The Pre-Wrath Rapture

The teaching of the Pre-Wrath Rapture came to the fore in the early 1990s. The basis of this theory is rooted in the Book of Revelation. In the next chapter I will be discussing this prophetic book in more detail though at this time I need to allude to it here in order to discuss this theory.

Revelation uses descriptive language in laying out God's entire plans for the end-times. It lists three sets of judgments that are going to take place during the seven-year Tribulation Period. Respectively these judgments are referred to as the seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls. Each of these events unleashes a different type of calamity that is going to happen to the earth and its inhabitants.

According to the Pre-Wrath Rapture teaching, the "Day of the Lord" begins after the opening of the sixth seal. It is at that time when God pours out His wrath on the earth. The scriptural basis for this belief is found in the prophetic Book of Joel where the prophet speaks about the Tribulation Period: "I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible Day of the LORD come." (Joel 2:30-31) The first five seals seem to indicate that the earth will suffer as a result of human causes. However, when the opening of the sixth seal takes place, cosmic judgments come upon the earth that only God could implement.

The opening of the seventh seal puts into motion the seven trumpet judgments which in turn start the final seven bowl judgments. Therefore, the Pre-Wrath Rapture will take place at the opening of the seventh seal. According to this belief the opening of the sixth and seventh seals does not take place until some time during the second half of the seven-year Tribulation Period. If this doctrine is correct then the time frames listed in the Book of Revelation indicate that the period of time between the Rapture and Jesus' second coming to earth could be anywhere from six months to one and one half years.

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