by Paul Benson
The Tribulation Saints
Much discussion and speculation has taken place over the subject of the Tribulation Saints (those alive during the prophesied Great Tribulation). Who are they? What will they have to endure? Are they saved by martyrdom, or by grace through faith like the rest of us? Are they a part of the Bride, or not? The discourse continues with a broad range of opinions tossed into the mix. But I would like to suggest to you that today’s Believers will never become Tribulation Saints! Does that statement surprise you, considering the fact I embrace the Post-trib viewpoint? Please allow me to explain why this is true.
Tribulation Is A Promise
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
Jesus promised his followers tribulation in this life. Believers will not become Tribulation Saints during the Great Tribulation because you cannot become something you already are! The Church of Jesus Christ has been in tribulation since its inception. There is no such thing as a genuine Follower of Christ who is not already a Tribulation Saint!
Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22
As Paul and Barnabas traveled the areas surrounding Antioch the message they presented was an exhortation to remain steadfast in the faith because we must undergo much tribulation on the road to glory. He was cultivating a mindset in them to expect tribulation as a normal part of Christian life.
Tribulation Is Normal Christianity
For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. 1 Thessalonians 3:4
Paul also spoke of the promise of tribulation coming upon us in his letter to the Church at Thessalonica. Not something that would come along after the Church was ‘whisked away’, but a very real part of what all true believers will face as the world expresses its opposition to the life of Christ dwelling in his followers.
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12
Much of the tribulation a true believer faces in life will be the direct result of a testimony and lifestyle which confronts the unbeliever with the sinfulness of their own life. As we move closer to the end, and the iniquity of man comes to a fullness, so shall the opposition to the Word of God increase like never before. Jesus said then shall be ‘great’ tribulation (Matt 24:21). The word tribulation itself actually carries the meaning of pressure, affliction, and persecution. A look at Strong’s Definition for this word is very enlightening. Tribulation equals persecution! The great tribulation could rightly be called the great persecution.
(Although many try to make the word tribulation synonymous with God’s wrath, in an effort to promote the pretrib rapture theory, the Bible makes no such distinction. For an in depth look at that falsehood, and Strong’s definition for the word tribulation, see this post: Is The Great Tribulation God’s Wrath? The rapture theory has a limited shelf life, and is rapidly approaching its expiration date!)
Tribulation Sifts The Wheat!
But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. John 10:12-13
When the day soon comes where speaking in the name of Jesus will carry an enormous cost to it we will no longer hear the voice of the chaff. In the final days of this era we will see a return to the true pure Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the opposition to it will rise to a fever pitch. Tribulation and persecution weed out the halfhearted or compromised (as well as false believers); they are offended and fall away. The mark of the beast will see to that. I fear many with a shallowness of faith will not be willing to pay the price of following Christ in that day, and will turn from the truth.
Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. Matthew13:21
The lukewarm and compromised believers of that day will get off the fence on one side or the other. In the coming great persecution, as all of the organizations and denominations either defect to the enemy’s camp or cease to exist altogether, their gospel of mixture will also vanish. The Hirelings will abandon the flock and flee, just as Jesus said they would (John 10:12).
Tribulation Has Additional Purpose
The lines between truth and error will soon no longer be blurred by the teachers of modern opinion or man’s religious philosophies. Truth will light up the path of the Righteous while error will call out from the darkness; seducing those without a love for the truth. In the interest of self-preservation the chaff will distance themselves from the wheat, a sifting that is all according to God’s divine plan.
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; Romans 5:3
Like it or not tribulation is beneficial to us as Christians; but most don’t have ears to hear such truth. They feel anything negative could have no usefulness or benefit to us so why would God allow us to go through the time of great tribulation? Mention God using the great tribulation as a means of perfecting the Body of Christ and many folks are liable to pitch a fit. Believe me I have seen it! (He’s a loving God, they say, not a mean one!) But fuss as you might the Bible very clearly presents the truth that going through tumultuous times will work out a patient endurance in us. It is good for us!
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:3-4
In fact this patient endurance is a mark of perfection or maturity in a believers walk. It only comes our way through trials and tribulations, and is vital to our spiritual well-being. In your patience possess ye your souls. Luke 21:19 I think the popular notion that Christians will not see the great tribulation is indication of a larger problem. An unbalanced image of God that denies any facet of his character that doesn’t fit a liberal view of how a good God ought to behave himself.
This liberal mindset has taken root in modern Christianity and declares it’s wrong, even cruel, to spank your children (even though the Word advises us to). This in turn produces a mistaken notion that God would also embrace this mentality, and thereby not impose any chastisement or perfecting tribulations upon his children. But in fact the Bible says that if we are not chastened by God we are not even his children!
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Hebrews 12:5 (a scourge is a small whip, by the way.)
I hope our little study on tribulation in the life of a believer has been food for thought. So let me ask you now: Are you a Tribulation Saint? I sure hope you are. Let’s have a heart to face the tribulations of life, even great tribulation, with a confidence in the keeping power of the Lord. A confidence evidenced by these words from someone who knew much about going through tribulation:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39
9 thoughts on “Will You Be A Tribulation Saint?”
We are watching closley in t’he uk
I had an open vision 5 years ago . I was sewing and to my left a guillotine came crashing down and the blade was the back side of a credit card , the magnetic strip! I have 9 ft cielings yet the guillotine was enormous , the force was too great to descibe. All i hear you preach bears witness with what i know that i know. Thank you for what we know is going to come to pass.. and i thought i was alone… I do believe in a rapture, but i believe tribulation such as we have nevver known was taught by Jesus. Am i reading a differnt bible!.God bless you
Todd wrote: There is no Jewish writing that states, “I go and prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place, I will come back…” That is the reason there are never any references cited in regarded to this teaching. References don’t exist.)
Nonsense, Todd! Read John 14:1-2!
Hi. Thanks for the visit.
Todd was attempting to make the point Jesus’ words you quoted from John 14 were not a reference to another Jewish writing, or a commonly quoted saying, as many pre-trib teachers say. There is just no evidence to tie his words to a Jewish wedding standard. That was the point being make.
A similar claim is made about Christ’s words ‘no man knows the day or hour’ were supposedly referring a standard declaration concerning the feast of trumpets (to support pre-trib theory) but no one ever comes up with a source to validate that statement. The pre-trib teachers spout off unsupported statements at every step of the way teaching their wayward theory.
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I address the issues you bring up here in my books. I came from a pre-trib background and left that mistaken theory behind due to the contradictions it has with the Word of God, and examining it’s foundational elements which have no bible verse behind them.
In my books I show many examples of why I say either the rapture theory is false or the Bible is false. The Bible would not be worded the way it is if there were a pre-trib rapture. A couple of examples: If the pre-trib theory were true the angels in Acts 1 would not have told the followers of Jesus to be looking for a visible return, but they clearly did so. They would have told them it was a prior event they were to be anticipating. Why would they tell them to look for an event the Body of Christ would not be here to be see because they left earth years before? Additionally all the references to Christ rewarding the Church at his appearance/return would also be bogus if this rewarding had taken place seven years earlier as the rapture theory supposes. There are many such conflicts with Scripture produced by the myth of a pretrib rapture. MANY!
In my books I take each element of the rapture theory and look for evidence of that element in the Scriptures and not just in the teachings of man. If you would question this theory in that manner you would arrive at the same conclusion I have. The notion of a pretrib rapture is not presented in the Word of God. It has to be presupposed and then taught by implication.
One thing many do not consider but I take quite seriously is that adding in something like the rapture theory to the Word of God is extremely dangerous. The curse listed in Rev. 22:18-19 for doing so is not to be lightly esteemed. This is why I advocate basing our Christian beliefs on what is plainly stated in the Word of God. This is the safe position. Everything I believe and teach on end-time matters comes from what is clearly expressed in the Bible. If I have things I am not sure on or am wondering about I express them in than manner.
I look for a visible return of Christ because that is what is plainly stated in the Scriptures in multiple places. Where is there one place where it describes anything else? There in none! If fact if you consider what Jesus said in Matt. 24:24-27 properly (please read it and consider what I say) he was saying people would be coming saying this or that about his return, but we are not to believe anything other than a visible coming! He said BELIEVE IT NOT! Why should I believe in a secret invisible coming of Jesus when he plainly said not to?
The view I hold on the return of Christ and the resurrection of the believers is the historic and plainly evidenced one the body of Christ has presented from the beginning. The writings of the early fathers clearly bear witness to this fact. The pretrib theory is of modern creation and has no credible foundation in the truth.
God bless you sister for your love for Jesus and for his Church.
You said, “Do not overlook 1 Thess. 1:10 – he commends them as they “wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.”
Why is it rapture theorists think others ‘overlook’ this verse if they are not in agreement with pre-trib doctrine?
I very much am waiting for the Son of God to return from Heaven, and rejoice that he has delivered us from the wrath to come! This verse is referring to God’s eternal wrath not a temporal period of chaos and destruction. Jesus did not go to the Cross to save us from the great tribulation, but from the fires of an eternal Hell! This myopic view of 1Thess !:10, and that other verses about being saved from God’s wrath are referring to the time of great tribulation is just further evidence of the way Scripture is twisted and misapplied to promote the rapture theory.
I encourage you to take the time to read my books. I believe they will help you see the rapture theory is unsound, and should be rejected by those with a love for the truth.
May the Lord bless all who have a love for the truth of his Word.
Brother, much of what you write is truth: indeed, we MUST suffer persecution (and the church must be purified!), for we are one with Christ. Yet you still are not apprehending what has been conveyed over many hours of email communications.
Second Thessalonians was written because the young saints there – with whom Paul had only spent three weeks (Acts 17:3) – were thinking that the sufferings they were enduring were the great tribulation. Paul had to assure them that their blessed hope is that, having already endured self-denial through their sufferings, Christ would seize/snatch them up (Greek “harpazo”, Latin “rapturo”) imminently (WITHOUT preceding signs, which His second coming certainly has); THEN, with the restraining force of the Holy Spirit removed (with them, the Church, see Matt 16:18), the man of lawlessness would be revealed (2 Thess. 2:3).
It was key for me, previously believing in a post-trib rapture/resurrection, to realize that all that Jesus taught of the end times in the gospels and all that we know via John in the Revelation WAS NOT YET WRITTEN when Paul wrote these epistles to these young saints! He did not say anything more to them in their distress than what he wrote therein!
Do not overlook 1 Thess. 1:10 – he commends them as they “wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.”
As we know from the OT writings on the end times, God’s wrath is suffered through the hands of men as well as by natural phenomenon – the wrath coming via antichrist IS part of our sovereign God’s wrath (the devil is just a dog on a leash!). Also, as Jesus assured the disciples in Matt 16:18, the Church is NOT overcome! Period! The saints that antichrist overcomes in Rev. 13 therefore are most certainly NOT the Church saints, but those Jews and Gentiles who come to Christ during the great tribulation, after Christ seizes His Church remnant up.
It is His Second Coming which Jesus addresses in the gospels; Jesus had to die and be resurrected before the great mystery of the Church ruling and reigning with Him was given to Paul to apprehend and preach (the great prison epistles, especially Ephesians and Colossians).
God bless you, my brother, as you humble yourself, deny the desire for self-preservation, and press into the Lord in all this like a little child. His divine power enables us to demolish strongholds!
Nowhere in the Bible does the term “Tribulation Saints” exist. Saints, whether they live now, or during the time of great tribulation, are those SANCTIFIED in Christ. There are only TWO categories of people, those “in Adam (born of the flesh only, and dead in sin) and those “in Christ” (those born of God, alive in the spirit). There is no salvation outside of being in Christ, part of His body, the Church, and that includes all saints through all time.
(EDIT for length P.B.)
PreTribbers wrongly believe that because Israel rejected the Kingdom, God gave it temporarily to the Gentiles, and that the Church is some kind of parenthesis in the midst of God’s dealings with Israel. Nothing is further from the truth. Paul states in Ephesians that the CHURCH, not Israel is God’s ETERNAL PURPOSE from the foundation of the world. The Law was the “parenthesis,” for it was given as a temporary measure UNTIL the coming of the Seed, Jesus Christ.
(EDIT for length P.B.)
Jesus death on the cross allowed Gentiles to be grafted into saved Israel, creating what we call the Church. Through His death Jesus has made Gentiles partakers of the promises of Israel, and together, Jew and Gentile (including Old Testament saints!) we become a holy Temple in which God lives by His Spirit. We are the habitation of God. (PreTribbers like to claim John 14 contains a rapture passage. It does not. The Father’s House is NOT Heaven, it is the CHURCH.
(EDIT for length P.B.)
As for the ancient Jewish wedding scenario, it doesn’t exist. It was fabricated by PreTribulationist by piecing together various comments by Jewish writers, and it was been embellished over the years. There is no Jewish writing that states, “I go and prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place, I will come back…” That is the reason there are never any references cited in regarded to this teaching. References don’t exist.)
God is never going to undo what Jesus did on the cross. There is no seven years “Tribulation” where God reverts back to the Law. The Law came through Moses. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Moses is done. One greater than Moses, of which he wrote about, has come.
Thanks for the visit and the comment, although I did edit it for length. (1200 words? Yikes!) You did make some great observations, and I tried to retain the gist of it.
I also do not see a seven year tribulation period. But clearly there is a 42 month rule of the Antichrist ahead of us. As to the events of the end-times, some will precede that period, many will occur during it, and some after it as Jesus pours out the wrath of God upon his Return.
You should start a blog brother and get some of that revelation down in writing in a place people can access it. Seriously.