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In eschatology, it is important to remember that almost all Christians agree on these three things: 1) there is coming a time of great tribulation such as the world has never seen, 2) after the Tri...
We are now in the Church Age. This will be terminated suddenly when Christ will appear FOR the saints in the mid-air. "The dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thess 4:13-18). This is what we call the Rapture of the Church. This is our most "blessed hope!" (Tit 2:13). Then the world goes through the Great Tribulation under the rule of Antichrist. This seven year period is "the day of God's wrath." At its end Christ will return WITH the saints to the earth to establish His millennial Kingdom here (2 Thess 2:1-8; Rev 20:1-6). Then will follow eternity (Rev 21,22). The Church will not go through the Great Tribulation because "God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess 5:9; 1 Thess 1:10). The Church will be kept away from "the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world" (Rev 3:10). Some argue that the Lord will purify the Church through the Great Tribulation. I wonder why God should be interested in purifying only the last generation of Christians this way! Poor fellows!
If we can believe what Jesus said, the gathering together of His elect will occur immediately after the tribulation. Also, if Israel had to become a nation again according to the scriptures, in order for prophesied events to be fulfilled concerning her, it would not have been possible for the rapture to take place before 1948 when Israel became a nation again. That in itself would rule out the doctrine of imminence.
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