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The Blessed Hope

Pre-tribbers believe that Jesus Christ will come  in "two phases."  The first phase is before the tribulation, when He "secretly" raptures the church into heaven. The second phase happens after the tribulation when He appears and everyone will notice this coming. Pre-tribbers also claim the bible gives us a "blessed hope." This blessed hope, according to them, is the rapture of the church. Let's examine this part of scripture closely:


"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."


Titus 2:13-14

At the above verse in Titus, Paul said we are looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ. Notice there is no mention of a rapture of any kind.  Also notice that Paul mentions a glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. Pre-tribbers, when does Jesus Christ appear in glory? The following scriptures will be used to to show when He appears in glory.


Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:


And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.


Matthew 24: 29-30

As we examine further into the appearing of the Lord Jesus, In Paul's second letter to Timothy, He writes:

I CHARGE thee therefore God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom...

2 Timothy 4:1

Paul said Jesus will judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and His kingdom. Remember, judgment comes after the tribulation and when He establishes His kingdom.  In Revelation, at the seventh trumpet, the scene when the kingdom of the earth becomes the kingdom of God, the twenty four elders say the time of the dead to be judged has come:

And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and thou shouldst give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldst destroy them which destroy the earth.

Revelation 11:18

The above verse is a clear indication the dead will be judged after the tribulation!

The word appearing used in Titus 2:13 is the Greek word apokalupsis which means manifestation. The same word is used in 2 Timothy 4:1 for appearing. So Paul used  the same word in both verses: The manifestation of Jesus which is after the tribulation. As we look further, Paul continued in 2 Timothy:

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge shall give me that day; but all to them also who love his appearing.

2 Timothy 4:8

The crown of righteousness that the Lord Jesus will give Paul will be on that day and also to them that love His appearing. I.E., His apokalupsis, or manifestation. As illustrated in the previous verse, at the seventh trumpet, the Lord rewards the prophets and the saints and those who fear His name. 

As we continue further, we will look at Revelation chapter 22: 

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Revelation 22:12

Jesus said He will come with His reward with Him to give everyone according to their works, which happens after the Tribulation.

In second Thessalonians, Paul describes the event when Jesus comes to destroy the Lawless one: 


And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.


2 Thessalonians 2:8

As Paul said, the wicked one will be revealed and then Jesus will destroy him at the brightness of his coming which is after the tribulation. As we look on the word brightness, it is translated from the Greek epiphaneia meaning manifestation


In the above verses  the words meaning manifestation are used for appearing and brightness. We conclude the verse blessed hope is the appearing or manifestation of Jesus which is after the tribulation.


As we conclude this article, let us look at Malachi:

But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:  And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

Malachi 3:2-3

Malachi describes the Lord's coming. Notice, he says "who can stand when He appears?" Does this look like something that will happen before the tribulation? Pre-tribbers, Malachi says when the Lord appears, who can stand ? For He is like a refiner's fire and a fuller's soap. His appearing does not happen when He secretly raptures the church out as you have been lead to believe. We must conclude His appearance that Paul refers to in Titus chapter two is the appearance after the tribulation.


Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

First John 3: 23

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Left Behind-A Study in Matthew 24