The curious argument is often made that the catching up of Believers (the Rapture) must take place before the Great Tribulation because the church is not mentioned following Revelation Chapter 4 when John is caught up to Heaven. This is taken to mean that Believers will have been raptured before the Great Tribulation begins. This theory is contradicted by the following Scriptures that do mention the Body of Christ in the above-mentioned chapters.
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands… Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Rev. 7:9, 13-14
In these verses, which are found in Chapter 7, the church is mentioned in the account of the great multitude from every nation who are standing before the throne and wearing white robes. This is a description of the Body of Christ who are further described as having come out of the Great Tribulation, meaning they are martyrs of this event.
The church is also mentioned in the following set of verses found in Chapter 13, which also describe how the Body of Christ will be martyred during the Great Tribulation.
The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. Whoever has ears, let them hear. “If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed.” This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people. Rev. 13:5-10
In these verses, the Body of Christ is mentioned in the description of God’s people who must patiently endure through the Great Tribulation, and who will be killed by the Beast. We know that the term God’s people refers to the entire Body of Christ, and not just a select group from Israel, based on the previous verses that described how the martyrs of the Great Tribulation will come from every nation, tribe, people and language.
In addition to these passages, the church is also mentioned in the following verses found in Chapters 6 and 16, which come before and after the chapters that describe the Great Tribulation. These verses describe how God’s people will be killed and were killed during the Great Tribulation.
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been. Rev. 6:9-11
The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: “You are just in these judgments, O Holy One, you who are and who were; for they have shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.” Rev. 16:4-6
In these Scriptures, the full number of servants who would be killed, and the holy people whose blood was shed are both descriptions of God’s people who will be killed, and who were killed during the Great Tribulation.
In Chapter 12, we again read of the Church in the description of the dragon who will wage a war against those who hold fast their testimony about Jesus.
Then the dragon (Satan) was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.
In these verses, the war that Satan wages against those who hold fast their testimony about Jesus is a description of the Great Tribulation, and those who will hold fast their testimony about Jesus is another obvious description of the church who will be martyred during this event.
All the above passages contradict the assertion that the church is not mentioned following the events of Chapter 4 and, instead, they describe how the church will be martyred during the Great Tribulation.
To read more about the timing of the Rapture, click here: The Timing of the Rapture