Friday, June 10, 2011

Time of Distress (18) - Not the Tribulation

This Time of Distress and trouble will be a time of persecution for Christians. As the earth will be thrown into chaos, political power will be consolidated in a desperate attempt to hold back that chaos. One mighty nation will gain influence over a large part of the earth by promising to bring back peace and prosperity. Christians will see through the promises and stand against them. The Beast will use its power to annihilate any opposition, so it will be very painful for many believers. However, because it opposes God, the situation will deteriorate even more.

God will allow this persecution to purify and strengthen the church and make it ready to receive the Kingdom. Christians who are not fully devoted to the Lord will fall away, but those who stay true will be strengthened by the refining process.

To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end,
I will give authority over the nations (Rev 2:26).
Christians who suffer through this season will inherit the Kingdom of God

This Time of Distress should not be called "The Tribulation". Many Christians will experience terrible trials, but this will be no different from the experience of many Christians down through the ages. Describing it as something unique is unfair to Christians in other times who have often suffered terribly for the Lord.

Being under pressure is a normal for Christians. We are taught that we should always expect tribulation.
In the world you have tribulation, but take courage,
I have overcome the world (John 16:33)
We must go through many tribulations to enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22).
Christians should always expect tribulation. Whenever they are true to Christ, they will be a threat to the world, and this will always bring opposition. The Greek word "thlipsis", which is translated as tribulation, affliction or trouble, literally means pressure. Our word tribulation comes from the Latin word for threshing sledge. It often refers to trouble in a spiritual sense, and describes the pressure that all Christians will experience if they live in obedience to Jesus.

The Time of Distress will be a very painful season, but Christians can take comfort from knowing that God is merciful, so this terrible season will be cut short. They should rejoice in these trials, as they will soon see the Kingdom of God springing forth on earth.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is very helpful!