If Believers will be Raptured before the Tribulation, Why does God tell us so much about it?




John Hoole – February 26, 2012





As we have seen, and will continue to see in future lessons, the Bible contains a great deal of very specific and detailed information about the 7-year Tribulation.  Most of you are familiar with the term, The Tribulation.  Just in case there may be some here that are not familiar with what that term means, let me quickly define it.  The Bible speaks of a future 7-year long period that begins when the coming Antichrist negotiates a treaty with the Jews.  It will be a time of unprecedented calamity and judgment.  And I believe believers of the Church age in which we live will have been taken to heaven prior to its beginning.


Large sections from the Old Testament prophets graphically portray the coming Day of the Lord.  And the book of Revelation devotes 13 full chapters to those years.  But this raises a very good question: If God raptures believers before He unleashes the years of the Tribulation, why does He give us so much information about it?


Even though I believe that all true believers will be raptured to heaven before the Tribulation, and thereby escape God’s wrath during these years, it is still important for us to know about the key players and events of this 7-year period.  There are at least three major reasons why God gave us this information and why we should inform ourselves about the Tribulation.


First, what God has revealed to us about the Tribulation is like a final crash course in theology.  From Genesis to Jude, the Lord unveils great theological truths about Himself, and about man, creation, salvation, the church, angels, Satan and demons, and the end times.  In many places in the Bible – but especially in Revelation 6-18, God gives us a final, condensed crash course of theology by presenting to us the conditions of the final years of this age.


What are some of the great truths we learn from the information given about the Tribulation?  The information given to us about the Tribulation – those seven fateful years teach us a great deal about the nature of God, Satan and man.


•  We learn (if we hadn’t realized it already) that man is sinful, easily deceived, and rebellious.


•  We learn that God is consistently holy and that He unleashes His wrath against sin and those who promulgate sin.


•  We are also reminded that He is gracious and will save millions of people, even in earth’s darkest hour (See Revelation 7:9-14).


Second, the Tribulation also fully unmasks Satan and his evil deception.  In the information about the Tribulation, we see Satan’s ultimate intentions and purposes.  This understanding of his plan, if properly applied, can aid the believer today in spiritual warfare.  He is just as evil today as He has ever been.  We are at war against he and his demons.


For instance, we note that during the tribulation, Satan uses religion in a false and deceptive way.  This stands as a warning for us today.  Satan is not against religion.  Studying the Tribulation gives us insight for living today.  Even after Satan is bound for 1,000 years, as recorded in Revelation 20, after he is released, he still is as evil as before.


Third, the Tribulation serves as a sobering warning sign for every generation of the ultimate consequences of man’s sin.  A similar question could be asked about Isaiah’s prophecy and his warning about the Babylonian captivity (Isaiah 39:6-7).  Why tell the Israelites about an event or period of time that would not occur until after all the people in Isaiah’s generation were dead.  The message is given to be a warning to all about the consequences of sin, and it will stand as a specific warning to those who will actually experience the terrible judgment.  The sins of the present generation will, if not corrected, affect following generations.


Fourth, even though we won’t experience the Tribulation if we know the Savior, the Lord loves to take His own people into His confidence and tell us what is going to happen even if it does not directly affect our own lives.


Remember Genesis 18God came to Abraham and told him that He was going to destroy the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.  This had no immediate impact on Abraham.  He didn’t live in or near either of these cities.  He wasn’t going to be there when God’s judgment fell.  But God told Abraham about it anyway.  WHY??


He told Abraham because he was God’s friend.


2 Chronicles 20:7 NKJV


7       Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?


And in Genesis 18, where we find the record of the destruction of these two cities, we find the Godhead seemingly asking themselves a question.


Genesis 18:17-19 NKJV


17     And the Lord said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing,

18     since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

19     For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him."


This revelation led Abraham to plead for God’s mercy and the salvation of those in the doomed cities.


Like Abraham, even though we will not be here during the Tribulation, God has graciously taken us into His confidence and shown us what He will do on earth during the final dark days of this age.  Jesus said that we too are His friends (See Luke 12:4; John 15:14-15).  And, like Abraham, having received the revelation of what’s ahead, we should be moved to pray for those who are still under the wrath of God.


What a privilege it is to know the mind of God and His prophetic program for the final seven years of this present age.