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SCHOOL of THEOLOGY => Prophecy & End Time Events => Topic started by: Quasar on March 02, 2016, 12:01:21 AM

Title: Why God's Purpose for the Tribulation excludes the Church
Post by: Quasar on March 02, 2016, 12:01:21 AM
The Tribulation Focuses on Israel

The Bible teaches that the tribulation is a time of preparation for Israel's restoration and conversion (Deut. 4:29-30; Jer. 30:3-11; Zech. 12:10).1 While the church will experience tribulation in general during this present age (John 15:18-25; 16:33; 2 Tim. 3:10-13), she is never mentioned as participating in Israel's time of trouble, which includes the Great Tribulation, the Day of the Lord, and the Wrath of God. Gerald Stanton explains:

The Tribulation does not deal with the Church at all, but with the purification of Israel. It is not the "time of the Church's trouble," but the "time of Jacob's trouble." The emphasis of the Tribulation is primarily Jewish. This fact is borne out by Old Testament Scriptures (Deut. 4: 30; Jer. 30: 7; Ezek. 20: 37; Dan. 12:1; Zech. 13:8-9), by the Olivet Discourse of Christ (Matt. 24:9-26), and by the book of Revelation itself (Rev. 7:4-8; 12:1-2; 17, etc.). It concerns "Daniel's people," the coming of "false Messiah," the preaching of the "gospel of the kingdom," flight on the "Sabbath," the temple and the "holy place," the land of Judea, the city of Jerusalem, the twelve "tribes of the children of Israel," the "son of Moses," "signs" in the heavens, the "covenant" with the Beast, the "sanctuary," the "sacrifice and the oblation" of the temple ritual.

These all speak of Israel and clearly demonstrate that the Tribulation is largely a time when God deals with His ancient people prior to their entrance into the promised kingdom. The many Old Testament prophecies yet to be fulfilled for Israel further indicate a future time when God will deal with this nation (Deut. 30:1-6; Jer. 30:8-10, etc.).2

The Church is Absent from the Tribulation

Not one Old Testament passage on the tribulation refers to the church (Deut. 4:29-30; Jer. 30:4-11; Dan. 8:24-27; 12:1-2), nor does the New Testament ever speak of the church in relation to the tribulation (Matt. 13:30, 39-42, 48-50; 24:15-31; 1 Thess. 1:9-10, 5:4-9; 2 Thess. 2:1-11; Rev. 4-18), except as present in heaven.

Such silence speaks loudly and supports the pre-trib position, especially when combined with clear, explicit statements that promise her exemption from that time (Rom. 5:9; 1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9; Rev. 3:10). Note the clear promise to the church of Revelation 3:10: "Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth".

If pre-tribulationism is indeed the teaching of Scripture, then we would expect that passages dealing with the tribulation would consistently make no mention of the church. This is exactly what we find. However, Israel is mentioned often throughout these texts. Dr. Robert Gromacki has studied the New Testament book of Revelation, chapters 4-19, which gives the most detailed overview of the seven-year tribulation in all the Bible. He has shown the following:

However, there is a strange silence of the term in chapters 4-19. That fact is especially noteworthy when you contrast that absence with its frequent presence in the first three chapters. One good reason for this phenomenon is the absence of the true church and true evangelical churches in the seven years preceding the Second Coming. The true believers of the church have gone into the presence of Christ in heaven before the onset of the events of the seven year period. The church is not mentioned during the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments because the church is not here during the outpouring of these judgments.3

Conclusion

Only pretribulationism is able to give full import to tribulation terms like "the time of Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30:7), as a passage specifically stating that the tribulation is for Jacob (i.e., Israel). John Walvoord concludes: "Never are tribulation saints given the special and peculiar promises given to the church in the present age. The nature of the church in contrast to Israel therefore becomes an argument supporting the pretribulation "

Viewpoint.5

Since God's purpose for the tribulation is to restore Israel (Jer. 30:3, 10) and judge the Gentiles (Jer. 30:11), it is clear that this purpose does not include the church. This is one of the reasons why she will be taken to heaven before this time. The church's hope is a heavenly one, not participation in the culmination and restoration of God's plan for His earthly people-Israel. Maranatha! W

By Thomas Ice


Quasar