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In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Paul speaks of the coming of the Lord. The Lord will come down in the clouds with a loud command, calling the dead in Christ and the Christians, still alive, to be caught up together to be with the Lord forever.

1 Thessalonians 5:9

For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation, so that we may live together with Him.

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    – Dottard
    Jan 8 at 10:11
  • The proposition is opposed to the explicit statements by Jesus and John in Matt 24:21 and Rev 7:14 that talk about Christians who have come through the great tribulation. Matt 24:26-31 says that God will gather the saints after the great tribulation.
    – Dottard
    Jan 8 at 10:16
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    It is true that God does not appoint saved Christians to "HIS" wrath. Wrath is the Greek word (Str.3709 -orge) and means punishment or vengeance. Tribulation is a different word in the Greek altogether. ( Str.2347 thylipsis) means tribulation, trouble, or affliction. Jesus clearly states in John 16:33 ... " In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer ; I have overcome the world." Paul also agrees with Jesus' teaching in many verses . 1st Th.3:3-4 "That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for youselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
    – RHPclass79
    Jan 8 at 19:01
  • Continued: 1st Th.3:4 "For verily when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass and ye know." Please notice that Ch.3 comes before Ch.4 in which the translation or rapture is quoted. You have to differentiate tribulation from wrath to properly understand escatology because it also relates to the proper interpretation of Revelation. God's wrath is in the 7 bowls, not before. The 7 bowls only come after the 7th Trump.
    – RHPclass79
    Jan 8 at 19:14

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To suffer tribulation is not to suffer wrath, the two are absolutely different from each other: lovers of this world may suffer no tribulations and persecutions, but they will eventually suffer divine wrath, and conversely, Christians who do not love this world - for this love is enmity of God (James 4:4) - suffer tribulations and persecutions from the world-loving majority, but through this suffering and perseverance Christ liberates them from the wrath of God (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

Thus, Christians born again is Holy Ghost will definitely, unavoidably suffer tribulations from evil people, unavoidably! Actually, the only reason for suffering the persecutions is that the sufferers of the persecutions try to imitate Christ and follow His commandments.

If nobody hates you and nobody inflicts any tribulations upon you, be 100% sure that Christ is not with you and neither are you born in Holy Ghost, for whoever follows Him is persecuted like He was (John 15:20).

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Its not the subject. And this idea of suffering, is really in reference to The wicked. God will test His elect. But the suffering is avoided by being grounded in Truth to avoid deception. Tribulation will not be one of bloodshed. But of words. Of revival to a false Christ. People often misunderstand the symbolism in Revelation apply it to be physical instead of a figurative way to teach The Truth. Or they don't understand the time element involved.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Paul speaks of life after death. The subject is defined for you in verse 13. Where are the dead? And comfort for those who mourn for their loved ones. The return of Christ is only tacked onto the subject for added comfort to know there is a day coming, which is the last Trump in the prophetic timeline the 7th (The Trump of God), The true Lord Christ brings those who have returned to God with Him to Earth at the second advent. This is the only time Christ returns. The Tribulation being before that time, there is no teaching that Christians are taken at the 6th Trump.

Paul taught a change of bodies in his letters. This is "caught up in air", or "In clouds" in Greek. That is today, caught up in the change of bodies, spirits, in the wink of an eye at the last Trump.

Air- Greek: G109
ἀήρ
aēr
ah-ayr'
From ἄημι aēmi (to breathe unconsciously, that is, respire; by analogy to blow); “air” (as naturally circumambient): - air. Compare G5594.

Not atmosphere. But the spiritual body. A resurrection.

Matthew 22:30

For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”

Clouds when used in this way means gathering. A great gathering of people.

Hebrews 12:1-2 KJV

1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

1 Corinthians 15 KJV [The corruption aka flesh body, to incorruption a spiritual body, is that same, "air" of 1 Thessalians 4 KJV. If you noticed there is no mention of the tribulation in that letter. However read his second letter and he empathically states there will be no gathering back to The Lord Christ, at the second advent until first Satan stands in Jerusalem claiming to be God.

1 Corinthians 15:50-54 KJV

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

In this among all of The Bible's teachings, rapture is a false teaching. It's one that will lead many to worship Satan at the 6th Trump.

Ezekiel 13:20

Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly.

Mark 13:21-28 KJV

21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: 22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. 23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. 24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. 28 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:

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Great Tribulation? Several points to consider: (1) As the commentators and answers have noted there is a vast difference between the Wrath of God on Judgment Day poured out upon the sinners, on the one hand; and the Tribulation that the righteous suffer in this present ungodly world, on the other hand.

Christians escape the Wrath to come because of the Imputed Righteousness and Grace of Jesus (John 1:16-17). But as Jesus forewarned, The righteous will suffer Tribulation in this world.

(2) The idea of a Great Tribulation must be cleared up. You mentioned a reference to Revelation but did not give a verse number. In Matthew-to-Jude, there was mention of Tribulation, especially in Matthew 24, but this was a direct reference to the pending Destruction of Judea and the Temple.

Many, who do not know Jewish history, mistake Matthew 24:21's mention of great tribulation for an "end times" (end of the world) event. And they let their mistake influence how they interpret the vastly symbolic book of Revelation. But there is no End Times massive Tribulation!

Jesus and Paul put our focus on the spiritual warfare at hand in the here and now. And encouraged believers to stand strong and endure persecution, to the glory of God. Persecution that will be handsomely rewarded in Heaven to those who endure! (At the Second Coming, Matthew 25:31-23)

The Wrath of God poured out on the rebellious Jews in 70 A.D. is a sample of the kind of wrath that will occur on Judgment Day. And the protection Jesus gave by forewarning the Disciples in Jerusalem is typical of the awesome Mercy God will show us too when Jesus comes again! Safe from the Wrath of God.

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Please don’t anyone take offense, but here’s my general observation regarding controversial questions of interpretation such as this one about the rapture (harpazo in Greek).

There seems to be two different types of hermeneutics employed for this and other controversial questions:

(a) The process of building a solid case for an air-tight preferred or preconceived system of biblical theology. It requires intensive scholarly interpretation to make all “problematic” passages fit. Simply ignoring problematic passages also works when one doesn’t want to torture scriptures into saying whatever one wants them to say.

(b) The process of discovering the original intent of scriptural passages without regard for superficial conformity with a presupposed system of theology. It also allows the existence of apparent inconsistencies without any need to immediately rationalize the differences.

Note that a similar situation exists in the study of physics. Experiments confirming both the general theory of relativity and confirming quantum mechanics have demonstrated without reasonable doubt that both are scientifically true. The problem is that they are incompatible with each other. The choices in physics are

(a) Reject either one of the two and try to find ways of explaining away the other one in either relativistic terms or quantum terms.

(b) Accept both of them, recognizing their incompatibility while looking for a third, deeper and encompassing theory that unifies both.

Choice (b) is what most physicists have chosen to follow.

In Jewish eschatology, many Jews believe in two messiahs that each come once: Messiah ben Joseph and Messiah ben David.

In Christian eschatology, many Christians believe in one Messiah coming twice, and either a single harpazo or, more rarely, more than one harpazo.

A few who believe in only one harpazo conclude that it’s only for the wicked of the earth, namely the harvest of the “tares” at the end of the age. Others believe in multiple instances of harpazo, starting with Enoch.

Those Christians who believe in one Messiah and only one return believe that the Messiah will come both as a thief in the night to steal from the “master of the house” and at the same time come visibly with great fanfare to all on the earth such that “every eye shall see him.” This is an unusual kind of thief to be sure. In this case, no one will know when the thief will come except that it’s 1,260 days after the Temple is desecrated during the Great Tribulation when people are nevertheless happily eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage.

And then, some others have allegorized everything in the scriptures to the degree that they expect nothing will actually happen.

What I try to do is expend more effort in understanding context, language, culture, and intent than rationalizing scriptures to my preferred preconceptions. This is hard for me to do, but with this method, I will expect to be wrong only some of the time rather than simply wrong—and the majority of eschatological theories will indeed turn out to be wrong.

For a recent example, contrary to my previous beliefs, I’ve recently come to a tentative conclusion that the part of Nebuchadnezzar's dream in Daniel 2 describing the legs of iron followed by the feet of iron mixed with clay describes the Roman Republic followed by the Roman Empire in 27 BCE.

If this is the correct interpretation, then “the stone that struck [the feet of] the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth” is a description of the growth of Christianity rather than describing the second coming of Messiah. And instead, the ten toes (not mentioned in Daniel) might be referenced by the ten “days” of persecution, speculatively the ten Roman emperors who persecuted the early Christians, as stated with regard to the church at Smyrna in Revelation 2:10 rather than the ten-horned beast in Revelation 12:3.

I hope this helps.

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