Why Pretribulation Rapture?

A preacher/author that I like asked the question, and I'll paraphrase a little cause I didn't write it down while listening: "If there is a pretribulation rapture, if God is going to take out His people before the tribulation, they why didn't he do so in Roman times when Christians were being burned, why not now in the Middle East when Christians are being killed?"

I have an inkling that it was a rhetorical question, but if I may, I will answer. Christians were promised persecution. We weren't promised the wrath of God. He *did* take out his people before He poured out His wrath on the world in the flood, and before He poured out His wrath on Egypt during the exodus.

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10 "and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come." 1 Thessalonians 1

9 "For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him." 1 Thessalonians 5

John 3:36
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (this sounds to me like wrath is for those who do not obey the Son)

18 :"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness" Romans 1 (again, sounds like wrath is for those who don't obey) Romans 1

5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who will render to each person according to his deeds: 7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 2

Romans 5:9
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

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Persecution from *men* is to be expected. Why would *God* pour out His wrath on His people? Was Christ's sacrifice not sufficient to pay for our sins? Roman persecution was at the hands of men as is the current persecution going on in the Middle East.

By the way, the thought that the rapture is imminent makes me desperate to share the Gospel with as many people as possible before it's too late.