Another Objection

Some object to a Rapture near or at the end of the Tribulation on the basis that, biblically, the righteous are never punished with the unrighteous, proven by such examples as Noah, Lot, and the Israelites in Egypt.

Indeed, we certainly have good reason to believe that the righteous will not suffer God’s wrath during the seven-year Tribulation, as that would stand in contrast to many biblical precedents and promises (see, for example, 1 Thes. 1:9-10; 5:8).

Jesus, however, foretold of the great tribulation that the righteous will suffer during that time. It will be not at the hands of God, but at the hands of the unrighteous. Christians are not exempt from persecution—they are promised persecution. During the seven-year Tribulation, many believers will forfeit their lives (see Matt. 24:9; Rev. 6:9-11; 13:15; 16:5-6; 17:6; 18:24; 19:2). Many will be beheaded (see Rev. 20:4).

Thus, if every believer in a certain nation is martyred, there will be nothing to prevent God’s wrath from falling on everyone in that entire nation. And certainly if there are believers within a nation, God is able to protect them from His judgments as they fall on the wicked. During His judgments upon Egypt in Moses’ time, He proved that. God wouldn’t even let a dog bark against an Israelite, while judgment after judgment fell on the neighboring Egyptians (see Ex. 11:7). Similarly, we read in the book of Revelation of stinging locusts that will be released to afflict the wicked people of the earth for five months, but they are specifically not permitted to afflict the 144,000 Jewish bond-servants who will be sealed with a special mark on their foreheads (see Rev. 9:1-11).