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Pre-tribulation, Mid-tribulation, and Post-tribulation

Updated on September 9, 2012

The majority of Christians have read or heard about the rapture of the church and of the great tribulation. If you go into an in-depth study of the Scriptures and listen to the different interpretations that are out there, you may come out more confused than when you first began to research it only because the Bible does not give dates, it only mentions events and time periods. We do know that all the prophecies of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection have been fulfilled, but as to the date when the final coming of Jesus will happen, we are not supposed to know.

Many have researched the topic of the “great tribulation” and the rapture of the church, extensively putting forth many explanations and views. Out of the tribulation subject, the following views have risen: Pre-tribulation, Mid-tribulation, and Post-tribulation.

believers believe that the coming of Jesus will be in two separate stages. The first will be a secret rapture before the start of a seven-year tribulation period; the second coming will be at the end of the seven-year tribulation. In the latter, Jesus will be coming with the church to defeat his enemies. The seven years is taken out of the Book of Daniels’ 70 Weeks prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27), whereas the last week or the 70th week (representing 7 years) is applied 2000 years later. This theory says that during these seven years of tribulation, 144,000 Jews will bring Gods’ Word to the unsaved and many will be saved.

believers believe that the rapture will happen half-way through the seven-year tribulation or more accurately at 3 ½ years into the tribulation. This view may come from the interpretation given in Daniel 7:25 (time, times, and half a time). The theory is, Christians will be removed from the earth when the antichrist defiles the temple. Christ will then return again at the end of three and a half years to defeat his enemies.

And Post-tribulation believers believe the return of Jesus will be a public single event and the church will go through the great tribulation. The rapture will happen at the end of the seventh year or Daniels’ 70th week. Then Jesus will return immediately to fight His enemies.

How were the pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, and post-tribulation views established? They were established through different interpretation of certain scriptures. Pre and Mid-tribulation views come from interpretation of verses, such as 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 and Matthew 24:29:31. Post-tribulation views come from different interpretation of verses, such as 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, Matthew 24:29-31, and Revelation 1:7.

Prior to the rise of Dispensationalism, three major views about the millennium emerged: premillennialism, amillennialism, and postmillennialism.

Here is a brief explanation of these views. Premillennialism is the view that says the 1,000 years is a literal time period. Christ’s second coming will begin the millennium before the final removal of Satan. Amillennialism, meaning “no millennium,” understands the 1,000-year period to be symbolic; thus, the millennium is the reign of Christ in the hearts of believers, and Postmillennialism believes in a period of peace on earth that is led in by the church. At the end of this time, Satan will be released, but Christ will return to defeat Satan and reign forever.

After that, you will find more Christian denominational views on Jesus’ return in Dispensationalism and Amillennialism.

looks at God’s activity in history. Out of the seven ages detected, the most significant was its view of the end times, which includes the rapture of the church and a seven-year tribulation before Jesus’ final return. Dispensationalists believe that God will fulfill His covenant with National Israel which will include the Promised Land where Jesus will rule in the millennial kingdom for a thousand years.

Dispensational premillennialists
believe that Jesus’ prophecy of a future tribulation will affect Israel but not the church. Dispensationalists also believe the antichrist will come into view as the leader of the restored Roman Empire. The antichrist will make promises to Israel (Daniel 7:8, 21-27; 9:24-27; Revelation 17:9-14), then will be assassinated and restored to life. This view says the antichrist will exalt himself in the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem then will break any promises made to the Jews and begin to persecute them. The Jews (144,000) will then turn to the Messiah and the great tribulation will end when military forces come together and unite on Israel to defeat the antichrist. The Pre and Mid-tribulation believers fall under this view.

Amillennialists, Postmillennialists and Historic Postmillennialists believe that the antichrist will not be a person but an evil system. The bible makes reference of “many antichrists” found in 1 John 2:18. Throughout history, many anti-Christian forces have persecuted the church. Then there are some that believe that the prophecies regarding the antichrist have already been fulfilled (Preterism). For example, some believe that Nero was the antichrist. After Nero committed suicide, many expected Nero to come back to life and reclaim his throne. Because the city of Rome was built on seven hills (Revelation 17:9), the seven-headed beast then symbolizes the Roman Empire. Parallels exist between the beast and Roman emperors, who blasphemed God by calling themselves names, such as “lord” or “god” as found in Revelation 13:1.

also believe that at the end of the age, during an intense period of persecution of the Christians and just prior to Jesus’ second coming, the battle between good and evil will come to its peak. They believe that the tribulation may refer to this present age as well and not particularly a specific time in the future. They also point out that the bible doesn’t say the tribulation is confined to Israel alone (Revelation 7:13-14). Amillennialists believe that all of God’s people will be persecuted and when Jesus returns, in the Final Judgment, He will gather the believers (Matthew 24:31). Some of the Post-tribulation believers fall under this view.

These are some of the views held by many Christians and they go on endlessly. Each side defends their views with numerous scriptures, historical events, calculations, bible commentaries, assumptions, and everything else in between. There are so many views and beliefs; it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin!

Many passionate debates have risen because of the different interpretations. Each side claiming that their view is the correct one and every side is trying to prove the other wrong; but what if they are all wrong? I feel many are missing the point. Instead, we should be asking ourselves if Jesus were to suddenly appear, will we be the ones to go with Him? Are we walking in true faith? Are we true followers of Jesus?

The real issue here is that we should all be prepared to go, now, at a last minute call (or trumpet) because we have persevered and are walking in faith. We should not put off God anymore or say “I’ll get it right one of these days. Then I’ll give up my sins (drugs, sexual immorality, alcohol, etc.).” We have to be ready today and we have to pray for others that are not ready.

Thankfully, there is one thing we can all agree on and that is, the elect will be “caught up” for sure. I will also add that the majority of Christians do agree that the devil will burn in the Lake of Fire and no longer be around to deceive nations, he will cause no more pain and suffering ever again, and God’s chosen people will be with Jesus in the "New Jerusalem."

After countless hours, days, weeks of reading and studying the scriptures for answers and listening to all sides and their different views on this topic, I’ve come to a conclusion, that it does not matter when or how the rapture of the church will happen but that it WILL happen, and I have to be prepared for whatever will happen, even if there is no pre-tribulation rapture.

I’ve also come to the following conclusions about the Lord’s coming. Some of my views may fall under the ones I’ve already mentioned above. I believe that many of the events in Daniels' 70-Week prophesy and Jesus’ warning in Matthew (Chap 14), Mark (Chap 13), and Luke (Chap 21) have already happened after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Romans in 70 AD.

In spite of popular belief and talks of plans for a rebuilt temple, I don’t believe that this temple will be rebuilt. In 70 AD, the Lord passed judgment on the Jews by allowing the Romans to burn the city and killing hundreds of thousands of Jews. Why would He allow the Temple to be rebuilt after its destruction? It was not God’s wish for the first temple to be built in the first place. The only one God appointed to build a house for Him was to come from the seed of David—Jesus! And God was not talking about building a wooden or stone house either (read I Chronicles 17).

God is not a God of confusion. There was a reason why the Temple was destroyed, and it was not because of the events that led up to it, but because of the Jews' rejection of Jesus, the Messiah; the ultimate sacrifice! And since there is no mention of a 7-year tribulation period anywhere in the bible, I don’t believe that there will be a “seven-year” tribulation.

The Book of Revelations and the other books of the Bible are not hard to understand, if we do not get caught-up in attempting to literally interpret every little detail. What we need to concentrate on is that Jesus is coming and He is coming to judge the world. Since we do not to know the day or the hour of Jesus’ coming, we shouldn’t try to decipher or “read more” into every word written in the bible and assume to know when or how the rapture will happen, instead we should be vigilant and ready for whatever the Lord has planned.

Furthermore, we shouldn’t hang on to hopes that the bible does not specifically mention. Throughout history the church has gone through many great tribulations. Many of God’s people were martyred and many were spared; nonetheless, the church had to endure these horrific tribulations. Whatever trials we are to go through in our time, we must be prepared with unwavering faith and pray that the Lord will be there to protect His saints and carry them safely through as He did with Noah (Genesis, Chap 6-8), Lot (Genesis, Chap 19), and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 3:16-28).

Sometimes the different interpretations given to many of the verses used to support these claims about the great tribulation and the rapture go beyond reasoning. Jesus said we are to look for the signs and they are already happening, therefore, we must be ready. We must show others the way to salvation, now, and as I said earlier, be prepared ourselves to face and endure whatever tribulation comes our way strengthened by the assurance of Jesus’ promise that in the end we will be with Him and have eternal life.

I believe that the saints will be raptured, when? Only God the Father knows. What’s important is that we will be raptured, before the wrath of God is poured out unto the unbelievers; the ones who denied God and turned away from Him. We must not be afraid, Gods' children are already "delivered" from this (1 Thes 1:10).

On a final note, let’s not argue with one another and get caught up in the pre, mid, or post-tribulation debates and concentrate on what’s really important— spreading the Gospel to the unsaved and keeping unwavering faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because of the promises He made to us, His saints.

Be blessed in the name of Jesus Christ.

©Faithful Daughter

All rights reserved. Any redistribution, reproduction, republishing, rebroadcasting or rewriting of part or all of the contents in any form or manner is prohibited without the express written consent of the author and owner, Faithful Daughter.
All rights reserved. Any redistribution, reproduction, republishing, rebroadcasting or rewriting of part or all of the contents in any form or manner is prohibited without the express written consent of the author and owner, Faithful Daughter. | Source


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    • hanging out profile image

      hanging out 6 years ago

      I have always held this opinion. The rapture will not be missed by His sheep that hear his voice. Not knowing just makes it a much nicer surprise. There has been much division over this. Agreed will are not to suffer wrath. So i leave rapture on the shelf and keeping my eyes on the goal, run the race with diligence. Very good hub.

    • Faithful Daughter profile image

      Servant of God YHWH 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Thanks hanging out! Your are so right! His sheep will not miss the rapture, so why do so many live in fear of this "great tribulation?" The church has seen many great tribulations through the ages and until the Lord comes again, we will probably go through many more. But His sheep are not appointed for His wrath. Thanks for stopping by.

    • rdlang05 profile image

      rdlang05 6 years ago from Minnesota

      Very good summary of a very difficult and nuanced subject. I agree with most of your conclusions as well. Great hub!

    • Faithful Daughter profile image

      Servant of God YHWH 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Thank you rdlang. This is a difficult subject and not everyone will agree with one another 100 percent, but we must not lose focus of what's important, that we are all God's children and although we sometimes disagree, we must do so lovingly; there shouldn't be any division in the body of Christ. One day we will all know the truth. We are only here on earth but a short time but in His presence an eternity. God bless!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      I think you said it all in this line, although I classify myself as pre-tribulation--"Thankfully, there is one thing we can all agree on and that is, the elect will be “caught up” for sure."

    • Faithful Daughter profile image

      Servant of God YHWH 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Thank you for your comment lifegate. Yes, we will all be caught up and we will see each other in heaven, then we will all turn to each other and probably laugh at our silliness on earth. Blessings! :)

    • profile image

      RICHARD SCHURZ 6 years ago

      Dear brother in Jesus,

      God says, "I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times. what is still to come!...What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned that will I do!"  Isaiah 46:10a, 11b  This Bible study compares all the Scripture on each End-time topic and exposes over 12 absolute contradictions of God’s Word by dangerous and deceptive pre-trib doctrines. The next Bible study shows the 7 Bible clues which positively reveals the identity of 666. And finally there is a Bible study which shows how Obama may qualify to be the very deceptive False Prophet of 666. And finally there are interesting Bible-based speculations on how close the Last Days may be.

      Would greatly appreciate any comments or Bible studies you may have on the Last Days.  

      Your eternal friend in Jesus, 




      I Peter 1:13: “Therefore, prepare your minds for ACTION, and set your hope *FULLY* on the grace to be given YOU when Jesus Christ is *REVEALED*. I Cor 1:7: “YOU do not lack any spiritual gift as YOU eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be *REVEALED*.” Now the pre-tribbers claim that this glorious *REVEALING or *REVELATION* of Jesus will be *CONCEALED* BEFORE the beginning of the Great Tribulation.  However, every other time the Word *REVEALED* {Greek-Apocalipsis} is used related to resurrection events it refers to the glorious REVEALING of Jesus on the *LAST DAY* of the Great Tribulation {See 2 Thess 1:7-10 & Luke 17:26-31}. And *CONCEALED* is the exact opposite of *REVEALED* and *APPEARED* according to every dictionary!  Titus 2:13: “*WE* wait for the *BLESSED HOPE*—the glorious *APPEARING* of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Hebrews 9:28 “Jesus will *APPEAR* a 2nd time to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him!”  Matthew 24:29,30: Jesus says, “IMMEDIATELY AFTER the distress of those days {The Great Tribulation} the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will *APPEAR in the sky and the nations will *SEE* the Son of Man COMING on the clouds!!” I John 2:28: “Dear children, continue in Him, so that when He *APPEARS* WE may be confident and unashamed before Him at His COMING!” {See 2 Thess 1:7-10; I Tim 6:14; Heb 9:28 & Col 3:4}  2 Tim 4:8: Paul said, There is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on THAT DAY—and not only to me, but to *ALL who have longed for His *APPEARING*!!” A meeting at an appointed place and time is called a RENDEZVOUS. We have a RENDEZVOUS with eternity at the glorious *APPEARING and *REVEALING of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ *IMMEDIATELY AFTER the Great Tribulation.

      God has always allowed His people to suffer tribulation and trials because they purify and perfect their faith and will gain countless eternal rewards when Jesus Christ is *REVEALED. There are over 40,000 saints martyred every year and the main culprit is no longer just Islam and the RC Church. The Main culprits now are the 21 Muslim countries and Korea, China, Sudan, Venezuela, Nigeria and the RC Church. Millions of saints were martyred after 1917 in Russia and after 1948 in China. Romans 8:35-37: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?... For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us!” I Peter 1:6-8:  “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is *REVEALED.”  I Peter 2:20b,21: “But if you suffer for doing good and endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow IN HIS STEPS.” I Peter 4:12,13: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But REJOICE that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is *REVEALED!” Read other persecution verses: Romans 5:3; Heb 13:35-40; 2 Tim 3:12; 2 Cor 1:7-10; I Thess 3:3,4; Phil 1:29; Phil 3:10; Rev 12:11; Rev 13:9,10 & Rev 14:13.

             The courageous and faithful Tribulation saints will *NOT* be hurt by God’s *WRATH* as shown in Rev 14:9-11; 15:1,7; 16:1,19; or in any of the 7 trumpet or 7 bowl plagues as explained in Rev 9:4,20,21 and Rev 16:2,4-6,9,10,21; or in any of the plagues of God’s 2 witnesses as per Rev 11:6,10; or in *ETERNAL HELL*: Rev 14:9-11: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of *HIS WRATH*.  He will be tormented with burning sulfur and the smoke of their torment rises forever and ever.” The pre-tribs often confuse the wrath of God with the persecution from the antichrist. They are not the same thing. The wrath of God is intended for the ungodly and will be poured upon them and them only. The Lord knows His target and He never misses. Jesus warned in Matthew 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

      In Rev 18:1-24 we read about the plagues that will destroy the headquarters of 666 during the Great Triubulation. This evil city on 7 hills {See Rev 17:9} is called “Babylon” which Peter implied was the nicknmame for Rome in 2 Peter 5:13. In Rev 18:4 a voice from Heaven will order God's saints to stay away from Babylon {Rome-That great seaport-Rev 18:17-19} so that they will not participate in her sins or be hurt by God's wrath which will completely destroy Rome with many horrific plagues. There are 260 verses from Revelation chapters 6 thru 20 and 128 of these verses or 49% tell of the wrath of God to unbelievers, 666, his False Prophet and Rome. However, not even one of these verses tells of any wrath of God toward His courageous Tribulation saints.

            However, in Matthew 24:3,9-13:  The disciples asked Jesus, “What will be the sign of your Coming and the end of the age?? Jesus answered….. {During the Great Tribulation} “Then *YOU* will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and *YOU will be hated by all nations because of Me.  At that time many will turn away from the Faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of *MOST* will grow cold,{THE GREAT APOSTASY} but he {The Called, Chosen & Faithful-Rev 17:14b} who stands firm to the End will be saved.” 2 Thess 2:1,3: “Concerning the Coming of our Lord Jesus and *OUR being gathered to Him...That day shall not come, except there come a falling away first!!” {NIV – Rebellion} It is estimated that there are about 800 million people who claim to be Christians out of the 7 billion people on earth. There are probably about 134 million saved evangelicals which leaves about 666 million who will fall away and follow 666. There will probably be about 6 billion 666 million people who will follow 666 so they can buy and sell everything; which leaves about 200 million that may be saved from every nation tribe and language as per Rev 7:9-14. Matt 7:13,14: Many follow the road to destruction and only a few find the road to life. These numbers are, of coarse, just a speculation. Read Revelation 12:11 & 13:10!!

      The pre-tribbers claim that the "YOU" in Matthew 24:9 above are Jews only and that much of Matthew was only written for Jews like Matthew chapters 5-7. Which is of course completely ridiculous since Jesus said to His 11 Apostles in Matthew 28:19,20 “Go and make disciples of *ALL NATIONS*…teaching them to obey *EVERYTHING* I commanded you!”  {Read John 12:48 & John 14:23} 

    • Faithful Daughter profile image

      Servant of God YHWH 6 years ago from Sunny Florida


      This is quite lenghthy for a comment but thank you for posting this Bible study on the tribulation; I agree with most of the things you posted here. You are correct, people confuse tribulation with the Wrath of God. Maybe you should write a hub on this so it will available to everyone here in Hubpages. Blessings!

    • profile image

      ekempi  6 years ago

      There is need to understand who these seed from the living course of "ABIA" is in proper good sense of Luke 1:1-5 Judgment.

    • profile image

      peter 6 years ago

      Post-Tribulation Rapture

      1 Thessalonians Chapter 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: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

      Revelation Chapter 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

      It just happens that Jesus comes in the clouds.

      It just happens that Jesus comes at the last trumpet.

      It just happens that Jesus comes with the voice of the archangel..

      It just happens that Jesus raze the dead first.

      It just happens that the two end time prophets are razed from the dead.

      It just happens that the two end time prophets hear a voce saying come up hither.

      It just happens that the two end time prophets are razed in the clouds

      It just happens that the two end time prophets are razed at the sound of the last trumpet

      Revelation Chapter 11:11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.14 The second woe is past; [and], behold, the third woe cometh quickly.15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become [the kingdoms] of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

      Corinthians Chapter 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

      Mark 13:26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

      The two end time prophets are killed by the beast at the end of the great tribulation

      Love from peter

    • Faithful Daughter profile image

      Servant of God YHWH 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Thank you for commenting Peter. God bless!

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