I was once a pretribulationist and after I realized my error, one asset in studying the return of Christ was to compare what pre- and posttribulationists each said about particular verses. Through this investigative process, I found 1 Corinthians 1:7 to be a real thorn in my pretribulational side. This verse has turned out to be very important in concluding that Christ would return at the end of the Tribulation period, when He would be revealed to the world in judgement. But one constant "complaint" I often voiced to the Lord was the lack of one Scripture that would say, 'The Lord is coming for His Church at or near the end of the Tribulation" I eventually came across 1 Corinthians 1.7, which brought me satisfaction:

KJV "So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:"

NIV "Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed."

RSV "so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ;..."

NASB "so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,..."

Paul said the Thessalonian church was to be in a position of "awaiting eagerly the REVELATION (Apokalypsis) of our Lord Jesus Christ." But Jesus did not come; the Thessalonians died waiting. But that did not negate the future members of the Church (meaning us) from eagerly awaiting "the revelation." In the face of current world events, the entire Church is waiting for His return, but not all are expecting that return according to 1 Corinthians 1:7, meaning His coming for the waiting Church at the time He is revealed to the world. The definition of 'revelation' or "revealed" rules out the use of this word to describe the pretribulational secret coming for the Church. In pretribulationism, I believed verses using "revealed" meant that Christ is uncovered only to the Church at the rapture, such as in 1 Peter 5:1:

"5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed (apokalupsis)."

Imagine my shock when I later found this "private revelation" to be an assumption added to these cases. Such a pretrib revelation is nowhere found in Scripture. The fact that a waiting Church must be on earth when Jesus is revealed is evident The word Greek for "revealed' as given in Vine's is "apokalupsis," meaning, "revelation, an uncovering," and is akin to "apokalupto," meaning to uncover. So the interpretation of 1 Corinthians 1:7 should be simple enough: the Church is to eagerly await Jesus' return until his 'uncovering' to the world when every eye sees Him and to use the gifts God gives until that revelation. As a pretribulationist, I had no doubt that His "revelation" meant "every eye would see Him" (Rev. 1:7). It still does. What I didn't realize was that I, as a member of His Church, was to "eagerly wait for it" instead of a secret coming.

Scofield's KJV Reference Bible notes translates "apokalupsis" as "coming" in this verse, but even his notes maintain "the coming" is "the revelation" of Christ: "Apokalupsis, employed here,.. (means) unveiling, revelation. This word emphasizes the visibility of the Lord's return."

I've looked for commentary on this verse in books, other than the Bible, written by pretribers, but have yet to find any who comment on it. Someone may have, but I haven't found it. Because of the damaging conclusion one must draw from it in the pretribulational view, leaving it alone is understandable.

The verse has a simple message; there is no other meaning. There can't be another meaning because it is straightforward, "the revelation of," "the uncovering of," and not "the secret revelation of" or "the secret uncovering of." Putting all the other verses of His coming into a pre-trib scenario was for me somewhat appealing until I tried to place this verse into that scenario.

A time came in my Christian life when I had to ask myself, "Why am I INSISTING in my mind that this verse MUST mean something else? Why am I almost unconsciously attempting to get a pretrib meaning out of it?" (After all, we are to renew our minds by conforming our thinking to the word of God, not by conforming the word to our thinking. Finally, I had to admit that I had deceived myself concerning the time of Christ's returning for me as a member of His body, the Church. I was trying to get something else out of it because I realized that if the word "revealed" in 1 Corinthians 1:7 meant what everyone seemed to say it meant, then I had the Church raptured before the Tribulation but also on earth near the end of it when the revelation of Christ occurs. Furthermore, if I was to wait for his revealing (or uncovering or visible return), which can only occur at the end of the Tribulation, I was found to be guilty of waiting for "another Jesus" to come before that time. If I couldn't get another meaning out of this verse, the tremendous weight of it would crush my waning pre-trib beliefs. I didn't succeed; I never could get another meaning out of it, and my mind no longer insisted on another.