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Against a Post-Trib rapture: The church is not mentioned after Revelation 5

An argument given here against a post-tribulation rapture is:

3) In describing the tribulation period, Revelation chapters 6–19 nowhere mentions the church. During the tribulation—also called “the time of trouble for Jacob” (Jeremiah 30:7)—God will again turn His primary attention to Israel (Romans 11:17-31).

This is a fair criticism. The scriptures do seem to give a pretty comprehensive countdown to the return of Jesus based on when the anti-Christ is revealed and covenants signed. However there are several points that can be argued in defense:

1. It is correct the the word ‘church’ is not mentioned after chapter 5

Rev 16:12,15,17 ESV  The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east.  ….  15  (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”)  16  And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.  17  The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!”

The Bowl judgments and specifically the 6th and 7th Bowls are understood to be at the very end of the Great Tribulation. However Jesus is still warning people to be ready for His surprise return. If His return ‘like a thief’ refers to the rapture, then this passage very clearly places the rapture at the end of the Tribulation period.

2. However it does mention ‘saints’, ‘your servants’, ‘prophets’, ‘martyrs of Jesus’, ‘apostles’

The words ‘saints’, ‘your servants’, ‘prophets’, ‘martyrs of Jesus’ and ‘apostles’ are used throughout  the New Testament to describe Christians. That these words are found throughout Revelation is good evidence that Christians will also been found in the tribulation described in Revelation.

Rev 5:8 ESV  And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

Rev 8:3 ESV  And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne,

Rev 8:4 ESV  and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel.

Rev 11:18 ESV  The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”

Rev 13:7 ESV  Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation,

Rev 13:10 ESV  If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.

Rev 14:12 ESV  Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

Rev 16:6 ESV  For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. It is what they deserve!”

Rev 17:6 ESV  And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I marveled greatly.

Rev 18:20 ESV  Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her!”

Rev 18:24 ESV  And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on earth.”

Rev 19:8 ESV  it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

Rev 20:9 ESV  And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them,

I am not arguing that all the verses in the list above refer to the tribulation period. But it is possible that one of the above verses, especially those highlighted in green, is referring to Christians in the tribulation period. A single verse is sufficient to dismiss the argument.

3. Arguments from silence are never strong

Even if it were true the church is not referred to using any language after chapter 5 does not mean that the church is not present during that period. Granted, it would be suggestive of that, but not conclusive.

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