Q. Will there be a pre-Tribulation Rapture?
A. We are fully persuaded that there will be a ‘Rapture’ of the Church before the Tribulation when the Lord Jesus comes to fetch His Bride, the Church. I Thess 4:16-17 says that … the Lord himself shall descend from Heaven … the dead in Christ shall rise … we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together … to meet the Lord in the air… 1 Cor 15:52 tells that we shall be changed in an instant.
Rev 2 and 3 deals with seven Churches concluding with Laodicea, the cold, lukewarm Assembly. Rev 4:1 says, After this, i.e. after the Church Age, we are called to ‘Come up hither’ – a reference to the catching away of the Church Universal. We see this since the invitation is not to John alone; verses 10-11 reveal 24 Elders casting their crowns at Jesus’ feet, before the Throne. This takes place at the Judgment Seat of Christ which cannot convene until all Christians are present, i.e. the Rapture has taken place. The Tribulation is introduced only in Chapter 6 and we thus conclude that the Rapture can only take place before the Tribulation.