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Great Tribulation

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:48 am
by Harry OK
Before the great tribulation, are you going to do anything to prepare for it? You are going to be PERSECUTED. What kind of percecution is it? Will it be some kind of chain of terrorist attacks? Will it be people like athiests and muslims marching down the street with signs saying: "Kill the Christians!" and they will come to your door asking whether or not your a Christian? I'll guess that if the answer is 'yes' they'll shoot you, and if it means my eternal salvation, I think I can deal with that. But torture? That's going to affect me psychologically if I have to answer such a question. I think the tribulations gonna be quite difficult, but then, that's nothing new... :?

Re: Great Tribulation

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:21 pm
by Jac3510
The Church will not have to endure the Great Tribulation. Let's look at a few things. First, let me quote 1 Thess 5:4-11 (NIV):
  • 4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
"This day" in verse 4 is a reference to the Day of the Lord (see v. 2). What is that? It is the entire tribulational period. In other words, it is the time in which God's judgment is poured out on the world. We are told here that it will come unexpectedly, at any moment, like a "thief." Because of that, we are to always be ready, not living immoral lifestyles, but always living for Christ so that when He comes, we will not be found in sin.

We are then told in verse 9 that we, the Church, are "not appointed to wrath" but instead to "salvation." The question here is this: What is "wrath" and what is "salvation"? Wrath and salvation clearly cannot refer to Heaven and Hell, because "for" at the beginning of verse 9 is explanitory. That is, it tells us WHY we are to live rightly. If wrath is Hell, and salvation is Heaven, then vv.1-4 are effectively saying that we have to live righteous lives to go to Heaven!!!

Now, we know that salvation is not by works, lest any man should boast (Eph 2:9-10). We should instead understand "wrath" as God's judgment upon sin in this world. This is a common usage of the word. For example, Rom 1:18 tells us that "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against ALL ungodliness." Salvation, in our verse, refers to our deliverance from that wrath.

So look at what we know so far: the Church is not appointed to suffer the wrath that God pours out upon sin. In general, this means that we should not sin, because it isn't our destiny to suffer wrath. But in the context of our passages, the Day of the Lord will come "like a thief," but we are appointed to for salvation from it, not sufferage in it.

Against this, the Tribulation is clearly referred to as the time of God's Wrath on earth (see Rev 6:16; 11:18; 15:1; etc.). In fact, let's be more specific. We know the 1 Thess is referring to the Day of the Lord, but look at what God has to say about that Day:
  • Near is the great day of the LORD, near and coming very quickly; listen, the day of the LORD! In it the warrior cries out bitterly. A day of wrath is that day, a day of trouble and distress, a day of destruction and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet and battle cry, against the fortified cities and the high corner towers. And I will bring distress on men, so that they will walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the LORD; and their blood will be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung. Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them on the day of the LORD's wrath; And all the earth will be devoured In the fire of His jealousy, for He will make a complete end, indeed a terrifying one, of all the inhabitants of the earth. (Zephaniah 1:14-18)
Notice that it is a "day of wrath." If, then, we are not appointed to wrath, then it is impossible for the Church to suffer the Tribulation period. Put differently, since the Tribulation is the time of God's wrath poured out on earth, and since we are not appointed to wrath, but instead to delieverence from it, it is obvious that we cannot be here during that time.

So what is the purpose of the Tribulation and the wrath? It is directed at bringing Isreal to repentence. Jeremiah calls the Tribulation "The Time of Jacob's Trouble." Note that Jeremiah 30:6-8 says:
  • 6Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? 7Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it. 8For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him. (KJV)
So, the conclusion to the matter is that the Church will not suffer through the Day of the Lord. We will be raptured before that happens.

Will we suffer persecution and the wrath of man? Of course. But the Day of the Lord--that is not something the Christian has to worry about going through.

Hope this helps.

God bless

Re: Great Tribulation

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:32 pm
by Canuckster1127
And, if he's wrong, God's grace will be sufficient to endure .... ;)

Re: Great Tribulation

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 5:13 pm
by FFC
Canuckster1127 wrote:And, if he's wrong, God's grace will be sufficient to endure .... ;)
Can God's grace coincide with His wrath? 8)

Re: Great Tribulation

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 7:24 pm
by puritan lad
Jac3510 wrote:The Church will not have to endure the Great Tribulation.
He's right. They already have.

Re: Great Tribulation

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 7:58 pm
by Canuckster1127
FFC wrote:
Canuckster1127 wrote:And, if he's wrong, God's grace will be sufficient to endure .... ;)
Can God's grace coincide with His wrath? 8)
Of course. God doesn't change and they're both present within Him right now. ;)

Re: Great Tribulation

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:16 am
by Harry OK
So... Christians won't suffer a huge intensity of persectution from non-believers prior to the wrath of God? :D Oh, thank goodness. 8)

Re: Great Tribulation

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 6:52 am
by Jac3510
Of course we will. I already said:
Will we suffer persecution and the wrath of man? Of course. But the Day of the Lord--that is not something the Christian has to worry about going through.
Christians already suffer tribulation in these days. But again, that is not the so called "Great Tribulation"--the seven years characterized by things like the rule of the antichrist, the vial, trumpet, and bowl judgments, etc. That is something no member of the Church will have to endure.

But I do have a question for you from your original post. You said:
You wrote:I'll guess that if the answer is 'yes' they'll shoot you, and if it means my eternal salvation
Are you saying that you believe that if a believer denies Christ under the threat of death, then they go to Hell?

Re: Great Tribulation

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 6:58 am
by Harry OK
Jac3510 wrote:Of course we will. I already said:
Will we suffer persecution and the wrath of man? Of course. But the Day of the Lord--that is not something the Christian has to worry about going through.
Christians already suffer tribulation in these days. But again, that is not the so called "Great Tribulation"--the seven years characterized by things like the rule of the antichrist, the vial, trumpet, and bowl judgments, etc. That is something no member of the Church will have to endure.

But I do have a question for you from your original post. You said:
You wrote:I'll guess that if the answer is 'yes' they'll shoot you, and if it means my eternal salvation
Are you saying that you believe that if a believer denies Christ under the threat of death, then they go to Hell?
Taken from http://godandscience.org/doctrine/tribulation.html:

"Their faith will be severely tested, since they may believe that God has abandoned them and that the prophecies of the rapture are not true. Under such circumstances, most believers will fall away and deny their faith to save their lives. Jesus, in fact, made just such a prophecy:

"And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another.... "But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved. (Matthew 24:10, 13)

If you are a Christian, be prepared to die for your faith. Even your fellow "brothers" will deliver you to the authorities to avoid their own deaths. If you are not willing to die for what you believe, you will deny your faith when threatened with death. Be aware of what Jesus said about those who seek to save their lives:

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. (Matthew 16:25)"

Re: Great Tribulation

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 7:18 am
by Jac3510
Rich mentions two verses here that need commenting on.
"And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another.... "But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved. (Matthew 24:10, 13)

If you are a Christian, be prepared to die for your faith. Even your fellow "brothers" will deliver you to the authorities to avoid their own deaths. If you are not willing to die for what you believe, you will deny your faith when threatened with death. Be aware of what Jesus said about those who seek to save their lives:
This verse is found, as you see, in Matthew 24. This is called the Olivet Discourse. According to the futurist view, the events described in that chapter will happen during the seven year tribulation period, which is yet to happen. The reference to enduring to the end for salvation does not mean salvaton from HELL, but salvation from the temporal wrath of God.

Again, do you believe that if a person denies Christ during the tribulation that they will go to Hell?
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. (Matthew 16:25)"
Now, here I assume Rich is just bringing up this verse as a general principle, because it has nothing to do with the Tribulation. The context has nothing to do with persecution (despite all the talk of crosses and shame and execution). It has everything to do with the cost of discipleship. The cost could include martyrdom, of course, but that isn't what Jesus has primarily in view here.

Second, the passage has nothing to do with heaven or hell. It has to do with the rewards one receives based on their commitment to hard discipleship. He goes on in that passage to say the one who confesses Him, He will confess before the Father, and the one who denies Him, He will deny before the Father. Again, that is not a reference to that person's salvation. It is a reference to their rewards (or lack there of) in the Kingdom. The message is simple: if we die to self and follow Christ no matter the cost, then when He comes, He will reward us in His Kingdom. If, though, we are ashamed of Him and deny Him in this life, then we will be denied are rewards in the next life.

You can see that has nothing to do directly with the Tribulation, though. It is a principle that will hold true for those people who come to faith during those terrible years.

So . . . hopefully you can see that Christian's will suffer men's wrath in this life because of our faith, but that wrath is not to be equated with The Great Tribulation often associated with the final seven years of this age. That wrath they avoid because the Church will be raptured before it begins. And no matter how you look at any of this, if a person denies Christ in the face of death and/or torture, that denial has no bearing on His eternal salvation.

Salvation comes if I believe that Jesus, the resurrected Christ, the Son of God, gives everlasting life to all those who believe in Him for it (John 20:31).

God bless

Re: Great Tribulation

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 8:23 am
by Harry OK
Jac3510 wrote:Rich mentions two verses here that need commenting on.
"And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another.... "But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved. (Matthew 24:10, 13)

If you are a Christian, be prepared to die for your faith. Even your fellow "brothers" will deliver you to the authorities to avoid their own deaths. If you are not willing to die for what you believe, you will deny your faith when threatened with death. Be aware of what Jesus said about those who seek to save their lives:
This verse is found, as you see, in Matthew 24. This is called the Olivet Discourse. According to the futurist view, the events described in that chapter will happen during the seven year tribulation period, which is yet to happen. The reference to enduring to the end for salvation does not mean salvaton from HELL, but salvation from the temporal wrath of God.

Again, do you believe that if a person denies Christ during the tribulation that they will go to Hell?
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. (Matthew 16:25)"
Now, here I assume Rich is just bringing up this verse as a general principle, because it has nothing to do with the Tribulation. The context has nothing to do with persecution (despite all the talk of crosses and shame and execution). It has everything to do with the cost of discipleship. The cost could include martyrdom, of course, but that isn't what Jesus has primarily in view here.

Second, the passage has nothing to do with heaven or hell. It has to do with the rewards one receives based on their commitment to hard discipleship. He goes on in that passage to say the one who confesses Him, He will confess before the Father, and the one who denies Him, He will deny before the Father. Again, that is not a reference to that person's salvation. It is a reference to their rewards (or lack there of) in the Kingdom. The message is simple: if we die to self and follow Christ no matter the cost, then when He comes, He will reward us in His Kingdom. If, though, we are ashamed of Him and deny Him in this life, then we will be denied are rewards in the next life.

You can see that has nothing to do directly with the Tribulation, though. It is a principle that will hold true for those people who come to faith during those terrible years.

So . . . hopefully you can see that Christian's will suffer men's wrath in this life because of our faith, but that wrath is not to be equated with The Great Tribulation often associated with the final seven years of this age. That wrath they avoid because the Church will be raptured before it begins. And no matter how you look at any of this, if a person denies Christ in the face of death and/or torture, that denial has no bearing on His eternal salvation.

Salvation comes if I believe that Jesus, the resurrected Christ, the Son of God, gives everlasting life to all those who believe in Him for it (John 20:31).

God bless
Thanks for clearing that up. :D Since I'm all for being raptured, in theory I'd be able to confess my faith. But in practice... that's what this topic was started for. If I was threatened with torture, psychological factors may lead me to deny my faith, unfortunately. :( I guess I just have to be really strong. :?

Re: Great Tribulation

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:59 am
by Canuckster1127
Thanks for clearing that up. :D Since I'm all for being raptured, in theory I'd be able to confess my faith. But in practice... that's what this topic was started for. If I was threatened with torture, psychological factors may lead me to deny my faith, unfortunately. :( I guess I just have to be really strong. :?
I think that may be an issue for a lot of people. However, for a Christian, we've been promised persecution and possible martyrdom in other portions of Scripture well before the formal tribulation of Escatology. This is something we need to be prepared to suffer for the name of Christ at any time and any point of History. Christians are dying today in Sudan and other parts of the world for their faith. I have the same natural fear of death and dying that most people have, but I have faith that were I to face this situation, which granted is pretty unlilkely here in the US at this place and time, that God would provide me with the strength and grace i would need at that time, regardless of how I think about it now. Matt 6 has something to say about worrying about what tomorrow might bring. It's enough to navigate this day and walk close with God without worrying about martyrdom or what point of the eschatological calendar we might be at. My opinion anyway.

Re: Great Tribulation

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:25 am
by Harry OK
Canuckster1127 wrote:
Thanks for clearing that up. :D Since I'm all for being raptured, in theory I'd be able to confess my faith. But in practice... that's what this topic was started for. If I was threatened with torture, psychological factors may lead me to deny my faith, unfortunately. :( I guess I just have to be really strong. :?
I think that may be an issue for a lot of people. However, for a Christian, we've been promised persecution and possible martyrdom in other portions of Scripture well before the formal tribulation of Escatology. This is something we need to be prepared to suffer for the name of Christ at any time and any point of History. Christians are dying today in Sudan and other parts of the world for their faith. I have the same natural fear of death and dying that most people have, but I have faith that were I to face this situation, which granted is pretty unlilkely here in the US at this place and time, that God would provide me with the strength and grace i would need at that time, regardless of how I think about it now. Matt 6 has something to say about worrying about what tomorrow might bring. It's enough to navigate this day and walk close with God without worrying about martyrdom or what point of the eschatological calendar we might be at. My opinion anyway.
Thanks. :) I'm sure if I were a possesser of the holy spirit, God would give me strength in a situation of this nature.

Re: Great Tribulation

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:41 am
by Canuckster1127
Harry OK wrote:
Canuckster1127 wrote:
Thanks for clearing that up. :D Since I'm all for being raptured, in theory I'd be able to confess my faith. But in practice... that's what this topic was started for. If I was threatened with torture, psychological factors may lead me to deny my faith, unfortunately. :( I guess I just have to be really strong. :?
I think that may be an issue for a lot of people. However, for a Christian, we've been promised persecution and possible martyrdom in other portions of Scripture well before the formal tribulation of Escatology. This is something we need to be prepared to suffer for the name of Christ at any time and any point of History. Christians are dying today in Sudan and other parts of the world for their faith. I have the same natural fear of death and dying that most people have, but I have faith that were I to face this situation, which granted is pretty unlilkely here in the US at this place and time, that God would provide me with the strength and grace i would need at that time, regardless of how I think about it now. Matt 6 has something to say about worrying about what tomorrow might bring. It's enough to navigate this day and walk close with God without worrying about martyrdom or what point of the eschatological calendar we might be at. My opinion anyway.
Thanks. :) I'm sure if I were a possesser of the holy spirit, God would give me strength in a situation of this nature.
If you're a Christian, then you have the Holy Spirit living within you.

Romans 8:9 (New International Version) 9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

Re: Great Tribulation

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:42 pm
by Harry OK
Canuckster1127 wrote:
Harry OK wrote:
Canuckster1127 wrote:
I think that may be an issue for a lot of people. However, for a Christian, we've been promised persecution and possible martyrdom in other portions of Scripture well before the formal tribulation of Escatology. This is something we need to be prepared to suffer for the name of Christ at any time and any point of History. Christians are dying today in Sudan and other parts of the world for their faith. I have the same natural fear of death and dying that most people have, but I have faith that were I to face this situation, which granted is pretty unlilkely here in the US at this place and time, that God would provide me with the strength and grace i would need at that time, regardless of how I think about it now. Matt 6 has something to say about worrying about what tomorrow might bring. It's enough to navigate this day and walk close with God without worrying about martyrdom or what point of the eschatological calendar we might be at. My opinion anyway.
Thanks. :) I'm sure if I were a possesser of the holy spirit, God would give me strength in a situation of this nature.
If you're a Christian, then you have the Holy Spirit living within you.

Romans 8:9 (New International Version) 9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
Well, I know that. :lol: I was just saying that the holy spirit living inside me will supply any strenth I will need, but I think that's what you were saying earlier anyway. :)