February 20, 2002
DONíT GET SHAKEN UP ABOUT THE SECOND COMING
sentences are from the book, PERHAPS TODAY, by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B.
Some of my friends who believe the Rapture
will occur in the middle of or after the Tribulation like to tell me I should
be warning Christians to get ready to go through the worst time the world has
ever seen or ever will see: the great Tribulation. My response is always,
"Why should I? God didnít!" There is not one verse in the New
Testament spoken by either Jesus, Paul, or Peter that tells us that Christians
should prepare to endure the Tribulation. On the other hand, there are at
least four passages that tell us we are to be "saved from the wrath to
Why is that? Simply put, we will not be here
when the earth experiences that tribulation.
This is an example of Tim LaHaye's habit of
making tribulation and wrath mean the same thing. They do not.
God's wrath and antichrist's wrath are two
different things. The purpose of the tribulation is for Antichrist to have his
time to pour out his wrath on the inhabitants of the earth. (Rev. 12:12) God's
wrath comes later, after he has gathered (raptured) his church.
Making tribulation mean wrath does not work in
biblical context. The two words are not interchangeable.
Jesus promised we would have tribulation in
this world (John 16:33 and Rev. 2:10) and he also prayed to the Father that we
would not be taken out of this world during tribulation but that we would be
kept from evil (John 17:15).
We are also told to wait for "his Son from
heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, who delivered us from the
wrath to come." We must wait for Jesus to come, and he has already
delivered us from the wrath to come.
Jesus has already delivered each Christian from
the wrath to come! This verse does not say WILL deliver but DELIVERED. The Bible
tells us clearly what the wrath to come is. The wrath of God comes on the
children of disobedience: The wrath of God is punishment on unbelievers, not on
"tribulation saints" that get left behind. (See Luke 3:7, Eph.
5:6, Col. 3:6, Rev. 6:17)
We are literally appointed to tribulation and not
appointed to wrath. Making tribulation mean "the wrath of God"
is being dishonest with the scriptures.
In Greek, the word wrath (ogre--3709) means
punishment God executes against the wicked.
The word tribulation (thilipsis--2347) refers
to the sufferings that Christians go through in this world for Christ.
God allows (appoints) his children to endure
tribulation: Mt. 13:21, 24:9, 21, 29,
4:17, 13:19, 24, Acts 7:10, 11, 11:19,
Ro. 2:9, 5:3,
God pours out his wrath upon unbelievers--NOT
his own children! Ma 3:7,
3:5Lk 3:7, 21:23,
1:18, 2:5, 8,
Ep 2:3, 4:31, 5:6,
1 Th 1:10, 2:16,
rev 6:16, 17, 11:18
Since the wrath of God is for unbelievers, It
would be a violation of his own Word for God to pour out his wrath upon
those saved (believers) during the Tribulation. Would God pour out his
wrath on these particular saints when his Word clearly says the saved are not
appointed unto wrath? No, he would not, and the Bible is clear the saved
will be gathered when Jesus returns "immediately after the tribulation of
those days"- when the sun is darkened and the moon shall not give her
light. Everyone will see Jesus coming in the clouds with power and great
glory. "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet,
and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, and from one end
of heaven to the other."
Remember, Jesus prayed to the Father that we
would not be taken out of the world during tribulation, but he did promise he
would return to take us out of this world immediately after the
tribulation of those days." The Lord Jesus Christ will take us out of here
immediately after the tribulation, and before God's wrath (the great and
terrible day of the LORD) is come. (Joel 2:31, Acts. 2:20, Rev. 6:12)
Tribulation and the wrath of God are two different
Bible doctrines. The Tribulation is the time of the wrath of the devil, and the
wrath of God is that time when he pours out punishment against the wicked upon
the earth immediately after the Tribulation and also eternally on those in
rebellion against him
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