Jesus will deliver His people from the wrath of God

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by Jimmy Evans

I read a lot of books on Bible prophecy and the end times. Many pastors and theologians have different perspectives on timelines, symbolism and other elements of what the Bible says, so there are a lot of different opinions out there.

Recently, I read a book that tries to make the point—very emphatically—that Christians will have to endure the Tribulation. According to the author, the Bible does not say that Christians will be raptured before the events of the seven-year Tribulation.

This author does state that believers will be supernaturally protected from persecution and the Antichrist, just like God protected the Jews in the land of Goshen from His judgments on the Egyptians.

Of course, anyone who has heard me teach on the end times, watched my videos or reads these articles will know that I disagree with both of those positions. I want to use this post to address those two ideas.

Will Christians Experience the Tribulation?

The Bible makes it clear that Jesus will deliver His people from the wrath of God. Paul writes about this in 1 Thessalonians:

For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

Jesus delivers us from “the wrath to come.” Paul writes about this again later in this letter to the Thessalonians, specifically in a passage in which he mentions “the times and the seasons” and the coming “day of the Lord.” He tells followers of Jesus to watch and pay close attention:

But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.—1 Thessalonians 5:8-11

Jesus Himself also talks about this. Luke 21 is one of the most graphic end-times passages in the Bible. Jesus gives a detailed account of the horrific events that will unfold at the end. He’s talking about the Tribulation.

And in that context He tells us to pray that we will be able to escape that terrible moment and to stand before Him:

“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.Luke 21:34-36

Note that Jesus didn’t tell us to pray that we would be able to endure those events of the Tribulation. He told us to pray that we would escape them.

Like Jesus and Paul, the book of Revelation also uses language about God’s wrath to discuss the Tribulation:

And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?—Revelation 6:15-17

The Tribulation isn’t just judgment. It is the wrath of God Almighty upon a world that has rejected Him and rebelled against Him. Even though there will be people saved during the Tribulation, it will be the worst time in human history.

So why does Paul write about that day and tell us to comfort one another with the information he gives? It’s because he’s sharing the wonderful truth that Jesus will deliver us from wrath. There is no possible way you can comfort me by telling me I will go through the Tribulation. No sane person who reads Bible prophecy and especially the book of Revelation could be comforted to think they are going to live through it.

Will Christians be Protected During the Tribulation?

God is a God of grace and second chances, and the Bible does indicate that there will be opportunities for people to be saved during the Tribulation. The book of Revelation speaks of a remnant of 144,000 Jews. As described in Revelation 7 and 14, God commissions these Jews to share the Gospel around the world. Because of their influence, many will be led to Christ despite the terrors of that time.

The Book of Revelation mentions this group of new followers of Jesus:

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”—Revelation 7:9-10

The author refers to these believers as “a great multitude which no one could number,” which tells me it is an enormous number of people, from every nation on earth. People will definitely be saved during this period.

But will those believers be supernaturally protected? Scripture doesn’t seem to indicate this.

Daniel prophesies that the Antichrist will persecute and “make war” against the saints of God:

I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom… 25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law.Daniel 7:21-25

Revelation also makes this point. Persecution is one way the Antichrist will seek to control the world—including those who follow Jesus and refuse to take the Mark of the Beast:

Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.Revelation 20:4

So both the Old and New Testaments clearly state that saints alive during the tribulation period will be persecuted and martyred by the Antichrist.

Comfort and Encouragement

Knowing this, I am comforted that today’s Christians will be raptured by Jesus before the Tribulation begins. We will escape the worst events of the Tribulation and the wrath of God. I am grateful for this.

I am also sadly confident that those who wait to receive Christ until after the Rapture will suffer horrible persecution—and even death—if they refuse to worship the Antichrist. This gives us every incentive to continue being an example for Jesus, sharing His hope to our friends, family and colleagues before it’s too late. (It’s also a reason I wrote my book Where Are the Missing People?, which can point people to Jesus before the Rapture and can be left for people to find after the Rapture.)

Please understand this truth: We are not destined for the wrath of the Lamb. We are destined for the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Soon, the world will go through seven years of hell on earth. But we will be going through seven years of delight and blessing in the presence of Jesus. I am so thankful for Bible prophecy. It gives us the knowledge of the future in advance so we can be encouraged and comforted in very difficult times.