Will The Church Go Through The Tribulation?

Bible prophecy predicts a period of seven years of great suffering on earth called the "tribulation." Some believe this prophecy was fulfilled during the Roman persecutions of the church. This can’t be, since Jesus spoke of it being near His second coming and said it would be the worst time ever on earth (Matthew 24:21). Daniel spoke of it (Daniel 9:24-27 & 12:1). The book of Revelation describes this seven- year tribulation in the judgments of "the seven seals," "the seven trumpets," and "the seven vials" (Revelation 6,8,9 & 16).

The burning question is, "Will true Christians go through this tribulation?" Some Christian leaders say "Yes" and offer "survival kits."

Here are some reasons I believe the church will NOT go through the tribulation:

GOD’S PATTERN OF REMOVING THE FAITHFUL BEFORE MAJOR JUDGMENT. Before bringing the flood, God removed righteous Noah and his family to the ark of safety (Genesis 6:9). Jesus said at His return, it would be like the days of Noah (Matthew 24:28-30). Before God rained fire and brimstone on Sodom for their gross sins, including "sodomy" (homosexuality), He brought Lot and his family out (Genesis 19). Jesus also said the time of His return would be like the days of Lot (Luke 17:28-30). Just so, Jesus will remove His bride, the church, before this terrible time of judgment on the earth.

THE RESTRAINING MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH. This "tribulation" will feature a powerful leader forming a "one-world government," "one-world religion" and "one-world cashless economy" (Revelation 13 & 17). Paul refers to him as "the man of sin," or "the son of perdition" and "the mystery of iniquity". He says, "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he who now hindereth will continue to hinder until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked one be revealed, …" (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8). Who "hinders" this evil dictator from being revealed? I believe it is the Holy Spirit indwelling the church. The Holy Spirit in Christians makes them "salt" and "light" (Matthew 5:13-16) in a decaying, dark world. When the Spirit empowered church is removed, evil will take over.

Paul said, "… to wait for His Son from heaven, who He raised from the dead, even Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come" (I Thessalonians 1:10). "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Thessalonians 5:9). Jesus promised His faithful church at Philadelphia, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth" (Revelation 3:10).

In Revelation 1-3, the word "church" appears 16 times. In Revelation 4:1-2, John is caught up into Heaven, representing the "rapture" of the church. The church does not appear again in Revelation until the end of the book. Most of Revelation 5-19 describes the "tribulation." The church is not there!

THE IMMINENT RETURN OF JESUS. If the church is going through this "tribulation," and the "tribulation" clearly has not come yet, then Jesus could not come today. The Bible repeatedly says that Jesus could come at any time (Matthew 24:36, 44, & 25:13). Perhaps today!

THE RAPTURE AND THE FULL RETURN ARE NOT THE SAME EVENT. If so, there would be no Christians in natural bodies in the millennium to have children.

Jesus died for your sins and arose from the dead. He’s now seated at God’s right hand and coming soon to rescue all who trust Him for salvation. Receive Him today and be ready to welcome Him and escape the "tribulation."
Maranatha! Amen

© 2002 D. B. Martin