Matthew 24:21 “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
In a world that predominantly rejects the message of the cross, I have a hope that the rapture of the church will be the proof needed for all the doubters I’ve ever known.
I hope when the church that encompasses all true believers is gone, it will be such a shock to those who are left that they will see the error of their ways, turn to Jesus and repent of their sins.
So many times the worldly reasoning reaches it’s false conclusions and yet their paths leave them as doubters. The evidence is there, it all points to Jesus as the promised Messiah, and the testimonies of transformed lives gives proof of the work of God’s Spirit, yet the doubters still need more. I trust that no effort to share the gospel will have been in vain.
The faithfulness of every ambassador of Christ has been laid at the feet of Jesus, He will be the One to give the final proof…..for all those He’s called, to those He has predestined to be called sons of God.
The days will be full of trouble.
For those who remain after the rapture, the level of distress will seem almost unbearable. Without the Spirit of God giving them strength many will be lost to the dissolution of hope.
Daniel 12:1 “At that time Michael, the great prince who stands watch over your people, will rise up. There will be a time of distress such as never has occurred from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people–everyone whose name is found written in the book–will be delivered.”
If people think it’s difficult to give up everything and follow Christ now, wait until the entire world opposes them. Death is all but certain and the numbers of fellow believers will be small in comparison to today. The support structure of the church will probably be underground, and the ability to survive will be a continuous challenge.
Revelation 13:15-17 “He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
Many have speculated on what the mark of the beast will look like. Some have thought of it as a tattoo, while others are convinced it will some form of a computer chip. Whatever this mark will be, it will be clear to all present what taking the mark entails. There will be a clear delineation of following after the Beast and worshipping it as god. For those who reject the mark and choose to follow Christ, His seal will be upon them and they will be spared a measure of suffering at that time.
Revelation 9:4 “They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.”
With the church being lifted from the earth, all of the righteous will be gone. The sudden and unexpected rapture of the church will strike a chord in many who will be left. The ones who had heard the message will finally have their proof, and now the decision whether to follow Christ or reject Him will be a final call.
Revelation 7:4 “And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”
The false teaching of the cults has led many to be drawn away from the the Truth of God and corrupted by lies. The leaders of these movements were men like Charles Russell, Joseph Smith, or Mohammed who taught their followers how to follow false prophets rather than acknowledge the Son of God.
Orthodox Jews have had a knowledge of a Messiah but have been blinded to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. They continue to look for the first coming of the Messiah while the church age comes to an end. Like Paul the apostle, when the realization of their mistake unfolds, the dramatic change in their perspective will lead this faction of new believers to a worldwide evangelism crusade. It is these tribulation saints who will be martyred for their faith.
Revelation 13:18 “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”
The rise of the Beast will be the central figure of the end times AntiChrist. His role will be administrative in leading many to think he is the answer to the world’s current financial dilemma. (Removing millions of born-again believers from the earth will have a massive impact upon the world.)
The Beast will desire worship for himself. He will attempt to supplant God’s righteousness with a righteousness of his own. The deception will be global and the world will think they have their savior. Israel will be overrun by his forces and the abomination that causes desolation of the 3rd Temple will be the final straw for his demise. There will be many plagues, loss of natural resources, crime, and people savagely fighting to stay alive. For those tribulation saints who come to Christ during this time of unparalleled trouble, death will be their end but salvation their gain.
Daniel 9:27 “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.”
The desire of the Beast to assume a position as God will be the event that leads to his demise.
Daniel 12:11-12 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.”
It is upon the desecration of the Temple where the Beast transgresses his place before the King of kings, he will sit upon the seat of judgement and thereby seal his judgement. We have seen many men in history attempt to assume this position and it didn’t end well for them, it will be no different for the beast. Soon after this historic event, the battle of Armageddon will begin and Satan’s forces will be annihilated.
Micah 1:3-4 “For behold, the Lord is coming out of His place;
He will come down
And tread on the high places of the earth.
The mountains will melt under Him,
And the valleys will split
Like wax before the fire,
Like waters poured down a steep place.”
*The Lord will stand upon the Mt. of Olives and the hill will be split in two.
Zechariah 14:4 “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.“
The culmination of this time will be the victorious triumph for Jesus upon the earth. Satan will be thrown into the bottomless pit and the millenial reign of Christ will begin. It will be the start of a thousand years of rest upon the earth and then the final judgement will begin.
Revelation 20:7-10 “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
Satan will be thrown into the Lake of Fire for all of eternity and all who followed his lead will follow him there. The Great White Throne judgement will be the finality of God’s judgement upon a sinful man and the finality of the church will be established forever. A new Heaven and new Earth will be formed and we will dwell in the presence of God’s throne forever.
I can’t imagine the suffering that will take place upon this world nor can I imagine the glory that awaits for those who are in Christ. All I know is that I am called to be faithful until that day arrives and I hope the church will be united in this great purpose until it does.
If you have been pondering the decision to follow Christ, now is as good of a time as any to make that decision. You can spare yourself the heartache of the tribulation and the questions that surround any thought of finally coming to Christ then.
Live for Jesus with all of your heart, you’ll be grateful that you did.