The belief in a post-tribulation rapture is a relatively recent concept in Christian theology, developed in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is based on the idea that the second coming of Jesus Christ will occur after the tribulation period, during which the church will experience great persecution and hardship. According to post-tribulations, the church will not be raptured before the tribulation begins but will be present on earth to share and endure it.
One of the main arguments for a post-tribulation rapture is that Jesus himself said he would return at the end of the age. (Matthew 24:3) Furthermore, the apostle Paul wrote in his first letter to the Thessalonians that the resurrection of the dead and the rapture of believers would coincide. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) This seems to suggest that the rapture will occur after the tribulation period, at the end of the age.
Another argument for the post-tribulation rapture is that it allows the church to play a role in the end-times drama. Those who hold to this view believe that the church will be a powerful witness during the tribulation period, even though it will face intense persecution. This witness will bring many people to faith in Jesus Christ, even amid the most challenging circumstances.
The post-tribulation view also emphasizes the importance of repentance and readiness for the coming of Christ, as believers will need to be prepared to face persecution and trials.
Critics of the post-tribulation rapture argue that it contradicts the idea of imminency - the belief that Jesus could return at any moment without warning. They also question the idea that the church will have to undergo such extreme persecution during the tribulation period, pointing out that many believers have already faced severe persecution throughout history.
Additionally, they argue that the idea of a post-tribulation rapture is not supported by all biblical texts and is based on a particular interpretation of scripture. Despite these criticisms, the post-tribulation rapture remains a viable and essential view in Christian theology. It offers a perspective on the end times that emphasizes the role of the Church in preparing for and enduring tribulation while also acknowledging the ultimate victory of Christ over sin and evil.
Regardless of one's view on the timing of the rapture, Christians can take comfort in the fact that Jesus has promised to return and that his kingdom will come in fullness.