In my view, one difficulty with the concept of the timing of the rapture occurring at the beginning of Daniel’s seven-year tribulation period is an extension of the Matthew 24:9-10 verses mentioned above: “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” My conception of the tribulation saints (those Christians converted after the rapture), are as a tightly focused group of believers totally dedicated to their last chance at serving Jesus Christ unconditionally (having missed the rapture). This would be the case whether they have exclusive domain over the last remaining evangelical outreach on earth for all seven, six, five, four, three, or even the final two years during Daniel’s seven-year tribulation period. This would be the case regardless of the makeup of the tribulation saints…Gentiles and Messianic Jewish Christians
This hard-core group of tribulation saints does not seem susceptible to large numbers of them being offended as a result of persecution (Matthew 13:21), or betraying other tribulation saints, or hating each other. These prophetic words of Jesus Christ would only seem to apply instead to a large, widely mixed group of born-again Christians who had in their numbers a sizable percentage of nominal, unconverted adherents who could easily fall into becoming offended, betraying real Christians, and living in an attitude of hatred and disappointment as a result of the end-times evil (Matthew 24:7-13). This would more accurately describe the required blend of the genuine Christian church, combined with the apostate church, which we see in the world today, and which would appear transparently inseparable and indistinguishable to the undiscerning secular world before the start of the last day’s persecution and tribulation. This would be more consistent with Matthew 24:10 saying “then many shall be offended”, implying that there is a large enough beginning sample of people for many to be offended, and conversely for many genuine Christians not to be offended, to comprise the whole group. This would also set up the basis for a clearer understanding of the falling away (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
The tribulation saints by contrast, whether Jew or Gentile, would be almost exactly like the Christians of the first two and one-half centuries in terms of fidelity to Jesus Christ. They would be entirely new converts to Christ, narrowly focused on their mission, uniformly dedicated, fearless, committed, fiercely loyal to one another, and living with the constant threat of discovery, exposure, and imminent martyrdom. If this is the case, then these Matthew 24:9-10 verses would therefore appear to be inconsistent with the currently popular teaching of an early rapture of the church prior to the full seven-year-tribulation-scenario. If these Matthew 24:9-10 verses occur within the time-span of the seven-year tribulation period of great persecution of Christians, and the only new Christians formed after a pretribulation rapture are this group of tribulation saints who are not plausible candidates for betraying and hating one another, then something is clearly amiss.