Do God’s people live through the coming tribulation or are they raptured before the tribulation?
The experiences of ancient Israel were examples given by God for His people living at the close of time. Just as Israel was delivered from Egyptian bondage after the plagues, so God's church will be protected through the plagues and be delivered from the hand of the oppressor (1 Cor. 10:11; Ps. 91:46).
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego entered the flames when they refused to yield to the universal death decree of Babylon's King. In those flames God miraculously delivered them. Their death-defying faith faced the flames (Dan. 3:16-28). He comes as a thief after the plagues (Rev. 16:15). What sense would it make to declare "Behold I come as a thief after six plagues are already poured out" if He had already come as a thief before they were poured out?
Rev. 15:8 emphatically declares "No man can enter the (heavenly) temple until the plagues are completed. 2 Thess. 2:1-3 makes it plain that the anti-christ is revealed before Jesus comes and is destroyed by the brightness of His coming (2 Thess. 2:8).
Isn't Jesus coming secretly? Doesn't the Bible say, "There will be two in the field, one taken and one left" (Matt. 24:40)
The Bible makes it abundantly plain that Jesus' coming is not a secret event (Rev. 1:7, Ps. 50:3, 1 Thess. 4:16,17, Matt. 24:27). When the Bible speaks of those being left, it does not say they will be left alive on earth. The extended passage in Lk. 17:26-37 describes the event in detail. In Noah's day there were two classes, "one taken (saved), one left (destroyed by the flood) (verse 27).
In Lot's day there were two classes, (one taken out of the city and saved, one left in the city and consumed by the fire). It will be similar when Jesus comes (Lk. 17:30-37). One class will be taken to heaven with Jesus and the other class will be destroyed. In Lk. 17:37, the question is raised, "Where, Lord?
Where are these people left?" The Bible answer is plain, "Whithersoever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together." Rev. 19:11-18 clarifies the point that the wicked are destroyed when Jesus comes, (see also 2 Thess. 1:7-9, 2:8)
Doesn't the Bible teach Jesus is coming as a thief (1 Thess. 5:2)?
Each Bible reference to Jesus coming as a thief is in reference to the unexpected time of Jesus' coming, not the manner of His coming. He comes quickly as a thief, unexpectedly as a thief, but in glorious splendor as lightning in triumphant glory (see Matt. 24:42-44, 1 Thess. 5:1-5, Matt. 24:27).
Does the Bible teach that the righteous receive their reward when they are raptured at the beginning of a seven-year tribulation but the unrighteous are destroyed at the end of the seven-year tribulation?
The parables of Jesus make it plain that the Second Coming of Jesus is a divine climactic event men and women are either saved or lost. There is no seven-year period to reconsider our lives. Now is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2). In Matt. 13:30, both wheat and tares (the righteous and wicked) grow together until the harvest. The righteous are saved and the unrighteous lost.
In the parable of the unfaithful servant, there is no second chance. The unfaithful are lost when the Lord of the household comes unexpectedly (Matt. 24:44-51). In the parable of the sheep and goats, men and women are either saved or lost when Jesus comes (Matt. 25:31-46).