There are thousands of pastors out there that should be preparing the bride of Christ for the coming tribulation, but instead they are taking the easy road. Since most American and many Australian Christians have embraced the Pre Tribulation position due to best selling books such as The Left Behind Series it is comforting for them to get confirmation from their pastors that they won’t face the Antichrist nor the great tribulation spoken of in Revelation. And yet Scripture is replete with warnings such as Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12
Moreover, Matthew 24:29-31, Mark 13:24-27 Luke 21:25-28 clearly teach that the Rapture takes place “immediately after the tribulation of those days“
Paul confirms it “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Then many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. Matt. 24: 9-12
It was granted to him (Antichrist) to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. Revelation 13:7
All of the apostles were killed for their faith. Some early Christian leaders were stoned, others were killed by sword or spear, and some were even reportedly crucified upside down. Later on, the Roman Empire invented even more sadistic ways to kill Christians. Entire families were fed to lions, and one emperor even lit the roads with the burning bodies of Christians that he had killed. During the Dark Ages, the popes of Roman Catholicism tortured and killed millions that did not submit to their authority. Great men of God were burned at the stake for “crimes” such as translating the Bible into English and preaching a gospel of salvation by faith. Even today, Christians are being raped, tortured, beheaded and crucified by radical Islamic groups in the Middle East such as ISIS. Once again, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:10-12
Paul to the church at Thessalonica: “and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow labourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know.” 1 Thessalonians 3:2-4
It is sad to contemplate that many Christians will be faced with horrors that they have never been prepared for. Perhaps many will deeply question their faith or give in to despair and depression. Even of more concern, some may commit suicide so that they can get the “escape” that they were promised.
Ultimately, it really will come down to whether you will trust God regardless of your circumstances, knowing He is in control and will be with you every step of the way, just as He was with the early martyrs. Be encouraged, read some of their stories in Foxe’s Book of the Martyrs (updated 2006).
In fact, knowing Jesus return is not too far off we should be excited and committed to making sure we are in the centre of His will for the short time we have left on this planet and prior to meeting Him at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb – Revelation 19:7.