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Summary: Does the Bible teach that Jesus will rapture His people before the Tribulation? This is a series of Studies on the question, "Will the rapture be before the Tribulation or before the Wrath of God?

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"PRE- TRIB. OR PRE-WRATH"

Study Five:

WHAT! IS THAT A CHURCH?

The tribulation period will be a time of great trial and persecution. Jesus said in

Matthew 24:21,22, "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the

beginning of the world to this time no, nor shall ever be. And except those days should be

shortened, there should no flesh be saved, but for the elect’s sake those days shall be

shortened"

There has been some pretty bad days in the history of mankind. Man’s inhumanity to

man will probably go down as one of the great mysteries of the human race. Truly it will

be written of the history of man, "Destruction and misery are in his ways." (Rom 3:16) However, nothing this earth has ever seen will be as cruel and fearful and bad as what will be during this terrible time on earth. Someone has said, behind every cloud there is a silver lining. Is it possible that there could be a bright side to the tribulation period?

There is one bright side to this dark day of tribulation. It will be a time of great revival

for the earth. There will be multitudes saved by the blood of the Lamb. It is very evident

according to Revelation 7: 1-8, that there will be at least 144,000 saved out of the nation of Israel. Then in Revelation 7:9-12, there is another great body of people saved. God was so afraid you and I might miss the great truth of who these people are that He had one of the elders ask John, "Who are these. . .and where did they come from (V 13)?

John did not know the answer to that question. The elder knew the answer to the

question, but he wanted John as well as every one else who reads this account to know who they are. The elder answered the question. The answer is clear and plain: "These are they who came out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. "

Who were they? "They were people who had washed their robes, and made them

white in the blood of the Lamb." People who had trusted Jesus as their Savior. People

who had been born again. People who were saved, as every person is saved in every age.

They were people who were regenerated by the grace of God. They were brought to the

Savior by the work of the Holy Spirit. However, the question was two-fold. Not only was he asked "Who were they. " but also, "From where did they come?" We are told, "They came out of the great tribulation".

(The definite article "THE" emphasizes the fact that this is "THE TRIBULATION, THE GREAT ONE".) These were saints who were saved out of the great tribulation. They were Gentiles. They were not of the nation Israel

Now, let me pose some very interesting questions! If the church has been raptured

before these people are saved, what shall this great multitude of believers be called?

Should they obey the commandments of Christ? Should they be obedient to be baptized?

Should they observe the Lord supper? Should they go out and preach the gospel? Should

they baptize those who believe? If you were there, how would you advise this body of

believers? Do you know of any Scripture that would forbid them to preach the gospel?

Make Converts? Assemble for worship? Sing gospel songs, etc.? Does God love the

church to much to let her suffer through the tribulation and yet immediately after He

raptures the church He saves a multitude of people who He will let suffer through the

tribulation? Does God not love this multitude of people?

It is a fact that cannot be disputed that whatever a person believes regarding the

rapture that there will be a great body of saved on earth during the tribulation. If a person

chooses not to call that body a church, let him call it whatsoever he will, it seems that he

is only arguing semantics. This body of saved will be here on earth. They will be able to

assemble and worship in the name of Jesus. Jesus said, "Where two or three gather

together in my name there I am in the midst of them." This promise is fulfilled by the

abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. They will be able to sing gospel songs. They will be

preaching the gospel message. This writer knows of no Scripture that would forbid them

from being baptized nor baptizing them that are saved (in fact they could not be obedient

to Jesus if they didn’t). Now you can call that body anything you want but God calls it a

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