Some believe that God’s children will be taken out of the world just before the time of tribulation. But the Bible teaches that God’s end-time people will go through the tribulation. In His great prophetic discourse on the mount of Olives, Jesus made the following statement immediately after mentioning the tribulation: “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:22). If the elect were not in the world during the great tribulation, they would not need the days to be shortened.
All throughout Scripture we see examples of the Lord saving His people through tribulation, not from it. Noah was not saved from the Flood, but through it (Genesis 8). Daniel was not saved from the lions’ den, but through it. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were not saved from the fiery furnace, but through it (Daniel 3). And also the children of Israel were not saved from Egypt before the plagues fell, but afterward. God demonstrated His love and power by preserving them in Egypt through the ten plagues. In the same way, the righteous will be in the world when the seven last plagues fall (Revelation 16), but God will preserve them.
Christ prayed to His Father for His disciples, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil [one]” (John 17:15). Likewise, in 2 Timothy 3:12, Paul states, “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Paul also stated, “we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).
In His parable of the two home builders, Jesus taught that the storm comes to the wise man who builds on the rock just as surely as it comes to the fool who builds upon the sand (Matthew 7:24-27). The storm will come to all.
The Bible describes the 144,000 as “they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). The Lord will surly deliver His children from the great tribulation (Daniel 12:1) preceding the second advent of Christ.
In His service,