Premillennialism and the Tribulation Part IV: Pretribulationalism (continued) -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 112:446 (Apr 1955)
Article: Premillennialism and the Tribulation Part IV: Pretribulationalism (continued)
Author: John F. Walvoord

Premillennialism and the Tribulation
Part IV:
Pretribulationalism (continued)

John F. Walvoord

Argument from the necessity of an interval between the translation and the establishment of the millennial kingdom. A careful study of related Scripture will demonstrate that an interval of time between the translation of the church and the coming of Christ to establish the millennial kingdom is absolutely necessary because certain events must take place in the intervening period. In general, the argument depends upon four lines of evidence: (1) intervening events in heaven; (2) intervening events on earth; (3) the nature of the judgment of the Gentiles; (4) the nature of the judgment of Israel.

(1) Intervening events in heaven. According to 2 Corinthians 5:10, all Christians will appear before a judgment seat of Christ to be judged according to their works: “For we must all be made manifest before the judgment-seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”1 This judgment is not a general judgment—it relates to those described as “we all,” which the context would seem to limit to believers in Christ in the present age.2 The character of the judgment is that of reward. By comparing this Scripture with a companion passage in 1 Corinthians 3:14–15,

it is clear that the issue is not punishment for sin but reward for good works: “If any man’s work shall abide which he hath built thereon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as through fire.” The distinguishing of good and bad works in 2 Corinthians 5 is for the purpose of determining reward.

The character of this judgment seems to set it apart from judgments occurring at the second advent. The rewards anticipated in this judgment are described as imminent in several Scriptures. In 1 Peter 5:4 it is revealed, “And when the chief Shepherd shall be manifested, ye shall receive the crown of glory that fadeth not away.” Again in Revelation 22:12, Christ declares, “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me to render to each man according as his work is.”

While the time of the judgment is not explicit in any of the passages, certain other evidences seem to require this judgment a...

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