|By: Dr. Randall Price; ©1996|
|Bible Prophecy Questions Answered by Leading Christian Scholars.|
Dr. Randall Price: The Church is divided in different views concerning when the Rapture will take place. We talk about the Tribulation period, that time of wrath of which God pours out upon this earth, and each of the different views regarding the Rapture—the "catching up" or "carrying away"—is in relationship to that span of time. There are those who believe that the Rapture will take place before that time of wrath comes. Those are called pre-tribulationists because they believe the Rapture takes place "before" that Tribulation. And they believe that the Church is removed from all of that period of Tribulation—the entire seven years.
Then there are those who are considered mid-tribulationists who believe that the Rapture will be a catching away at the midpoint—3-1/2 years into that Tribulation period. There are some variations on these. There are those who believe that a partial Rapture—those who are extremely faithful will be rewarded by being taken up or snatched in bunches at different times at the beginning of the Tribulation. Then there are those who believe in a pre-wrath Rapture, that three-fourths of the way through the Tribulation there will be a taking up of the Church.
And then, finally, there are those who are post-tribulationists who believe that the Church will go through that entire period of time but be preserved from the wrath of God, the divine wrath, only to be taken up very quickly prior to the second coming of Christ to the earth and to meet Him in the air and come back to the earth with Him.