By Ed Tarkowski
Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
Petrer said the Church is to hope to the end for the fulfillment of its one hope, which occurs at the time Jesus Christ returns and is revealed:
1 Pet 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1) a laying bear, making naked
2) a disclosure of truth, instruction
1) to uncover, lay open what has been veiled or covered up
If someone is in bed and fully covered up with the sheets and one takes the covers off, they are disclosed. If one has an antique car and it is covered by a canvas and the canvas is removed, the car is fully seen. Jesus will return in the power and glory of the Father to fulfill the hope of the church. The Christian's hope will be fulfilled when the sky rolls back (Revelation 6:14) and Jesus is revealed to the world in wrath, and to the Christian for salvation from that wrath. The dead in Christ will rise, living believers will be changed and caught up in the air. Such is our hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
When Jesus is revealed, He raises the saints who had died and changes those who have remained alive until His coming. Romans 8:17-25 paints a picture of the fulfillment of the saints' hope of glory, revealed at the revelation of Christ:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
We know that the Church is "waiting for the coming [revelation] of our Lord Jesus Christ:" (1 Cor. 1:7). The reason for our anticipation lies in verse 19 of the above passages: "the glory [of God] which shall be revealed in us." But that's not all; creation shares in this "earnest expectation" (v. 19) because it too "shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." The Church and creation are both groaning (vv. 22-23) and eagerly awaiting (vv. 19,23) the one event that will fulfill their same hope (vv. 20,24): the glory of Christ revealed in them. These expectations are based on the same hope:
"23: And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24: For we are saved by hope: " (Romans 8).
This scene describes the simultaneous breaking of the bonds of decay in nature and the changing of the bodies of the saints, when Christ is revealed. This is a posttribulational event because the rapture (including the changing of our bodies) couldn't occur seven years before the freeing of the creation from decay. Why? Because the world would go through the tribulation with creation "delivered from the bondage of corruption," experiencing "the glorious liberty of the children of God" under the reign of antichrist. This is ludicrous. Bob Gundry concurs:
"In Romans 8:18-25 the redemption of our bodies coincides with the deliverance of nature. But that deliverance will certainly not occur before the ravages of the tribulation" (The Church and The Tribulation, p. 36).
If we are to be raptured before the Tribulation, the world would experience the joys of a changed creation under the reign of antichrist. Furthermore, when Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation, He would pour out God's wrath on a creation that was freed from corruption seven years before:
Pretribulationism objects to this argument, saying the manifestation of the glorious sons of God is speaking of the "second" return after the tribulation in Revelation 19. But the context of Paul's writing is TO THE CHURCH AT ROME. It is THEY whom he is saying this to in the context of the resurrection (v.11-18, especially 11, 17 and 18). These saints Paul spoke to back then have already died and will be raised WHEN Jesus returns. When THEY ARE RAISED, CREATION WILL BE CHANGED.
In these verses, Paul is speaking about them being glorified and then continues by tieing that same hope of creation to the time they are glorified. Will they skip the resurrection that Pretribulationism proposes, which occurs before the trib? If not, then creation must be changed when they are raised. In Pretribulationism, there is NOTHING to justify the creation's having to wait seven years to be released from corruption after the glorification of the sons of God.