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The Tribulation

June 4, 2014

Tribulation2“For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened” (Mt. 24:21-22)

Both Christians and non-Christians are interested in the future. Everybody has questions. Some of us are motivated by curiosity, others by fear and anxiety. For the most part, our questions will remain a mystery, but certain future events have been revealed in the Bible.

I would add a word of caution to anyone who attempts to study this topic. We cannot know everything about the future, but we can know certain things. In our attempts to discern what the Bible says about the future, we must be careful our conclusions come only from the truth of Scripture and not our own interpretations. Only God and His Word are infallible, not you or I.

To answer our questions about the Tribulation, it is important to look at God’s purpose for this world during that period of time: to pour out judgment on unbelieving peoples and nations (Isa. 26:21; 2 Thess. 2:12; Rev. 14:7; 15:4; 16). The Tribulation will be characterized by false christs; wars in which nations will rise up against each other on a global scale; unusual disturbances in nature including famines and earthquakes. The world will see terrible times of societal degeneration.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, and having a form of godliness but denying its power.  Wickedness will increase, causing the love of most people to grow cold.  The very nature of the Tribulation is that of wrath. It will be a time of “great distress” (Jer. 30:7). Things will get bad and then they will get worse. The suffering will be greater than anything the world has ever seen before.  This is why Jesus points out how difficult the time will be for pregnant women and nursing mothers (Mt. 24:19).

When I think about the suffering in the world today, it is easy to understand why so many people think we are in the midst of the Tribulation now. While we can conclude a number of things about the Tribulation, it is important to realize our conclusions are tempered by where we stand – with Christ or without Him. If we are among those who have confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior the Bible affirms we will be raptured before the Tribulation and will not be present during that time. If we are believers, God will provide for us today and tomorrow. It is clear Jesus does not appoint the church to wrath, but to salvation. With that in mind, those who know Christ have nothing to fear. Whatever the future holds, God is in control.

However, the application of this Bible truth is far different for the unbeliever. A choice must be made by each of us in this life and this choice will determine our eternal destination (and if we will enter the Tribulation if it occurs while we are still living on earth). Those who have been made righteous by faith in Christ will have eternal life in heaven, but those who reject Christ will be sent to eternal punishment in hell (Mt. 25:46). God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but desires all men to turn from their ways so that they can live eternally with Him (Ezek. 33:11).

How can we avoid eternal wrath in Hell and receive eternal life in heaven? There is only one way—through faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible is clear on what determines our eternal destination—whether we have faith in Christ and trust Him to save us from our sins. Christ’s simple way is the only way and it alone leads to eternal life. Jesus said, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2014 8:31 am

    Good message brother!!!

  2. June 4, 2014 8:40 pm

    Reblogged this on DiscernIt.

  3. June 6, 2014 1:24 pm

    I’m fascinated by Revelations, although I have to admit I cannot begin to interpret what any of it means. True, we do want to know what to expect, but in this case, we’re left to travel by faith alone :)

  4. June 8, 2014 8:36 am

    So very True Pastor Joe, we do need to be prepared as you said and yes we will be Raptured before the worst of the Tribulation (Matthew 24) or as Revelation calls it The First Sickle. Raptured as we know is a relatively new word and was not used in the early Manuscripts, the same as Trinity, They were called the Godhead, still Three in One and Dinosaurs were called Dragons and the Scriptures also tell us about Aids and D.N.A but not by those names, although they do describe them. There are others things like these Truths that only God could have known when they were recorded.

    How do we know if we have God’s Truth, it will be confirmed in the Scriptures or in Creation or both, what we share when read in context and by the empowering of the Holy Spirit, will be His Truth (1Corinthians2:9-16) even if others disagree. We are to ask for God’s wisdom and not just Trust in fleshy worldly wisdom, ours or others regardless of their credentials, awards, titles or popularity, Jesus is our Teacher and will lead us into all Truth and we are to share His Truth regardless of the response, we plant seeds, someone waters and God harvests.

    1John 2:26-28 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you but as the same anointing Teacheth you of all things, and is Truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath Taught you, ye shall abide in Him.

    Colossians 2 :2 -3 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in Love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

    1John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is True, and we are in Him that is True, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the True God, and eternal life.

    John 15:14-15 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.(KJV)

    Psalm 32:8I will instruct you and teach you in the way you shall go. I will guide you with Mine eye.

    Matthew 10:26-28 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops (KJV) these are perhaps our Computers, like the City Gate (see link below)

    City Gates – http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/blogging-for-jesus/

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne.

    • June 8, 2014 8:01 pm

      Absolutely Anne! God bless!

      • June 10, 2014 2:31 pm

        Hi Pastor Joe, I still feel disappointed that I can’t open your attachment but I have been following you for years so have good understanding of your focus but I still would have liked to have a copy of your first book perhaps we can talk about this further by e-mail.

        Yes I also agree with you Pastor Joe as you shared with Planting Potatoes, God knows those who are His and not one of us will be lost, even if our road is rocky before we come to True heart repentance and turn away from sin.

        I have a favour to ask you Pastor Joe, would you consider writing a message about Apostasy, I did read one recently but they left out the most important sign and also didn’t enlarge on another one that also shows clearly when someone is committing Apostasy. They did talk about denying The Trinity or The Godhead as They are called in The Scriptures with Trinity being a relatively new word, although I do remember you shared about the heresy of those who don’t believe this Truth but it would be good to share more fully on the others signs too because God tells us Apostasy will increase in the end times.

        One thing they misunderstood was they said the False Teachers have no knowledge they are teaching heresy but that is not what the Scriptures confirm, they say False Teachers are like wolves masquerading as Sheep, yes they are blind to God’s Truth but they choose to be by rejecting it but it is True those who are deceived by their false Teaching will be in darkness or blind but as you said those God knows are His nobody can snatch them out of His hands, He will bring them to the Light and open their blind eyes to His Truth but the others will be lost as they were destined for.

        I did try commenting on this persons Blog but they just ignored me, which sadly shows an unloving spirit because even if they did not agree God tells us to reason together with Him, not to show others disrespect and rudeness like the Atheists do.

        Please do not feel pressured Pastor Joe or that you have to write about Apostasy, it really is just a suggestion.

        Christian Love – Anne

        • June 10, 2014 3:05 pm

          It is a good suggestion, Anne. I have been working on a few articles about discipleship (I posted the first one today) and eternal security. I will get to apostasy, though. As you remember, I discussed this a little in my series on 1 John. I will have some time in a little while to send you another email with my book (I was actually wondering what happened). Thanks for your patience and faithfulness!

          • June 10, 2014 3:31 pm

            Hi Pastor Joe, there is no rush, thank you for even concidering to do it.

            I did e-mail you about not being able to open your book attachment, do you have a priviate e-mail address not attached to WordPress, it seems someone is blocking my e-mails from reaching you and this has happened before with others, I was also wondering why you never responded to my e-mail.

            Blessings – Anne

  5. June 9, 2014 11:45 am

    amen…good message! my observation: seems like a lot of what you spelled out is already happening. I am filled with thankfulness when I read that God is going to allow Jesus to take the church out of harms way before the feathers hit the fan – that will make twice that Jesus is able to watch out for us sheep won’t it? :)

  6. July 5, 2014 4:35 pm

    Reblogged this on A Mother's Wisdom and commented:
    Thank you!!! Love it.

  7. August 27, 2014 10:23 am

    This is the first point of disagreement I have with what I’ve read from you. I don’t believe in the “rapture”, but in the Second Coming of Christ. I just haven’t seen enough in scripture to back up that theory. But, like Whitfield and Wesley, it is not a point of contention .

    • August 27, 2014 11:57 am

      I understand, Angie. There are many views about the rapture. Even among those who believe in the rapture, there is disagreement about when it will happen (before, after, simultaneous with Jesus Second Coming, etc.). Do you reject the rapture completely or are you just not sure when it will happen? What about the Tribulation or Millennial Kingdom? How do you believe the “End Times” unfold?

  8. August 27, 2014 6:10 pm

    I can’t really say exactly, but I’ve not been convinced that the rapture and the second coming are two distinct things. It’s been a long time since I studied it. Guess I better brush up. huh?

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