Founder and Director
According to Prophecy Ministries
I greet you in the wonderful name of our Savior Jesus Christ! It's always an honor and a privilege to be anywhere where we can allow God's Word to be taught.
I have a message to share with you that's a very tough one, but it's scriptural and it's biblical. The title is "Your Future in the Tribulation" and is about the coming seven year Tribulation itself. The hope that we have as born again believers is that we won't be a part of that event.
We are currently in what is called the Church Age. We are going to see from Scripture that the next major prophetic event on the Lord's calendar is that event called the Rapture of the Church. Christ will literally come to take up the Church, and as the Church departs the Bible predicts a seven year Tribulation is going to come upon planet Earth.
What is the Great Tribulation? I am going to define it for you. We are going to see what the purpose is for the Great Tribulation. I am going to give you different names given to the Great Tribulation. We're also going to see the time span of the Great Tribulation in how long it's going to last. Then, we are going to see the major players of the Great Tribulation. There are a number of players that the Scriptures have predicted in regards to this event. Next, we'll look literally at the events of the Tribulation. Lastly, we'll close up with the end results of the Great Tribulation. I know that seems like a lot of material to go through, but we've got to allow it to help us understand.
What is the Great Tribulation?
This will be a horrifying seven year period of suffering that will be like none other in time or in world history, or will ever be experienced in the future. This will be a definite period of judgment on mankind sent from God upon the earth to accomplish several purposes. Everything that God is doing has a plan and a purpose behind why He is doing it. Everything will accomplish something in the overall program of God. We will understand that better as we go further.
I want to give you one of the first prophecies in the Old Testament that alludes to the Tribulation, and we find it in the book of Deuteronomy 4:30-31. It reads, "When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice..." Verse 31 continues, "For the LORD thy God is a merciful God; He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which He swore unto them."
All the way back in the Old Testament in the book of Deuteronomy which Moses wrote the prophetic words that God gave him, there's a prophecy which alludes to the time of Tribulation. What is amazing about this passage is where God says, "When thou are in tribulation." He also says, "in the latter days." Moses was talking to his Jewish brothers, talking to Israel. He tells his Jewish people that there is coming a day when you are going to face tribulation. But, what I love so much about this is he even told his Jewish brothers, "Listen," he said, "if you turn to God, God will be merciful even during this time of Great Tribulation."
We are going to see that the Tribulation period is designed. God has a purpose for this event. It's not just an event that is going to bring judgment to earth, but God has a plan with the Tribulation. This Great Tribulation is going to cause national Israel to come to a saving knowledge of Christ. God is going to use this time to bring Israel to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Israel will experience Christ the way we do as believers today. But, God is going to allow them to go through this season and as they do they will come to the Lord.
Now, I want to quote certain scholars as we go on and we are going to see what certain scholars have said about this event — the Great Tribulation.
Dr. Tim LaHaye, listen to what he says, "There is no question this world will yet experience a time of Great Tribulation. Such as was not [seen] since the beginning of the world to this time, as predicted by our Lord in Matthew 24:21. In Revelation 3:20 He promised to keep believers from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world to try them that the dwell upon the earth. Such a time will have to be worse than any other time known in human history." In other words, the Tribulation is going to be a time that the world has never nor ever experienced. It is going to be a time of trouble and turmoil which this planet has never, ever experienced. There is going to be a great judgment." Dr. LaHaye goes on to say, "We should never lose sight of the true purpose of that Tribulation period. For in that brief seven year period, at the time when the world's population is at its largest, God will shake the Earth in an attempt to lessen man's false sense of security."
God is going to show man during the Great Tribulation that He is in control. They are going to see some things. God is going to do natural things to mess with the elements. He is going to do supernatural things all through that seven year window. God is going to show man that He is in control. God is going to lessen man's grip on his security. God is going to show man that, "Hey, I am bigger than you!" And again, we will see examples of that as we go further on.
What is the purpose of the Great Tribulation?
I want to quote Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost in his book called, The Things to Come. Listen to what he says, "The first reason for the Tribulation is this... it is designed to prepare the nation of Israel to meet her Messiah." This is the main purpose of the Tribulation. It is designed to cause Israel to come to a saving knowledge in Christ.
As I travel I meet a lot of people who want to debate about the Tribulation, or they want to debate whether or not the Church is going through the Tribulation. I ask them, "Can you give me a reason why the Church must go through the Tribulation?" Nine out of ten will tell you that the Church must go through the Tribulation in order for the Church to be purified, or perfected. And, I respond, "That is incorrect." I say, "The Bible literally tells us what this Tribulation is designed for — it is mainly designed for the nation of Israel." God is going to birth Israel. Israel is going to come back. The veil will literally be lifted off of their eyes and they will cry out for the true Messiah. God is going to take Israel through this season and at the end of it they are going to come to Christ.
The second great purpose of the Great Tribulation is to pour out judgment on unbelieving man and the nations. It will be seen that God is judging the nations of the Earth because of their ungodliness. Again, Saints, God is going to judge men! God is going to show man, "Listen, I am in control. You know you don't want to honor me, so therefore you will literally get the judgments of God." Again, it is going to be a time as Jesus our Savior said, "A time that this world has never seen, nor never, ever will see again."
I want to quote Dr. David Reagan from his book, God's Plan for the Ages. Listen to what he said, "The Tribulation will be a living Hell with a degree of violence that is unparallel in all of history." He goes on to say, "The Jews will not be the only ones to suffer during this period of unparallel trouble. The Bible makes it clear that all the nations of the world will experience catastrophic calamities."
Again, Saints, this will be an amazing event that will come upon planet Earth. Mankind just cannot imagine. I talk to people all of the time. They think today that we are going through some turmoil and list some things. Well, this is nothing compared to what is coming in the next dispensation!
The hope that we can have is that if you are born again today, you won't face this time of Tribulation. That is the blessed hope that the Bible talks about. But, for those that choose to reject God, there is a season coming. There is a time coming where they will meet the Judge of Heaven. God is going to allow this event to come to the Earth and it is going to literally shake the world.
You ask, "Why will the Church not go through the Great Tribulation?" To quote Dr. Pentecost in his book, The Things to Come, he is quoting Gerald Stanton, and listen to what Gerald Stanton says, "The Tribulation is primarily Jewish. The fact is born out by the book of Revelation itself. It concerns Daniel's people, the coming false Messiah, the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom, flight or travel on the Sabbath, the Temple and the Holy Place, and the children of Israel."
What we are going to see as we go further in this Tribulation window is the answer — the Tribulation is primarily Jewish. The Temple worship will be reinstituted. They will have the Sabbath day. They will participate in Jewish rituals. I mean, all of these things will be involved in the Great Tribulation. So, the Tribulation is primarily Jewish in nature and again with that God has a purpose for this Tribulation. Dr. Pentecost goes on to say, "The sacrifices and ablations of the Temple, these speak of Israel and prove that the Tribulation is largely a time when God deals with the ancient people, prior to their entrance into the promised kingdom."
The Great Tribulation is not for the Church, but for Israel and unrepentant mankind.