As one who believes in a Pre Tribulation rapture, I lean heavily on 1Thess 4:13-18 which continues into ch 5: 1- 3 which reads "But of the times and seasons you have no need that I should write to you. For you know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say "Peace and safety" then sudden destruction comes upon them etc....". I feel this is the season when the Rapture shall occur. It appears to be at a time of great exaltation of peace at last among the nations and certainly between Israel and the Arab nations. This would indicate that the Church is here to see this climatic event or at least the potential for it's fulfillment. For the Church it ought to seal the deal that the "season and times" of the nearness of Christ return is upon us. He will be at the door ready to take up those who have believed by faith in Him.
I do believe that before the treaty is signed that a collapsed world economy, including North America, could erupt. And that could test our faith without us having to actually be in the tribulation period. It is a collapsed situation that could bring about desperate solutions, by any means necessary, with new leaders and their ideas brought on board from around the world and certainly in the Middle East. It is God's call when He will turn things over to the Antichrist due to a world of unbelief.
The problem I see with the Church in the tribulation period, such as mid and post tribulation, is I just don't see many survivors to be raptured. When I think of the "elect", they appear to be to those who are specifically anointed by God for a specific purpose. The Seven year judgement of God in the Book of Revelation still demonstrate his wonderful grace in operation but with a different administration at work. Instead of Gentiles preaching the gospel, God is using men of Jewish descent. One group that is elected so to speak is the 144,000 sealed Jewish ministers. Another group elected are the 2 witnesses in Jerusalem. This is God's grace at work after the Church is raptured and the gospel continues. The 'tribulations saints" will become believers during this time but will not be empowered to lead the cause but die to it! I don't see scripture considering them elect but that they are to be blessed for their courageous conversion under extreme duress.
God gives us enough facts to have faith but never enough facts to live without faith. Prophecy is a work of art the way our Lord has written it down for us and the church is commanded to covet prophecy. The word covet in scripture is almost universally thought of as a prerequisite to idolatry. Coveting is an act of worshiping something other than God but it is written in 1Corinthians 14:39 "Wherefore my brethren covet to prophesy and forbid not the speaking of tongues". For us to see so much of God's written word moving before us after so long of a time is a testament to the God we serve. None of us will get the total picture because we see things vaguely like through a dark glass.
Now it is 2,000 years later since apostle Paul wrote those words. The question I ask is can we see better through the dark glass now? If it's any consolation, I am beginning to see what lies on the other side of the glass bottle. Hindsight is helping to give me 20/20 vision and the Holy Spirit by the words of scripture is confirming so and yet it is still by faith and not by knowledge. God revelations concerning endtimes advises us to covet prophecy to avoid potential for error in judgement. God's doctrine of being caught up gives up hope if we want to believe it. But blessed are those who believe and have not seen the Christ but do hear his Voice by studying the scriptures and looking for Christ appearing. After all the years, we are indeed comforted by the hope of the Rapture as apostle Paul said it was written to do in 1Thess 4:18 "comfort one another with these words"......words of hope and deliverance!!