God will allow tribulation and persecution to purify and refine His Church. Jesus said that there is coming a time that there will be tribulation on the earth, such has never been nor will ever be again. The tribulation will be so intense that He says the saints will not be able to bear it without the time frame being shortened. (Matt. 24:21-22). These tribulations throughout history have ebbed and flowed on the world’s main stage; but will continue to escalate in their frequency and intensity as we get closer to the great and terrible day of the Lord.
God wants us to know the intensity of that day and He uses the birth pangs to equip His church. When everything is shaking, offense can trip us up; therefor we must do the heart work now so that we will be ready. Jesus has given us much detail through His Word; that we do not have to be taken off guard by what is coming. We can be confident in His faithfulness and His ability to carry out His plan. He desires that we have clarity in that hour and that we would be a voice of comfort and hope in that day (Isaiah 40).
I believe that deception will be the greatest crisis in that day. When Jesus talks about the “end times” He expresses more concern about deception then He does about persecution. The love of many will grow cold and there will be a great falling away due to lack of understanding and offense (Mt. 24:9-13; 2 Thes. 2:3; 1 Tim. 4:1-2; 2 Tim. 3:1-7; 4:3-5; 2 Pet. 2:1-3).
There is coming a time in history known as the Great Tribulation that will last 3 1/2 years. Scripture refers to this 31⁄2 years in 8 different ways: 42 months (Rev. 11:2; 13:5), 1260 days (Rev. 11:3; 12:6), time, times and half a time (Rev. 12:14; Dan. 7:25; 12:7), the Great Tribulation (Mt. 24:21; Rev. 7:14), Jacob’s Trouble (Jer. 30:7), a time of trouble (Dan. 12:1), the middle of the Week (Dan. 9:27), perilous times (2 Tim. 3:1). The Great Tribulation will be the most difficult time in history for Israel, the Church, and all nations (Mt. 24:21; Jer. 30:7; Ezek. 5:9; Rev. 7:14). It will be the final 31⁄2 year period of this age, when the Antichrist rules a worldwide system including government, finances and religion.
1 At that time…there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was…7 He (angel)…swore…that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time (31⁄2 years); when the power of the holy people (Israel) has been completely shattered… -Daniel 12:1, 7
21 Then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 Unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved (physically preserved); for the elect’s sakes those days will be shortened. -Matthew 24:21-22
23 For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people…25There will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring… -Luke 21:23-25
There will be four sources of trouble in the tribulation::
1. The fullness of Man’s sin will be seen in their actions towards one another (Rev. 9:21; 14:18; 17:5; 18:5; Dan. 8:23; 12:10).
- murder(Rev. 6:9-11; 7:13-14; 9:21; 13:7, 10; 16:6; 17:6; 18:24; 9:2; 2 Tim. 3:3 (brutal); Dan. 7:21, 25; 8:24; 11:33-35; 12:7, 10; Mk. 13:12-13).
- sorceries(Rev. 13:3-4, 8, 12-15; 14:11; 16:13-14; 18:23; Matt. 24:5, 11, 12, 24; 1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Thes. 2:3-4).
- immorality(Rev. 9:20-21; 16:13; 17:2; 18:3; 19:2).
2. There will be convulsions in nature (earthquakes, upheavals in sea, atmosphere, agricultural, sky, etc) as the sin of man escalates and impacts the land. (Rom. 8:21-22; Hag. 2:6-7)
3. The fullness of God’s wrath will be poured out on the Antichrist’s world system. Jesus will release His judgement (seals, trumpets, and bowls) in partnership with His church, like when God partnered with Moses in the days of exodus. (Rev. 6; 7; 8:9; 14:10; 15:7; 16)
4. The climax of Satan’s rage will become manifest through the Antichrist and his persecution of the saints. (Rev. 12:12; Dan. 7:21; Rev. 13)
“The principle of God’s love in judgment: God uses the least severe means to reach the greatest number of people at the deepest level of love without violating anyone’s free will in training the future rulers of the earth. The Goshen principle will be operative in this hour (Ex. 8:22-23). God’s judgments remove all that hinders love by removing options (temptations) which function as the props we trust in and the temptations we refuse to resist.”
Zack Roberts — zackroberts.blog
Operations Director at Ember