Traditional pretribulationists have consistently believed that the rapture and the inception of the day of the Lord’s wrath will occur back-to-back on the same day.
Prewrath came along and pointed out the “Before the day of the Lord” passages (e.g. Joel 2:29–31; Mal 4:5; 2 Thess 2:3) and demonstrated that since the Bible teaches that prophesied events will occur before the day of the Lord, then by extension they will occur before the rapture. Therefore, the rapture is not imminent nor pretrib.
There have been two pretrib responses to this prewrath argument.
1) Many pretribs grasped the validity of the argument and became prewrathers.
2) Many pretribs also grasped the validity of this argument but changed their foundational framework in order to maintain their pretrib view. They created the “gap” theory that states that there will be a gap of time (days, months, or even years) between the rapture and the day of the Lord’s wrath, which they equate with the seventieth week of Daniel. That way they can maintain their imminence and pretribulationism by locating those ‘before the day of the Lord” prophecies during that gap of time which would occur after the rapture but before the day of the Lord.
The problem is that it does not work. The Bible clearly teaches that the deliverance of the church through the rapture and the beginning of the judgment on the wicked through the day of the Lord’s wrath will occur back-to-back on the same day. There is no gap.
I have written on this many times, but if you want a single, coherent talk I gave on this with all my arguments point by point, which includes my PowerPoint notes on PDF, get the following download below. It is an easy argument to refute, but you need to be familiar with it first!
Is There a ‘Gap’ between the Rapture and the Day of the Lord?