By Nathan Jones
Are there any purposes for the Gentile nations during the Tribulation?
To answer that question, Dr. David Reagan and I on our television program Christ in Prophecy put together a panel of Bible prophecy experts. We invited Al Gist of the Bible prophecy ministry Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries from Louisiana and Dennis Pollock of Spirit of Grace Ministries which focuses on evangelizing the continent of Africa.
Gentiles During that Time
Nathan Jones: The Gentile nations are in rebellion against God just as Israel continues to be, and so God has to judge the evil of the nations.
I would add that the Tribulation is more about Jesus Christ coming to rule the nations. When all is said and done, the Tribulation is Jesus' victory lap. He's finally going to return. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and now He needs to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords here on earth over all the nations of the earth, including the Gentile nations of the earth as well as the redeemed Israel.
So, in reality, the Tribulation is about getting humanity right with God so that Jesus can come and rule and reign over a righteous people.
Dr. Reagan: I would like to piggyback on that for a moment, for when you say the Tribulation is for getting humanity right with God, that's one of the principles the Bible teaches. Even when God pours out His wrath, God's fundamental purpose is not to punish. His fundamental purpose is to humble people to the point that they will accept Jesus Christ and come to Him for salvation.
Isaiah 25:9 talks about this principle this way, "When the earth experiences the judgments of God, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness." So, the purpose of God is not only to judge sin, but also to bring people to the end of themselves so that they might receive Jesus as their Messiah.
The sad thing is how the book of Revelation says that most people during the Tribulation are going to shake their fist at God and curse Him. And yet, many we are told are going to become saved. There's going to be a great harvest of souls during the Tribulation period.
Dennis Pollock: Let me just provide something probably a lot of people haven't thought about. In one perspective, the Tribulation is an answer to mankind's prayer. The Bible says in Thessalonians, "Because they did not receive the love of the truth, God will send them a strong delusion that they should believe a lie." We have a world that wants anything but the truth. We'll take any philosophy, any strange bizarre religion viewpoint perspective, except Christ and the biblical view of how to get to Heaven and who goes to Hell. We have a world that has said, "We don't want God in our schools. We don't want God in our society. We don't want God in our news in our media." Te world is basically saying, "God, would you please leave us alone." And so, the Bible says, "Ask and you shall receive."
Nathan Jones: That's pretty ironic, don't you think? That most want God to leave them alone, and He actually obliges them.
Dennis Pollock: God is going to grant the prayers of a world that's demanding, "We don't want you. We don't need you. We don't like you." So, God's going to send them a delusion — a lie — in answer to the world's request of their heart.
The Antichrist will arrive instead as an answer to the world's prayers. Basically, the Tribulation revolves around the rise and fall of the Antichrist. All the wars and the death and the misery are going to happen as a result of him taking the reigns of global dictator.
When God doesn't step in and so something about all the evil in the world, we get this idea that God's giving up. No, instead, God is responding to our requests for Him to leave and so ceases to restrain our evil.
We have stockpiles of nuclear weapons that are lying around everywhere all over the world. We haven't used them yet in wartime since World War II. That's going to change, as it looks to me from the book of Revelation that in parts it really describes disasters that could easily be nuclear war in nature.
Dr. Reagan: We've come so close to nuclear annihilation several times. The restraining hand of God has been there, though, but it's going to be removed at the bequest of the world.
In the fourth segment of our forum on the Tribulation, we'll ask our Bible prophecy experts if there are there any parallels between what the Bible says about the Tribulation and the Flood of Noah.