ESV - 9 I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
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Will the Roman Catholic institution go through the tribulation? I am glad that you have rightly described the Roman Catholic Church as an institution rather than a biblical body of Christ. Yes, it is a religious institution because most of their doctrines and traditions are inconsistent with the teachings of the Bible. With all due respect, I would not classify the Roman Catholics as a true Christian community within the context of the Bible. I have several reasons for arriving at this unpleasant conclusion. Now to answer your question, I perceive that you subscribe to the Pre-tribulation rapture theory which holds that the church will be taken away before the tribulation period ensues in order to spare the believers the afflictions that will follow. There are other rapture theories including the Mid Tribulation and Post Tribulation theories. If the Pre-tribulation theory is assumed, then any people who do not hold to the truths of God's word and have no saving faith in Jesus Christ will definitely not be part of those to be taken away at the rapture described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. They will face the full wrath of the coming tribulation. My reading of 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 indicates that the gathering unto the Lord shall not take place until two significant events occur in God's divine calendar. These are explained as follows: 1) The falling away of the false church which is also described as the great revolt. This is the great apostasy which has probably commenced in our time and whose intensity will increase as the coming of the Lord draws near. 2) The unveiling of the man of sin, also referred to as the son of perdition. The is the Antichrist whose ungodly systems and regulations have already taken shape in the modern world. He will viciously oppose and persecute the true church, hoping to annihilate them. As to whether the Roman Catholics will undergo the tribulation as an institution or religious sect is debatable. I believe that there will be a powerful global false religion affiliated to the Antichrist which many will fall for but which shall not exalt Christ. This apostate religion is described Revelation 17-18. The true church is warned to come out of this apostasy in Rev. 18:4-5. Some have identified it with the Roman Catholic Church but this is difficult to tell because apostasy is wide in scope and mutates into several cult movements. If it be true that the Catholic system will be part of the Antichrist religious order, then it is inconceivable that they would suffer the tribulation which will be sponsored by Satan and his agents against the true church. This is the wrath of Satan identified in Revelation 12-13. I believe that the church will go through a section of the tribulation period but God will preserve His church during this period despite the afflictions. The wrath of God is identified with the bowls that will be poured on the earth after the church is taken away (see Revelation 16).
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