Among the various issues that separate believers with regard to the timing of the rapture and other eschatological matters is the question of where the church appears in the book of Revelation. Due to the highly symbolic nature of the book, the answer to this question is not immediately evident, and much disagreement has arisen concerning it.
In this series of articles, I will focus on the contention between two prophecy schools: pretribulationism and posttribulationism — where this issue is concerned. I will be defending the posttribulationist viewpoint against arguments put forth by pretribulationist author Dr. Robert Gromacki.
The Case of the Missing Church
In an article for the Pre-Trib Research Center, Gromacki writes:
The word “church” or “churches,” so prominent in chapters 1-3 do not appear again in the book until the last chapter (22:16)…there is a strange silence of the term in chapters 4-19. That fact is especially noteworthy when you contrast that absence with its frequent presence in the first three chapters. One good reason for this phenomenon is the absence of the true church and true evangelical churches in the seven years preceding the second coming. The true believers of the church have gone into the presence of Jesus Christ before the onset of the seven-year period. The church is not mentioned during the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments because the church is not here during the outpouring of these judgments.
In my experience, this is usually the first point pretribulationists will make while laying out their case with regard to the church in Revelation. As Gromacki says, if the church is on earth during the events of chapters 4-19, why is it not mentioned as being on earth?
To continue reading Robert Hawes’ article, click here.