If the Church is raptured off the face of the earth before the 7 year Tribulation starts, then how does God go about getting anyone saved during the 7 year Tribulation if there is no Church or main body of believers left to preach the gospel? The Bible says that a great multitude of people will end up getting saved during the Tribulation.
God is going to reach the lost during this horrific time of trouble through 4 basic avenues. They are as follows:
- The 2 Witnesses
- 144,000 Jewish Witnesses
- An Angel of the Everlasting Gospel
- A Major Outpouring of the Holy Spirit
As you will see in the Scripture verses listed below, God will still make every attempt to get as many people saved as He possibly can before His Son Jesus returns back to us for His second coming. All of the above avenues will be extreme measures being taken by God to reach as many people as He possibly can with His Church having already been taken out of the big picture by way of the Rapture.
Here are the Scripture verses to back all of this up.
1. The 2 Witnesses
The Book of Revelation tells us that sometime during the Tribulation, two witnesses walking with the power of God will come forth prophesying on His behalf to the whole world. The Bible says they will walk with God’s power to prophesy to the world for 1260 days, which is almost three and half years.
However the Bible does not tell us if they come onto the scene during the first three and half years of the Tribulation or in the second half of the Tribulation.
In either event, we know they will definitely show up sometime during the 7 year Tribulation. The Bible says that no one will be able to harm them or kill them during the 1260 days they are walking with God’s power.
If anyone tries to kill them, the Bible says that fire will literally come out of their mouths to kill those who would try to harm or kill them. They will literally have the power of God to shut down heaven to keep it from raining if they should so desire.
They will also have the power to turn our waters into blood and to cause plagues to come onto the earth to torment all of the nonbelievers.
However, when their time is up, the Bible says that the Antichrist will then be able to overcome them and kill them. After he kills them, he then allows their bodies to remain in the streets of Jerusalem for three and half days.
The nonbelievers will then be rejoicing because these two witnesses had been tormenting all of them during the three and half years they had been walking with God’s power.
I also believe the Antichrist is doing this to show the world that he has just defeated and killed God’s best. I also believe this will be shown worldwide on TV so the whole world will see what the Antichrist has just done.
However, after three and half days with their dead bodies lying and rotting in the middle of Jerusalem, God all of a sudden turns the tables on the Antichrist for all the whole world to see. God will literally resurrect the bodies of the two witnesses right in front of the whole world.
When their bodies are resurrected and these two come back to life, the Bible says that great fear will fall on those who actually witness this event. At this point, God will literally cause these two witnesses to ascend into heaven just like Jesus did.
Right after these two witnesses ascend into heaven, God will then cause a great earthquake to strike the city of Jerusalem causing one tenth of it to fall, along with killing 7000 people. Here is the verse that will specifically tell us all of this:
“And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days (1260), clothed in sackcloth … And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have the power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the day of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.
Now when they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three and half days, and not allow their bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because the these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
Now after the three and half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand men were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.” (Revelation 11:3-13)
For those who miss the Rapture but get saved afterwards, the exploits of these two witnesses will be a great faith booster to all Christians who are living at this time. They will see the power of God operating through these two witnesses and not even the Antichrist himself will be able to touch them until their 1260 days are up.
And even after the Antichrist initially kills them, God will still win in the end as He will go about fully resurrecting these two witnesses and literally ascend them into heaven.
For those Christians who know they are probably going to get martyred for their faith during this time, to see these two witnesses fully resurrect and literally ascend into heaven after they are killed will give them great faith, and also let them know that they too will go straight to heaven once they are martyred for their faith in Jesus.
2. The 144,000 Jewish Witnesses
Sometime during the first part of the Tribulation or possibly right at the beginning of it, God is going to choose and mark 144,000 Jewish people out of the 12 main tribes of Israel.
These 144,000 Jews will receive some kind of mark on their forehead from God. As a result of this mark and seal, the judgments that will fall upon the earth during the 7 year Tribulation will not touch or harm them.
God also calls these 144,000 the “firstfruits to God and the Lamb.” The Lamb is Jesus. God is making a statement that these 144,000 will be the first set of Jews to get saved and accept Jesus as their true Messiah.
Though Scripture does not specifically state that these 144,000 Jews will actually be witnessing to others, the conclusion among many students of Bible Prophecy is that they definitely will be witnessing and preaching the Gospel to others just due to the fact that they have now been saved and will physically be protected from all the judgments that will be hitting the earth during this time.
It is only logical to conclude that God will use these 144,000 Jewish witnesses to preach the Gospel, as they will now have the power of the Holy Spirit operating in them to be able to preach. I seriously doubt if God will just have them lying around and doing nothing, especially with the Church having been possibly raptured before they are sealed and come forth.
God is going to need as many people as possible to be preaching, witnessing, and getting people saved, especially if the main body of believers are no longer on the earth to preach and witness to others.
1. Here are the two main verses from Scripture that will tell us about these 144,000 Jewish witnesses.
“After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.
And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed.” (Revelation 7:1-4)
The rest of this verse then goes on to state the 12 main tribes of Israel and the 12,000 that will be taken out of each of them to total up to the 144,000.
2. This next verse tells us they will be the first fruits of the Jewish people to accept Jesus as their true Messiah.
“Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand having His Father’s name written on their foreheads … These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile, for they are without fault before the throne of God.” (Revelation 14:1-4)
Now what comes next is a real interesting twist. God is going to allow, for the first time ever, an angel to preach the Gospel to whoever is left on the earth during the Tribulation.
3. The Angel of the Everlasting Gospel
God has things set up down here on this earth for humans to preach the Gospel. This is not the job of His angels. However, God will apparently be making an exception to this during the time of the 7 year Tribulation. He is going to allow one angel to preach to all those who are still living on this earth during the Tribulation.
I believe the reason that God will be making such an exception during this time is because the church will have been raptured, and things will be getting so bad during this time, that God will have to supernaturally try to reach as many people as He possibly can before the end comes.
This next verse tells us that this angel will be preaching to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people that are dwelling on the earth at this time. This angel will be preaching at least in the last half of the Tribulation and probably before. I believe he could actually start preaching at the beginning of the 7 year Tribulation, just shortly after the Church had been raptured. Here is the verse:
“Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth – to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people – saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” (Revelation 14:6-7)
You will notice that this angel is starting to preach at the “hour of His judgment.” The next article I will be doing will be on the judgments that will come upon the earth at this time. There will be 3 sets of them and the first set will probably start right at the beginning of the 7 year Tribulation or just right before it.
This tells me that this angel will probably start preaching right at the beginning of the 7 year Tribulation and will continue to preach during most, if not all of the 7 year Tribulation.
The last avenue God will be using during this time to try and get as many people saved as He possibly can will be a major outpouring of the Holy Spirit Himself.
4. A Major Outpouring of the Holy Spirit
The Bible says in the latter days that God will be pouring out His Holy Spirit upon all flesh. When this event happens, people will be getting visions, dreams, and prophecies from God the Father. People will be getting major supernatural activity from God during this time!
Again, I believe the reason for this is because people are going to need to hear from God in a major supernatural way during this horrible time of trouble. This will be God’s extreme counterbalance to help offset all of the bad things that His people will be seeing and going through during this time.
When reading this verse, notice that right after God makes this statement about pouring out the Holy Spirit, that the verse goes immediately into the physical description of end times – the sun will be turning into darkness, the moon turning into blood, and He then uses the phrase “the great and terrible day of the Lord.”
This phrase is talking about the last 7 years on earth which is the 7 year Tribulation. This is how you know that this outpouring of the Holy Spirit is going to come during these times. Here is the verse:
“And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; and also on my menservants and on my maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the remnant whom the Lord calls.” (Joel 2:28-32)
I personally believe that God will actually start this outpouring of the Holy Spirit even before the 7 year Tribulation begins. I believe the Holy Spirit will start to release and come onto a lot more people even before the Rapture takes place.
I believe that God will start this major outpouring of the Holy Spirit in an effort to get as many people saved and pulled in for the Rapture as He possibly can. Then after the Rapture has occurred, I believe God will then intensify this outpouring in an effort to try and reach some of the real hardheads who did not get it the first time around and missed being taken out on the Rapture.
Many people believe that this outpouring has already started to begin and I agree with that assessment. However, I believe this outpouring of the Holy Spirit will intensify to a much greater degree in the coming years.
The next verse from Scripture will show you that a great multitude that cannot even be numbered from all the nations of the world will end up getting saved during the 7 year Tribulation as a result of the above 4 avenues God will be using.
However, as you have seen in the other verses, many of these people who get saved during the 7 year Tribulation will end up getting martyred for their faith.
However, the final part of this verse shows that God will allow these tribulation saints to rule with Him in the 1000 year Millennium Kingdom that will be coming to our earth. Jesus will literally be sitting and ruling from the Jewish Temple in Israel and these tribulation saints will be before Him serving Him in Jerusalem.
This verse then ends stating they will never hunger or thirst again, and that Jesus will wipe away every tear from their eyes. The bad times will be forever over and they, along with the rest of us, will live happily ever after in the coming Millennium Kingdom, and then eventually in the New Heaven and New Earth that God the Father will be forming out. Here is the verse:
“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” … Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His Temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:9-17)
As sad as it will be to see so many Christians put to death for their faith in God and Jesus during these end times, the ending will more than make up for it. I will be ending these series of articles with what it is going to be like in the 1000 year Millennium Kingdom where Jesus will literally be ruling this entire earth from the city of Jerusalem – and then the New Heaven and New Earth we will all end up with after the 1000 Year Millennial Kingdom has ended.
The bad times will be forever over, and we will all truly live happily ever after in this new environment with God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, all of God’s angels, and all of the rest of saved humanity.
I will leave you with one very consoling verse for the ones who will be martyred for their faith in Jesus during the Tribulation.
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” (Psalm 116:15)
I believe God will always hold a special place in His heart for all of the Christians who have been martyred throughout history for their faith and belief in Him. I do not believe there is a greater act of courage, bravery, and faith than to be willing to die for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.