John received "the Revelation of Jesus Christ" (Rev 1:1) which was composed of "things which must shortly take place" (:1). They are "the words of this prophecy" (:3) pertaining to "the time [which] is near" (:3). Firstly it is addressed to "the seven churches which are in Asia" (:4). John was instructed to "'write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this'" (:19). They apply in a contemporary way locally to those Asian churches and prophetically to "the mystery" (:20) to be unveiled. Some Bible students interpret the seven churches figuratively as dispensational history representing the stages of growth of the church through time. That would mean that Ephesus was the starting point but that they had already "'left your first love'" (2:4). The letters were written because Christ knew believers would have challenges and difficulties and must become "'him who overcomes'" (:7). If you follow this line of reasoning the last-day church would be Laodicea which was "'neither cold nor hot'" (3:15) and said "''I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing''" (:17). The letter was sent "'to the seven churches'" (1:11) in Asia and would have been circulated for all to read. Each church had individual issues but the overall message would be studied. Of interest to some would be "things which will take place" (1:19) in the "near" (:3) future. For instance, Smyrna was "'about to suffer'" (2:10) persecution to be "'tested'" (:10) and "'have tribulation ten days'" (:10). On the plus side the churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia were the only ones that Christ's revelation had nothing "'against'" (2:4;:14;:20;3:2;:15). But specific warning and counsel apply to each church individually so you can't generalize and apply everything to everyone. For instance, Jesus told Philadelphia, "'Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth'" (3:10). Many prophetically refer to this as when "there will be great tribulation" (Mt 24:21) which defines the Great Tribulation. The church of Philadelphia is supposed to be spared according to some people's exegesis. But Smyrna was told "'the devil is about to throw some of you into prision" (2:10) and they should "'Be faithful until death'" (:10). "'For the elect's sake those days will be shortened'" (Mt 24:22).
Jesus prophesied, "'There will be a great tribulation such as not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall'" (Mt 24:21). Luke records, "'There will be great distress upon the land, and wrath to this people'" (Lk 21:23). One of the elders said, "'These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation'" (Rev 7:14). Jesus told them, "'In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world'" (Jn 16:33). He "disarmed the rulers and authorities . . . [and] triumphed over them through Him" (Col 2:15). The Bible is a spiritual book, so what is tribulation? James said to regard it as advantageous "when you encounter various trials" (Ja 1:2) because they require faith to be victorious (:3). Peter said to "not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you" (1Pe 4:12) because then you "share the sufferings of Christ" (:13). Paul said that God's defenses would enable you to "stand firm against the schemes of the devil" (Eph 6:11). He said the conflict was "against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" (:12) and we would need faith to defend against "the evil one" (:16). Jesus prayed that the Father would "'keep them from the evil one'" (Jn 17:15). Satan takes advantage of every opportunity but God said, "'Vengeance is Mine, and retribution'" (Dt 32:35). God doesn't punish every little mistake because he is "compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness" (Ps 103:8). But "the anger of the Lord burned against Israel" (2Sa 24:1) and then "Satan stood up against Israel" (1Ch 21:1) which "incited David" (2Sa 24:1) "to number Israel" (1Ch 21:1). Moses told Israel that intermarriage would "'turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods; then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you and He will quickly destroy you'" (Dt 7:3-4). Eschatologically speaking "destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape" (1Th 5:3).
"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap" (Gal 6:7). "In due time their foot will slip" (Dt 32:35). They are "selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness" (Ro 2:8), for there is "the truth of God" (1:25). "The Lord is righteous within her; He will do no injustice. Every morning He brings justice to light; He does not fail. But the unjust knows no shame" (Zeph 3:5). They are "indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind" (Eph 2:3) and "obey unrighteousness" (Ro 2:8). They are "sons of disobedience" (Eph 5:6) and "storing up wrath" (Ro 2:5) for themselves because they are "by nature children of wrath" (Eph 2:3). "He who does not obey the Son . . . the wrath of God abides on him" (Jn 3:36). God "inflicts wrath" (Ro 3:5) on the unrighteous and "wrath and indignation" (2:8) "will come upon the sons of disobedience" (Col 3:6). "'I will repay', says the Lord" (Ro 12:19). "God is not one to show partiality" (Ac 10:34). There is "no injustice with God" (Ro 9:14). He is "the one who impartially judges according to each one's work" (1Pe 1:17). "We know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things" (Ro 2:2). "How unsearchable are His judgments" (Rev 15:3). "'Righteous and true are your ways'" (:3).
There is "the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God" (Ro 2:5). "The Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning" (Isa 2:12). God said it is "'the day when I rise up as a witness'" (Zep 3:8). It is "the day of the Lord's anger" (2:3). "The day of the Lord is coming" (Joel 2:1). "That day is great, there is none like it" (Jer 30:7). It is "indeed great and very awesome" (Joel 2:11). "The great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" (Rev 6:17). "It will be darkness and not light" (Amos 5:18). They said "to the rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us . . . from the wrath of the Lamb'" (Rev 6:16). "They will not escape" (1Th 5:3). "The earth quakes, the heavens tremble, the sun and moon grow dark and the stars lose their brightness" (Joel 2:12). "Who can endure it?" (:11).
God is "the Judge of all" (Heb 12:23) but "not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son" (Jn 5:22). He is "the One who has been appointed by God a Judge of the living and the dead" (Ac 10:42). "God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus" (Ro 2:16). "There is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known" (Lk 12:2). Is there a time for this? "We will all stand before the judgment seat of God" (Ro 14:10). "He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead" (Ac 17:31). "My decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out on them My indignation, all my burning anger'" (Zep 3:8). "'Therefore wait for Me,' declares the Lord" (:8). "You who are longing for the day of the Lord, for what purpose will the day of the Lord be to you?" (Amos 5:18). "Wait for His Son from heaven . . . who rescues us from the wrath to come" (1Th 1:10). "Perhaps you will be hidden" (Zep 2:3).
The day of the Lord is characterized by divine wrath. It is "that hour which is about to come upon the whole world" (Rev 3:10). "All the earth will be devoured" (Zep 3:9). "Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble" (Joel 2:1). There will be "'men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world'" (Lk 21:26). "All the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came" (Rev 11:18). One purpose was "to destroy those who destroy the earth" (:18). It "'is about to come upon the whole world, to test'" them (Rev 3:10). They are "those who dwell on the earth" (Rev 3:10;6:10;8:13;11:10;13:8,14;17:8). "The great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" (6:17). Is the divine wrath also poured out on the church? It is inconceivable that the church would be exempt from this retribution if it is experienced everywhere. "It is the time of Jacob's distress" (Jer 30:7). However, "in that day it will be said to Jerusalem: 'Do not be afraid, O Zion'" (Zep 3:16) for "he will be saved from it" (Jer 30:7). "In the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle" (Ps 27:5). Fortunately, "we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him" (Ro 5:9). "God has not destined us for wrath" (1Th 5:9). He "rescues us from the wrath to come" (1:10). "'I also will keep you from the hour of testing'" (Rev 3:10).
John wrote the prophecy to the church in Philadelphia saying, "'I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door'" (Rev 3:8). "'You have kept My word, and have not denied My name'" (:8) and "'have kept the word of My perseverance'" (:10) and therefore "'I will keep you from the hour of testing'" (:10). Philadelphia was only one of the seven churches the letters were written to which would imply that those promises wouldn't necessarily apply to the other churches. Philadelphia was 952 feet above sea level and was likely considered a fortress city. It was an agricultural center, manufactured textiles, and produced leather. Its location was as a gateway to the high central plateau and it was on an important trade route. The "hour of testing" (:10) is prophetic of the future which many compare to the period where "he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week" (Da 9:27). It is a certain future "hour" (Rev 3:10) similar to that "'My time is not yet at hand'" (Jn 7:6) but that "the time is near" (Rev 1:3) and will be that "'My time is at hand'" (Mt 26:18). However, the praeterist believes that Revelation only figuratively describes the events that took place in John's lifetime. Furthermore, the historist takes Revelation as God's prophetic program from the apostles to the end of the age which would be a panorama of church history. But the futurist postpones the events to seven years before and just after the Second Coming. Also, the dispensationalist sees the temple being rebuilt and sacrifices being restored.
"God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1Th 5:9). It doesn't say how we would be protected from divine wrath but "obtaining salvation" is the context of the verse. Christ "died for us" (:10) so that we "will live together with Him" (:10). We obtain salvation because "He who believes in the Son has eternal life" (Jn 3:36). "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life" (:16). "This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life" (1Jn 2:25). "The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ro 6:23). "'This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent'" (Jn 17:3). "'My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish'" (10:27-28). But "He who does not have the Son of God does not have the life" (1Jn 5:12). "'He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels'" (Mt 25:41). The context is not the method by which we will avoid the wrath but that "we will live together with Him" (1Th 5:10).
Jesus said, "'I will keep you from the hour of testing" (Rev 3:10). In Greek the word is "tereo" based on the primary root "teros" meaning to guard. When you guard something you (1) watch over, (2) are careful to pay close attention, and (3) observe to keep close track of it. This preserves its character so it functions as its supposed to and doesn't morph into another configuration or existence. "He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles" (Prov 21:23). To guard is "shamar" which is the primary root of "to keep." You possess and hold the status quo and guide yourself accordingly to avoid distractions. They expressed to "keep yourselves free from such things" (Ac 15:29) and to remain stationary outside from alternatives and separate from enticements. David prayed, "'Deliver me from my enemies, O my God. Set me securely on high away from those who rise up against me'" (Ps 59:1). He was not a captive and was separate though surrounded. "'They lie in wait for my life; the mighty gather against me'" (:3). He was free being outside but threatened being inside. The purpose was "to deliver their soul from death and to keep them alive in famine" (Ps 33:19). If God keeps you "from the hour of testing" (Rev 3:10) you can be in the midst of famine but you will not die because of the protection. They prayed "deliver our lives from death" (Jos 2:13) where the word is "natsal" to deliver oneself or snatch away. Deliverance is a major tenet of salvation in that "He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us into the kingdom" of God (Col 1:13). Jesus prayed, "'I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one'" (Jn 17:15). They were in the world but "'not of the world'" (:16) because Jesus "'guarded them'" (:12) and they had been kept "'in Thy name'" (:11). "He who was born of God keeps him and the evil one does not touch him" (1Jn 5:18) and "'no one shall snatch them out of My hand'" (Jn 10:28). You can be present in the "hour of testing" but preserved from the dangers.
Jesus said, "'I will keep you from the hour of testing'" (Rev 3:10). This has a temporal connotation. To "keep from" is a phrasal verb composed of a verb and prepostion. A preposition is a word which begins a prepositional phrase which contains an object of the preposition and certain modifiers. It describes a grammatical relationship with the verb in the containing clause as well as a semantic relationship with the other words in the sentence. The latter can be either spacial, temporal or logical. The "from" adjunct to the verb "keep" can represent spacial movement as with designating a starting point and then going somewhere. It could also represent separation in time as with the example "an hour from now." Jesus foretold his death saying, "'Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, 'Father, save me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour'" (Jn 12:27). "When the fulness of the time came, God sent forth His Son" (Gal 4:4). The hour of time is synonymous with the purpose or essential characteristic of the situation. To "save from" is similar to "keep from." Jesus prayed to be delivered from an experience within a period of time. Accordingly, to be kept from "the hour of testing" (Rev 3:10) is to be protected from the experience of testing and not removed from its period of time. Testing reveals the true character of someone by breaking something down as if to demonstrate failure. It was to "'test those who dwell upon the earth'" (:10) "'that you may be tested'" (2:10). It is a "fiery ordeal . . . for your testing: (1Pe 4:12). "The testing of your faith produces endurance" (Ja 1:3) so you can even "test yourselves to see if you are in the faith" (2Co 13:5). Therefore the lexical and contextual makeup of "'keep you from the hour'" (Rev 3:10) must be considered. The verb means to "protect" or "preserve" which would be from what was experienced during the time period rather than meaning that a person would be temporally removed from the period itself. Therefore protection from "the hour" would not be by physically removing believers but by supernaturally preserving them.
In a section of a book by a Bible teacher of a critique of another teacher's article he argues against theological presuppositions which do not allow the text to speak for itself. There must be solid exegesis, especially with the subjects of the Rapture and Second Coming. There are groups, for instance, which are based on when the Rapture will occur in relation to the Tribulation and when the Second Coming occurs relative to the Millennium. They all utilize the scriptures so as to support their own interpretation just as religions each have their own explanation of existence. The teacher used hermeneutics and I noticed all the colloquialisms used which reflect his thinking. They represent the depth of the analysis as well as how drawing conclusions can get muddled if proper exegesis takes second place to presumption. For example, he said a meaning had to be established by describing it provided it was acceptable, intended, and the usual message. It is to be taken as if spoken in a meaningful sense so it is a probable interpretation of what it means. Other phrases used involve the meaning in the original language being the key evidence to a correctly applied understanding. The context demands settling on and proving the acceptable position. There should be general agreement, examples would demonstrate it, and there would be lexical confirmation. Other phrases used are that a sense of the phrase under consideration has to do with the idea and notions about it as seen in the light of what it connotes and what is conveyed. Other wording warns of improper exegesis which goes against scriptural parallels, arguments are inconclusive or run counter to standards, purported pronouncements are unreliable, precipitous claims are made, or invalid logical leaps are taken and results are inconclusive. All these aspects and cautions reveal what pitfalls are possible ad how these subjects are especialy sensitive.
You have to piece together all the clues. At the last of his ministry Jesus revealed everything necessary to the extent that "His disciples said, 'Lo, now You are speaking plainly, and are not using a figure of speech'" (Jn 16:29). He had said, "'From now on you shall not see Me until you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!''" (Mt 23:39). He spoke of the Second Coming. He said, "'Again a little while, and you will see Me'" (Jn 16:16) but some of the disciples said, "'We do not know what He is talking about'" (:18). Consequently at the Olivet Discourse they asked, "'Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?'" (Mt 24:3). "Jews ask for signs" (1Co 1:22), and again, the Second Advent was the subject. Previously Jesus had comforted his disciples saying, "'In My Father's house are many dwelling places . . . [and] I go to prepare a place for you'" (Jn 14:2). The location is heaven. He continues saying that he will then "'come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also'" (:3). But Thomas questioned, "'We do not know where You are going; how do we know the way?'" (:5). Of course later on "He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight" (Ac 1:9). Then two men in white said, "'This Jesus, who has been taken up from you in heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven'" (:11). Again, heaven is the location.
Paul addresses the subject "with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him" (2Th 2:1). Jesus had said, "'I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also'" (Jn 14:3) which concurs with "thus we shall always be with the Lord" (1Th 4:17). That location has been previously described as heaven. John reports that "I saw heaven opened" (Rev 19:11) "and the armies which are in heaven . . . were following Him on white horses" (:14). "'The powers of the heavens will be shaken, and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky'" (Mt 24:29-30). "'He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect'" (:31). "'So shall the coming of the Son of Man be'" (:27).
Paul wanted to help the Thessalonians about "a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come" (2Th 2:2). Apparently there was false doctrine circulating concerning "the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (:1). The coming is synonymous with the day of the Lord. It seems that their tribulation was so severe that they thought the Great Tribulation had arrived and they had missed "the coming . . . and our gathering together to Him" (:1). Paul recounted that they had "endured the same suffering" (1Th 2:14) and "persecutions and afflictions" (2Th 1:4) which "we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer" (1Th 3:4). Paul didn't want them to be "quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed" (2Th 2:1) and had sent Timothy to them "to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith" (1Th 3:2). Paul comforted them saying that God would "repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you" (2Th 1:6-7). This would be "when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mightly angels in flaming fire dealing out retribution" (:7). "When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory" (Col 3:4). It will be "when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day and to be marveled at among all who have believed" (:10). Those Thessalonian saints and believers mentioned are they "who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord" (1Th 4:15) who are the same "saints [present] on that day" (2Th 1:10). "For just like the lightning . . . so will the Son of Man be in His day" (Lk 17:24). "In that day the Lord will be the only one" (Zec 14:9) "for it will be a unique day which is known to the Lord" (:7). They knew the "times and epochs" (1Th 5:1) where "the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night" (:2). It would be as stalked by a robber because they are obliviously saying, "'Peace and safety'" (:3). But that "day should [not] overtake you" (:4) because you are "of the day" (:8) and "are not in darkness" (:4). The "coming of the Lord" (1Th 4:15) will be "on that day" (2Th 1:10). Even though they knew "the times" (1Th 5:1) Christ warned, "'Be on the alert, then, for you do not know the day nor the hour'" (Mt 25:13). "Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes'" (Lk 12:37).
The day of the Lord is associated with judgment. Believers coexist with unbelievers since "'both [are] to grow together until the harvest'" (Mt 13:30). Then Jesus will say, "'First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up'" (:30). Then in judgment "'He will separate them one from another'" (25:32) and "'say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me''" (:41). There was war between the two sides at this time. "It was given to him to make war with the saints" (Rev 13:7). "The beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him" (19:19). But "destruction will come upon them suddenly . . . and they shall not escape" (1Th 5:3). "These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction" (2Th 1:9). He will bring lawlessness "to an end by the appearance of His coming" (2Th 2:8). "From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that He may smite the nations" (Rev 19:15) "dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus" (2Th 1:8). "The rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat upon the horse" (Rev 19:21). "The Lord will slay [the lawless one] with the breath of His mouth" (2Th 2:8).
Jesus told his disciples that "'the Son of Man [must] be lifted up; that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life'" (Jn 3:15). Paul explains that the perishable cannot "inherit the imperishable" (1Co 15:50). Therefore "at the last trumpet . . . the dead will be raised imperishable" (:52) and "this mortal will have put on immortality" (:54). When does this occur? It happens at the "last trumpet" (:52). "With the trumpet of God . . . the dead in Christ shall rise first" (1Th 4:16). Jesus said, "'He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect'" (Mt 24:31). God used trumpets to call Israel together and direct their movement in the wilderness. "The seven priests carring the seven trumpets of ram's horns before the Lord went forward and blew the trumpets" (Jos 6:8). John reported "I saw the seven angels who stand before God; and seven trumpets were given to them" (Rev 8:2). Eventually "the seventh angel sounded; and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever'" (11:15). "At the last trumpet . . . we shall be changed" (1Co 15:52). The seventh trumpet is the last trumpet. This event is synonymous with "'an hour [that] is coming and now is; when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live'" (Jn 5:25). "'Every one who beholds the Son, and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day'" (6:40).
"Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when" (Mt 24:1) "one of His disciples said to Him, 'Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!'" (Mk 1:13). Jesus answered, "'Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down'" (Mt 24:2). "As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately, 'Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?'" (Mk 13:4). Later in the discourse he said "'the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky . . . and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky'" (Mt 24:30). "'You shall not finish going through the cities of Israel, until the Son of Man comes'" (10:23). This was prophesied by Daniel saying, "'I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming'" (Da 7:13). This Parousia occurs after the Great Tribulation when cosmic signs appear (Mt 24:29). It is when "the sun became black . . . and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to earth" (Rev 6:12-13). "'There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves'" (Lk 21:25). "'I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes'" (Joel 2:30-31). "'Blow a trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; surely it is near'" (2:1). Jesus explains that at his coming "'He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds'" (Mt 24:31).
Paul cites that it happens "in the twinkling of an eye" (1Co 15:52) "'just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be'" (Mt 24:27). It is "at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed" (1Co 15:52). He explains that "the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout . . . and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first" (1Th 4:16). Then he says "we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord" (:15) "will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air" (:17). Jesus had stated, "'I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also'" (Jn 14:3). "'Everyone who is found in the book, will be rescued''" (Da 12:1). Both Jesus and Paul place activity in the clouds and sky, and both cite a trumpet sound. Angels are involved in both accounts, and each says that the elect will be gathered together. It was revealed that, "'Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven'" (Ac 1:11). All scriptures point to the Second Advent as being after the Tribulation which shows that there is no preliminary event before the Tribulation directly connected to the Parousia afterwards. The Gospels and Epistles are in agreement on this.
Scripture seems to treat the time of the end of the age as the day of the Lord. Everyone who "'believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day'" (Jn 6:40). "You were sealed for the day of redemption" (Eph 4:30) by "the Holy Spirit" (:30). Paul said "the Lord will award me on that day" (2Ti 4:8) the "crown of righteousness" (:8). Paul told the Philippians "be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ" (Php 1:10) "so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory" (2:16). God will "confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1Co 1:8). But "'you do not know which day your Lord is coming'" (Mt 24:42). "'Be on guard, so . . . that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap'" (Lk 21:34) for you "will not escape" (1Th 5:3). "The day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night" (:2). Why would Paul mention this if there was a pretribulation rapture which would extradite them from the threat? He encouraged them saying they were "not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief" (:4). "Let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober" (:6) "since we are of the day" (:8). Jesus advised watchfulness saying "'you also must be ready'" (Mt 24:44) and "'keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape'" (Lk 21:36). Therefore, Christians are present when the events of the day of the Lord arrives.
Although the Great Tribulation is never specifically included in the day of the Lord, it is associated with judgment and destruction of the ungodly. "The great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" (Rev 6:17). They "gather them together for the war of the great day of God" (16:14), "'You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,' says the Lord of hosts" (Mal 4:3). It is "a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities" (Zep 1:16). "The Lord will appear over them, and His arrow will go forth like lightning; and the Lord God will blow the trumpet, and will march in the storm winds of the south" (Zec 9:14). "The Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle" (14:1). "In that day the Lord will be the only one" (:9) "for it will be a unique day which is known to the Lord" (:7). "'So will the Son of Man be in His day'" (Lk 17:24). "Who can endure the day of His coming?" (Mal 3:2).
Words in Greek describing the Second Coming pertain to Christ completing his plan and manifesting himself personally to his saints. It is not just in a video clip but is a substantive delivery. He will "establish your hearts without blame in holiness" (1Th 3:13) resulting in "praise and glory and honor" (1Pe 1:7) and "grace to be brought to you" (:13) so that "you may rejoice with exultation" (4:13). It is "in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming" (1Th 2:19) of the "revelation of His glory" (1Pe 4:13) at the "revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1Co 1:7). However, there is a readiness required of the believer. You are to "strengthen your hearts" (Jas 5:8) "so that the proof of your faith . . . may be found to result" (1Pe 1:7) in success. "Prepare your minds for action" (:13) because you will "share the sufferings of Christ" (4:13). "Keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely" (1:13) and "keep on rejoicing" (4:13). Ensure that "you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1Co 1:7). This is to guaranty that you "may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming" (1Jn 2:28).
"We exult in hope of the glory of God" (Ro 5:2). To rejoice is to celebrate something rewarding, and God's glory would certainly qualify. But since it is a hope it is unseen because "hope that is seen is not hope" (Ro 8:24). "Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off" (Pr 23:18). Central to this hope is "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col 1:27). This is the "hope that is in you" (1Pe 3:15) because it is the "hope of salvation" (1Th 5:8). Through rejoicing you proclaim "the hope and resurrection" (Ac 23:6). You rejoice because your "faith is the assurance of things hoped for" (Heb 11:1) since you know "hope does not disappoint" (Ro 5:5). Hope is in being "fellow heirs" (Ro 8:17) in terms of "the revealing of the sons of God" (:19) regarding "the freedom of the glory of the children of God" (:21).We rejoice knowing "we have a building from God . . . eternal in the heavens" (2Co 5:1). We don't rejoice selfishly because "a horse is a false hope for victory" (Ps 33:17). Consequently one's "hope is in the Lord his God" (Ps 146:5) and "my hope is from Him" (Ps 62:5). Therefore rejoicing means resting on "the hope of eternal life" (Tit 1:2) and "looking for the blessed hope" (2:13). Hope is the end product of tribulation because it "brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope" (Ro 5:3-4). We are to rejoice in hope and persevere in tribulation (Ro 12:12). "This hope we have as an anchor" (Heb 6:19). The expectation is for "the redemption of our body" (Ro 8:23) because "in hope we have been saved" (:24). Tribulation causes you to remember and "this I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope" (La 3:21). "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing" (Ro 15:13).
We are to be "awaiting eagerly" (1Co 1:7) the Second Advent. This connotes an expectation of an imminent event. His "coming is near" (Jas 5:8) which implies it is close at hand. Does this mean that he could return at any moment without warning? There would be flexibility if you interpreted it as happening within a predicted, limited period of tiime as "'when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door'" (Mt 24:33). So you don't have to worry about constantly sitting on the edge of your chair with your bags packed. But you do have to "'Be like men who are waiting . . . so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks'" (Lk 12:36). However, "'you do not know which day your Lord is coming'" (Mt 24:42). Therefore, be patient like the farmer who knows when his crops will mature who is "patient about it" (Jas 5:7) "until the coming of the Lord" (:7). Its not as if they had been left completely in the dark because Jesus told them about the antichrist who caused tribulation and the apostasy. But Christ's return would not be immediate as witnessed by the "'nobelman [who] went to a distant country'" (Lk 19:12). Many prophecies had yet to be fulfilled and the "'gospel of the kingdom shall [must yet] be preached in the whole world'" (Mt 24:14).
Rapture advocates promulgate the imminency of the event since it is impending. They say it is signless so it can occur at any moment even though its inevitability may be postponed. Even Jesus said of that generation that "'a sign will not be given it'" (Mt 16:4). However, later his disciples asked, "'When will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?'" (24:3). Much later Jesus said, "'I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, in order that no one take your crown'" (Rev 3:11). Paul advised "let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near" (Php 4:5). James agreed saying "be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand" (Jas 5:8). They anticipated his return using the word "Maranatha" (1Co 16:22) which means "our Lord, come." They were so convinced that Paul suggested they be "awaiting eagerly the revelation" (1:7). He said "we eagerly wait for a Savior" (Php 3:20). Another observed that Christ would appear "to those who eagerly await Him" (Heb 9:28). Jude advised "keep yourselves in the love of God, awaiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life" (Jude 21). But Christ did not come as soon as they expected. Waiting then became an attitude they had to cultivate so they wouldn't be nervous and upset.