Earthquakes, famines, wars, rumors of wars, nation rising against nation, kingdom against kingdom – this is just the beginning, Jesus says. And then…
Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray an hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. (Matthew 24:9-11)
What if your timing of the “rapture” is not correct? What if you will have to endure the hardship everyone refers to as the “great tribulation.” I don’t care what your argument or position is on this matter, you could be wrong.
Are you prepared? I am not talking about, or, asking if you have food and water stored up. I’m not asking if you have a place to hide in the woods or the mountains somewhere. I am asking you about your faith. During such a time you had better be able to trust God. Can you trust Him to feed you, get you water, shelter? will you still trust Him in the face of imminent capture or death?
Jesus is pretty clear about what will happen in Matthew 24. He does mention something that sounds like the rapture we are all hoping for. Have a look at it.
“Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31)
If you’ll notice, this does not happen until “..after the distress of those days..”
Back to the question – will you be able to trust God during such a horrific time? Or, will you be one of the ones who turns away from the faith? Will you betray your family and friends to save your own life? Will you be deceived by false prophets?
Do you trust him? That is what it will boil down to. Are you in a habit of trusting Him? Do you know that He loves you? And if you think you do know, what do you base that upon? I am here to tell you that He does love you.
There really is a secure hiding place during this time. Want to know where it is? It is in God’s Son.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:16-18)
What is it that you must believe about the Son of God in order to be saved? God’s Son came into the world in order to take away sin. He did this by subjecting himself to our sin, even to the point of death. When he rose from the dead He made it possible for all of us to come to God without fear of being condemned. Believing in what Jesus Christ has done for you is the beginning point of your being able to trust in God during perilous times.
When you put your trust in what God has done for you through His Son your life is hidden within Jesus. Am I saying that this will exempt you from trouble, absolutely Not! Then what is the point? Number 1, your sin is forgiven and your soul is secured from being lost. Number 2, you can expect to be delivered in your difficult or even deadly circumstances. Number 3, you need not fear death. For Christians, death is just a doorway to life eternal with our Lord and Savior. You see, you have already died.
Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth, for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ (who is your life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him. (Colossians 3:1-4)
Soon, just as Jesus says in Matthew 24 if you are one of His followers you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations. Will you turn away from the faith, be deceived, and betray your brothers and sisters in Christ? Or will your faith be so weak that you are deceived by the false prophets of the time?
Begin now to build your faith. We all need to begin to spend more time in the Lord’s presence. I mean, how much time do you spend a day talking with Him? How much time are you spending in the bible? When is the last time you just sat and listened to him? Don’t make all these activities your religious duty. Through Jesus, you have a relationship with God. It is a relationship with your heavenly Father that you are cultivating.
As you grow in your relationship with God your faith will grow. You will learn to trust Him in every circumstance. When you learn to trust Him nothing will be able to shake your faith. Not now, not in the great tribulation, not ever. In Him your life is secure. In troubles your life is secure. Even in death, your life is secure. You are not likely to turn from your faith when you have grown so close to the Lord, no matter what is happening in the world.