Belief or understanding of the timing of the rapture is not a salvation altering thing (thank God!) but I believe that being mentally aware that we will go through persecution or tribulation (as always) will keep Christians from losing their faith entirely or in other words “falling away” if they find themselves still on earth during the tribulation of the anti-christ instead of in the clouds. They have been taught for so long that they are going to fly away, what a faith-shattering shock that would be if it were not true!
I agree that the bible says that we are saved from God’s wrath, but God’s wrath is something entirely different than the persecution and tribulation of man or even the persecution of the anti-christ during the tribulation. God’s wrath is a cup that is poured out at Jesus’s second coming where we are all changed at the moment of his return shortly after the two witnesses who are killed by the anti-christ are resurrected again.
If you look at the examples of the past in the Bible, God removed us from a location that was going to be destroyed only a few times and only when he was doing the destroying, like in the story of Noah and the Ark or Sodom and Gomorrah. Even then we were never removed from the earth or into the clouds. The rest of the time God brought us through the tribulation or trouble and helped us to get safely to the other side or survive where we were, for example, when Israel was freed from Egyptian bondage and chased by pharaoh through the dead sea. There are many examples of God protecting us right where we are instead of making us flee! Such as when shadrach meshach and abednego were thrown into the fire and protected by God and also Daniel in the lions den. etc.
God never asks us to retreat from persecution or tribulation of man and instead, when we are doing his will he has helped us have victory over our enemies for God’s glory. But when we are NOT doing his will… then he has allowed us as a people to suffer bondage and persecution and death many times! for example; to be conquered and enslaved by the king of Babylon, Egypt etc.
It seems that since the beginning of time, the good and the bad have both suffered for the collective disobedience of the people. Look at our world today, heck, narrow it down to USA only… Are we doing it right or not?
The tribulation of the end times is when we all need to gird up our loins and be men and women standing for God. It will be an extremely difficult time and we kind of deserve it don’t you think? God will help us it says.