Today many people are teaching that Christians will be taken away in a secret rapture, seven years before the return of Jesus, and that they will escape the Earths final tribulation period.
Is this what the Bible really says?
After describing the persecutions and tribulations which the early believers where enduring, Paul wrote: 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
This shows that Paul was expecting that the church would be enduring persecution and tribulation right up until the coming of Jesus at the very end of the world.
The idea that the church will be raptured away before the period of tribulation sounds good, because no one wants to go through persecution or hardship, but the fact is that throughout history Christians have suffered for their faith, and there will be no relief from that until the end of the world.
Almost every time the word tribulation is used in the New Testament it is referring to things that Christians go through, not that they escape from.
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 ever shall 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.
Revelation 2:10-11 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. Paul is showing clearly that Christians must overcome the tribulation and remain faithful even unto death.
Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
These verses and many others all clearly indicate that the church will have to endure and overcome the time of tribulation.
The thing that the church will be protected from though, are the seven last plagues, because the angels seal all of Gods people before the plagues are unleashed. It will be just like the time of the ten plagues in Egypt, where God did not allow His angels to harm any of His people, and where the angel of death passed over the Jews who had marked their doorposts with the blood of a lamb in obedience to Gods instructions.
We need to study the Word of God so that we are prepared what will take place in the final events of Earths history.