The Bossy Church Lady's Take On The End Times by Sandra Purdue - HTML preview
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Chapter 1… What’s The Point Of The Tribulation? Is God A Cruel God Or What?
Though the day of the Lord is not a new idea, the time of the end, otherwise known as the tribulation, which was spoken of by many Old Testament prophets and confirmed by Jesus in the New Testament, many people have a hard time believing that a loving God could so ruthlessly torment the people that He loves. After all, isn’t He all about love and flowers and chocolate?
God is not a doormat. And the fact that God is slow to wrath doesn’t mean that He’s a pansy. Though Heisnothing but love, and Heisslow to anger, He’s perfectly capable of wrath. Put another way: God formed us in His image. We have likes, dislikes, and we hate some things and love other things. If we humans are capable of wrath, what could possibly make anyone think that God isn’t?
Hebrews 12 and Proverbs 3 tell us that just like any loving parent would punish his or her child for behaving badly, God chastises those He loves. In first Thessalonians 5, the apostle Paul proclaims that God wants all of us to come to repentance and rely upon His Son, Christ Jesus, to make us righteous in His eyes; however, if He must go to such extremes to get our attention, then He will do so.
Though God is slow to wrath, His perfect justice must be satisfied. Before Jesus comes and personally rules the world for a thousand years at the end of the tribulation, His Holiness demands that the world be free of sin. Because our sense of justice vastly differs from the Lord’s, being only human, we have no way of knowing the condition of a man’s heart or soul. Our justice is purely circumstantial: we look at the conditions surrounding the actions of a person and then pass judgment. God’s justice does not see the circumstances surrounding each individual or the why’s behind what we do, He judges each of us on the condition of our hearts and souls. An outwardly good person, someone who we humans would deem as being worthy of residing in heaven for eternity after he or she dies, could have a heart and soul that’s beyond redemption. And when really tested, such as during the time of the tribulation, his or herrealcharacter would surface.
God established this seven-year period of time called the tribulation for four reasons: to punish the wicked; to purge mankind of sin; to bring all who will believe in His Son to repentance; and to make the Jewish remnant see the truth—that Jesus is the true Messiah.
In Biblical prophecy, 1 week equals 7 years. A quick look at Daniel 9:27 will tell us that the tribulation will last for seven years. A few verses in the book of Revelation corroborate the verse in Daniel. One in particular can be found in Revelation 11 where it says that two witnesses will have power for “a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” That’s forty-two months according to the Jewish calendar. Forty-two months equals three and a half years, which is half of the tribulation. And if you read the book of Revelation, you’re certain to find a few more verses.
Because there are so many scriptures in the Bible that tell us what will happen during the time of the end, it’s difficult to know where to begin (or maybe it’s just me). To explain this as simply as possible, I have broken this chapter down into two sections: What will people be like, and ready or not.
What will people be like?
Many people think that we Christian’s are lying about the end times. They say: “Sure, you say that He’s coming, but where is He now?” Trust me, He’s coming and it won’t be pretty.
In Matthew chapter twenty-four, Jesus told His disciples that everything will be just like it was in the days of Noah: everything was business as usual and no one suspected that anything was about to happen, and then…BAM! The flood began.
Only Noah and his family were saved because Noah was righteous and he obeyed the Lord.
In his second letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul paints an abysmal picture of mankind as the last days approach. To paraphrase what he wrote to Timothy: people will be so busy satisfying their own lusts and chasing after the almighty dollar that they won’t care what’s going on around them. The care of their children, their aging parents, spouses, and community will be put on a back burner while they make as much money as they can. The type of people that Paul describes will be so self-centered that they won’t give a second thought to the downtrodden or the oppressed. As long as they’re happy, well fed, and content, life is good.
If you’re a parent, you already know what it’s like when your child disobeys on occasion; however, you nip the problem in the bud and bring your child back in line. Life with the kids who will be living near the time of the end will give their parents nothing but grief, and parents will be helpless to do anything about it. These kids will be so out of control and act like such jerks that their parents will be wondering why they even had children in the first place. Due to the laws in effect at the time, parents will literally be forced to allow their children to run the house.
Cussing on TV will be the norm and regular, prime time shows will be little more than x-rated porn. People will not flinch when they hear others misuse the name of the Lord.
Already beginning to sound familiar? I figured it would.
Paul went on to tell Timothy that mankind will refuse to hear the truth about God. They’ll want to hear that anything goes; that God will not punish them for their wicked deeds. Leaders who sugar coat the truth and put on an elaborate song and dance routine in order to entertain the congregants will replace the preachers who advocate the truth. Granted, church is a business and businesses must do what is necessary to keep their doors open, however, churches should be in the business of saving souls, not filling their coffers to support the preacher’s lavish lifestyle.
Jesus said that false Christ’s will be everywhere. You name it, they’ll do it. Because Satan himself can appear to be an angel of light, these counterfeit Christ’s will perform so many miracles, heal so many people, and work so many wonders that even the heartiest, most dedicated believers in the real Christ would be fooled by them were it not for the Holy Spirit.
Want to hear somethingreallyscary? 2 Thessalonians 2 says that the Lord will cause those who are too stubborn to believe in Jesus to be convinced that the antichrist is the Messiah; they will follow him straight to hell.
Don’t believe me? Go look in second Thessalonians 2:8-12! I’ll wait here while you go and look it up for yourself.
Since God hardened Pharaoh’s heart in the book of Exodus, there should be no doubt in our minds that He can do it to any of us simply for being too willful to listen to the truth.
I think that gives us a good enough picture of what mankind in general will be like.
Ready Or Not!
Even though we can find solid evidence that a rapture will happen all over the place in the Bible, there are those that claim that it won’t take place before the start of the tribulation… they say that Jesus won’t come back to get his faithful until after the tribulation ends. Knowing that the tribulation will last for seven years, and if Jesus will only come back at the end of the tribulation to get His faithful, why do you suppose that He said in Matthew 24: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only”?
How much more clearly could Jesus have said it? If the above verse isn’t compelling enough for everyone to understand that Jesus will come back suddenly, and without warning, then I don’t know what is.
Furthermore, I am inclined to ask anyone who does not hold a pre-trib view why they think that God would promise to keep His own safe from the coming judgments 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and then in Revelation 3:10 and then make the same people, who He promised to keep safe, suffer through any part of the tribulation?
In Genesis 5, we learn that Enoch was raptured by the Lord and in 2 Kings 2, we can read the account of how the Lord took the prophet Elijah.
In addition to the aforementioned verses, there are several other verses that point to a pretribulational rapture, one of which can be found in Matthew 16, where Jesus told His disciples that some people will not even taste death before they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom. The apostle Paul stated in First Thessalonians 4 that the believers who remain on earth, along those who have died in Christ, will be caught up together to meet with the Lord.
How about the one in Luke 17 where Jesus said that there will be two in a bed and one will be taken while the other one is left behind?
Could it be any clearer than that? To me, the Lord has stated quite plainly that He will keep those who love Him from the terrible things that are to come. In heaven, we will have new bodies, perfect bodies! I know I’m excited for the Lord to come and get me, how about you?
Do I know when this will happen? Nope! And if you ever hear someone say that it will happen on such and such date, don’t believe it. Remember: Jesus said in Matthew 24 that no one, except God, knows when the rapture will happen.
In the parable of the ten virgins, Jesus warns us to keep our lamps full of oil AT ALL TIMES! Since none of us knows the timing of the rapture, we are to anxiously await the Lord’s return as though it could happen at any moment, because it will!
In case you misunderstood somehow, I will reiterate the worst things that will happen to everyone who is too stubborn to believe in Jesus before the rapture happens: Those who will be left here will suffer through seven years of absolute mind-boggling hell on earth—if they survive the entire tribulation period that is. It will be worse than anyone can ever imagine. The majority of the people that are left after the rapture will not survive for the full sevenyear tribulation period.
As Christians, it’s our duty to try and reach out to the world before it’s too late. It says in the Bible that God will wipe all our tears away, but why do you suppose we’ll all be crying? Think about all of the people that you love: now imagine them enduring seven years of hell on earth and then residing in hell for eternity all because you were too afraid to speak up. Ouch!
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