I commend you for your perceptiveness.
The proof-texts offered for “the Rapture” have always been understood by the Church from Apostolic times onward as describing the experience of those Christians who will still alive on earth at the time of Christ’s Second and Glorious Advent and the General Resurrection. The sentimental notion that the glory of the Church in the Last Days will not be the same as its glory from its founding — martyrdom for Christ’s sake — because God will “Rapture” Christians before the great tribulation foretold in St. John’s Apocalypse is an heretical innovation unknown until the mid 19th century.
You need to read I Thess. Paul wrote that letter to them to reassure them that they had not missed the rapture. They had been given a letter, supposedly from Paul, that said that they were already in the tribulation. Paul restates what he had taught them when he was first there in person. This was also revealed in his letter to the Corinthians (I Cor 15)
Re-read chapter six and seven of Revelation. The seals are not judgments, they discribe the condition of the earth (seals one through four)The plea of the martyrs in the fifth seal, then (this gets interesting) the sixth seal, has the sealing of the 144,000 (an angel states that harm to the earth can not happen until they are sealed) from Israel, then, a number of people in heaven that no one could number from every nation, tribe, people and language standing before the throne. They are identified as those who came out from the great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
The greek word for “came out” means to be removed from the place, time, and cause of the tribulation.
Its the same word used in Rev 3:10 in the promise given to the church in Philidelpha. Jesus promised to keep take them away from the time and place of the tribulation.
I do not understand the attacks that are heaped upon people who hold to a pre-tribulation transfiguration (Rapture). I want to spread the good news to everyone so that they all will be spared having to live through the awful time soon to come on this earth. It does not make me want to sit back and say “Oh well too bad for you” and I am not waiting around doing nothing because of this belief.
This view was taught in the church until around the mid third or fouth century, then it was no longer taught. A literal reading of scripture proves this as Paul was allowed to share this with the early church.