The Tribulation

By: Woody Godbey

I have a friend who wrote an article that I was tagged in. The article was disclaiming a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, favoring a Mid-Tribulation Rapture. I spent this morning responding so I didn't have time to write my daily post so I am posting my reply to my friends post. I didn't take all the Scriptures that support my belief because I've done it so many time. Neither am I making an argument but stating a fact according to my belief what the Scriptures teach. My friend mentioned a few men referred to some as the church fathers and their support of a Mid-Tribulation Rapture. So what I'm doing in this reply post is stating my belief and why I believe it without going through all the Scriptures. It may be boring to some but others will understand it more clearly.

___________, you may not be aware of it but the Pre Tribulation Rapture people use the same so-called church fathers to prove a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Irenaeus, Cyprian, Ephraim and others wrote and taught a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Those are three I remember right off the top of my head but there are more. I've read just about everything that's been written about the rapture including what the so-called church fathers said. The real church fathers are the apostles and I choose to read and believe what they say. There are many authors who have cherry picked through church history to prove their beliefs. I've read church history books that prove beyond a shadow of doubt that a Pre-Tribulation Rapture was taught from the first century all the way through to today. I've also read the Mid Tribulation and Post Tribulation church historians that seem to prove their beliefs. Funny how they all used the so-called church fathers!

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Don't be fooled by thinking that the first 3 1/2 years of the tribulation are going to be a cake walk. God's wrath is going to be poured out in the very beginning of the Tribulation and according to 1 Thess. 5:9, God has not appointed us to wrath. If you believe in a Mid-Tribulation Rapture, more power to you, but I have refuted that doctrine so many times I refuse to do it again in writing because of the time it takes to copy and paste Scripture. But in my opinion, the Scriptures clearly teach a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. I know this is a hotly debated doctrine and the only reason I'm replying is so that people who read your post will know there's another side. There are many good Christians on both sides and that includes the post-tribulation Christians too. I am not like those who say it's my way or the highway.

There is a lot of Scriptural evidence for a Pre-Tribulation Rapture and one of the strongest to prove a Pre-Tribulation Rapture is in Matthew 24:44. The rapture, caught up or catching away in the Bible is when Jesus returns FOR the saints BEFORE the 7-year Tribulation period and it is a PROPHESIED ELEMENT OF SURPRISE! Plainly and Clearly, Jesus taught that NO MAN KNOWS THE TIME of His return. Matthew 24:44, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Luke 12:40, “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” Anything other than a Pre-tribulation Rapture (in time of event) totally REMOVES this Biblical element of surprise.

When you study Bible prophecy there are some rules you need to go by. One is this, God never deals with Israel and the Church at the same time. In the Old Testament God dealt with Israel; but in the New Testament God is dealing with the Church. Whenever God deals with His earthly chosen nation, then He is not dealing with the Church. God set aside Israel in the Old Testament because of her spiritual adultery. We are now living in the Church age, in the “Times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24). In the Tribulation God will once again deal with Israel not the church.

I do not believe the Scriptures teach a 3 1/2 year mild tribulation and then a 3 1/2 year hold on to your hats tribulation. God will be pouring out His wrath the whole time and it keeps getting worse all the way to the end.

And last of all, I do not believe for a second that a real genuine Christian would think that God lied to them if they found themselves in the tribulation. I would say something like "oop's, missed that. Now all I have to do is start counting the days and I will know the exact time for the Lord's coming, that is, if I don't die or get killed first." Persecution is one thing that that has followed Christianity down through the ages. The Tribulation is not the "day of persecution" but "The Day of God's Wrath." "For the great day of His wrath has come—and who shall be able to stand!" Revelation 6:17