Saturday, 9 June 2012


Public discussion of end times is increasing. Over 12% of Canadians now believe they will see the end of the age in their life time. The final 7 years of this age are often referred to as the “great tribulation” [Rev 7:14]. This is a time of persecution by the anti-Christ and the one world government. According to Daniel 7:25 the Anti-Christ, “will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.” This is a three and one half year period during which Christians will be the target of political and religious pogroms.

It will also be a time of signs and wonders. “Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ [Matt 24:28:30]. There will be earthquakes, wars, famines, floods and signs in the heavens. Some have treated these prophecies as occurring during the conflict with Rome, when the Romans burned the Temple in Jerusalem. They see these prophecies as fulfilled. But most regard these events as occurring in the end times preceding the return of Christ and the establishment of the Millennium, during which Christ together with His saints must rule the Earth with an iron rod for one thousand years.

Now some say that God loves his people so much the church will not go through these terrible times and before or during tribulation the church will be taken away (raptured). This group is divided between those that think they will be removed 7 years before the end while others believe it will be only 3 and one half years. Then there is the traditional view of the church fathers that the end, the rapture of the saints, the beginning of the Millennium and the wedding feast of the Lamb are all connected and contemporaneous. It would take too much space to go into this in detail.

I believe the church is going through the tribulation, all the way. Who would proclaim the gospel  if we did not? God's people have always gone through tribulation. Consider Job. Though Job was righteous, God allowed Satan to torment him for no reason other than to test him.  Job passed the test.

Let us see what Daniel’s companions went through and how they responded. When Nebuchadnezzar discovered that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow to his golden image, he called Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to account. They replied, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. [Daniel 3:16-18]” They suffered nothing from the flames of the furnace but lost only their bonds. They passed the test.

Jesus trained twelve disciples to turn the world upside down and they all died martyrs except John. The enemy tried to boil him in oil but he suffered no ill effects. Failing to execute him, they sent him to the mines on the island of Patmos, where he wrote the book of Revelation. He passed the test.

Has our generation no calling to enter into the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings like Job, Daniel and the Apostles? Can the church of the first century go through the persecution under the Roman emperors and pass the test but not our generation? I think we will be tested too. I think we are going through to the end of the tribulation. We will pass the test because the grace of Jesus is enough to bring us through. All will be to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ as he puts all His enemies under His feet and we will be his sandals.

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