Intercity Church of Santa Maria

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Date : 18-09-10 08:42
What We're Spared (2)
 Writer : 관리자 (73.♡.164.79)
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Using today's population figures, the sixth trumpet judgment will kill another 1.85 billion people, bringing the Tribulation death toll to 3.7 billion-half of the entire world's population. The seventh trumpet will cause an earthquake and hailstorm, preparing the way for the terrible bowl judgments (Rev 11:15-19). 

The seven bowl judgments will unleash loathsome sores on the Antichrist's worshipers; turn fresh water and the sea into blood, killing all sea cretures; cause unbearable, scorching heat from the sun; cover the Antichrist's kingdonm in painful darkness, dry up the Euphrates River, allowing kings from the east to come; produce an unprecedented earthquake, causing entire cities to collapse; and cause 75-pound hailstones to fall on people (16:2-21). 

Where will the bride of Christ be during all of this divine retribution? Forever safe with her Lord in heaven. Prior to the Tribulation, an archangel will shout, announcing the coming of the Bridegroom. The church will be "caught up together" to meet Him in the air. "And thus we shall always be with the Lord" (1Thess 4:16-17; Mt 25:6). 

Why won't the church be on Earth during the Tribulation? Because throughout scripture, God reveals the principle of separating His people from impending divine judgment. Although He sometimes allows us to suffer persecution and martyrdom, such suffering comes from the hands of evil men, not from God. 

Abraham's question to the Lord before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah illustrates this principle: "Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Gen 18:23, 25). 

God spared Lot and his family from Sodom's obliteration (19:16). Other examples include God separating Noah and his family from the world-wide flood (7:7), Israel from the Egyptian plagues (Ex 8:22-23; 9:4-7; 10:23; 11:7); and the Israelites from Korah and the other rebels whom God was about to destroy (Num 16:23-26). God also offered to save the Israelites in Jerusalem from the Babylonian siege (Jer 21:8-10).

This principle is also implied in Rev 3:10, where Jesus promised the church at Philadelphia to "keep from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world." 

The church is never mentioned in the Tribulation chapters of Revelation, strongly implying the church's absence. It is true that during the Tribulation, people will come to know the Lord, even multitudes (7:9-17). They will suffer persecution and martyrs' deaths (Mt 24:9;Rev 6:11; 11:7; 20:4). These believers will become Tribulation saints-people who did not believe the gospel before the Rapture but became believers during the Tribulation. 

In contrast, the church is a unique entity, a spiritual union of Jews and Gentiles who trust Christ during the present age and are baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit (1Cor 12:13). To the bride of Christ the Lord promises protection. She will not be the object of her Bridegroom's wrath. "Jesus...delivers us from the wrath to come" (1Thess 1:10). "For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (5:9).

Although Christians throughout history have always suffered tribulation and persecution, they will not suffer the Tribulation. Christ will spare His bride because "no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church" (Eph 5:29).