[This person asked to remain anonymous]:
I have been a Christian since 1970. One of the very first things I did at age 14 in 1970 was read the whole Bible from cover to cover. I did this in about 5 days, reading 8 hours a day. I had the summer of 1970 rather free to myself to do this.
And although there is a lot that was not clear, having the whole Bible as a framework of context, it made understanding individual passages more clear. And one thing that was crystal clear is that Christians are going to suffer a lot before the end.
I come from a European background, a family from both my mother and father’s side that fled Communism in Europe and survived the horrors of WWII in Europe. That is a “mentality” of suffering, deprivation, imprisonment, being war refugees, etc. Though I personally did not suffer being born in West democratic Germany, my parent’s stories and life experiences, and the stories of their friends, were all war suffering-related.
I actually came to live in the Soviet Union in 1979 and studied there, and spent 5 months with Christians in Leningrad, almost all of which faced constant danger of arrest and GULAG for their faith—for them life was already a sort of “Great Tribulation” for them. No one there had any notion of being spared suffering.
This is the common, “normal” state of affairs for Christians—to be persecuted, suffering for their faith.
Us (older) Europeans understand that America is a strange “experiment” —especially in terms of economic power and well-to-do and freedom, and experiment which the world had never really seen before.
And only in this strange, unusual, uncommon-for-Christian setting can such nonsense as PreTrib arise.
But if you grow up in this “experiment,” it is hard to stand outside of it and look from above to see if this really makes sense. Your culture and living experience so effects (twists) your view of Scripture.
Well, I never had this problem because 1) I read the WHOLE Bible right at the start giving me context for individual biblical interpretation, and 2) I really did not grow up in an American mindset (though I have spent most of my life in America, but I fight against the culture every day of my life)
So, when I had the “luck” to be involved in a church where Pre-Wrath was taught I could see in an instant that this “fits” the Bible, and fits the normal course of the Christian life on sinful planet Earth. It was a clear, systematic working out of what really is there anyway, and the careful sorting out is done only because of all the nonsense that is currently out there that you have to contend with and fight against.