Sunday, August 14, 2022
by David Brenneman
Jesus indeed is returning before the Great Tribulation as described in the Bible.
Many various denominations have something such as this, borrowed from the Grace Brethren Church's Statement of Faith.
"The personal, visible and imminent return of Christ to remove His Church from the earth (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) before the tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1:10; Revelation 3:10) and afterward to descend with the Church to establish His millennial kingdom upon the earth (Revelation 19:11-20:6)."
There's the Scriptures to point to within. When we lived in our old hometown, the various Baptist churches we went to shared a similar statement.
Some today are trying to bear false witness in teaching that Christ Jesus returning before the Great Tribulation is itself a falsehood.
Let's read those passages above.
"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who remain, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord." 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NASB
"and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is, Jesus who rescues us from the wrath to come." 1 Thessalonians 1:10
"Because you have kept My word of perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of the testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who live on the earth." Revelation 3:10 NASB
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many crowns; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written: “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great feast of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, both free and slaves, and small and great.”
And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse, and against His army.
And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire, which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he took hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.
Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their foreheads and on their hands; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with Him for a thousand years." Revelation 19:11-20:6 NASB
We also read this: "Therefore there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." Romans 1:1-2 NASB
1 Thessalonians 5:9 NASB "For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,"
Indeed we seek His return at any moment, no differently than the early Church. They lived and worked as though Christ could return at any time.
Satan would love people to live life as though Jesus wasn't coming back. To just live as though there's no reason to believe. To live as those who have no hope.
We live as people expectant. Read the parables where Jesus taught of the King returning. Jesus presented those parables with the idea in mind to be ready. Be prepared.
I do believe in the imminent return of Christ Jesus. I do believe that the Church will not face the Great Tribulation that is coming. The Great Tribulation is about Israel, not the Church. It's the 70th week of Daniel the prophet. The week of years that has not happened yet.
The 7 year Great Tribulation is to do with completing things in regards to Israel. It's Isreal that is to go through what's to happen. Not the Church. The Church is the grafted in branch to the vine that is Christ Jesus. It will be removed and Israel put back. Satan's last great push to try to fight God will happen during those 7 years.
Jesus mentions entering into His rest. Hebrews chapter 4. Be sure of the promise of salvation through Jesus Christ alone. Be sure of it and we indeed will enter into His rest.
Because of the sensationalism of today's media many point to the things in this world in saying we are in the midst of the Tribulation. No, not even close. We are in the midst of troubles. Not the same thing. Jesus said that in this world we would have tribulations, have troubles. But our scope isn't His. Jesus uses the troubles and tribulations of this world in which we live to cause us growth in Christ Jesus. But to be of good cheer He has overcome the world.
The Great Tribulation is full of supernatural judgments of God. Things totally unexplained by mankind through truth that will be lied about by Satan.
Once the Judgments start, they will continue for the 7 years. No breaks other than what is outlined in Revelation.
We have not seen Iran, Turkey and Russia form a coalition to attack Israel with overwhelming numbers. We have not seen the remotest beginning of the Great Tribulation.
The important thing is to be sure of your salvation in Christ Jesus.
For those in Christ Jesus who are saved its to be found by Him doing that which we were placed in the body of Christ to be doing.
For the Church to be going therefore to make Disciples of all nations. The Great Commission.
For those who claim the name of Jesus Christ to be living a life that reflects that.
To be ready. Jesus taught parables of the Bridesmaids. Being ready because they knew not when the Groom was to come.
I find it interesting that most people in weddings tend to be awaiting the Bride to come into the ceremony. Scripture seems to point to the awaiting the Groom who is Christ Jesus.
Jesus says that many false teachers will arise in the last days. We certainly don't need to look far to find them streaming online, on radio and television. Making YouTube videos that try to say things, twisting Scripture, to deny the Rapture of the Church.
I am ready for Jesus to return. Are you?
Are you sure of the gift of salvation in your life?
Are you living your life in such a way that people see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven?
We who are in Christ are here for a purpose. It's to point people to Jesus for salvation by our lives lived for Jesus.
We indeed will face troubles. But Jesus says that we will. The world isn't liking the Gospel message. That sin has a penalty that must be addressed. That a single sin that we are born with will prevent us from entering into Heaven. That we need a Savior who is Christ the Lord. That We need Jesus to be pur Savior and to wipe away that debt of sin. He is the only way to Heaven.
Look at your life. If it's not a reflection of your life in Christ. Let today be that day for you to come to Christ for salvation. Let Him become your Savior and Lord. Be ready for His return. It will not come with some big fanfare. The Bible says that it will be in the twinkling of an eye. So fast that it won't register to those left behind until after it happens.
My friend, don't be deceived. Don't put this off til tomorrow because realistically, who's to say that you have a today?
We don't know the day nor the hour. Jesus will arise one of these days from His Throne and all Heaven will know exactly why. The global earthquake that will accompany the Rapture I believe will be from Heaven shouting for joy at the day coming at last.
I am ready for that shout that will take me out...are you?