This summer, there is a culmination of all that we have seen within the departure of the church from the faith once for all delivered to the saints. This departure has been extensively covered within the posts of this blog, three of the most recent posts written about this sad state of affairs being God’s Good Word: The Difference, Scholarolatry: Part Three, and Spiritual Deception. The end time whore, this ungodly juggernaut rejecting the truth and led of the devil is showing its impudent face in Washington, D. C., in July this summer through Together 2016. This ecumenical extravaganza has all of the primary players of apostate evangelicalism joining together with mother of all apostasy the Catholic church, and her heretical pope. Men like Luis Paula, Ravi Zacharias, Ronnie Floyd, and others will join forces with the various apostate branches of the visible church preparing the multitudes of nominal Christians for the coming of the Antichrist. They say they will be calling upon Jesus, but their Jesus is not Jesus Christ revealed to us by His Holy Spirit in the Holy Scriptures. So why is this post titled Tribulation Saints, because many of them will become believers during the tribulation as they realize the deception that captured them, they repent, put their faith in Jesus Christ and contend earnestly for the truth of the Word of God, laying down their very lives for their beloved Jesus Christ who saved them and the truth, the Word of God, that set them free.
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Revelation 20:4
At this time, God has a remnant that He has called out from the apostate visible church, just as He has done throughout all generations. God had his 7000 in Israel who would not bow their knees to Baal. Throughout the history of the visible church, God has had His faithful remnant who would not compromise their faith by bowing to the doctrines, traditions, and religious system of the fallen worldly church. Beloved, as we see that day approaching, let us remember that God has promised to rapture His children from this fallen world system before the rise of the Antichrist. We have His sure Word to hold on to. As we look at Matthew chapter 24 it will be obvious that Christ will rapture His church and gather together His tribulation saints at His return.
(1) And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and His disciples came to Him for to shew Him the buildings of the temple. (2) And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. (3) And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (4) And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. (5) For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (6) And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (7) For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. (8) All these are the beginning of sorrows. Matthew 24:1-8
In this passage from Matthew chapter 24 Jesus Christ our wonderful Savior and Lord describes this present world system that has existed since the time of His ascension into heaven. These plagues described by Jesus Christ have afflicted this fallen world continuously and beleaguered believers. This present world system has been characterized by deceit, destruction, and disasters descending upon believer and unbeliever alike. However grievous these terrible catastrophes have been, they cannot be compared to the wrath of God to come. Until the glory of Christ’s return, sharing His gospel is the only light that can dispel this present darkness.
(9) Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. (10) And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. (11) And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. (12) And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (13) But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (14) And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. Matthew 24:9-14
As the nearness of Christ’s return approaches the persecution of believers will increase along with concurrent evil, so that genuine love will be a rarity, even within the visible church which shall be enshrouded in false teaching and lies. As we continue in our walk with Jesus Christ, depending upon Him through the Holy Spirit and His Holy Word, we will be able to stand fast until the end. The gospel, again, is that bright spotlight showing forth God’s grace for the salvation of sinners throughout the world.
(15) When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) (16) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: (17) Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: (18) Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. (19) And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! (20) But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day: (21) For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (22) And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Matthew 24:15-22
This spreading of deceit throughout the world will result in the rise of the Antichrist, who will appear as the savior of the world to all, except those whose names have been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. He will bring about peace, prosperity and security until he declares himself divine and sets up his image to be worshiped in the temple of God in Jerusalem. After his desecration of the temple God will unleash His wrath upon this world given to lies and evil, without the ability to repentant, and fully given over to blaspheme. God will only stay His hand administering this wrath for the sake of those who belong to Him through faith in Jesus Christ, who are His very elect.
(23) Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. (24) For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (25) Behold, I have told you before. (26) Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not. (27) For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. (28) For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Matthew 24:23-28
As the time nears for Christ’s return, things will be so terrible many will be longing for His return. Deceivers will continuously make every effort to lead believers and unbelievers astray, away from Christ. Only the elect will be protected from this deception that will be accompanied by great signs and wonders. Jesus Christ will return according to God’s timing, and His return will be obvious to all.
(29) Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: (30) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (31) And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:29-31
Christ’s return will be apocalyptic. Unimaginable cataclysmic celestial calamities will precede the return of Jesus Christ. He will return with His saints at the end of the tribulation, and He will gather His tribulation saints who have not been killed by the Antichrist from one end of the earth to another through His Holy angels.
(32) Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: (33) So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. (34) Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. (35) Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Those who are alive during the tribulation period shall be witnesses of Christ’s return. This is a tremendous message of godly encouragement for those who will be experiencing unimaginable suffering, that Christ will return and gather together His own who have made it through the tribulation.
(36) But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (37) But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (38) For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, (39) And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (40) Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (41) Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (42) Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. (43) But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. (44) Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Matthew 24:36-44
Since the preceding verses give the signs before Christ’s return, this must be referring to a different event, and that event is the rapture of Christ’s church from this earth before the reign of the Antichrist and the outpouring of God’s wrath upon the wicked one’s kingdom. We must realize the reign of the Antichrist is just as much God’s wrath upon this fallen world as is the tribulation. God will allow mankind to turn from the truth and embrace the lies of Satan fostered through the Antichrist, because sinners love sin rather than God, and so reject the truth. There are multiple verses throughout the Scriptures that speak about the rapture and most importantly, the church is only referenced in Revelation at the beginning, before the heavenly scene and the tribulation, and then after Christ returns. The gospel is indeed preached throughout the world, but the preachers are Israelite men who have been saved through faith in Jesus Christ. The believers who make it through the tribulation are those who have responded to the gospel supernaturally preached through the Israelite believers.
(45) Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom His Lord hath made ruler over His household, to give them meat in due season? (46) Blessed is that servant, whom His Lord when He cometh shall find so doing. (47) Verily I say unto you, That He shall make him ruler over all His goods. (48) But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delays His coming; (49) And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; (50) The Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looks not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, (51) And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 24:45-51
The call for all saints is the same. No matter the epoch, believers must be faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ and demonstrate His love with other believers. Today, so many who claim to be God’s servants, are serving themselves rather than God and the brethren. This is aptly displayed by the purported “Christian” gathering in Washington, D. C., where the truth of the gospel and Jesus Christ will be smeared by false teaching and ecumenical alliance. May we be faithful and true to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for His praise and glory and the edification of the saints. Amen!
(14) Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (15) And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (16) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. (17) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Lord Jesus Christ may we longingly await Your return and our gathering together to You. As we look forward to Your return for us, may we always be faithful to You and obey Your Word. Amen!