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Is the Church Going Through The Great Tribulation?

By: Ron Lagerquist

“Our Enemy would love to lull us into complacency, a false sense of security. So we would not be prepared for our last conquest, that glorious hour in which we shall shine for all Christendom.”

The book of Revelation unveils a God who is absolutely sovereign in the affairs of man. God has designed a Master Plan and we have been given a glimpse of that plan so that we may be prepared. Revelation was not a book written for the governments of this earth, or to prepare the world for the coming Antichrist. It is written: To the seven churches in the province of Asia (Rev 1:4) The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place (Rev 1:1). Simply put, Revelation is written for us.

I appeal to you, brothers, ...that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought (Cor 1:10). Attending Bible College for two and a half years instilled within me a hatred toward modern–day theology. Thousands of shepherds who call themselves theologians, dividing God’s flock, making them easy pickings for any spiritual predator to eat at leisure. And so it is with great reluctance, we jump into the fray. Yet with conviction we make a stand to give God’s people guidance in this all important question, Is the church going through The Great Tribulation?

We believe the Bible to be clear and concise in answering such a vital question. Christ has given his church clear direction. He has prepared her for the events that are to come. With great joy we can proclaim, yes, we shall be baptized in fire. The Bride shall be purified for the coming of her Husband.

Our Enemy would love to lull us into complacency, a false sense of security. So we would not be prepared for our last conquest, that glorious hour in which we shall shine for all Christendom, proclaiming the Lordship of Christ on earth. Holy Israel in the desert, with our backs to Egypt and our face toward a City whose builder and foundation is God. As we stand and watch God’s hand of wrath being poured out upon this earth, we shall rejoice. Untouched, for we shall be marked with a Seal, the promised Holy Spirit.

In revelation we are called saints. A sainthood that is not earned but purchased by the Blood of the Lamb. We will not be under God’s wrath, Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; (Rev 18:4) But we will be the objects of Satan’s fury. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands (Rev 20:4). As in the early church, some of our number will be slain and there will be suffering. But in our suffering, our joy will know no bounds. ...genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything. (2 Cor 6:8–10)

A message of suffering does not sit well in the padded pews of the North American Church. Yet Christ warned His disciples, “Watch out that no one deceives you.”...”You will hear of wars and rumors of wars but see to it that you are not alarmed. "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death. And you will be hated by all nations because of me." ...So when you see standing in the holy place the abomination that causes desolation, spoken through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. ...For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again (Matt 24: 4, 9, 15, 21). God’s deepest well springs of joy are always released through suffering. Sin will abound and suffering will be great, but we shall know unspeakable joy.

And Jesus shall come like a thief in the night. Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief (1 Thess 5:1–4). When the trumpet blast shakes the foundation of the earth, we will not be surprised—we have been prepared. But to a world whose hopes rest upon a Magical Leader, the return of Christ will be a terrible day. In shock, they will witness their god bound and chained and cast into the abyss.

The imagery in the Book of Revelation is difficult and frightening. John himself became physically overwhelmed at what he saw. It is no wonder that we comfort ourselves with a doctrine that proclaims us raptured during such a painful period in earth’s history. But nowhere in Scripture is it taught that the gathering of the church is separate from the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

We should not think it strange to find ourselves in the midst of such a traumatic period. How else would we have the privilege of proving and displaying the depth of our love to God. Paul said, I want to share in Christ’s sufferings and become like him in his death (Phil 3:10).

Even training to be a missionary at Ontario Bible College, Cos Fegi knew that God was going to call him to die for the Lord. He did not consider this to be a burden but a tremendous blessing. The few closest friends that he confided this to would later testify of the zeal and excitement when expressing his calling. When he left Bible College, he went as a missionary to Thailand. One night during a tent prayer meeting, rebels with machine guns shot him down because of his faith in Christ.

Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time (Daniel 11:3). Suffering invariably clarifies the choice before us. During The Great Tribulation, it will be a simple choice: Faith in this world or faith in God. Egypt or the desert. The church shall come to its final crossroad. The crossroad that will separate the sheep from the goats. Are you prepared for such a decision? Has your heart been made ready for that most important hour? Well cultivated inroads of addiction and dependence could tip the balance, causing you to be forever lost in the godless land of Babylon. The decisions we make today will lead us to that ultimate choice. We must be prepared. We must be made ready.

Jesus asks ...do you truly love me more than these? (John 21:15)Our love for God is a force that Satan cannot hope to stand against. Creation, the cross, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, men and woman of God standing during The Great Tribulation, and Christ’s return, are all acts of eternal love that will bring Satan’s kingdom to it final and utter doom.

 

'He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."

Matthew 3:11

We are the Bride of Christ. If Christ were to come back today, how would we adorn ourselves for Him? What about the other lovers in our beds of passion? Would we stand out in the crowd as an adorned bride or just one of the herd grazing on the grasses of the kingdom of this world? If Christ were to return today, it would be a pitiful moment—we would hang our heads in shame. The radiance and glory of God would reveal the toxic rot that has accumulated in the bowels of His precious Church.

If we love Jesus, if He is our Husband, then our greatest passion would be that when He comes we will be ready. It has been said that when the rapture occurs, many will go feet first, clasping desperately onto their earthly possessions. This is not the description of the return of Christ in Revelation. The church will have been purified. This world will be uncloaked for what it is, darkness and deception. We will have learned to trust in God as our Provider, as the Israelites were forced to learn when they wandered in the desert. Although we will not be under the wrath of God we will be under the wrath of Satan. Many will suffer, but In all our troubles my joy knows no bounds (2 Cor 7:4).

The Great Tribulation is going to be the sword that will separate the fence sitters from those who passionately love Jesus. There will be no gray areas. Either you accept the mark of the beast and become a member of the kingdom of this world, or reject the mark and make a stand in the name of Jesus, in spite of great opposition and possible death.

We have walked down a path that has revealed Satan’s agenda. He has taken food and twisted it so that it is able to be a controlling lever. Our supermarkets are full of addictive foods. Addiction means dependence. And dependence, for the Antichrist, means control. Don't fall asleep. Be alert! God's Word teaches us that destruction will come upon this earth as suddenly as labor pains upon an expectant mother. The greatest weapon we have in being ready is self–control. The disciplines of fasting, prayer and solitude are some of the arsenal which we have been given by God to stand ready for battle.

Adorn yourself in fine linen. Be clean from the stains of complacency and worldliness. Your Husband is coming from a far land. He is called Jealous (Ex 34:14). The Spirit of the Lord says come.

Related Article: When Jesus Returns

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I would like the writer to know your article has given me comfort to know someone believes as I. God has used you and I thank Him, I will use the article for many who are at this moment riding the fence.
Rodney Etheridge
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