By Elizabeth Prata
Believers of the Church Age will not go through the Tribulation. Let’s define the Tribulation period and the word wrath to help understand what this unique event and time period is for. Here are the verses:
The Tribulation’s purpose is stated in Daniel 9:24. God’s purpose for the Tribulation is to accomplish 6 things. It is actually a decree:
Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to:
1. finish transgression,
2. to put an end to sin,
3. to atone for wickedness,
4. to bring in everlasting righteousness,
5. to seal up vision and prophecy and
6. to anoint the most holy.
First, the verse begins by stating to Daniel that it is for “your people,” the Jews. Not the church. It is stated for Jerusalem, (and wicked unbelievers by extension). Not the church. The transgression to be finished was the prophesied 490 years of a decree stated in Daniel 9:25:
“So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.”
The starting point of that decree began in Artaxerxes given in 444 b.c. as recorded in Nehemiah 2:1-8. It paused at the crucifixion of Jesus. It will resume the last 7 years of this earthly existence, after the rapture. It is a time when the Jews will be dealt with, God picking up the threads of a work begun at the decree of Daniel. God has a work to finish with His people the Israelites, and He always completes what He accomplishes. And this is a decree, no less.
Second, believers in the church age have had our transgressions is already put an end to. We are considered righteous with Him, made perfect, our sins nailed to the cross. (Hebrews 12:23; Colossians 2:14). So that takes care of #1 and 2 and 3. Jesus atoned for our wickedness and our repentance clears the judgment against us. Why would Jesus die to make us perfect, we are seen as righteous in His eyes, only to be punished for sinsin wrath already wiped away? Makes no sense. It makes God contrary and inconsistent, and He is not that!
Third, Paul said we are not appointed for wrath. (1 Thessalonians 5:9). The “wrath” is not that God is really, really mad. It’s not an emotion. It is punishment and it is controlled and it has a purpose (see above, again). It has a designated beginning and an end according to Revelation. The Tribulation is the time of wrath. Revelation 6:17 declares that His wrath has begun (with the seals opened) and Revelation 15:1 concludes it.
The church is seen in Revelation 5 in heaven already (singing!), and a reasonable interpretation of Revelation 4 shows our arrival. Revelation is mostly chronological and we arrive in Heaven prior to Revelation 6 when the wrath begins. We are not only not appointed for it, but He promises to rescue from it.
“They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).
Fourth, Paul wrote: “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
Paul wrote this to the Thessalonians because they thought they’d missed the rapture he had taught them about and were entering the Tribulation period. He reassured them that they had not missed it. If the Thessalonians were going to be in the Tribulation, the entire letter would be different, perhaps full of instructions on how to endure, what to prepare for. But no, Paul said ‘remember when I taught you these things? You’re not going to be in the Tribulation. Be comorted, and your dead friends won’t miss it either.’
The Second Coming shows Jesus returning all the way to earth. But that is not where we meet Him. We meet Him in the air. When? Prior to our return with Him in Revelation 19:4.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3).
The Holy Spirit spent a tremendous amount of energy and words encouraging us to look for Him, telling us we won’t be here, and blessing us for longing for His appearing. Therefore, we will not be here. It is not an opinion, it is a promise of GOD! 🙂 You can bank on it, rest on it, and declare His glory through it!
Have a wonderful day and blessings to you!