Matthew warns believers on how to handle the coming tribulation.
Matthew 24:2-31 "And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you,
There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be".
How could the Beast make war with the Saints if they have been raptured?
Revelation 6:9-12 "And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;"
Revelation 13:7-8 "And it was given unto him (the beast) to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindred's, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
The Lords coming occurs at the end of the tribulation.
Revelation 7:14-9 "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindred's, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; .... And he said to me, These are they which went through the great tribulation [No one is removed before the tribulation], and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
Revelation 9:1-4 "And the fifth angel sounded ....And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass or the green things or the trees of the earth, but hurt only those who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads."
Revelation 20:4 "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."
2Peter 3:10 "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with
a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."
The saved are caught up at Christ's return.
Mark 13:24 "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 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." [Notice that it occurs at Christ's return.]
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
Until Christ returns all those who have lived and died will remain dead in their graves. At Christ's return he restores the kingdom of God over all the nations. A select few who through the ages will be resurrected to immortal life, and those alive of his at his coming will be transformed immortal, meeting Christ in the air. The Bible clearly states that the Church will refuse the mark of the beast and will be rewarded for it by ruling with Christ. Christ is preparing places or positions of responsibility for his true followers, to be at the same location as Christ is when he returns. During the thousand year millennium Christ rules with those resurrected or transformed, offering salvation to all humans who live during the thousand year time frame. During the tribulation period, Christ's followers are afforded protection. After the thousand years are over heaven comes down to earth, God dwells with men on the new earth.
The truth is that the people of God will be killed for refusing the mark of the beast during the tribulation. No where in the Bible does it say anything about a pre-tribulation rapture!
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