Dr. David Reagan and myself recently got together for a Christ in Prophecy TV interview to talk about how some people believe the Church will have to endure the Tribulation. If you are wondering whether the Bible says God wants to punish the Church along with the unrepentant world — read on!
Dr. Reagan: Some people argue that the Church has to go through the Tribulation in order to be purified. Therefore, the Rapture could not occur before the Tribulation because the Church needs to be purified during the Tribulation. What about that?
Nathan Jones: You mean, like a Christian Protestant purgatory?
Dr. Reagan: That is what it amounts to, a Christian purgatory.
Nathan Jones: I get a lot of people who write in who are supporters of the Post-Tribulation Rapture view, the view that holds that the Rapture will occur after the Tribulation. When they write in they are usually very mad because for one they don’t think a Rapture before the end of the Tribulation is fair. The writers don’t see how anyone who has seen the Rapture should be allowed to repent and be saved as if it was some kind of second chance. Or, they want to be martyrs for Christ to add something extra to their salvation by dying during the Tribulation.
In the end, though, the Tribulation is a special time period where God pours His wrath upon mankind for its continued rebellion against Him, just like He did with the Flood. It’s not just a time for the wrath of man or the wrath of Satan, although God will use those. No, it’s a distinct time for the wrath of God upon the whole world.
God has promised us in many verses such as 1 Thessalonians 4:17 that the Church will be taken away before this earth shattering Tribulation judgments upon the entire world.
Look at it this way, too, there are so many people killed by the end of the Tribulation there wouldn’t be any cleansing. Nobody would be left! The entire human and animal population by the end of the seven years are all very much dead.
Dr. Reagan: Well, too, I get very upset about the thought that the Bridegroom is going to beat up His Bride for seven years to get her purified so He can come and get her. It just doesn’t make sense.
Nathan Jones: Picture my dad dragging me outside with a baseball bat and beating me up for seven years and then he said, “Hey, now you qualify to have my love.”
It’s just not God’s M.O. He took out Noah from His wrath. He took out Lot from His wrath. He even rescued Rahab as all the walls of Jericho fell down around her and yet Rahab’s house was on the wall. Rescuing His people from His wrath is just the way God works.
Biblically, it is proven again and again. God will remove the Church from this Earth before He pours out His wrath during the Tribulation.