occurring before the onset of wrath
Prewrath is a somewhat recent theological term associated with a future end-time event known as the rapture. The rapture has long been the most treasured and highly anticipated event in the heart of the believer. That awesome day, when the rapture finally takes place, is the day Christians have been longing for since the resurrection of Christ. On that day, Jesus will appear in the clouds, and he will gather all his believers from off the earth to be with him in the air. After he was crucified and resurrected to life, Jesus left the earth by ascending up into a cloud (Acts 1:9). When he returns, he will come come back in similar fashion: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). The word rapture is derived from that phrase, “caught up.” On that great and glorious day, we will see our Lord and Savior face to face, and we will forever be with him …throughout all eternity!
There is strong disagreement on exactly when Jesus will return in the clouds (i.e. when the rapture will take place). Of course, no one knows the day of Jesus’ return, so when people talk about when he’s going to return, they are talking about his return in reference to other end-time events. Without going into great detail, there are two events that are commonly used as reference points for the timing of the rapture: 1) the tribulation and 2) the day of the Lord. The tribulation usually refers to a future seven-year period when God will judge unbelievers here on earth. Many people believe that the rapture will take place just prior to the tribulation. Those people are said to believe in a “pre-tribulation” rapture (aka pre-trib rapture).
The interpretation presented in The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand does not support a pre-trib rapture. Rather, it supports what is commonly referred to as a “pre-wrath” rapture. Within that seven-year period referred to as the tribulation, there will be a special and unique time of God’s fierce judgment that takes place on the earth. In the Bible, that time of judgment is called the day of the Lord, or the day of the Lord’s wrath. The pre-wrath (rapture) interpretation states that the rapture will take place just prior to the day of the Lord’s wrath.
Please hear me on this. The practical implication for believers, given the pre-trib versus the pre-wrath interpretation, cannot be overstated! The contrast between the two interpretations, in regard to what believers in the last days will be forced to endure, is profound. I encourage you to read The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand. By doing so, you will gain a sound understanding of what all is to come in the end times, and importantly, you will be prepared should Jesus return during your lifetime.
“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 24:44)