Church Not in Tribulation, Pt. 2 of 3 :: By Grant Phillips



Every child of God was once in violation of His holiness because of their sins, but all who repent and look to the cross in true belief are saved. Those who recognize they are a sinner needing forgiveness, and rest their faith in Jesus to save them, will be saved. All who turn to Jesus will be clothed in His righteousness.

{I want to interject a definition of the word “repent.” There are some folks who do not understand what the word “repent” means.

The Greek word is “metanoeo.” It means [1] to change one’s mind, i.e., to repent or [2] to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins.

Peter used this word in Acts 2:38, 3:19, and 8:22. Paul used this word in Acts 17:30 and 26:20. They were simply saying, ‘Change your mind’ or ‘change your mind for what is better.’ Those who have put their trust in Jesus have changed their minds about Him and now believe.}

For those who are saved: if Jesus paid the debt for our sins, and He did; if He clothed us with His righteous, and He did, we are positionally (the cross) without sin because God looks at us (true Christians) and sees the righteousness of Jesus Christ, His Son. All of this being true, why would He administer judgment and wrath (the Tribulation) upon those He has forgiven and clothed in His own righteousness? Why would Jesus administer His wrath (the Tribulation) upon those He has predestined, called, justified and glorified? (Romans 8:30-39).

Everyone, the Church included, will suffer tribulation (small “t”) in this world, but that tribulation is brought on by man, not by God. The Tribulation (large “T”) is God’s wrath, not on His bride, the Church, but upon the world.

For those who are in Christ: ALL of our sins are paid, and we are clothed with His righteousness. Therefore, there remains no reason for judgment. Jesus took our judgment upon the cross and accepted God’s wrath upon Himself for us.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).

The bride of Christ, the Church, “does not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” because every true believer is filled with the Holy Spirit of God.


“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14).

“Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” is speaking of when Jesus comes FOR His bride prior to the Tribulation; i.e., the Rapture. It is not referring to Christ’s Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation when He returns WITH His bride, because then it would mean that Jesus has lied and will take His wrath out also upon His bride, the Church. That is impossible. He cannot lie. This “hope” is not a “blessed” hope if we are waiting to be judged by His wrath (Tribulation). Once again, He, Jesus, has already taken our wrath upon Himself.


Satan would love to have free reign upon the earth … right now, but the Holy Spirit is restraining him. God will not allow him to be revealed until his set time during the Tribulation.

“And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time” (2 Thessalonians 2:6).

Satan is working in the world now in opposition to God, but until God says so, he is being kept on a short leash. When the time is right, God the Holy Spirit (He who now restrains) will return to Heaven with the Church and work through only a few individuals as He did prior to the Church age.

“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way” (2 Thessalonians 2:7).

Before Jesus returned to Heaven, He assured the Church through His disciples that the Holy Spirit would be sent to be another helper (of the same kind as Jesus), abide with us forever, and dwell within us. Jesus also promised that He would not leave us as orphans but will come to us.

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:16-18).

We are also promised the Holy Spirit to be a guarantee that we are always His beloved possession.

“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).

“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14).

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).

Once the Holy Spirit of God is removed (with the Church), Satan will be revealed in the Tribulation and eventually consumed by God.

“And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming” (2 Thessalonians 2:8).


Anyone acquainted with the Jewish engagement and marriage can instantly identify with the necessity of Jesus’ return for His bride prior to the Tribulation. There is simply no other way it can fit. Why? The Tribulation is a time of His wrath (Revelation 6-18) upon this unbelieving world. Jesus must remove His bride from harm’s way first. They will be married in Heaven while Israel and the remaining world are being judged upon the earth during the Tribulation. The Church will return with Jesus at the end of the Tribulation when Jesus will intercede at Armageddon, end the Tribulation, and prepare for the Millennium.

If you are interested in reading an in-depth account of the Jewish engagement and marriage, Zola Levitt wrote an excellent booklet called A Christian Love Story. The ISBN is 1-930749-26-0. Every step of this beautiful love story will be fulfilled.

Think about it. There is no way a groom is going to beat his bride to a bloody pulp (the Tribulation), then say, ‘Okay Sweetie, now let’s get married. Love you.’

Also, in their marriage customs of that day, they were the same as married in their faithfulness to each other when they became engaged. We haven’t arrived at the marriage ceremony as yet, but Jesus, our bridegroom, is faithful, and He is not going to leave His Church on earth to suffer His wrath.


“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another” (Romans 12:5).

“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18).

In Ephesians 5:22-33, the apostle Paul speaks to husbands and wives, then says in verse 32, “This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.” Jesus and His bride are one. We are the bride and body of Christ. The Church is exempt from the Tribulation since we are His body and His bride. To think He would beat up on His bride, His own body, is foolish, to say the least.

Grant Phillips

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