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The Great And Terrible Day Of The Lord Is Not In The Church’s Future

Among the many Bible verses that are either misquoted or taken out of context is the famed statement of Jesus in John’s gospel:

John 16:33 KJV – “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

The word “tribulation” here means “anguish, burdens, persecutions, and troubles”. It does not mean “wrath”. Jesus was not saying, as many propose, that the church will go through the Great Tribulation. We know this because the Great Tribulation is a time of God’s wrath, which we do not have an appointment with (1 Thessalonians 5:9). 

The purposes of the Great Tribulation are well-defined in scripture. To finish the years determined for Daniel’s people and holy city (Daniel 9:24) and to punish a Christ rejecting and disobedient world (Colossians 3:6). The Bible also states that there are plans for the church during the Great Tribulation that are “out of this world,” quite literally. 

2 Corinthians 5:10 KJV – “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

Revelation 19:6-9 KJV – “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”

The judgment seat of Christ is in heaven as is the marriage of the Lamb and the next thing John records in Revelation 19 is the bride returning to earth with the Lord. To return with the Lord requires already being “where He is”. Thus, when the Lord ends the Great Tribulation with His return, the church will have already experienced the marriage of the Lamb and have stood at the judgment seat of Christ. Therefore the church cannot be on earth during any of the Tribulation.   

The Great Tribulation, the Day of Jacob’s trouble, the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord are not in the church’s future. The Day of the Lord centres on Israel and a Christ rejecting world.

We will be safely in heaven, forever to be with the Lord, “in that day”. And in that, we can greatly rejoice!

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.

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