Well, what if (yes I’m going to say it) there was no pre-Tribulation rapture? What if Jesus has one Second Coming (like He promised) and we are on the earth until the seventh trumpet? Would the Lord keep us safe while the world undergoes tribulation unequal to anything from all of history (see Matt 24:21)?
In the book of Revelation there are 7 seals, 7 trumpets, and 7 bowls of wrath. The seals are pretty crazy: war, famine, death, sky rolling up like a scroll, stars falling. The trumpets are a bit scarier: water turning to blood, a star called Wormwood turning drinking water bitter, locusts the size of horses stinging people, an army of 200 million fierce warriors.
Somehow it has crept into sermons and minds that if Christians are on the earth during the tribulation (rather than being raptured out beforehand) that means God is subjecting us to His wrath. To follow this logic would be to say that God subjected the Israelites to His wrath when He sent the plagues to Egypt. But that is forgetting the Goshen principle.
Since there are so many parallels between the book of Revelation and the Exodus story (I’ll write a blog on this soon for those who aren’t familiar), follow me for a moment here. When the plague of turning the waters of the Nile to blood hit, this affected all of Egypt. When the Lord sent the frogs, it affected all of Egypt. When the Lord sent the gnats, it affected all of Egypt. But look at what He says about the fourth plague, the flies:
Exodus 8:22 “‘But on that day I will deal differently with the land of Goshen, where my people live; no swarms of flies will be there, so that you will know that I, the LORD, am in this land. 23 I will make a distinction between my people and your people. This sign will occur tomorrow.’”
And once the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt, God provided for them (fresh water to drink, manna and quail), sheltered them (a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night) and fought for them. This isn’t just history, this is a lesson in how God will deal with us (see 1 Cor. 10:11).
Jesus said some strange remarks about this principle from Luke 21:
16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish.
So the Lord will keep us safe in the midst of tribulation, whether we face a personal tribulation or the one that affects the whole earth. It may not be the protection we expect, but if we stand by the All Consuming Fire we will escape the flames (see Daniel 3).
I’m sure I’ve opened up a can of worms, so feel free to argue or agree…