Biblical Eschatology

A Biblical study of eschatology and the pre-tribulational & post-tribulational rapture views of the end times.

Blasted Hope or Blessed Hope?

I have heard multiple pre-tribulationists such as Thomas Ice and Andy Woods say that a post-trib rapture would be a blasted hope. Another pre-tribulationist Jan Markell wrote a book called "How the Blessed Hope Became the Blasted Hope: The Attack on Bible Prophecy."

Even if the pre-trib rapture is the correct view, it is shallow to say that we only have hope if we miss the tribulation. They are basically asserting that any Christian who experiences tribulation or extreme persecution should then consider their hope to be blasted! How heretical! However, these "teachers", most living a semi-charmed life in countries that protect Christians, have no idea what it means to be persecuted. The worst tribulation they would ever face is picking up a cold latte from Starbucks.

I couldn't even fathom standing before God, knowing I stated that if the tribulation occurred before the rapture then it is a blasted hope. I fear for these people.

The writer of Hebrews was apparently ignorant of a pre-trib rapture when they state:

Hebrews 10:32-37 NASB
32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For, "Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay;
So to recap, tribulation, then Jesus comes and repays. It is interesting how these verses even start with a warning. A warning, which these pre-tribers should heed.
Hebrews 10:29-31 NASB
29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge his people." 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Did Paul share this same shallow hope? Did he ever say, my only blessed hope is to miss the tribulation? We know what Paul's hope was because the Bible tells us.
1 Corinthians 15:19 ESV
If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most TO BE PITIED.
Instead, Paul said his hope was the resurrection. Why was that his hope? Because at the resurrection, you receive the realization of your salvation and eternal life. If that's not your hope, then you're following the prosperity gospel.
Acts 24:15 ESV
having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.
Titus 3:7 ESV
so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the HOPE of eternal life.
This is exactly what Paul affirms; our hope is eternal life. It is very shallow to say our hope is to escape tribulation. Escapism stems from a complete ignorance of the extreme persecution and tribulation that Christians have gone through both currently and in the past.

Jesus stated that "In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world" (cf., John 16:33 NASB).

Not only that, but John states that he was, "your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation" (cf., Revelation 1:9 NASB). The Greek here is ἐν τῇ θλίψει. Thlipsis (θλίψει) here translates "tribulation" is preceded by the definite article τῇ. Meaning it is not just generic tribulation, but rather tribulation that spanned a definite period of time. If Paul taught a pre-trib rapture, someone must have forgotten to fill John in.
Revelation 2:10 NASB
'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
What about the Church of Smyrna. In Revelation 2:8-10, Jesus stated that this Church was currently suffering tribulation (v., 9) and that the persecution would get worse. Jesus states in verse ten, "Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life."

Did the Church of Smyrna have a blasted hope knowing that they would go through severe persecution and tribulation, and would be martyred for their faith? Nope! Jesus tells them in the face of this perilous time; your hope is "the crown of life."

Or what about the tribulation Paul went through: Even Paul went through persecution and tribulation.
2 Corinthians 11:23-29 NASB
23Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. 24Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. 25Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. 26I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; 27I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. 29Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?
Acts 20:23 NASB
except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me.
Christians have always been persecuted and gone through tribulation, and "according to ACN research almost 300 million Christians around the world—or 1 out of every 7—live in a country where they suffer some form of persecution, such as arbitrary arrest, violence, a full range of human rights violations and even murder."1 This has also been reported by the ACLJ, The Christian Post, stories of persecution in the last decade, more stories, or just Google "persecution of Christians." Persecution of Christians has been occurring for almost 2,000 years. This has been outlined in Fox's Book of Martyrs (read online).

Still not convinced? Below are numerous other verses that state Christians will endure tribulation:
Acts 14:22 NASB
strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, "Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God."
Hebrews 10:32-35 NASB
32But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, 33partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. 34For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. 35Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
Matthew 24:9 NASB
"Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.
1 Thessalonians 3:4 NASB
For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know.
2 Corinthians 6:4-5 NASB
4but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, 5in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger,
Romans 5:3 NASB
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
2 Thessalonians 1:4 NASB
therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.
1 Thessalonians 1:6 NASB
You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,
Revelation 2:9 NASB
'I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
Ephesians 3:13 NASB
Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.
2 Corinthians 1:4 NASB
who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Colossians 1:24 NASB
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions.
2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NASB
8we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
2 Corinthians 4:17 NASB
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,

1ACN, view online:

We Are Not Appointed to Wrath

The Timing of the Rapture

The Testimony and Parables of Jesus

Does apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 refer to the rapture?

The Church Not Found In Revelation

The Resurrection

1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11, New Doctrine or Just a Clarification?

Who Escapes What in Revelation 3:10?

Imminence Refuted

John 14 - In My Fathers House

Harpazo the Greek Word for Rapture

Behold! I tell you what mystery means

The Dead in Christ & Tribulation Saints

Andy Woods

Revelation is NOT Chronological

Is the Holy Spirit the Restrainer?

What I believe - Day of the Lord Timeline

Understanding Zechariah 14

Blasted Hope or Blessed Hope?

Understanding Greek Pronouns and Their Importance

The Comfort Given by Paul

The Rapture in Revelation 7, Part 1

The Rapture in Revelation 7, Part 2

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