Many Christians feel that, well, God would just not allow His true people to go through the Great Tribulation Period. God would just not let us suffer like that because He loves us.
Many reason that God is too merciful and through Christ’s sacrifice we have been redeemed. So God would not allow His Christians of the modern era be killed during Tribulation and waste, as it were, His redemptive work in us.
God did say, “I change not…I am the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Mal. 3: 6; Heb. 13: 8). So we need to find out what He has done in the past; that will be the key to gain understanding about this mystery.
He also said, “My thoughts are not your thoughts; neither are your ways my ways” (Isa. 55: 8). Man thinks with man’s wisdom. But God’s ways are grounded in precedent that He has laid out throughout history, telling “the end from the beginning.” We all need to get this one thing: God is sovereign and will do things His way, not how we would do it. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 14: 12). It seems right that God would not let His followers suffer through the tribulation period. But that is man’s thinking.
I recently had a comment supporting the rapture. It was well reasoned and articulated. In it the reader said, “God couldn’t protect them all [Christians during the Tribulation] AND fulfill what has been prophesied.” I disagree in that “with God all things are possible.” God can do with us whatever He chooses to do
He also said that “God has always removed his own from places that would receive his judgmentl.” I replied, “Where does it say that?” In fact, the scriptures reveal just the opposite.
Before the Great Tribulation Period begins, God induces the 7 year tribulation by first opening the seals of the book that contains the Great Tribulation Period in its pages. These seals include the world wars, calamity of nations, famine, and Death [seals 1-4]. To think that these God ordained catastrophes, which are the seals of the end time book opened by Jesus Himself–did not include true Christians is not thinking this thing through. I know that of the 500,000 American dead in World War II, there were several thousand American Christians who were killed. And that was just one war since Christ started opening the seals–His doing.
Look at the fifth seal in Rev. 6: 9-11: the souls of Christians killed are crying, Revenge us. And they are told to wait until their fellow Christians that should be killed should be fulfilled. Should be killed?
And what about the sixth seal–the mother of all natural disasters–great earthquake, “stars of heaven” falling into the earth [asteroids, meteorites], the “kings of the earth and the great men” say to the mountains, Fall on us and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come…” (6:15-17).
Christ even alludes to this time of the opening of the sixth seal when He spoke to those women, mourning for Him because of the imminent death by crucifixion. “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.” Why? Because of the hardships on the little children brought on by the sixth seal. “For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren…” For the barren women won’t have children that will suffer through tribulation. “Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us” (Luke 23: 28-30). These are the exact words used by the “rich men” in Rev. 6 when earth wide disaster hits. And He said that to His followers!
So God’s wrath has already started; it is all His doing and His followers are still on the earth. With all of these seals opening, Christians unfortunately may be killed. But for us, “to die is gain.” And this is just the preview of the trumpets and vials to come during the actual 7 year Tribulation.
Moreover, Christ is speaking directly about the Great Tribulation Period in Matt. 24. At the time of the abomination of desolation, “there shall be great tribulation…and except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake, those days shall be shortened” (Matt. 24: 15, 21-22). We are talking about the real flesh bodies of the elect of God, perishing right along with the rest of humanity except that God would intervene and cut the wrath time short.
Furthermore, here is biblical historical proof that God’s followers perish along with the unrighteous–done by God’s own hand: God is warning Jerusalem through Ezekiel. “Behold, I am against thee, and will draw out my sword out of his sheath, and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked…against all flesh…” (21: 2-4). What was Yahweh’s sword? The Babylonian army. “…That the sword of the king of Babylon may come” (v. 19). At the time of the fall of Jerusalem about 600 B.C., God still had “7,000 that had not bowed the knee to Baal,” and some of them perished by the sword of the LORD–Babylonia.
So we see that Christians have been and may be slain through God’s auspices; He is sovereign and can do His plan exactly the way He wants to. Perhaps this is what it means when it says, “You gave us up to be devoured like sheep and have scattered us among the nations…You have made us a reproach to our neighbors, the scorn and derision of those around us…All this happened to us, though we had not forgotten you or been false to your covenant” (Psm 44: 11, 13, 17, NIV). And, yet, “as it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter” (Rom 8:36).
God is sovereign, and His way of doing things is not our way. He has His reasons why His followers will not be raptured, why no one will be raptured–a concept foreign to the early church apostles and fathers–a concept literally born in a dream by a woman in the 19th Century.