These passages were compiled by our brother, Alan E. Kurschner, Ph.D., Eschatos Ministries. I have the pleasure and liberty to comment on them briefly.
In passage #5 we established the fact the the Rapture occurs after the [Great] Tribulation of those days. In this passage #6, we shall see that the “peirasmos” is the Great Tribulation, and that suffering is part of the Christian experience.
1 Peter 4:12–17
“Dear friends, do not be astonished that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in the degree that you have shared in the sufferings of Christ, so that when in the revelation [apokalypsis] of his glory you may also rejoice and be glad. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory, who is the Spirit of God, rests on you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or thief or criminal or as a troublemaker. But if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but glorify God that you bear such a name. For it is time for judgment to begin, starting with the house of God. And if it starts with us, what will be the fate of those who are disobedient to the gospel of God?”
The KJV says:
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”(1 Peter 4:12-17).
Our brother Apostle Peter in his general epistle to the body of Christ which was sent out from Rome, the seat of his evangelistic missions, metaphorically referred to as Babylon(1 Pet.5:13); for Babylon did not exist in the First Century AD, spoke of a trial by fire which shall come upon the believers as though some strange thing happened to us. The Greek word translated trial here is “peirazmos.” It is the same word rendered “temptation” in Rev.3:10, which hour of temptation or trial God promises to keep(protect) the faithful and uncompromising Philadelphian believers from within(ek: out from). Our brother Apostle Peter makes it clear here that the believers will witness this fiery trial or temptation which shall test everyone that dwells on the Earth both believers and nonbelievers. It will be so fiery it will be as though some strange things happen unto us believers.
Our brother Apostle Peter was referring to a fiery trial which was on-going in the immediate period, but he was also like the other prophets of Israel before him alluding to the fiery trial at the end of times which is the Great Tribulation. He called on all believers to rejoice in the midst of this trial though fiery and strange inasmuch as we are counted worthy to be partakers of Christ’s suffering. Why? Because in His revelation(apokalupsis), when His glory shall be made manifest, we shall also rejoice with exceeding joy. If we are reproached for the name Christ, we should be happy inasmuch as the the Spirit of His glory rests upon us. On the part of our persecutors, he is evil spoken of, but on our part He is mightily glorified. We as believers must not suffer as murderers, evildoers or criminals, troublemakers or thieves or robbers. If we suffer in the name of Christ, as Christians, happy our we; we must not be ashamed. We should be happy that we bear his name and are called upon to suffer shame or be humiliated and dehumanized for His name’s sake.
Our brother Apostle Peter went on to say that judgment must begin in the house of God. In other words, the saints must be tested, put to trial first during this fiery trial which is the Great Tribulation before the unbeliever will face theirs in the Day of the Lord. If judgment begins with us believers, what shall be the end of the unbelievers who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus the Christ. For if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear. They shall be punished with everlasting destruction in the Lake of Fire away from the presence of the Lord(2 Thess.1:9).
In the light of all this, how biblically accurate could one be to posit that the Church shall be exempt from the final fiery trial, the Great Tribulation?