TO THE ONE WHO CONQUERS

For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.” Hebrews 6:4-6

The last seven years prior to Jesus second coming

From the prophecies of Daniel, Daniel’s 70 Weeks, Olivet Discourse, and Revelation we are given a lot of detail about the last seven years before Jesus returns. first to take the saints to heaven (dead raised first and then those alive) and second when he comes to earth with the glorified saints to liberate Israel at the battle of Armageddon.

I believe as does Nelson Walters (thegospelintheendtimes.com) that the seven seals and the letters to the seven churches each give us a picture of the last seven years. For example, the sixth seal and Philadelphia, the sixth church, and the sixth year give us a picture of the final year the saints are on this earth just prior to the wrath of God being poured out onto an unbelieving world.

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like bloodFall on us and hide us from the face of Him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?Revelation 6:12,17

To the church at Philadelphia: “Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.” Revelation 3:10-11

At the trumpet blast of the seventh seal, the saints are raptured and at the same time the scroll is opened and the wrath of God is poured out on the earth with the Trumpet and Bowl Judgements. For the saints, the last year is a sabbath year. At the time of Noah’s Flood, Noah was on the Ark for one year and 10 days. Perhaps, this is one reason why Jesus said that at His return it will be as it was in the days of Noah, God’s wrath will be poured out once again for the same time it was poured out when He first judged mankind.

The Last Days Church is entreated to conquer, to overcome, to be faithful unto death.

EPHESUS – “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’” Revelation 2:7

SMYRNA – “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’ Revelation 2:10

PERGAMON – “To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’” Revelation 2:17

THYATIRA – “The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of ironRevelation 2:26-27

SARDIS – “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life.” Revelation 3:5. Note alsoBut the LORD said to Moses, Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book.” Exodus 32:33

PHILADELPHIA – “Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast to what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Revelation 3:11

LAODICEA – “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

The final church of Laodicea is “left behind” but they still have an opportunity to be saved. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.Revelation 3:20-21

The last days’ church will go through the prophesied time of tribulation and will see the Antichrist declare himself to be God. This will be a time when the tribulation for believers and Jews escalates. The pressure to take the mark of the Antichrist will be intense but Jesus told us to stand firm be overcomers as our deliverance is at hand.

PASTORS – PREPARE FOR THE COMING TRIBULATION

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 itLet 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 God2 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 anotherThen 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.