Why We are Pretribulational – Selected Scriptures

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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
February 3, 2019

Why We are Pretribulational
Selected Scriptures

Introduction

A couple of weeks ago my sermon was on why Grace Bible Church and I personally hold to a premillennial position concerning the future reign of Jesus Christ over the earth seated on the throne of David. I received quite a few comments from people that it was helpful to them, and I hope it was helpful to you as well. This morning I want to address the subject of why Grace Bible Church and I personally hold to the pretribulational position of Jesus’ return for His church. I trust this will also be helpful, but before I get into explaining what this means and why it is important, I must emphasize what I did a couple of weeks ago about being gracious with those who hold to other positions.

In the book, The Rapture, Pre, -Mid, – or Post – Tribulational, Richard R. Reiter writes the first chapter and gives a good overview of the development of the various positions on the timing of Jesus’ return for His church. Sadly, that history reveals that as differences in understanding of the expectation of the “blessed hope” developed, so did divisions between men that had previously been unified and good friends. Efforts were made to maintain unity while acknowledging differences, but sadly, the schisms continued to develop and at times without much charity. To me, that is a serious breach from what is actually important since Christ has commanded us to love one another as He has loved us and that the world will know that we are His disciples by that love (John 13:34-35). While I believe this doctrine is important and what is believed does have ramifications, it is the hope of Jesus return that is a point of doctrinal orthodoxy and not the timing of it.

The book, The Rapture, Pre-, Mid-, or Post- Tribulational, also presents three standard views on the timing of Jesus return for His church by men who believe strongly their position, yet are still friends with each other. It is with that same sense of charity that I want to present why this church and I personally are Pretribulational.

I must also quickly add here that the position GBC has taken on this doctrine is charitable but firm. We have clearly defined our position for two basic reasons. First, because we have come to believe that the Pretribulational position has the best scriptural support. Second, we want to avoid the schisms that still arise within churches when the question is left open to debate without direction from the elders of the church. We allow those who hold to other positions to become members of GBC, but we do not allow anyone to teach contrary to our Statement of Faith. Any debate about this or other issues about our doctrinal positions is reserved for discussion with our Elders, in our theology class, and when relevant Scriptures are part of a Bible Study. That is our charity. Those who would seek to make this an issue causing division within the church would be subject to church discipline as would any other effort to cause a schism (Romans 16:17-18). That is our firmness to protect our unity from those who are not charitable.

Review of Millennial Positions

The question of the timing of Jesus’ return for His church is not an issue for those who hold to either an amillennial or postmillennial understanding of eschatology, but it is an issue for the premillennialist.

The amillennial position is that Jesus’ reign is spiritual, not physical, hence, no millennium. This view teaches that Jesus returns only at the end of the present age when the dead will be raised and the last judgment held. Jesus’ return for His church is at this same return at the end of the age.

The postmillennial position is similar in that Jesus’ reign is viewed as spiritual, not physical, and that Jesus’ Second Coming brings about the resurrection of the dead and the final judgment. That would then also encompass Jesus’ return for His church. The difference between these two views is that the postmillennialist believes that this return will be at the end of an age of peace and prosperity which they believe is a “millennium” of an undetermined length of time. The amillennialist believes things continue in a similar way as they always have with the growth of both good and evil on the earth.

The premillennial view is that Jesus’ Second Coming brings about the fulfillment of Revelation 20 and Jesus’ reign of peace and prosperity for 1,000 years (a millennium). The dispensational version which we believe also marks this as the fulfillment of the Hebrew prophecies of Messiah’s reign over a restored nation of Israel as well as similar prophecies by the Apostles. The reestablishment of the premillennial view following the Reformation and its resurgence in the 19th Century emphasized the imminent hope of Jesus’ return prior to the millennium leaving the timing of it fuzzy. At the end of the 19th Century and beginning of the 20th Century clarification about timing was being pursued as dispensational doctrine was developed. This resulted in competing ideas about the timing of Jesus’ return for His church, commonly called the Rapture, which is clearly distinguished in the Scriptures from the Second Coming by its many differences.

The Rapture1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

The blessed hope of Jesus’ return for His church is based on His multiple promises that He will return for those that belong to Him. An example of this is John 14:1-4 in which Jesus promises at the end of verse 3, “I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”

Among the topics Paul addresses in 1 Thessalonians is a crises that developed because some had already “fallen asleep in Jesus” – they had died – and Jesus had not yet returned. Paul comforts those “who are alive and remain” and in doing so gives greater detail about what will happen when Jesus returns for His church. First, in verse 16, “The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God,” then “the dead in Christ will arise first.” They would not be left behind. Paul describes what happens next in verse 17, “Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” The verb, “caught up” (aJrpavzw / harpadzo) is “rapiemur” in Latin, and from the noun form, raptus, we get the English term, rapture. In theology, the Rapture refers to this catching up of believers, both alive and dead, at the Lord’s return to be with Him forever.

The various views differ in regards to the timing of the Rapture in relationship to the Tribulation. Having a basic understanding of the Tribulation and its purpose will help in understanding these various views and the issues that separate them.

The Tribulation

Dispensational Premillennial eschatology believes that prior to Jesus’ reign of peace and prosperity during the millennium there will be a period of tribulation as predicted by the Hebrew prophets and the apostles and described in detail by John in the book of Revelation. The term “tribulation” comes from Matthew 24:9 which we studied last November. There is a later phase within the Tribulation after the Abomination of Desolation is revealed that Jesus designates as “great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21). Do not confuse the two. The Great Tribulation is simply a late phase within the Tribulation.

The Tribulation period is also referred to as the time of Jacob’s troubles from Jeremiah 30:7, and Daniel’s 70th Week from Daniel 9:24-27. The latter two references highlight the fact that the Tribulation is a time period specifically related to prophecies concerning the nation of Israel though the entire world is affected by it. Jeremiah 30 is just one of a multitude of passages that predict a time of great distress for the Jews prior to national restoration. Turn to Daniel 9:24-27 because this passage is critical to understanding it.

Before we examine the verses, let me point out that the term “week” in this passage is the Hebrew word for seven, and it is used to refer to blocks of seven prophetic years.

Verse 24 begins by stating the specific purposes for the time period. “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place.” The focus of the prophecy is on the Jews (your people) and Jerusalem (your holy city). The Gentiles are oppressors God uses to accomplish some of these purposes, but the focus is still the Jews.

Verse 25-26 sets the time frame for the first coming of the Messiah. 25 “So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26 “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.”

Harold Hoehner worked out the time references in this passage. The 62 & 7 weeks (vs. 25) extend from Artaxerxes’ decree made Nisan 1 (March 5) 444 B.C. to rebuild Jerusalem and its walls to Nisan 10 (March 30) AD 33 when Jesus made the Triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He was then cut off and the Romans came and destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70. History records wars and desolations that have occurred ever since.

Verse 27 describes the remaining week – seven year period. 27 “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

It is from this verse that we know that the Tribulation period will last for seven years. It begins when a covenant is made between antichrist (the prince to come) and the Jews (Daniel’s people). The Jews have resumed making sacrifices, but antichrist stops them in the middle of the week and brings in the abomination that makes desolate – the Abomination of Desolation Jesus speaks of in Matthew 24:21. This will be followed by the complete destruction of anti-Christ.

Many of the Hebrew prophets describe God’s wrath being poured out on Israel because of its multiple sins before He restores the nation and brings about a time of unprecedented peace and prosperity. I already mentioned Jeremiah, but that is also found in the writings of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Amos, Micah, Zephaniah and Zechariah. So again, while God’s retribution will be upon the whole earth as the Apostle John describes in Revelation 6-19, the focus is actually Israel.

The various views about the timing of Jesus’ return for His church, the Rapture, is tied to this period of tribulation. Is it at the beginning, somewhere in the middle, or at the end?

Overview of Positions on Timing of the Rapture

Please keep in mind that each of these positions have variations, so I am only describing each of them in general terms.

The Pre-tribulational view is that the Rapture occurs just prior to or at the start of the Tribulation. Some teach that the Rapture is what allows the Antichrist to ascend to power. Other place it at or just after the covenant is made between Antichrist and Israel. The imminence of the Lord’s return and protection of the church is stressed.

The mid-tribulational view is that the church will go through part of the Tribulation with the Rapture occurring somewhere in the middle of it. Variations of this view tie the Rapture to either the Abomination of Desolation or some event in Revelation. Gleason Archer takes the classic Mid-tribulational position that the Rapture is tied to the Abomination of Desolation at the 3 ½ year mark emphasized in Daniel 27 and would fit into Revelation 14. Marvin Rosenthal has popularized the pre-wrath rapture variation which places the Rapture just after the “wrath of the lamb” mentioned in Revelation 6:16. The mid-tribulational position usually tries to make some kind of distinction between what they infer as the wrath of man at the beginning of the seven year period and the wrath of God later in the period.

The post-tribulational view is that the church goes through the Tribulation and that the Rapture occurs at or just prior to the end depending on the variation. Those that hold this view believe the church is divinely preserved in the midst of the Tribulation from the effects of the wrath of God. Many also emphasize the purification that this will cause, as a friend of mine put it, “God will not accept a dirty church.” I agree, but cleansing comes from Christ, not my feeble efforts to sanctify myself, and the are no passages that state that the purpose of the Tribulation is related to the church, only the opposite.

Biblical Weight for a Pretribulational Rapture

Since there are many, many books on this subject, I am obviously not going to cover the pros and cons of each view in the short time remaining today. I do however want to give you the most salient reasons we believe the pre-tribulational view is superior to the other views, though again, those holding other views are brothers and sisters in Christ and we do not disparage them. I have found over the years that when I do discuss this topic with someone holding another view, even though they believe I am wrong, they would like me to be right. Even a cursory reading of Revelation 6 will convince anyone in their right mind that it would be preferable to avoid any part of the Tribulation. As for the argument that a belief that Christians will enter into it will motivate them to prepare for persecution, perhaps it will for some, but Christians are already told that persecution is a normal part of the Christian life (Matthew 5:10-12; John 16:33; 2 Timothy 3:12) and that we are to be prepared for it (1 Peter). Many people today already face severe persecution including martyrdom when they become a Christian. That is present reality, not just future possibility.

Imminent Expectation of Jesus Return for His Church

The starting point for figuring out the timing of Jesus’ return for His church are the passages in which believers are commanded to look forward to it with expectation. The various passages and the particular words used describe an imminent return, that is, our expectation is to be that He could return at any moment. A careful analysis of all the Scriptures show that while there are many things that could happen before His return, there is nothing that must happen.

For those interested in this subject, I have bundled some relevant papers together including a three page paper on imminence and placed them on the back table. I will be giving you just a sampling of the 29 New Testament verses listed in the paper with an emphasis on the different words used to express this expectation.

I have already covered Matthew 24-25, so I won’t say much about either of those chapters other than they both emphasize that you need to be ready for His coming for He will come unexpectedly. It will be sooner than some think and delayed longer than others think. Revelation 3:3 makes the same point that Jesus will come unexpectedly like a thief.

Paul expresses in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:17, and John expresses in 1 John 2:28 and Revelation 2:25, that they and those to whom they were writing could be alive at the Lord’s return. Paul had to admonish the Thessalonians because some of them had stopped working in expectation that Jesus would return soon. Again, imminence means that it could be soon and not that it must be soon. Paul told them to get back to work and not to feed those unwilling to work (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12).

The response of the Thessalonians was wrong, but their expectation was justified for several passages describe it that way. James, the first New Testament book written, states the coming of “the Lord is near” and that “the Judge is standing at the door” (James 5:7-9). Paul states in Philippians 4:5 that “the Lord is near,” and Jesus states in Revelation 2:16; 3:11 & 22:7, 12, 20, “I am coming quickly.”

Those are all general statements to expect the Lord to come soon, but three different verbs in other passages give heightened expression to this expectation. Paul points out in Titus 2:13 that Christians are to be “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” “Looking” is prosdecovmenoi / prosdechomenoi which has the sense of “await” in expectation of a future event.

The term ajpekdevcomai / apekdechomai is a compound word translated as wait eagerly and describes an intense desire. It is used in Romans 8:19, 23 & 25 to describe the longing of both creation and the believer for future redemption when creation will be restored and believers will receive redeemed bodies. The same word is used in 1 Corinthians 1:7 for believers “awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,” and in Philippians 3:20 for the return of the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, from heaven, and in Hebrews 9:28 as the intense yearning of those who have been saved for Jesus to appear.

A different verb is used in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 in which Paul commends them for how they had turned from idols to serve the living and true God “and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, [that is] Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come.” “Wait” is from ajnamevnw / anamen and means to “wait up for” as in one who waits up for someone to arrive late at night at an unspecified time. They could come at any moment. Otherwise, you could go to bed and just get up about the time they are supposed to come, however, you don’t know when they are coming.

This issue of imminence is important and it is clear that the Pretribulational position satisfies it the best. The other views have to redefine it and explain away these passages. The Lord is near, at the door, and we are to be looking for His return with an eager anticipation waiting for Him to appear at any time. It is hard to do that when you believe other things such as various elements described in Revelation must happen first. You end up looking for the coming of antichrist instead of Christ Himself.

A friend of mine liked to point out to me Luke 21 in which Jesus gives a description of His second coming and in particular verse 28 which states, “But when you see these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” That was a little strange coming from him since he held to a mid-tribulational view and the things referred to in the verse occur at the end of the Tribulation, but I liked to tell him I would glad to have him finally join me, because I have already been commanded to be “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.”

Going back to 1 Thessalonians 1:10, notice that Paul also specifically states Jesus will deliver us from the “wrath to come.” That brings me to my next point.

Church Promised Escape from Wrath of God

While the specific “wrath to come” could be debated as to whether it refers to the wrath during the Tribulation, God’s eternal wrath, both of those or something else, I want to simply emphasize here that it is a clear statement of this general principle. The salvation that God provides people delivers them from His wrath. Jesus is both the propitiation and expiation of God’s wrath on sin turning it away from sinners and bearing it Himself on the cross of Calvary. By His own blood Jesus has justified the believer and saved the Christian from God’s wrath (Romans 5:9).

In 1 Thessalonians 5 Paul discusses the coming of the day of the Lord which he concludes with an encouragement to Christians stating in verse 9, “God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” In this context, that wrath would certainly include the Tribulation which is part of the Day of the Lord in which those who are evil are destroyed.

Revelation 3:10 is the third clear verse expressing an exemption for the church from the Tribulation. The promise made to the church at Philadelphia is “Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that [hour] which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” The context here is clear that this hour of testing is the tribulation that is described in the rest of the book of Revelation. There is much ink spilt on arguing the finer points of Greek grammar and lexical meaning of “keep you from” (thrhvsw ejk . T r s ek), which I do not have time to discuss in this sermon, so I simply point to the fact that focus of the Tribulation concerns primarily the nation of Israel, secondarily the whole world, and not the church. Those tested here are specifically “those who dwell on the earth,” a phrase that also occurs in Revelation 6:10; 8:13; 11:10, 13:8, 14 and 17:2 & 8, and every use is of those that are in rebellion against God doing what is evil. The testing is not of the saints.

The question then must be asked, for what purpose then would Jesus have His church go through this hour of testing, of the Tribulation? That would be contrary to the normal meaning of the statement in 1 Thessalonians 5, and more to the point, that would make this promise of little comfort to the church in Philadelphia. How would they have understood this promise of protection regarding the testing or temptation that was about to come upon the whole world, to those who dwell on the earth?

At this point, though it is an argument from silence, that silence is loud in view of this promise in Revelation 3:10. There is no mention of the church in Revelation 6-19 which describes the Tribulation. Even the 144,000 Jewish bond-servants in Revelation 7:1-8 are not identified with the church. The church is mentioned in the seven letters in chapters 2 & 3 and then again in Revelation 22:16 in the postscript to the book.

Other Issues of Support

The imminence of Jesus’ return and the promise to keep the church from the hour of testing are the two main arguments for the Pretribulational position. There are several more issues that either support or are contrary to one of the other positions. Let me just mention them quickly.

First, only the righteous in natural bodies will be left to populate the millennium since the wicked will be gathered, judged and condemned. A rapture at the end the Tribulation would also remove the righteous and not leave anyone on earth to populate it. That requires post-tribulationist to move the rapture to some point prior to the end.

Second, there are two distinct groups in Revelation 20:4. One is a group already seated on thrones. The second group is specifically those who are martyred during the Tribulation that are resurrected and reign with Christ for a thousand years. The first group therefore must have arrived before the martyrdom of those that would not worship or take the mark of the beast. That supports an early rapture.

Third, in 2 Thessalonians, Paul comforted them by 1) assuring them that they would have rest while those afflicting them would suffer recompense and affliction (1:6-10), and 2) they were not in the Day of the Lord (2:1-12). The proof of this was that a) the ajpostasiva / apostasia would occur first, and b) the man of lawlessness – the antichrist – had not been revealed. It is important to note that ajpostasiva / apostasia is a word that means “departure” and was translated that way in all the early English translations in keeping with the usage of its verb form. The KJV inexplicable translated it as “falling away” and there has been confusion ever since. This is marked as a specific departure which would then be directly related to verse 1 and the “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him” which is what Paul points out in verse 5 that he had taught previously, which is a reference to being “caught up together” . . . “to meet the Lord in the air” – the rapture – in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 which I discussed earlier.

Conclusion

The timing of the rapture cannot be determined by any one particular passage or even one particular concept. It must be built by examining many passages and many concepts and then coming to a conclusion based on the preponderance of evidence. While every view has difficulties and there is no “silver bullet” to completely eliminate other views, we do strongly believe that the weight of the Scriptural evidence favors the pre-tribulational position.

We believe that Jesus Christ will return for His church as described in 1 Thessalonians 4 prior to or at the beginning of the Tribulation period, the time of Jacob’s troubles, Daniel’s 70th week, which begins with a covenant between the antichrist and the nation of Israel. The events described in Revelation 6-19 would then follow.

We strive to be gracious with those who hold to other views, and ask that they also be gracious to us. We are brothers and sisters in Christ who all hold to the fundamentals of the faith of orthodox Christianity. Regardless of our positions on the timing of the Rapture, true Christians can celebrate Communion together fulfilling its purpose of “proclaiming His death until He comes.” May it be soon. Maranatha.

Sermon Notes – 2/3/2019

Why We are Pretribulational – Selected Scriptures

Introduction

Recommended Book: The Rapture, Pre, -Mid, – or Post – Tribulational, Archer, Feinberg, Moo, Reiter

The blessed hope of Jesus physical return in orthodoxy, the timing of His return is secondary – be ________

We are charitable but firm in discussing our beliefs in proper forums, but we will not allow ____________

Review of Millennial Positions

Amillennial: Jesus’ reign is spiritual, not physical, there is _________________

Postmillennial: The Christianization of the world brings a “millennium” of ___ length of peace & prosperity

Premillennial: Jesus will return prior to establishing His __________ reign on earth fulfilling Revelation 20

The timing of Jesus return _____to the millennium became debated at the 19th Century resulting in divisions

The Rapture1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

The blessed hope of Jesus’ return for His church based on His multiple ____________(John 14:1-4, etc.)

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 – Paul comforts by assuring that those who died in Jesus will be part of the ______

The timing of the Rapture is connected to the _______________

The Tribulation

Dispensational eschatology believes there will be a time of tribulation _______the millennium as prophesied

The term “Tribulation” comes from Matthew ____ – a sub-phase of this is the Great Tribulation (Mt. 24:21)

The Tribulation is also called the time of ______Troubles (Jer. 30:7) and Daniel’s 79th Week (Dan. 9:24-27)

Daniel 9:24-27 – “week” = a group of ______. Here, groups of seven prophetic years. 70 weeks = 490 years

62 + 7 = 483 years. _______________ decree Nisan 1, (March 5) 444 B.C. to Nisan 10, (March 30) AD 33

The Tribulation will be a period of ___________that begins with a covenant between antichrist & Israel

Many Hebrew prophets describe God’s wrath on _________(and other nations) prior to Israel’s restoration

Overview of Positions on Timing of the Rapture

Pre-tribulational: The Rapture occurs just __________ to or at the start of the Tribulation

Mid-tribulational: the church experiences part of the Tribulation, the Rapture occurs sometime in the _____

Pre-wrath is a ___________of Mid-tribulational with rapture corresponding to the 6th seal – Revelation 6:16

Post-tribulational: The Rapture occurs at or just before the ___________of the Tribulation

Biblical Weight for a Pretribulational Rapture

We believe the Scriptures ___________pre-tribulationalism, but we do not disparage those with other views

They would like us to be correct, and we are already commanded to be ready for ___________in the present

Imminent Expectation of Jesus’ Return for His Church

Imminence: Jesus could return at _____________- many things could happen, but nothing else must happen

Matthew 24-25 – be ready, He will return ___________: before some expect, and later than others expect

1 Cor. 15:51-52, 1 Thess. 4:17, 1 John 2:28, Revelation 2:25 – Jesus could return in their ________times

2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 – Jesus return could be soon, not must be soon – __________until He comes

James 5:7-9“the Lord is near” and “the Judge is standing at the __________” – see also Phil. 4:5

Revelation 2:16; 3:11 & 22:7, 12, 20 – Jesus said, “I am coming ____________”

Titus 2:13 – looking = prosdecovmenoi / prosdechomenoi = “await” in _________________of a future event

Romans 8:19, 23 & 25 – ajpekdevcomai / apekdechomai = ___________of creation & believer for redemption

1 Cor.1:7, Phil. 3:20, Heb. 9:28ajpekdevcomai / apekdechomai, awaiting ____________the return of Jesus

1 Thess. 1:10ajnamevnw / anamen = “wait up for” – Jesus’ return _______________at unspecified time

Pretribulationalism is the best answer to the issues of imminence – looking for ________, not something else

We are to ________be looking for Jesus to come – not waiting until the final Tribulation signs – Luke 21:25

Church Promised Escape from Wrath of God

1 Thess. 1:10 – debate over the specific “wrath to come” does not diminish its general ______________

1 Thess. 5:9 is in a ________of the coming of the Day of the Lord and so certainly applies to the Tribulation

Revelation 3:10 – the context is being kept from the hour of testing during the ______________

The grammar of this verse is debated, but the purpose of the Tribulation is Israel & the world, ___the church

Those tested are “those who dwell on the earth” (Rev. 6:10; 8:13; 11:10, 13:8, 14; 17:2, 8), ____the church

What ________in 1 Thess. 5 or Rev. 3 if the church is not exempt from God’s wrath and the hour of testing?

There is __________of the church in Revelation 6-19 which describes the Tribulation – only in ch. 2,3 & 22

Other Issues of Support

Only the righteous in natural bodies ________the millennium. The wicked are gathered & judged (Rev. 20)

Two distinct groups in Rev. 20:4 – those already seated on thrones and the __________from the Tribulation

2 Thess. 1 – Paul comforts them assuring them they would have _________while those afflicting them suffer

2 Thess. 2 – Paul assures them they are NOT in the Day of the Lord – no apostasia, man of sin not ________

ajpostasiva / apostasia = “____________” – in context, it is the departure of 2:1 – cf. 2:5 = 1 Thess. 4:17

Conclusion

The timing of the Rapture is built from many passages – the preponderance of _________favors Pretrib view

Jesus returns for His church (1 Thess. 4:17) _________to or at start of Daniel’s 70th week. Rev. 6-19 follow

We extend grace to those holding other views for they also “proclaim His death until ______________”

KIDS KORNER
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times Jesus return for His church is mentioned. Talk with your parents about the importance of looking forward to Jesus return and what that means

THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Read through the handouts available at the back of the church or on the website. Discuss what you learn from this sermon and from them with someone else.


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