When I was taught the pre-Tribulation Rapture, I was taught that while the seven-year Tribulation rages on earth, believers will be in heaven receiving their rewards at the judgment seat of Christ.
However, the Bible expressly states that rewards are given out AFTER the Tribulation. Let's look at the passages.
When will every man be rewarded according to his works? After Christ comes in glory!
This verse, spoken “unto his disciples” (v. 24), alone PROVES that Christians will not be receiving their rewards during the Tribulation (cf. II Timothy 4:1, 2 & 8).
“And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.” (Lk 19:15)
In the Parable of the Pounds, the Lord Jesus again teaches that his servants are judged:
- When he is returned
- After he has received the kingdom
II Timothy 4:1
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;” (II Tim. 4:1)
Paul states that believers (the living and the dead, and Timothy) will be judged at Christ’s appearing and kingdom.
This agrees with what the Lord Jesus taught, but not with the pre-Tribulation doctrine that I was taught.
Revelation 11:15, 18
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” (Rev. 11:15)
“And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them that destroy the earth.” (Rev. 11:18)
We've already seen what the Lord Jesus and Paul taught, and here in the Revelation, we see that John also taught the same thing!
AFTER the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord, THEN will be the time that the dead are judged (this requires a resurrection first!). And THEN, obviously, they will receive their rewards!
“And be-hold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Rev. 22:12)
Why does Jesus bring the rewards with him? Because believers are judged and rewarded on the earth at his kingdom, not in heaven and not while ‘hanging out’ in the clouds for seven years.
This agrees with the teaching of the Old Testament prophet Daniel.
“I beheld till the thrones were cast down [defeat of the ten horns and the Antichrist], and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool:…A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.”
The context continues with the slaying of the beast, and the lives of the rest of the kingdoms being extended for a short while.
Daniel plainly wrote that the judgment is after the defeat of the Antichrist and the kingdoms of this world.
The Lord Jesus, Paul, John and Daniel clearly taught that believers will receive their rewards:
- After the seventh angel sounds his trumpet
- After Christ returns
- In glory
- To receive his kingdom
- And, after the Resurrection of the dead (which occurs on the 'Last Day')
- Here on this earth
Is this what YOU were taught in church?