Friday, May 28, 2010

God’s wrath at the 5th seal

A while ago I came across an opinion at a rapture forum which I’ve heard a few times. One of the posters noted that God’s wrath couldn’t possibly occur during the opening of the seals because the 5th seal causes the martyrdom of the saints. Since the church is argued by many to be exempt from God’s wrath then it cannot occur at that point.

I’ve covered this in an earlier post. The opening of the 5th seal doesn’t cause the martyrdoms. What John saw had already occurred at the opening – the verb is in the past tense. Interestingly, the first four seals had riders on horses that parallel the chariots of Zechariah, but the 5th seal has no rider.

You could try to make the case that while the saints may have already been martyred at the 5th seal, the opening of the previous seals eventually contributed to it. Following on from that argument, you might then submit that, therefore, all the previous seals couldn’t be God’s direct or indirect wrath.

However, the same case can be used for the trumpet and bowl judgments. Eventually, whether you’re mid-trib, pre-wrath or post-trib you’ll still expect that someone must be saved in their physical bodies to enter and populate the Millennium. This must occur post-rapture and during God’s wrath. The chances are that some saved people will also die during God’s wrath whether by misadventure or martyrdom.

If you argue that there is no distinction between Tribulation saints and God’s church then those who are saved after the rapture are part of the church. Therefore part of the church will experience God’s wrath. That being the case, you have exactly the same quandary that you think applies to the pretribulational model.

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