"Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, every one who pierced him." (Rev 1.7)
"He was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight...This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven." (Ac 1.9-11)
I here acknowledge that vast quantities of compelling, Bible-based research and study and teaching have been amassed and published by each of the parties involved in the great pre-trib, mid-trib and post-trib debate! But far from being intimidated or paralysed by this state-of-affairs, I am provoked to:
(A) Conclude that many sincere Believers actually base their eschatological beliefs on emotion-driven, personal preference! And who can really blame them? So many have been discipled in a boom-time, Western Church where the Gospel has been consistently served up floating in a rich sauce of personal fulfillment and prosperity! "Name it and claim it! Blab it and grab it!" (3)
Hence one of the greatest and most emotional objections to a post-tribulation rapture is an appeal to 1 Thessalonians 5.9, "God has not destined us for wrath." It just cannot be possible, some passionately argue, for the Church to be on the scene when God's wrath is being poured out? But when the Lord addressed the Philadelphian Church (Rev 3.7-13), He promised that He "will keep you from the hour of trial which is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell upon the earth. I am coming soon".
Now to "keep from" does not here mean to avoid and be removed from. It means to be "kept through" and "protected from"! Was this not precisely and exactly the lot of God's People immediately before the great liberation of the Exodus? Plagues rained down upon an Egyptian society set in absolute opposition to the purposes of the Lord...and the Israelites were protected again and again, by the very hand of God and the Blood of the Lamb.
"I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one." (Jn 17.15)
"They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death." (Rev 12.11)
(B) Press the issue on to a place where we see the great tribulation not just as a necessary evil we must grudgingly endure, but one of the greatest opportunities in the whole Grace Age...entirely consistent with the spirit and momentum of the Gospel.