Email from the Edge – Pre or Post Tribulation
J.A. Clark – theHumanStain.net
Post Date: 3-27-08
I thought it would be a good idea to include some email from visitors to theHumanStain.net website. The title 'Email from the Edge' corresponds to the world as we now know it being on 'the Edge of Eternity', meaning that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming very soon. That is quite evident by all the middle east hoop-di-do between Israel and the Gaza Strip, Israel and Hezbollah, Israel and Palestine. There is no doubt that Israel is right smack dab in the middle of Bible prophecy. That's the way God likes it. Moving on from my rantings (I absolutely get cranked up on Bible prophecy), I received an email from 'Katie' (I won't use her real name for privacy reasons). She was concerned about several issues. One of them was regarding final judgment, Pre and Post Tribulation. In Matthew 25, Jesus explains to his disciples the final judgment, which by the way, is the Great White Throne that appears in Revelation 20:11. It is very important to understand that those standing on Jesus Christ's right side are those that have their name written in the Lamb's Book of Life (Revelation 20:1). Those on the left, the goats of Matthew 25:33, 41 will have eternal life, however, it will be what I like to call 'the wrong side of warm'. Put another way, these 'goat people' will live out eternity in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:1). Think about that for a moment. It is very difficult for a human being to wrap their head around this eternity thing. What would it be like to be eternally in Hell (that's what the Lake of Fire is)? Think of the absolute worst experience you have had in your life and how you felt at that particular moment. This feeling will be multiplied by an astronomical figure if you are unfortunate enough to be cast in the Lake of Fire. That's what it will be like. I'm hear to tell ya, that is reason enough alone for me to be on the 'right side of warm' and submit my ways and my life totally to Jesus Christ. Submitting your life to Jesus Christ is inherently good because Jesus is righteous. We won't feel like we are a servant to Jesus. Jesus Christ is and should be our best friend (John 15:14,1). When was the last time you had a friend that made you feel like you were their servant? If you did have a friend that made you feel that way, I've got news for you; they weren't your friend! Another issue that 'Katie' was concerned about is the tribulation. There are many, many devout, Jesus worshiping Christians that believe the 'Church' will NOT experience the tribulation. I'm NOT one of those people. I believe that the 'Church' WILL experience the tribulation, which in technical terms is called 'Post Tribulation'. I was raised and taught to be a Pre-Tribulation believer. This means that there will be a rapture for the Church before the Tribulation period begins. Then I realized, after doing some studying on current world events and how this correlates to Bible prophecy, that the Bible really does not say anything
about a 'rapture' before the Tribulation. This is a sobering experience. Going 40 plus years believing that there will be a rapture and suddenly having God tell you, through Bible study, that there is no such thing as a rapture of the church BEFORE the tribulation period begins is a real kick in the pants epiphany. I have, subsequently, changed my belief. As I said, I discovered this little 'hitch' in my belief system while studying Bible prophecy on the end-time, so my change of mind was not unfounded. It is based on solid Biblical scripture. My favorite is 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. I'll be quoting from a CEV (Contemporary English Version) translation of the Bible (which is my favorite because it is easy to understand and is the closest to KJV). Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5 "Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, 'There is peace and security,' then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. [The next part is the proof that the Church will experience the tribulation.] But you are not in the darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. for those who sleep, sleep at night and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." The Pre-Tribulation believers like to quote scripture that states Jesus Christ will come 'like a thief in the night' which to these Pre-Tribulation believers means that prophecy can not be known and that the Church will not be present during the Tribulation period. But that is not what 1 Thessalonians 5:4 says. It clearly reads that 'you are not in the darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief'. This statement from Paul to the church of the Thessalonians clearly is reminding the reader that the 'day of the Lord', i.e. 'Second Coming of Jesus Christ', will come like a thief in the night' and believers will not be surprised because they 'are all children of light', meaning that they are up to date and very knowledgeable on what God is doing in the end-time. They will not be deceived. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ occurs at the end of the Great Tribulation; more specifically right as the Battle of Armageddon is about to begin (Revelation 14:19, 11:15) . If Paul is reminding the reader that the believer is 'in the light' and to encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11), and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will not be a surprise to a true believer that is obeying God's word and holy prophecy, then that means these believers are mortal, i.e., have not been raptured before the tribulation and therefore they were part of the Tribulation period. What an awesome promise by our Lord Jesus Christ. Even though the Church will go through the Tribulation, there is no need to worry or be anxious about the events to occur during the Tribulation period; our Salvation has been purchased by Jesus Christ's death and resurrection. We will endure by putting on our 'breastplate of faith' and our 'helmet of hope' It is also worth mentioning that although the belief of whether there will be a rapture before the Tribulation period OR directly after the Great Tribulation (last 3.5 years of the 7 year Tribulation period), believing in either scenario is not a salvation issue. Believing in one Tribulation theory and not the other will not send you to the 'wrong side of warm'. The only time where this could be a salvation issue is if an individual is so dead set against a Post Tribulation belief that the mark of the beast is taken by an individual thinking that 'oh, this can't be the mark of the beast because the rapture has not happened yet; I'm still here'. If that were to occur, that individual has migrated from the 'right side of warm' to the 'wrong side of warm', i.e. that individual will be thrown in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:1). Trust me, not a good thing.
I recall a while back, I read a letter from Ruth Graham (late wife of evangelist Billy Graham) to Dave Macpherson (author of 'Late, Great Pre-Tribulation Rapture'). I won't paraphrase what she said. I'll directly quote Mrs. Graham as her statement is right on target. '. . . I would rather prepare myself to go through the tribulation and be happily surprised by an unexpected rapture, then expect to be raptured only to find myself going through tribulation.' A very wise woman, indeed. If your not sure of your salvation, check this out. You can read an easy to understand explanation on what Jesus called 'being born again' (John 3:3). If you have any questions for me or are interested in submitting something for me to put in the next 'Email from the Edge', send me an email. Would be thrilled to hear from you! In the meantime, keep looking up, look out and look around. The Lord is coming very soon!
Copyright © 2008, theHumanStain.net