One of the most debated verses in the book of Revelation is Revelation 3:10. The Philadelphian church is given a promise: “Because you have kept my admonition to endure steadfastly, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is about to come on the whole world to test those who live on the earth” (Rev 3:10).
The crux interpretum of this verse is two-fold: (1) what is “the hour of testing”? Does it refer to the great tribulation or the day of the Lord’s wrath? Some prewathers think it is the great tribulation, but I hold that it refers to the day of the Lord’s wrath. (2) What sense should we understand “keep you from”?: Keep in the sense of physical protection or keep in the sense of spiritual perseverance within?
There are other exegetical considerations in this verse, even on how English translations render the punctuation. Without minimizing these other factors of the verse, I would like to step back and propose a simple response to the way pretribulationism interprets this verse.
Pretribulationism reads this verse as a promise to the church that they will be raptured (“keep you from”) before the day of the Lord’s wrath (“the hour of testing”), which they construe as before the 70th week of Daniel. This is supposed to prove a pretribulational rapture.
There is, however, one glaring flaw that escapes them (pun intended). Prewrath also affirms that the rapture occurs before the day of the Lord.
I agree that the hour of testing is the day of the Lord’s wrath. And we know that the church will not experience the day of the Lord’s wrath according to 1 Thess 5:9. Revelation 3:10, however, does not address when the day of the Lord begins, only the promise that the faithful will not experience it. As for when the day of the Lord’s wrath begins, we must look elsewhere in Scripture since Rev 3:10 does not address this point.
Therefore, pretribulationism cannot use this verse as a proof text for their position anymore than prewrath can use it for their own.