Rapture of the Church, When, Part 3

The church is told consistently in the New Testament it is not appointed for wrath. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 …and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

Jesus Himself said the Gates of Hell will not have victory of the Church. Matthew 16:18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. But, Hell will have victory over the Tribulation saints. Revelation 13:7 It was also given to him (Antichrist/Beast) to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. This group of believers in Revelation 13 is not the church. The church is already in Heaven in Revelation 4. I have no doubt there will be an “OH $#!T” moment for those left behind when the rapture occurs. A lot of people will come to believe in God and His word at this event. I take it these are the tribulation saints and believers in Revelation 13.

1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. The group of people being addressed in this letter is believers in Christ in the church. Believers are not destined for wrath as compared to the group of people who are not believers. 1 Thessalonians 5:3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. Nonbelievers are subjected to destruction. There is no escape.

Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The Greek word for condemnation is katakrima (a damnatory sentence per Strong’s Concordance). The letter is written to the church, the body of Christ, in Rome.

God has a history of removing His people before executing judgment.

The first global judgment of the flood provides a pattern. God announces judgment is coming to all. Enoch was removed from the earth before the flood (Genesis 5). The world was judged. God’s chosen people were preserved in Noah’s ark.

Approximately 13% of the Bible talks about the seven year tribulation. The rapture of the church removes believers in Christ from judgment. The world is judged in seven years. God preserves His chosen people Israel.

Lot and his daughters were removed from Sodom and Gomorrah before its destruction. God made it clear to Abraham He would not destroy the two cities if even one righteous person was there (Genesis 18-19). God cannot change His character. He would not execute judgment on a world with one righteous, believing person. But with the rapture, righteous people have been removed. The path has been cleared and He would not violate His principle.

Jesus has already died for sin once and for all. Did He not do a complete job on the cross? As believers in Christ, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. The church is covered by God (Father, Son, and Spirit). 1 John 4:17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.

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