7 reasons the church will not go through the tribulation

The rapture versus the great tribulation has been a very divisive subject for many years because men have bent and twisted the scriptures to support their personal doctrines. I do not want to bend or twist them any way so I am going to quote passages and leave the teaching to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

The key is that Jesus Christ will catch the church away at the rapture. We will meet the Lord in the clouds and be with him forever. He will not come to Earth at that time. This is not the second coming.

Then after the great tribulation, he will come to Earth in judgment taking vengeance on the wicked. Then he will reign on Earth for a thousand years. This is the second coming.

Here is a classic illustration by Clarence Larkin that demonstrates the difficulty of interpreting future prophecies. From each valley, we only see the next mountain peak. From each mountain peak, we can see a little farther. It is only by faith that we can believe what we cannot see, because faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see (Heb 11:1).

The Mountain Peaks of Prophecy
The Mountain Peaks of Prophecy (pg. 66, Rightly Dividing the Word by Clarence Larken © 1921)

There have been many tribulations in the Bible, but there is only one prophesied great tribulation.

I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray.  But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know,  and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ. (1 John 2:26-27)

But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said. They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.
 But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.  And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives. (Jude 1:17-23)


Some will say there is no such thing as a rapture because the word “rapture” is not in the Bible. Strangely, they don’t hold the same opinion on common words like airplane, bike, computer … yacht, x-ray, zipper, or even Biblical terminology like “trinity”. You get the idea. However, there is strong support for using the word “rapture”…

The Koine Greek of 1 Thessalonians 4:17 uses the verb form ἁρπαγησόμεθα (harpagisometha), which means “we shall be caught up” or “taken away”, with the connotation that this is a sudden event. The dictionary form of this Greek verb is harpazō (ἁρπάζω).[20] This use is also seen in such texts as Acts 8:39,2Corinthians 12:2-4 and Revelation 12:5.
The Latin Vulgate translates the Greek ἁρπαγησόμεθα as rapiemur,[21] from the verb rapio meaning “to catch up” or “take away”.[22]
“Rapture” is derived from Middle French rapture, via the Medieval Latin raptura (“seizure,kidnapping”), which derives from the Latin raptus (“a carrying off”). Wikipedia

1) Jesus preparing a place … will come and get you — this is different than great tribulation

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.  And you know the way to where I am going.” (John 14:1-4)

2) The “rapture” is a secret not revealed in prior ages — but the great tribulation is prophesied in the Old Testament

In all history there has never been such a time of terror.  It will be a time of trouble for my people Israel.  Yet in the end they will be saved! (Jeremiah 30:7)

And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word:  for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?  (Joel 2:11)

The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD:  the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.  (Zephaniah 1:14)

 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret.  We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! (1 Corinthians 15:51)

3) The “rapture” is a quantum event — In the twinkling of an eye … we will be changed — but the great tribulation will be 7 years

But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed!  It will happen in a moment823, in the blink of an eye,  when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)

823 átomos
(from 1 /A “not” and 5114 /tomṓteros, “to cut”) – properly, not able to cut (divide) because too small to be measured, like a “split second”; an “instant; an indivisible moment of time, too short to measure” (Souter).
For deeper study: In the twinkling of an eye … we will be changed

 Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with great power and glory.  (Mark 13:26)

“And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken.  Then everyone will see the Son of Mane coming on a cloud with power and great glory.  So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!” (Luke 21:25-28)

After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them.  “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”  (Acts 1:9-11)

“Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen. (Revelation 1:7)

4) The “rapture” is a rescue, but the great tribulation is a judgment

“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world.  They were yours; you gave them to me  and they have obeyed your word. (John 17:6)

 “Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world.  (Revelation 3:10)

Don’t you remember that I told you about all this when I was with you? And you know what is holding him back, for he can be revealed only when his time comes. For this lawlessness is already at work secretly,  and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way.  Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming. (2 Thessalonians 2:5-8)

 Sound the alarm in Jerusalem!
Raise the battle cry on my holy mountain!
Let everyone tremble in fear
because the day of the LORD is upon us. 
It is a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of thick clouds and deep blackness.
Suddenly, like dawn spreading across the mountains,
a great and mighty army appears.
 Nothing like it has been seen before
or will ever be seen again. 
(Joel 2:1-2)

For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and  will judge all people according to their deeds.  (Matthew 16:27)

Matthew 24 is the second coming (not the rapture) — Many Christians confuse the “taken” in this passage with the rapture of the church. This is wrong. It occurs in the context of the judgments at the second coming not the rapture of the church. It refers to the judgment of the Noahic flood where the unbelievers were taken in judgment and the 8 souls were kept safe and dry in the ark (1 Peter 3:20). It reflects back on the carrion birds eating the dead bodies of those who were judged (Matthew 24:28)

“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him,  then he will sit upon his glorious throne.  (Matthew 25:31)

5) The Apostle Paul taught a pre-tribulation “rapture”

If the Apostle Paul had believed and taught a mid-tribulation rapture, a post-tribulation rapture, or an amillennial non-rapture, he would have simply told the Thessalonians that the rapture hadn’t happened yet because XYZ hadn’t happened yet. But, he didn’t. He described the rapture as the next great event in the heavenly calendar. So encourage each other with these words.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.  For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.  We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God.  First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

6) “Gathered to meet Him” is different than “The Lord is coming with countless thousands of his holy ones”

Everything is peaceful before the rapture but not before the second coming

 Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters,  we don’t really need to write you. For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.  When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin.  And there will be no escape.
But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.
 For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever.  So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11)

 And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven.  (2 Thessalonians 1:7)

For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God

Now, dear brothers and sisters,  let us clarify some things about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we will be gathered to meet him.  Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Do not believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us. Don’t be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed—the one who brings destruction. He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God.
Don’t you remember that I told you about all this when I was with you? And you know what is holding him back, for he can be revealed only when his time comes.  For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way.  Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming.
This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)

7) No mention of the church during the great tribulation in Revelation 4-22

There is no mention of the church in the prophetic description of the great tribulation period. The church is mentioned 16 times in chapters 1-3. But, it is not mentioned once in chapters 4-22 from the great tribulation through the battle of Armageddon and the 1000-year reign of Christ on Earth.

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” (Revelation 4:1)

For further study:

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5 Replies to “7 reasons the church will not go through the tribulation”

  1. Nigel was not asking you to find a rapture in Scripture. He was asking you to find a PRETRIB rapture. There isn’t a single passage in the entire Bible that teaches a rapture apart from a resurrection. Nor is there a passage that teaches each of these in relation to a tribulation. Wrath and tribulation are not the same. I find it interesting that Matthew 24 does not apply to the Church, but John 14:1-3 does? Jesus was talking to the same people, His disciples, but somehow in Matthew 24 they represent the Jews, but in John they represent the Church. Talk about dishonesty!
    The John 14 passage is not about the rapture. Jesus is telling then disciples that, through His death and resurrection, He would prepare a place for them in the Temple of His Body. They themselves would be the “dwelling places” (mone) in which God lived by the Spirit. He would make room for them as Living Stones. He was in the Father, and the Father was in His, and soon the Father would be with them and dwell in them also. Jesus did not leave them as orphans and comfortless. He came to them through the Spirit. We are built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by the Spirit. We are the Chuppah, the cloud of witnesses that Jesus is building on to the Father’s House. He has been making believers into dwelling places for God in the Spirit since Pentecost, and will continue until His coming.
    Regarding number 2, the rapture was not a secret in the OT. It was a MYSTERY, meaning it was prophesied, but hidden in shadows. Interestingly, PreTribbers use all kinds of OT events in a attempt to prove their theory.
    Number three. The rapture does NOT happen in the twinkling of an eye. Our CHANGE to immortality does happen in the twinkling of an eye, but the rapture is preceded by the resurrection of all those who died in the Lord. This is not an instantaneous event. Then those who have been changed will be caught up with those being resurrected. Which brings me to point number 5. NOWHERE in the passage is Paul telling the Thessalonians that the rapture is the “next great event.” And NOWHERE does this passage state that it would be before a tribulation. The Thessalonians wonder what would become of those who had died. Would they miss out on the resurrection. No! Paul says. They will in fact be resurrected first, and then the living believers would be caught up. They were comforted knowing that their loved ones would no miss out.
    Number 6. Does Jesus’ coming with His holy ones prove they were raptured seven years prior? No, of course not. And is it a literal portrayal of His coming, or is it symbolic. Will Jesus return with a sword protruding out of His mouth that will smite the nations?
    And number 7. The Church is mentioned throughout the entire book. In fact, the entire book was written to and for the Church. The 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel, the martyrs under the altar, the great multitude from all nations, the two witnesses, servants, saints, the dead who die in the Lord, the armies of heaven, the holy city, the overcomers, and those who have victory over the beast. These are ALL references to the Church. The seven churches are called to overcome. But overcome what? All of those things recorded in Revelation that PreTribbers believe constitute “the tribulation. Using Jesus’ words as a template, the first four seals represent those things occurring during the Church Age, from His first coming to His second. The fifth seal represent great tribulation that comes upon His elect Church, both Jew and Gentile. The sixth seal represents God wrath. Notice the darkening of the sun, moon and stars. In the OT, the fall of Babylon was described as the darkening of the heavenly bodies. The sixth seal represent the fall of Babylon in Revelation. The people of the earth ask who can stand through the wrath of God and the Lamb, and in the next chapter we find the answer. The 144,000 are sealed and the great multitude who come out of great tribulation are STANDING before God and the Lamb who sits on the throne. The trumpets then describe the tribulation, and the bowls describe the wrath. And through all of this, God’s people are sealed for protection. In fact, even through the tribulation John tells us that “here is the patience of the saints, those who die in the Lord are blessed from that time on. To die IN THE LORD, means to be IN CHRIST. In other words, those who are the Body of Christ, the Church.
    And lastly, John’s being called up to heaven is not a picture of the rapture. It is a picture of a new birth. John’s Gospel, Jesus described two resurrections.

    “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”
    This is clearly the new birth.
    “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
    This is clearly the resurrection.
    Jesus had told Nicodemus that, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven. John, upon hearing the voice of Jesus, is raised up and is shown the Kingdom.
    And regarding the hour of temptation, we are kept (guarded) from the hour, but this in no way proves we are taken from the earth. And what of the church at Laodicea? Are they kept also, or is part of the Church left behind?

  2. …the scripture tells you very clearly how to determine where the rapture takes place in Revelation…I don’t know how any person who studies the Bible could say otherwise. Why do people confuse tribulation with wrath? Nowhere in the Bible were we ever told that we would not suffer tribulation…brothers and sisters around the globe are being burnt and dismembered while pampered American Christians think they are more special and will never see tribulation just the same???…The entire New Testament said we will be hated, beaten, killed, scourged…not loved or kept from tribulation. The only thing we are promised is not to suffer God’s wrath, and that’s not poured out until Revelation 16.

  3. I have just been going through you study on the 7 reason why the church won’t go through tribulation.

    Everyone of course is entitled to their own view. Everyone says their view is biblical an so on.

    But may I ask one question? Hoping you said yes here it is. Can you find one verse in scripture that teaches word for a pre tribulation rapture?

    If you can find one then you would be the only person ever to have done so. But please let me have the chapter and verse.

    • Thank you for taking the time to write. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior, then you have been cleansed from all your sins and you will never die. Therefore, you will experience the rapture when it happens.

      Christians have been fighting over end-times prophecy for thousands of years. And, I was raised in a very legalistic fundamental dogmatic church, so I was taught how to fight. But, then I discovered a concept called “Grace” and I am going to spend the rest of my life on Earth trying to love my brother, my neighbor, and my enemy.

      As far as chapter and verse that says pre-tribulation rapture. How about “rapture” at all or “trinity” or “microwave”? Just because the word wasn’t used in a foreign language over 2000 years ago doesn’t mean the concept isn’t very clearly taught.

      Let me toss the gauntlet back in your court. Can you meet the same criteria? Show me one verse in one chapter that teaches your particular understanding of end-times prophecy.

      On this subject, I think we’re going to have to rely on this famous quotation: “in necessary things unity; in uncertain things liberty; in all things charity.”

      • I do appreciate that our salvation and our walk(conduct) is very high on the list of importance. But care for the flock is something not to take lightly. You said “Let me toss the gauntlet back in your court. Can you meet the same criteria? Show me one verse in one chapter that teaches your particular understanding of end-times prophecy.” David I have to say that just by answering my question with a question proves the point. To get round the issue by appealing to there not being the trinity mentioned in scripture is not being straight either as the Father Son and Holy Spirit as being one God are clear.

        I believe that those holding on to the ideal of the pre trib view will struggle in their trust of the Lord if He doesn’t rapture (gather them up) at the beginning of the tribulation.

        Hebrews 9:27-28 teaches us that as man is appointed once to die so Jesus will come one more time for salvation.

        In anybodies understanding once means once. So a rapture view that does not fit with the coming of Christ one more time is wrong. Period.

        Post trib has Christ coming one more time after the tribulation and before His wrath to gather His people into the air before coming down to earth.

        In 2Thess 2 and 1Cor 15, 21-23. We can see the order. Matt 24:29-31, Luke 21, Mark 13 all tell us Jesus returns after the tribulation.

        You my be persueded to believe this only refers to Israel. Well when Jesus was teaching to His first followers who where Jews it applied to them when the city of Jerusalem and the temple was destroyed in 70 AD. But Prophecy in this regard has multiple fulfilment’s so the final climax will include both Jew and Gentile saints. Hence we read Dan 7, 21-25 and Rev 13, 7. The saints are saved believers both Jew and Gentile. They will clearly be under attack from the 4th beast.

        well was it the 4th beast of Daniels day or the end of days where we are now?

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