Look, I know everybody wants to be happy and everybody wants to believe that Jesus has them nestled up with His arms all wrapped around them all warm and fuzzy completely out of harms way but it simply doesn't follow the Bible. It's really more of the opposite.
We have been repeatedly warned that we are sheep being led to the slaughter. Our roots need to grow deep and people who believe that there will be a pre-trib rapture very well may wilt under pressure if they are tried. They might get that "why isn't Jesus here" attitude when they need to set in their hearts that it's much more fruitful to DIE a believer than to place their trust in this make believe pre-trib rapture event. I don't mind telling anyone that it's just an outright fib. The history associated with it's "discovery" into theology is highly suspect and doubted.
I didn't read all of the posts for forgive me if I am duplicating. There's just so much to read. I really only wanted to comment on the first original post.
Again, I too never felt comfortable with Pre-tib rapture theology. John representing the "church" just didn't sit well with me. When you read Rev it is made clear that the Antichrist figure is to make "war with the Saints." Simply said, there can't be a war with the Saints (Rev 13:7) if Christians are not alive on the Earth at the time of the Great Tribulation.
When you read Rev you will see identifications of believers. In the early portion of the book they are referred to as "washed their robes" which is an indication that they believed before the events that are taking place to bring about the end. Rev 7:14 is a great indication of that as you see a multitude of people who have "washed their robes with the blood of the Lamb." The dead in Christ shall rise first.
When you continue on in Rev and you get to Chapter 14 you will find the rewards of the Saint for being patient in great tribulation.
Rev 14:12. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
13. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
14. And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
15. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
16. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
Now, when you parallel these events with what we commonly know as the "rapture" in 1 Thes 4:16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:
Now, when does all of this take place? Rev Ch 14 are events that take place as the last trumpet is being sounded all the way back in Rev Ch 11. Chapters 12 and 13 are somewhat historical or a summarization and it's more like a "meanwhile, back at the office" kind of thing too but it's bringing all of the events to this culmination in Ch 14.
Ch 13 clearly shows us the Antichrist and the False Prophet. Ch 14 warns not to worship him. The temptation to worship the AC is the test that is coming to try the whole world and even we as Christians will be tempted to do so. All peoples of the Earth are going to be tried in this manner except for true believing Christians. When you go back to Rev 3: 10.in the letter to the church of Philadelphia, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."
And I always like to follow up this with a reminder of the Lord's prayer in that Jesus so rightfully says "and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil".
And, if you go further into Rev, from Ch 14 on you will see that believers are now the ones that must die by beheading rather than from the blood of the Lamb in order to stand redeemed in front of the throne at the judgment.
And to add a little more....
In the letters to the churches you see this statement at the end of each letter, "He that hath an ear, let him hear", but just preceding the "rapture" event in Ch 14 that will remove those that are alive and remain, to keep them from the hour of temptation, to keep them from worshiping the beast and his image, you see a similar statement in Rev 13 at the disclosing of the AC and FP but it says "IF any man have an ear, let him hear" which is God's final warning to the inhabitants of the earth for now is the time of his judgment.
Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.