Q. With your help, I now believe the Church will be raptured before the Great Tribulation. Some friends have asked me questions about this. I need help with some of them so that I can explain my view point clearly.
1. How many resurrections are there in the bible? Is it only 2, as mentioned in Rev. 20 or more? 1 Cor 15:23 says that Christ is the firstfruits of the first resurrection, then those who belongs to Christ at His coming (actual first resurrection). If so, how does the resurrection in 1 Thess Chap 4 fits in since it is not the first and second resurrection?
2. Since all will be raptured, then what is the purpose of preparing for His coming? isn’t it going to cause Christians to slacken and just wait to be raptured?
3. Joel 2:31 says that there is a blackout before the Day of the Lord (the wrath of God as shown in the 7 vials?), Mat 24:29 says that the blackout happens after the GT and Rev 6:12 mentions the blackout as the sixth seal. If so, then the sequence is GT, blackout, then the Day of the Lord. So does that mean that the GT happens before the sixth seal and Christians must go through the GT to be killed as martyrs so that the number can be completed as mentioned in the fifth seal?
A. 1. There are two resurrections in the Bible. The first began with Jesus (1 Cor. 15:20), includes the Church (1 Thes. 4:16-17) and ends at the 2nd Coming with the Tribulation Martyrs and the faithful of Israel (Daniel 12:2). The 2nd, for all unbelievers, is 1000 years later. (Rev. 20:5-6)
2. This question doesn’t make sense. All we can do to prepare is believe that He’s coming for us as He promised in John 14:1-3. In Matt. 16:18 the Lord said that He would build the Church, not us. When He wants our help the Holy Spirit within us will prompt us accordingly. What do your questioners think the Church is supposed to do?
3. There are at least 3 “blackouts” during the 70th Week of Daniel. One is in Rev. 6 before the Great Tribulation begins, another happens during the 5th bowl judgment in Rev. 16:19 which takes place toward the end of the Great Tribulation, and the third happens after the Great Tribulation is over according to Matt. 24:29. Since Joel 2:31 refers to the one before the Great Tribulation, it has to be the one in Rev. 6. The Great Tribulation begins in Rev. 12-13 between the Trumpet and Bowl judgments.