Christians Preparing for the Worst

March 26, 2015 at 9:35 AM 4 comments

It took tremendous faith to take that first step. God provided His grace to do so.

It took tremendous faith to take that first step. God provided His grace to do so.

I’m always amazed at how some lord it over others by stating that we need to “prepare” ourselves for the upcoming time of difficulty. These individuals – mainly those who believe that Christians will go through the Tribulation period (for any Christian who is alive at that time) – believe that it is incumbent upon Christians now to “prepare” for the coming horrors. They also believe that those who teach and believe in a Rapture that will occur prior to the coming Tribulation are deceived because not only are they not prepared for the Tribulation themselves, but they are doing nothing to help others be prepared for it either. This is a man-made reason – a straw man, if you will – for denying the PreTrib Rapture.

But let’s set aside the very thought of the Rapture at all for a few moments and deal with the realities of life as they are today. Let’s say you’re a Christian and let’s say you sense God calling you into the mission field from America. After much prayer and consideration, it appears as though the Lord is sending you to one of those nations in Northern Africa where the gospel is so desperately needed. Certainly, the gospel is needed everywhere, but for reasons unknown to you, God specifically wants you to go to Nigeria.

You admit you’re a bit perplexed and even somewhat afraid. Yet, you understand this to be God’s call on your life for now. You begin to go through the process of understanding life in Nigeria and you try to learn the prevalent language there. God directs you to an evangelical missionary organization that specializes in sending missionaries to Nigeria and other portions of Northern Africa. Over months, God prepares you by having you learn all about Nigeria, the language, the culture, the people groups. He also graciously provides the support needed for you to go there and live, without being a financial burden to the people of Nigeria.

As you continue to study, you learn about Islam and how they are persecuting Christians there, to the point of death, in many cases. Yet, you firmly believe God would have you go. You are still a bit apprehensive because of the unknown and you don’t know what to truly expect. However, you trust Him so you go.

Once there, you begin to see just how bad things are and just how needy the people are for the gospel. Your love for them grows and you dig in, earnestly desiring them to know the Lord. This is in spite of the fact that every day, all around you, the threat of ISIS, Boko Haram, or some other Islamic group threatens your very existence. Interestingly enough, because God has called you to that place, you are unconcerned. You know your life is in His hands.

You also realize how differently you understand things now. When you were in America, preparing for the day you would go, there were unanswered questions, unanswered feelings, and a bit of fear and trepidation because of it. Now, remarkably, because you are actually in Nigeria doing the Lord’s will, the calm that guides your life is uncanny, even in the face of death.

There are many examples of people who have died as Christians over the centuries. Many of them recorded for us in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. What some of these saints went through are things that we believe we could never do, even for the Lord. How does one stand up to the flames licking at your feet? How did Christians who lived long before us, get through being mauled to death by lions and other animals as entertainment for the masses of Rome? How did William Tyndale and others who dared to translate the Bible into the common language of the time, find the grace to not recant as they faced being burnt at the stake, or drawn and quartered, or some other horrendous torture leading to death?

The problem is that we think God will give us that grace now even when that threat is not part of our lives. I don’t think He will and there is nothing in Scripture that says He will give us grace way ahead of time when we might ultimately face that type of death. I firmly believe that at that time God will provide all the grace we need to with stand the temptation to flee and save our own necks.

This wholly false notion that Christians today only want the PreTrib Rapture because we want to “escape” what’s coming makes no sense whatsoever. Today, this world is filled with terrible situations for many Christians. In Nigeria and other parts of Africa, Islamic groups are on the warpath, destroying one church after another, often with Christian worshipers still inside those buildings as they are burnt to the ground! Every day, Christians are persecuted to death for their faith.

The only difference between what is happening today to Christians and what will happen during the Tribulation to Christians is the amount of times it will occur. During the Tribulation, the evil that will literally run rampant, will be so evil and so despotic that Christians will be persecuted the world over, every day, not just in places like Nigeria. During the Tribulation, the amount of persecution of Christians will be ratcheted up times 100 compared to what is occurring across the globe now.

If we compare the evil of the coming Tribulation vs. what the world is experiencing now, the truth is that there are pockets of misery and persecution of Christians to the death, but it has not yet swept the entire globe. Once the invisible (true) Church is taken out of this world, the “restrainer/restraining influence” (the Holy Spirit working through the true Church), will move out of the way with it. Of course God will continue to be in this world (He is omniscient), but He will not have the true Church to work through any longer.

Whether people can appreciate it or not, the invisible Church (not the church we see, the visible church which makes up ALL of Christendom and is filled with atheists, agnostics, and professing Christians), will no longer be here to act as a form of resistance to evil. With the invisible Church gone, so will be the “dam” that holds back the evil.

The Tribulation will be a time of unparalleled evil and the persecution of Christians will be a daily experience throughout the entire globe, including America. God will use the 144,000 Jewish evangelists of Revelation 7 to be His messengers spreading the gospel far and wide. It is not coincidence that after the 144,000 are sealed, we read starting in Revelation 7:9 that there are multitudes of people became martyrs during the Tribulation.

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands.

How does one prepare for that? You cannot prepare for it directly. The only thing you can do is draw close to God now and trust in His ability to supply the grace you need if that time ever comes into your life.

Some would have us believe that we have got to prepare for the coming Tribulation. How, by digging a hole and living underground as some are doing? By gathering up as many supplies as needed? By spending our days in prayer, memorizing His Word? Many people do that already and are no better off because of their heart.

God has our life under His control if we are His. He will give us the grace needed when we need it. We cannot prepare for a day that may or may not happen for us (we may die first). We can only go through this life, trusting each day that He will provide.

Today, in this world, right now, persecution is at an all time high for Christians. They are being slaughtered in many places throughout the globe. The only difference between today and the inside of the Tribulation boil down to two things. First, the incidence of persecution of Christians will become worldwide and daily. Second, the Tribulation will include the pouring out of God’s wrath onto this world.

God poured out His wrath during the days of Noah. During that event, Noah, his family, and the animals were completely safe inside the Ark as it floated above the earth. There was no place on the earth that God could have placed Noah without some type of harm coming to him. So, God placed Him inside the Ark that floated above the highest mountain peak. This is a type of Rapture event. God literally removed Noah from the earth.

God poured out His wrath during the days of Lot. Though that event was localized, please do not miss the fact that the angelic messengers came to Sodom/Gomorrah to remove Lot and his family from harm’s way. The actual judgment could not begin until Lot and family were taken out of the way. This was another type of Rapture.

We too often think that God is not able. We think that so much is dependent upon ourselves. This thinking is anti-God. He is more than able. He will save those who are truly His. He will provide grace to those who need it at the exact time they need it. More than all these things, He will be glorified, period.

People have all types of man-made – asinine – arguments as to why the Rapture won’t happen before the Tribulation. Meanwhile, they gloat because they are so filled with pride they cannot see the plank that sticks out of their own eye.

Do not worry about tomorrow. Do not mistakenly think you need to “prepare” for what is coming. If you are a true Christian, I’m hopeful you meet with other Christians weekly. I’m hopeful you meet with the Lord daily, through prayer and the reading of His Word. I’m hopeful that you memorize His Word, hiding it in your heart.

If you’d like, store up a few things in your home as you would if you live in an area prone to hurricanes or tornadoes. But don’t put your trust in those things. Place and keep your trust in God alone. He is able to save you. He will provide for you. He will give you the grace you need when you need it, not before hand.

I have seen His inexplicable grace work so mightily in my life, I continue to marvel. God is great! He is so loving to those who believe Him, who trust Him, who submit to Him.

Trust God to provide what you need today and know that He will do that every time you need Him to do so. He will not do it ahead of time.

In Joshua 3, we read that the Israelites had to cross the Jordan River at flood stage. God told Joshua that the priests would go first and when their feet touched the water, the river would part, allowing them to walk across without getting wet.

Imagine the questions, the trepidation, even the fear that those priests might have experienced. Yet, they moved ahead in spite of those fears. Put yourself in their place. Can you imagine how difficult that would be to put your foot into the water that was rushing by and was very deep? What if the waters didn’t part?

The fact that they obeyed (regardless of how they were feeling) is proof that they trusted God. God responded faithfully. But they only needed faith to trust Him at that moment their feet touched the water. They then saw that God was true and He parted the water!

Did they still need to “believe” or did they now “know”? This same transition applies to each Christian faced with dilemmas in life that only God can and will answer at the appropriate time.

Trust Him. Cast your cares upon Him because He cares for you. Do NOT listen to liars and thieves who will do whatever it takes to steal the faith you have in God! They are sinning. Leave them. Let God deal with them.

While you’re waiting either for your death or the Rapture, do NOT forget the command that Jesus gave us, that we should go into all the world and make disciples of all people. Spread the gospel, whether at home or abroad. Be a light in darkness wherever you are – work, school, church, or someplace else.

Submit yourself to God that He might work through you (as He already lives in you) to bring others to Him.

Entry filed under: christianity, Posttribulational Rapture, Pretribulational Rapture, rapture, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation.

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4 Comments

  • 1. Terry Farrell  |  April 13, 2015 at 6:40 PM

    Sir, we are living in a time of unparalleled persecution against Christians and it is spreading. You try to tell half the Christian world that there is a coming tribulation. They will probably a laugh at you, no, they will be amazed because they are already being persecuted into death while waiting for the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ who call an end to the tribulations. Jesus said, ‘In the world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.’ Stay faithful until the end. God bless you Terry Farrell

    Sent from my iPhone

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    • 2. modres  |  April 13, 2015 at 7:22 PM

      There is a HUGE difference between the persecution that Jesus said we could expect in this life – which began in the first century and has not let up – and God’s wrath that is poured out on this world during the Tribulation that Jesus speaks of in the Olivet Discourse.

      Do you honestly believe I care if anyone might laugh at me, Terry?

      Christians were persecuted to death during Nero and other periods in history.

      In fact Christians have been persecuted to death in nearly every age since the inception of the Church.

      I gather that we don’t agree on many aspects of Eschatology. I’m ok with that.

      You should be aware though that I will continue to teach Eschatology the way I believe the Bible reveals it here.

      Thanks Terry.

  • 3. Terry Farrell  |  March 26, 2015 at 10:27 PM

    Sir, you are suggesting that I am not a Christian and am full of pride because I don’t believe in a secret catching away before the Lord Jesus returns. That is untrue. I believe that we are already in ‘the tribulation’ we have been there since Jesus ascended to the right hand of God the Father. Never before has the tribulation been so intense throughout the world, never before has Satan been so active. Yes, the persecution will intensify and the ‘man of sin’ will be revealed, then shall be the shout and the trumpet of God sound and every eye will see His coming with those who have died in Christ, and those Christians who are alive and remain on the earth will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, so shall we ever be with the Lord. This is how I see it all panning out.

    Sent from my iPhone

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    • 4. modres  |  March 27, 2015 at 6:52 AM

      No, I never said or implied you aren’t a Christian. I HAVE come across MANY PostTribbers who seem extremely arrogant and have told me I’m on my way to hell. That’s been my general experience. Even with that it doesn’t mean I believe those folks are lost.

      The Tribulation itself does NOT begin until the Antichrist confirms a covenant with the many (Daniel 9:27). This is the First Seal of Rev 6.

      Moreover, if each “week” of Daniel’s 70 “weeks” is a period of 7 years each then unfortunately your math is WAY off.

      Daniel 9:27 speaks of the last “week” of 7 years. If there is no gap between the 69th and 70th weeks (I believe there is) that 70th week has long passed. If there IS a gap, the 70th week (which is also the exact length of the Tribulation period), is still in front of us.

      The Tribulation has a specific starting and ending point. There is nothing in Scripture that I can find that says it is 2,000 years long. In fact it is seems clear that THE Tribulation is 7 years in length.

      You seem to be allegorizing Scripture when there is no reason to do that.

      We have been in the LAST DAYS since the time of Jesus but while THE Tribulation is part of (or happens during), the LAST DAYS, the Tribulation is NOT the same as the LAST DAYS.

      Nevertheless Terry, you are entitled to your opinion and as long as PostTribbers allow me mine I’m just as willing to allow PostTribbers theirs. I do MOT believe varying views of Eschatology affect or connect to our salvation. However many PostTribbers have told me it does, which is why they accuse me of being on my way to hell and deceiving others along the way.

      Thanks for sharing your opinion. I appreciate it.


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