Learn about end time events – Part 2
The Lord is coming for a saved, sanctified and steadfast Church. And we must be prepared for this great event, which can happen any moment, by setting our “affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Every believer, who is expecting the rapture, must be watchful and sober, “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Heaven, not the earth, is the final abode of saints, who remain faithful till the end.
Close on the heels of the rapture will be the Great Tribulation – a time of unprecedented suffering, devastation, damnation and doom. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not seen since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Sinners and believers, whose love for the Lord has waxed cold, will go through this period, if they fail to repent before the rapture.
The great tribulation will last for a period of seven years, characterised by suffering and trouble beyond what the children of Israel went through in Babylon or their affliction under General Titus, when Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed. Prophet Jeremiah described it as “…the time of Jacob’s trouble.” Indeed, the inhabitants of the earth, who reject the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, will experience great wrath from Satan, the Antichrist and the Almighty God.
However, the primary purpose of the great tribulation is to make the nation of Israel suffer, so that they will be ready for and cry to the Messiah (the Lord Jesus Christ, whom they reject at present), and to judge the unbelieving Gentile men and women of all ages. Before the Antichrist will begin to unleash his terror on the world, the Church will be taken away in the rapture. Christ will not leave His bride behind to go through the great tribulation. The suffering during this period will be so intense and terrible that hardly will anyone bear it. “And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.”
Considering the anguish and perplexity that await unrepentant sinners and backsliders, the Lord expects us to show concern and promptly reach out to them with His saving gospel. Although there will still be opportunity for people to repent, those who receive the mark of the anti-Christ will be doomed forever in hell. We cannot afford to be indifferent and passive to the warnings of the Holy Spirit. We must hold on to the faith and the doctrines of our Lord Jesus Christ, and continue to serve Him zealously, as we expect His imminent return.
There will, however, be a great summons of all nations of the earth before God’s presence for judgement. The Great White Throne Judgment will be set; it is the final judgment that God will bring upon those who neglect and reject His offer of salvation. Since the Almighty, Who knows those that truly belong to Him will be the Judge; no sinner will escape His righteous judgment. Everyone will be “judged out of those things, which were written in the books, according to their works.”
Anyone whose name is not found written in the Book of life will be banished to the lake of fire together with all categories of sinners; but believers will enjoy eternal bliss in God’s presence. The Lord wants us to constantly reflect on His word (doctrines) and allow it to produce the desired result in our lives. Daniel’s revelation concerning the end-time had a profound effect on him. “As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.” Since the coming of the Lord is drawing near, we must arise and labour for the salvation of the souls of men and warn them of imminent judgment.
Further Reading (King James Version): Matthew 24:3,14,25; 13:40-42,49,50; 24:32,33,42; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; John 14:1-3; Genesis 5:22-24; Hebrews 11:5; 2 Kings 2:3,5,9,11; Acts 1:8,9; 1 Corinthians 15:51,52; 1 Thessalonians 1:9,10; 5:9; Colossians 3:1-4; Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 24:21,29,30; Deuteronomy 4:30; Jeremiah 30:6,7; Daniel 12:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; Isaiah 13:6-10; Joel 2:1,11; Revelation 6:15-17; 9:6; 13:16-18; 14:9-11; 20:1-4; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:7; Daniel 7:9,10,28; Luke 16:24-28; 2 Corinthians 5:10,11.