of the Bible. God has never once poured out his wrath on the righteous. This also flies in the face of the fact that the entire Tribulation period is the wrath of God, not just the last half. The mid-tribulationist will often try to confuse when the wrath of God starts. As we showed in a previous article the two sided scroll in Revelation is ALWAYS a sign of wrath in the Bible. The scroll encompasses as the judgments of Revelation which are the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments. so there is no sound and theological way to conclude that the church will go through some of the wrath or God, but not the worst of it. That is simply not correct.
Another foundational problem with the mid-tribulation rapture timing view is that it tries to say that the "last trumpet" mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:52 is the same "trumpet" mentioned in Revelation 11:15. The fact is the last trumpet mentioned in Revelation 11:15 is the last in a series of trumpets, but it is not chronologically the last trumpet as Matthew 24:31 mentions a trumpet at the commencement of Christ's kingdom. Further, the trumpet describing the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is a trumpet call of God to gather his elect, whereas the trumpet call of Revelation 11:15 is one that is a foretelling of judgment. The purpose of these trumpet calls is different and therefore they are not the same.
Further, the scriptures from 1 Thessalonians 5:9 tell us that the church is not destined to wrath. This is because the church has been made righteous by grace through faith in the completed work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. God never pours out wrath on the righteous. And to say that we would experience wrath is to contradict God's ways and character. So, this is another reason why the mid-tribulation rapture timing view fails the test of sound and logical analysis. The mid-tribulationist tries to say that only the bowl judgments of Revelation are the wrath of God but this flies in the face of the fact that all the judgments whether they are seals, trumpets, or bowls are all interconnected. By this we mean that one series of judgments introduces the next series of judgments. The seventh seal introduces the first trumpet and the seven trumpet introduces the first bowl. There is no logical theological way to set aside one series of judgments as being separate from the others. Especially when we have determined that the entire seven year Tribulation period is the wrath of God.
In summary the mid-tribulation rapture timing view is not sound and biblical. The only view that is sound and takes in consideration of the entire "big picture" of Bible prophecy is the pre-tribulation rapture timing view that places the rapture before the terrible Tribulation period and the wrath of God. I hope this article has been helpful to you in understanding the truth taught in the Bible.