Question: What are the different views of the rapture?
There are usually four views concerning the rapture of the church.
The rapture of the church occurs before the seven (7) year tribulation period.
Jesus said in Revelation 3:10, “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”
This verse of Scripture refers to the great tribulation period. This verse can infer that believers will be kept from God’s wrath (the hour of trial). Therefore the rapture must precede the tribulation.
The fundamental reason for a pre-tribulation rapture is the promise that the church will be exempted from God’s divine wrath (see 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 59; Romans 5:9; Revelation 3:10; 6:17).
Partial tribulation view
This view states that not all believers will be raptured but only those who have reached a degree of spiritual attainment – faithful believers. This view teaches that the rapture is a reward not a privilege.
This view has problems and it is not very popular. The main problem is Scriptural evidence to support a partial rapture.
This view states that the rapture occurs at the middle of the seven (7) year tribulation period – the components of this view believe that Jesus will rapture the believers with the rapture of the two witnesses in Revelation 11:12.
This view is also unpopular. The problem with the Mid-tribulation view is that it fails to explain why the church must endure the first half of the Great Tribulation.
This view states that the rapture occurs at the end of the seven (7) year tribulation period – the people who take this view would see the rapture and the second coming of Jesus as simultaneous.
This would mean that believers will go through the great tribulation and only be raptured just before the second coming of Christ.
The problem with this view is that believers will need to endure the full extent of God’s wrath before the rapture. Another problem is that if believers are not rapture before the Great Tribulation, then that means all believers will be martyred if they do not take the mark 666. Finally, there is the problem of time when it comes to the judgment seat of Christ. If the rapture and the second coming of Christ are simultaneous, then there is not much time for the Bema Seat of Christ.
Source Material for What are the Different Views of the Rapture?
The Millennial Kingdom: A Basic Text in Premillennial Theology by John F Walvoord
Things to Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology by J Dwight Pentecost
Three Views on the Rapture by Gleason L Archer (Author), Paul D Feinberg (Contributor), Douglas J Moo (Contributor) and Richard R Reiter (Contributor)