It appears then that the rapture cannot occur in isolation. The rapture cannot occur outside of a close relationship to an intense level of end-times persecution and tribulation…that would be so great as to noticeably split the “church” in two…as described in Matthew 24:9-10.
After the rapture…after the close of the church age, the only Christians remaining on earth to the end of time are newly converted post-tribulation saints, and they do not fit into the description of potentially offended people and the events of Matthew 24:9-10. After the rapture, tribulation saints are not susceptible to becoming offended by persecution or adversity (Mt. 13:21).
To fulfill Matthew 24:9-10, an unprecedented level of intense persecution has to find and overtake the main Christian church for some period of time before the rapture occurs, and one solution to this riddle is for the rapture itself to shift forward in time…into the tribulation.
If a satisfactory alternate explanation is to move some intense period of persecution into the time slot preceding the start of the tribulation, then why go to such dispensational premillennial efforts to sustain a pretribulation rapture interpretation?
The intensity of a sifting-out split of the “church” through worldwide persecution (Mt. 24:9-10) is equivalent to the magnitude of the actual great tribulation itself. Sparing the Christian church from tribulation then loses its meaning, purpose, and appeal.