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Will the Church Go Through the Tribulation?
1) What and Who is the Church?
a. [1st Corinthians 10:32] said “Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God.” So you have the Jews which includes anyone of the Jewish race, you have the Gentiles that includes everyone else in the world that is not a Jew, and you have the church of God that includes both Jew and Gentile that have accepted Christ as their saviour. So once you are “born again” [John 3:3] you are neither Jew nor Gentile but you are in the Church.
b. [1st Corinthians 12:12-13] “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also in Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” So again we see here you are put into the church once you receive the Holy Spirit of God, and this church is Jesus Christ’s body. In [Ephesians 1:22-23] the bible sais “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him (Jesus) to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body…” So there are local churches all over the world that have both saved and unsaved people in them, but this church God is talking about is an organism composed of all saved born again believers, not an organization.
2) What is the Tribulation?
The Tribulation consists of a period of 7 years that will take place on this earth and will be broken up into 2 separate three and a half year intervals, with the second half of the seven years being the worst by far. If you read in the book of Revelation from Chapters 6-19 it speaks all about this period.It is a horrible time in which the Antichrist will come into power and torture and kill anyone that does not bow down and worship the beast. Many of the plagues from Moses’ time will occur, the horror films that are out in theatres today will not even compare to the horrific events that will take place in the tribulation. It is also called the “great tribulation” and “the great day of wrath.” In [Daniel 12:1] it is said to be “a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation…”
3) What is the Purpose of the Tribulation?
The main theme of the Bible is about a Kingdom. God wants to set up a physical literal kingdom on this earth that will have no end. This kingdom will have Jesus Christ at the head and it will be a Jewish Kingdom. The promise started by God to Abraham and then to Isaac and Jacob and their seed. God promised their seed a literal Kingdom on a literal piece of land called Jerusalem.
a. When John the Baptist came he preached “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven (the physical literal kingdom) is at hand.” [Matt 3:1] Jesus then preached this same message as well as the apostles. [Matt 4:17], [Matt 10:7]. But the Jews rejected Jesus Christ and Crucified Him, and did not repent, thus rejecting the King and the Kingdom. So now we are in a time called the time of the Gentiles [Romans 11:25]. But once the fulness of this time comes in then God will rapture the church out of here so that God once more can deal with the Jews to set up the kingdom [Romans 11:26]. But before Jesus Christ comes back, God has to soften Israel’s hearts so that they will finaly repent and receive Jesus Christ as their Messiah and King.
b. So to soften their heart God will gather the Jews back to their land (Israel) and they will “pass under the rod” (the tribulation) [Ezekiel 20:34-38]. In [Ezekiel 22:19-22] the tribulation is said to be a time when God takes the Jews and blows upon them in the fire of His wrath and melts them. It is to be noted also that anyone that is left on this earth after the rapture of the church will go through this tribulation period, even if your a Gentile and not a Jew.
c. After the 7 years of suffering, misery and persecution Israel will repent and turn to Jesus Christ and accept Him as their Messiah. [Deuteronomy 4:30-31], [Romans 11:26], [Zechariah 13:8-9]. So again we see here that the tribulation period is to melt the Jew’s heart through all of this punishment so that when Christ comes the second time, at the end of the 7 years, they will repent and beg for Him to be their King and save them.
4) So will the Church go through this period called the Tribulation?
The answer is NO, the church will NOT go through the tribulation. Some reasons why are as follows:
1. It is a time that God deals with the Nation of Israel. In [Jerem. 30:7], and [Daniel 12:1] it is called the time of “Jacob’s troube” which is the nation of Israel. It is not called the time of the Church’s trouble. The church has nothing to do with this event.
2. The church will be raptured out before this terrible tribulation starts [2nd Thessalonians 4:13-18], [1st Corinthians 15:51-52].
3. We (us that are saved and born again and part of the church) are looking for the saviour, we are not looking for the antichrist and the tribulation [Philippians 3:20-21].
4. In [Revelation 6:17] the tribulation is called “the great day of wrath”, but we (the church) are not appointed to wrath [ 1st Thess. 1:10], [1st Thess. 5:9], [Romans 5:8-9].
5. The Tribulation period starts in Revelation chapter 6 and goes till chapter 19, but after the 4th chapter the church is not mentioned or seen anymore until after the 19th chapter coming with the bridegroom (Jesus Christ) from Heaven. The entire time between Chapters 6-19 is the terrible time of judgment that the bible sais fall on them that “dwell on the earth” but in [Ephesians 2:6] the Church is said to be seated together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
6. At the end of the tribulation Jesus Christ will come with His saints [1st Thess. 3:13], [1st Thess. 4:14], [Jude 14-15]. For us saints to come with Jesus Christ during the Revelation the Rapture would have to take place before the tribulation, to take the saints out so that during the 7 years of tribulation on this earth the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb would take place in Heaven for all those that have been born again. In [Revelation 19:11-14] Chist comes at the end of the tribulation leading us, the saints that are “clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” Now the only way we can come in white and clean linen is to have been Married to Christ at the Marriage of the Lamb [Revelation 19:7-8].
Conclusion: So by taking a step back we can see that God will deal once more with the Nation of Israel in the Tribulation period, to finaly set up what He has been wanting to set up since day one, and that is a kingdom, with Jesus Christ as the King. Many say the happiest day for God the Father was when Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for our sins, but the greatest day of all for God will be when He will finaly see His Son Jesus Christ Reigning on the throne of Israel as King!!! Praise God what a great and mighty God we serve that knows the end from the beginning!