Pre-tribulationism teaches that the Rapture occurs before the Tribulation starts. At that time, the church will meet Christ in the air, and then sometime after that the Antichrist is revealed and the Tribulation begins. In other words, the Rapture and Christ’s Second Coming (to set up His kingdom) are separated by at least seven years. According to this view, the church does not experience any of the Tribulation. Scripturally, the pre-tribulational view has much to commend it. For example, the church is not appointed to wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, 5:9), and believers will not be overtaken by the Day of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:1-9). The church of Philadelphia was promised to be kept from “the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world” (Revelation 3:10). Note that the promise is not preservation through the trial but deliverance from the hour, that is, from the time period of the trial. Pre-tribulationism also finds support in what is not found in Scripture. The word “church” appears nineteen times in the first three chapters of Revelation, but, significantly, the word is not used again until chapter 22. In other words, in the entire lengthy description of the Tribulation in Revelation, the word church is noticeably absent. In fact, the Bible never uses the word "church" in a passage relating to the Tribulation. Pre-tribulationism is the only theory which clearly maintains the distinction between Israel and the church and God’s separate plans for each. The seventy “sevens” of Daniel 9:24 are decreed upon Daniel’s people (the Jews) and Daniel’s holy city (Jerusalem). This prophecy makes it plain that the seventieth week (the Tribulation) is a time of purging and restoration for Israel and Jerusalem, not for the church. Also, pre-tribulationism has historical support. From John 21:22-23, it would seem that the early church viewed Christ’s return as imminent, that He could return at any moment. Otherwise, the rumor would not have persisted that Jesus would return within John’s lifetime. Imminence, which is incompatible with the other two Rapture theories (Midtribulationism and Posttribulationism), is a key tenet of pre-tribulationism. And the pre-tribulational view seems to be the most in keeping with God’s character and His desire to deliver the righteous from judgment of the world. Biblical examples of God’s salvation include Noah, who was delivered from the worldwide flood; Lot, who was delivered from Sodom; and Rahab, who was delivered from Jericho (2 Peter 2:6-9). One perceived weakness of pre-tribulationism is its relatively recent development as a church doctrine, not having been formulated in detail until the early 1800s. Another weakness is that pre-tribulationism splits the return of Jesus Christ into two “phases”—the Rapture and the Second Coming—whereas the Bible does not clearly delineate any such phases. Another difficulty facing the pre-tribulational view is the fact that there will obviously be saints in the Tribulation (Revelation 13:7, 20:9). Pre-tribulationists answer this by distinguishing the saints of the Old Testament and the saints of the Tribulation from the church of the New Testament. Believers alive at the Rapture will be removed before the Tribulation, but there will be those who will come to Christ during the Tribulation, tribulation saints. Some point to Jesus’ statement in John 6:40 as posing a difficulty to pre-tribulationism: “My Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” Jesus promises believers a resurrection “at the last day,” but the pre-tribulational model has believers being raised at the rapture, at least seven years before the Christ’s second coming. The answer to this involves a general use of the word day—the end times, called “the last day,” will span the entire time from the rapture to the second coming. Also, the rapture will mark the end of the church age and thus is “the last day” of this dispensation. And a final weakness of the pre-tribulational view is shared by the other two theories: namely, the Bible does not give an explicit time line concerning future events. Scripture does not expressly teach one view over another, and that is why we have diversity of opinion concerning the end times and some variety on how the related prophecies should be harmonized. This website gives more insight in the pre-tribulational view of the end times. Theologians among them are: Perry Stone, Mike MacIntosh, Mark Hitchcock, Jon Courson, Jack Hibbs, Greg Laurie, Grant Jeffrey, Anne Graham Lotz, Thomas Ice, David Reagan, Don Stewart, David Wilkerson, David Jeremiah, Billy Graham, Billy Crone, Andy Woods, Arnold Fruchtenbaum, JD Farag, Amir Tsarfati, Brannan Howse, Brandon Holthaus, Jan Markell, Barry Stagner, Tom Hughes, and many others.