Friday, August 31, 2018
The spiritual and physical tribulation perils that lie directly ahead of us are well-detailed in God’s Word. And the victories, safety and provision available to the saints are equally well defined. The question is, however, is God’s knowledge of those end-time perils and victories within us by faith in such capacity as to both discern and prepare for them?
Jesus taught a parable of the generation that sees His return: “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’” (Matt. 25:1–6), contrasting the pre vs. post-trib return of Jesus.
This parable reveals the right and wrong spiritual condition of believers. First, it must be noted that all ten virgins were believers. They all knew the Bridegroom was returning. While the wise knew Christ would be “delayed” because they believed His testimony and prepared to endure to the difficult end, the inference is very clear that the foolish believed an imminent pre-tribulation return and were thus unprepared to endure to the end, and were rejected at the wedding banquet. How terribly sad for those five believing, yet foolish, virgins. Their unbelief and unprepared state of being cost them their entry into the glory of the Bridegroom’s Marriage Supper of the Lamb!
This parable demonstrates that while there are many believers, not all actually believe Christ for His return. The inference clearly contrasts the unprepared, foolish, and imminent pre-trib rapture believers from the prepared, wise, post-trib rapture believers who actually believe and prepare in the testimony of Jesus to be equipped to endure the long dark night of tribulation to the end.
The question must be asked: “At what, would believers in the Church be offended as Christ promised?” Answer: the false teachers who promised them an imminent pre-tribulation rapture whereby they would avoid the promised seven-year tribulation. It’s not difficult to understand that when that false teaching proves false (and it certainly will) and people are confronted with the biblical apocalypse, and must endure what they were promised would never happen to them, then understandably, many will indeed be highly offended, hate and betray one another.
Many pre-tribulation rapture believers will be unprepared in heart, mind, spirit and soul to not only see, but deal with the apocalyptic catastrophes that engulf the world. The now present New World Order, the Prophet Daniel’s revived and final fourth beast kingdom of Rome, see Dan. 2:40–45, in union with the U.N.’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, will create wars that will kill and depopulate humanity by fifty percent! See Rev. 6:7–8 and Rev. 9:13–15.
Great famines will come as Jesus said, diseases and pestilences will destroy crops. Earthquakes will increase, kill and destroy. The seas will roar and men’s hearts will fail them for fear of those things coming upon the earth, see Luke 21:25–26. In the great tribulation when transgression and iniquity are heavy upon the earth, it will reel to and fro like a drunkard, see Isa. 24:19–20. Fiscal calamity will ravage when Antichrist issues his mark of the beast, see Rev. 13:16–18. And most pre-trib rapture believers will not have prepared for these things.
Fire and hail mingled with blood thrown from the heavens will burn up a third of the trees and all green grass, see Rev. 8:7. A third of the sea will become poisoned and a third of the sea creatures will die, see Rev. 8:8–9. A third of the rivers will be poisoned and many men will die as a result, see Rev. 8:10–11. A third of the sun, moon and stars will no longer give light, see Rev. 8:12.
There will be innumerable demonic creatures that come upon the earth in fulfillment of Jesus’ promise that “as the days of Noah were” (Matt. 24:37). They will be hybrid beings, powerful in strength and intelligence, the result of Satan’s ancient work, see Gen. 6:1–4. These beings will be Satan’s revived ancient seed of “as the days of Noah were”. Ancient false gods, demonic spirits and creatures from the pit will spread across the earth. These will work in unity with the beast of Rev. 13:1 to create the persuasive “image of the beast”, see Rev. 13:11–18.
And in the midst of it all, murders, suicides, lying, thefts, sexual immorality, wickedness and evil will escalate at unprecedented levels as Satan makes his final effort to destroy mankind made in the image of God. That was his intent from the day of his fall, and it will remain so till the day he and his demonic hoards are thrown into the lake of fire.
The world is rapidly and eagerly advancing end-time technologies that fulfill God’s end-time promises while the Church largely sleeps like the virgins in Jesus’ parable. The old adage that “Ignorance is bliss” is true. But this isn’t about ignorance, it’s about willful unbelief which will war against Christians in unprecedented trials by fire and testings in the furnace of affliction.
Who do you believe? – Jesus, or the doctrines and traditions of men? Who do you say Jesus is? Is He the God who came to conform you and me to Himself, or did He come to give us what we desire? We must believe the God of the Bible who promised us tribulation, and that “he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matt. 24:13). It’s truly a matter of being wise or foolish.
Do you believe “concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him [to]…Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thess. 2:1–4)? It’s a matter of being wise or foolish.
Marlin J. Yoder