The Great Tribulation
It’s at the height of Israel’s rejection of Christ as Messiah and just before His crucifixion that Jesus unveils a broad, general overview of the future in His Olivet Discourse with His disciples as they sit together with Him on the Mount of Olives just outside the city of Jerusalem. This Olivet Discourse is found in Matthew 24-25, Mark 13 and Luke 21.
The future Jesus describes is much worse than anyone could imagine. We’re not headed towards utopia and world peace. Just the opposite is true. It’s only going to get worse, before Jesus is inaugurated as King of Kings and Lord of Lords and turns this sin-cursed world around.
In this Church Age, and in this Time of the Gentiles there are more false Christians than true Christians and there are more false teachers, than true teachers of God’s Word,
This age is characterized by wars and rumors of wars, natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, fires and floods. This is an age of famines and plagues. Persecution and martyrdom of Christians has continued ever since the Church began at Pentecost and continues to this day and will continue through the Tribulation.
All of this is the culmination of Redemptive history which will bring about the end of sin and the bringing in of everlasting righteousness. All of these things Jesus spoke of on the Mount of Olives, had been prophesied throughout the Old Testament by prophets, such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel, Zechariah and Malachi.
The first prophet to prophesy of the Return of Christ in glory was Enoch, the seventh generation from Adam. Read of him in Genesis 5:18-24 and again in Jude 14. Note that Enoch never died. Like Christians in the coming Rapture, he was caught up alive into Heaven.
As we see prophecy unfold before our eyes, we recognize it as evidence of Christ’s omniscience, truthfulness and omnipotence to control all these events.
The next event on God’s calendar is the catching up into Heaven of the glorified bodies of Christians worldwide, instantly, in the twinkling of an eye. This event is not referred to in the Olivet Discourse. It is a promise to Christ’s Church. The Apostle Paul was given the privilege of unfolding this truth. He speaks of it in I Corinthians 15:51-58 and again in I Thessalonian 4:13-18, 5:2,9, Titus 2:11-13. It is also taught in Hebrews 9:28 and I John 3:1-3 Jesus also made the first reference to it in John 14:1-3.
THE GREAT TRIBULATION
Upon the catching up or rapture of Christians to Heaven, the Anti-christ will be revealed on this earth and will immediately make a peace treaty to protect the Jews. The world will be glad to see Christians gone and will welcome the Anti-christ as the peace maker they have so longed for. Read the following passages of Scripture for information concerning the Anti-christ and the beginning of the Tribulation, which interestingly will last for exactly seven years. Daniel 9, Matthew 24, II Thessalonians 2, and Revelation chapter 6-18,
For more concerning the Tribulation and the Seventy Weeks of Years, go to my PROPHECY link and study # 13, The Seventy Weeks
In the middle of the Tribulation, the Anti-christ will break his covenant with the Jews and will defile the Jewish temple by putting an image of himself in the Holy Place, demanding the world worship him as god. That will signal the beginning of the Great Tribulation and the beginning of the pouring out of God’s Judgments on the earth.
These last three and a half years will be the worst this world has ever seen. It will be the environmentalists worst nightmare with bitter rivers, bloody oceans, meteors falling to the earth, gigantic earthquakes, and the disappearance of islands and mountains from the face of the earth.
All of this is described in the opening of seven seals from Revelation 6:1 through 8:1. As the seventh seal is opened, seven trumpets sound bringing in more terrifying events recorded in Revelation 8-11. and as the seventh trumpet sounds, Revelation 16 announces seven more bowls or vials of judgment that will be poured out on the earth.
EVANGELISM DURING THE TRIBULATION
During the Tribulation 144,000 Jews, (not Jehovah Witnesses) exactly 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel, will take the Gospel to the world. This is mentioned in Revelation chapter 7 and 14. In addition, two witnesses, perhaps two Old Testament prophets, will return to earth to preach the Gospel. Their story is told in Revelation 11. Read about their death and resurrection at this time. In addition to the 144,000 Jews and the two witnesses, an angel spoken of in Revelation 14:6 will fly around the world preaching the Gospel for the final time. How many will be saved from all of this evangelism, we do not know. Those saved will refuse to worship the Anti-christ and be martyred. Their souls be caught up into Heaven.
THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
The final event of the Great Tribulation will be Christ’s returning to earth to fight His enemies in the Battle of Armageddon. It will be fought in the plains of Megiddo. You can read of this battle in Revelation 14 and 16. Christ will be victorious and bring an end to The Great Tribulation as the Anti-christ and the false prophet are cast alive into the eternal Lake Of Fire.
The earth will experience the final terrible hours of the curse of sin and then Christ will renew the earth, remove the curse from it and it will become once more somewhat like the Garden of Eden. Christ will come to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This coming will be His visible, glorious return to earth to reign, in contrast to the Rapture; that is, the secret return of Christ to catch up all Christian from the earth seven years earlier just before the Tribulation is unleashed on this earth.
Also Zechariah 12 and 13 prophesy of the Jews returning as a nation to Jesus as their Messiah and Saviour. Christ will reign over the earth for one thousand years. You can read more about that under PROPHECY in the articles on The Millennium. Also you can read a brief summary of the Millennium in Revelation 20.
If you have never yet put your trust in Christ, today is the day of salvation. Don’t put it off. One second after the Rapture has taken place, it will be too late for you, according to II Thessalonians 2:1-12.
What must you do to be saved? Get over your pride and admit you are a sinner who cannot save himself by his good works. Believe that Jesus is God in human flesh and that He came into this world to die on a cross to bear the punishment for your sins. Receive Him by faith. He will forgive your sins, come to live in your heart by His Holy Spirit and regenerate you, making you a new person who hates sin and loves righteousness. No, you won’t be perfect until you are in Heaven. But when you sin, confess it to God and the blood that saved you will continue to wash away that sin. Read I John 5:11-13 and get this decision settled once and for all right now.
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