The Truth About The Rapture.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3: 5, 6.
This information is an excerpt from my END OF DAYS article, with a little more added, which is of critical importance and that the truth regarding the catching away or rapture, as it is commonly known, is properly understood. And to dispel a common misconception - belief either way, pre or post trib, does NOT affect salvation in any way as it is not a salvation issue but it will make it harder to survive Tribulation, you won't be prepared when it arrives thinking you won't be here, particularly if you're a believer of OSAS. (Once Saved Always Saved.) And that belief can affect your salvation simply because scripture tells a different story.
There are so many completely unaware and are in ignorance of the scriptures that tell us about it. For some, it will be a surprise, for others a shock – even worse, some don’t even care. The Tribulation is coming sooner than most think – "it won’t happen in my time". It’s that 'human nature' condition, (the frog in boiling water syndrome) or failing that affects every one of us. It’s always someone else and it isn’t a shock until it happens to you. For those who don't know or understand scripture, we are now standing on the very edge of the Tribulation precipice, which will be the most fearful time ever. Those who can discern scripture with the Spirit's help will understand there are clues to knowing just when it will begin, and it is much closer than you think. This article is NOT about when Jesus returns, no-one but God knows that day - it's about the catching away, or rapture, whether it's before, during or after Tribulation .
Just as an analogy, I've always thought of scripture as a spiritual jigsaw puzzle - in a picture jigsaw puzzle, you can't see the final picture until you've found the very last piece from the pile of pieces that connects the puzzle together, and so it is with scripture - ALL the pieces are there, you have to FIND them and then correctly join them together to see the final picture with the help of the Holy Spirit.
‘There are none so blind they refuse to see, none so deaf they refuse to listen' – they can determine the weather by observation, yet they cannot discern from the signs around us that this world is fast coming to its end.
For those who don’t know, first a little understanding of the last age we are now living in, which is 'Laodicea - the age of lukewarmness' - Revelation 3: 14 - 22. And it really is a sad indictment of the condition that most will find themselves in, even many who profess to be Christians are just lukewarm these days. This is the era of a marked degeneration of society, which has led to spiritual paralysis and loose standards in our own day.
The entire period is known as the 7000 years/7 days prophecy of human existence. (There is no actual scripture that specifically speaks about it - there is a reference to it in 2nd Peter 3: 5 - 8.) The 7000 years is literal time, the 7 days are prophetic time of which one day is as 1000 years and we should all know that we are now in the END of the *6th day of that timeline, which runs like this. Adam to Abraham 2000 years, [or 2 prophetic days] Abraham to Jesus 2000 years ("), Jesus to now 2000 years ("), and is the 5th and 6th day, (in which the 6th day is time right now and tells us we've been here only 6000 years) and the time from when Jesus was crucified is also known as the church age, which wasn't revealed to Daniel with the millennium of 1000 years [or 1 prophetic day] to come after the Tribulation. Even though they are both integrally related topics, they each stand on their own as it's 1000 to one in the seven prophetic days of human existence but it's one to one in the seventy weeks/7 years prophecy of Tribulation, Daniel 9: 24 - 27. Daniel 12: 7 tells us of prophetic time, which is time, times and a half, and is 42 months, or 3.5 years or 1260 days and is what divides the Tribulation of seven years into two equal halves. This is not about the age of the earth - we know the earth is millions, perhaps billions of years old, it's about the age of human existence. In Genesis 1 it tells us that God first created the earth in 6 literal days, not years and He rested on the 7th day. This also explains there is a large gap in terms of years between Genesis 1: 1 & 2, which most aren't aware of.
In Revelation 2 & 3, Jesus tells John in the spirit about the seven church eras, of which we are now in the last era, Laodicea, saying we are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold. And we have become this way largely because of our material pursuits, which has led to so much indifference towards God, placing worldly things in front of love for Jesus. If our love is considered lukewarm, what will it become if it cools even further? It will only add to the insult that it is and serve to increase the risk of our own possible apostasy in the persecution to come in Tribulation.
We know from scripture that Tribulation will last for 7 literal years, Daniel 9: 27, which will be divided in two 3.5 year periods, the first period is simply known as the Tribulation, the second period is known as the Great Tribulation. The first period will be bad enough from what we read in Revelation but the second period of 3.5 years will be the very worst time for believers with many losing their faith and their lives.
Let’s begin with the scriptures that lead us into it and remember, these verses are NOT saying the 'catching away' is at the beginning, nor the middle but meaning at the END of Tribulation, which is supported by other scriptures and confirmed by Jesus. Jesus tells us in Matthew 24: 29 - 31 that He will return after the Tribulation of those days . . . . AND BECAUSE JESUS SAID IT, WHO CAN DENY IT???
1st Thessalonians 4: 16 – 18 says: For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain [in Him] shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Comfort one another with these words. These words were spoken by Paul to those in his days, revealed by the Spirit - and to many it may have been a mystery but it is so clear for today.
1st Corinthians 15: 52 says: In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: [after the Tribulation] for the trumpet shall sound, [the trump of God] and the dead [in Christ] shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
These verses only tell us what will happen in the Tribulation - Jesus tells us when it will happen - at the END as He mentions above.
The last trump is the signal of Christ's return – at the END of Tribulation and is NOT part of the 7 trumpet judgements that precede it. Those 7 trumpet judgements are sounded by angels during the Tribulation, (6 in the 1st half, the 7th is in the 2nd) but the trump of God is just that - 1st Thessalonians 4: 16. The fact that it's the last trump, doesn't that suggest to you that it's at the end of Tribulation?
Because these 7 trumpets are sounded as precursors to particular events, I personally believe they will be audible in some way so that there will be no doubt as to what is about to happen, which we already know if we have studied the Bible.
Everyone with just a passing interest in Tribulation has read these verses but yet, so many refuse to believe Jesus returns AFTER - at the end, either through fear or false doctrine, mainly the latter, which will always try to circumvent scripture, even though it is put before them in the scriptures and spoken of by Jesus. And it's because many believe what is preached to them, or what others say rather than trusting the Bible. Sadly, that's human nature - and most don't even read, just relying completely on what they hear. And in this day and age, with so much corruption and untruths, that isn't always the safest course.
Doesn't it make sense to you that God in His mercy, will withhold Jesus' coming until the very last minute so that no-one is without opportunity. I believe it's shortly after the last 'lost sheep' is found - very close to the end of the Tribulation before Jesus returns and He knows who that is, He won't delay too long after that because of the worsening state of the world at that time. That is not to say that there won't be any 'lost sheep' during the millennium, there certainly will be 'a few more' otherwise the millennium would be pointless - and as it's only unbelievers who refused the mark who enter it, the millennium is their last chance. (Unbelievers, and ANY believers who take the mark will be thrown into the lake of fire beforehand along with the anti-Christ and the false prophet.) Some might say, If the last lost sheep is found before the end of Tribulation, how are there more to be found? - When those unbelievers enter the millennium, many didn't know they were lost sheep then but God knows which ones will respond. And many who are yet undecided will rethink their position after seeing Him - but just as so many saw Him when He was here and didn't believe then, some still won't when He returns.
It really is amazing just how much like sheep we are. Sheep have a strong instinct to follow the sheep in front of them. If one sheep decides to go somewhere, the rest of the flock usually follows, even if it's not a good decision. For example, sheep will follow each other, even to slaughter. And that is easily seen in many people today, just following the crowds, perhaps to their end simply because they aren't following the One who will lead them home. In John 10: 27 Jesus said My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. But some sheep don't always 'follow the right leader' and can easily stray and get lost. Isaiah 53: 6 says in part, All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way. Even from birth, lambs are conditioned to follow the older members of the flock and aren't we like that too? Luke 15: 4 has some comforting words from Jesus, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them doth he not leave the ninety nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? Sheep are totally defenceless, which is why the shepherds of old lived with and cared for the sheep 24 hours a day, every day and you can liken that to the care and love that Jesus has for us - He is watching over us 'full time' too for He knows how weak we are on our own. John 10: 4 says And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. When shepherds bring their flocks to water the herds can become mixed but when the shepherd of one flock leaves, he calls out to his sheep and they separate from the other sheep and follow their own shepherd because they know his voice. And sheep don't cry out or bleat when they are killed. Isaiah 53: 7 is very heart-felt, He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. And thinking about what Jesus did for you and I in John 10: 11, I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep - how can we not love Him.
Thinking of sheep and goats, there is a difference between sheep and goats - some breeds of goats are very similar in appearance and characteristics to sheep and from birth sheep are conditioned to follow a leader but in the wild, will not last very long as they are totally defenceless, which is the reason sheep need a shepherd to depend on to survive. Goats, on the other hand, are obstinate, unruly and defiant and can survive on their own. Although they will flock together in a herd and follow each other wherever - they follow no-one. In human behaviour, some are like sheep and others are like goats.
There are 21 judgements in the Tribulation, 7 seals, which are an overview, 7 trumpets, which are overlapping, beginning in the first half and concluding in the second half and lastly, 7 bowl judgements – all of which are of increasing intensity and are overlapping as well, and you can read about them in Revelation 6, 8 & 9. Overall they will affect both believers and unbelievers but the effects are very different for both camps. ALL believers will receive God's seal in their foreheads and the Holy Spirit at the point of belief and His protection from certain events during Tribulation that will affect unbelievers but it doesn't mean protection from martyrdom - if God has marked you for martyrdom there is nothing that will change that but you can rest assured, it does guarantee salvation because you willingly gave your life for Him in refusing the mark. And because Jesus gave His life for each and every one of us as a ransom for our sins, He didn't as much as even raise His hand to stop it - shouldn't we be prepared to do the same for Him if we're called upon to suffer it? No-one can yet know exactly how these things will play out when it arrives but it's best to know and understand this and settle it in your heart well beforehand.
The Psalms tell us how much He loves us and there is comfort in Psalm 116: 15, which says: Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.
It is natural to fear being killed by violent means - not so much as dying in natural ways but we should remember what Jesus said in Luke 12: 4 - And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that they have no more that they can do. And in Matthew 10: 28 Jesus adds a little more to the same verse: But rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
And if God has marked us for martyrdom, rest assured, as we will be seeing Jesus on the other side and Luke 9: 24 tells us, For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: [by taking the mark] but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, [by martyrdom] the same shall save it. If martyrdom happens to be our lot, just remember what Jesus did for all of us.
It was expedient that one should die for many - in the end, many will die for one.
Just think again about what I've just said - God gave up His one and only Son in exchange for our sinful lives so that we may have life, and He didn't have to do that simply because we're not worthy but there was no other way - a sinless life had to be given through the cross so that our sins could be forgiven - and there was only one sinless life. When Jesus was tempted He was tempted in all things as we are and if He failed in just one small temptation it would have negated His sacrifice. He showed a perfect example for us to follow and He knows we will all fall simply because of our fallen, human nature. We can be so thankful that He delights in mercy, if we confess daily. And there isn't one who hasn't sinned in some form every day - how unworthy and undeserving we are.
In O.T. times, forgiveness was sought through the blood sacrifice of animals - rescinded now by the blood of Christ, is it of little wonder then, that it says in Hebrews 12: 4, Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin? God marked His own dear Son for martyrdom as a ransom for us - why should we even think it too much to give our own sin tainted lives for Him when He, being without sin, did so for us? Our faith has not yet been put to the severest of tests.
Just think about God giving up His only Son - and as a human analogy, could any of us do what God asked Abraham to do? Which was, take his son Isaac up onto a mountain and sacrifice him there. But that story has a happy ending, God stayed Abraham's hand at the last minute, yet nothing stayed His hand from allowing His own Son's sacrifice.
I cannot help but love Him because He first loved me. 1st John 4: 19.
We are all allowed a free will to believe or not, by our own choice – God could have made it so that no free will was given, no-one needed saving and no sacrifice either. And we can blame Satan for causing Eve's transgression followed by Adam falling and through Adam, we all received the sin nature. It was Satan who was the first liar - he lied to Eve. Jesus shed His precious blood for yours and my salvation and by His gift we receive forgiveness of our sins through confession and repentance. Belief comes first in your mind then your heart followed with a simple prayer from your heart, acknowledging that you are a sinner, saying you accept Jesus as your saviour and asking for His help in your weakness. And prayers don't need to be of particular greatness or length - just be humble, if you forget something don't fret, He knows what you're meaning and wanting to say anyway. Just say it sincerely from your heart. Then confession and repentance coming after, which is changing your direction and is an ongoing daily thing and simply because of our human nature, we all fall. Salvation (His gift) is given only by grace through faith - Romans 10: 9, 10. We are washed clean and saved with His blood.
The first 6 trumpets are in the first half, the 7th trumpet is in the beginning of the second half, which are followed by the 7 bowl judgements. In the verses mentioned above, the dead in Christ shall rise first – this is the first resurrection, (at the end of Tribulation) mentioned in Revelation 20: 4 – 6 and as such there cannot be a ‘rapture’ before the falling away, (i.e. believers who have become apostates,) which begins seriously in the first half because of the intense pressure of Tribulation, and increasing exponentially to culminate in the second half, therefore all believers who are alive at the end, having survived Tribulation will be caught up (raised) along with the dead in Christ, to meet Him in the air at the same time. So ALL must go through the Tribulation, believers and unbelievers alike – to the very END, unless dying beforehand. There is more on the millennium following. In these verses, which are commonly known as the rapture, there are four schools of thought, of which only one is right: 1. There will be a pre-tribulation rapture. 2. There will be a mid-tribulation rapture. 3. There will be a post-tribulation rapture. 4. There won’t be a rapture at all (non believers.)
Preachers of many religions teach a pre or mid-trib rapture, if they teach it at all and they will be called to answer for their false doctrine, and if these preachers had the Spirit in them, they wouldn't be preaching this lie, so don't believe everything you hear from those who should know. Some even say it’s only the Jews who will go through Tribulation – well if it’s only the Jews, what about us? Does that give us a ‘get out of jail free' card – I don’t think so. Their teaching or reasoning isn’t scriptural; it is man’s own thinking that God won’t allow His elect to go through the horror of what is to come, surely not. And neither did all those who were horribly burnt to death at the stake in the Dark Ages either (namely by the Catholic Church because they refused to follow their doctrine) – they died in faith. This scripture has taught us some will survive Tribulation to be caught up, and some won’t – many will argue point 3 quoting certain scriptures as reasoning and some will openly hate God after they discover their belief in a pre or mid-trib rapture doesn’t eventuate. Those who hold to points 1 and 2 are sadly mistaken, taking other passages totally out of context and believing it simply because they haven't been taught the truth. This time of testing will sort out the true believers. Human nature is what it is and most people tend to believe the first thing they hear if it appears to be true - even without fact checking. The sad part about those who believe what they are told about this by wrong doctrine are usually believers of OSAS, Once Saved Always Saved, simply because that wrong belief goes hand in hand with the pre-trib view and so many will discover that all too late. There is NO Once Saved Always saved, that's a lie - there is only he that shall endure [in faith] unto the end, the same shall be saved.
This is the very question the disciples asked Jesus. Don’t you think that if it were before Tribulation Jesus would have said so? But He clearly said after and only God has the right to change that. You cannot read Matthew 24 without concluding that the 'catching away' is immediately after the Tribulation of those days. For those who believe in a rapture that comes before Tribulation, they should look again at the scriptures that contain the word Tribulation. The O.T. uses it 3 times, the N.T., 19 times. If the rapture comes before Tribulation, shouldn’t one of those 22 passages teach us something about the rapture happening before Tribulation? But in all those 22 instances, there isn’t one verse that says the rapture happens before Tribulation. There are however, 3 clear verses that say it happens after Tribulation – Matthew 24: 29 - 31. There may be some passages which seem to agree with a pre or mid-trib view, but they don’t prove this scripture as certain or irrefutably as the post-trib view does. Remember, Jesus said it is after. Wrong things are spoken by false teachers propagating a false doctrine, which will give a false hope to so many. It would be so easy to believe that Jesus will come and take us away before the horror begins; (if it were true) which only leads to a false, dangerous complacency, but Jesus in scripture tells a different story. Those who fall victim to this ideology and succumb to a false hope and security, will only result in a serious lack of a preparedness of mind that somehow, it isn’t really dangerous because the Tribulation won’t ever have to be endured. Matthew 6: 25 – 34 and Luke 12: 22 - 31 tells us how God will provide for us in Tribulation, which need to be absorbed and understood fully, and our faith will be severely tested in this. Don’t concentrate on the visible things of this world but look to the invisible things above. This is hard to comprehend and one must believe without question that God will do what He says in these verses for there is absolutely no other way we will survive Tribulation without His help. All true Christians will eventually become refugees and need to understand the implications of Luke 18: 8.
Let’s just imagine for a minute that the rapture does happen before Tribulation (which it won’t) what have we lost? Nothing, and I will have to say ‘thank God’ and breathe a sigh of relief but when the darkness sets in, the realisation for some will turn to despair. Or to put it another way, those who put their hope in the pre-trib view (and that’s what it is) have no fear of Tribulation – we won’t be here. But if they would just examine scripture again and when the truth finally dawns on them, they will then understand in stark contrast but unfortunately, won’t be prepared for what is coming. And those not spiritually prepared could easily end up following or worshiping the anti-Christ and taking the mark because of the pressures of not being able to buy or sell anything during the 2nd half of Tribulation. Any preacher teaching this lie will have their ministry centred on this view, which is why you should examine them, even ask the question. If they say it’s pre or mid-trib, don't believe it - they are rejecting what Jesus has told us. And there are more than just a few preachers who should know better that say it on HubPages as well, which is also one of the reasons I wrote this article.
Very briefly, just a little on not being able to buy and sell in the second half of the Tribulation - Do not be too overly concerned about this as we know from Matthew 6: 25 - 34 that God will provide for His own in a way known only to Him - if that were not so, no believer will survive Tribulation. Matthew 24: 22 tells us, And except those days should be shortened, there should be no flesh saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. In the Exodus, God provided for the Israelites for 40 years in the wilderness, their clothes and sandals didn't even wear out - so 3.5 years will be nothing to God. They were delivered through that experience - not from it, exactly as in other instances that we read and the Tribulation will be no different. And the example of the Exodus is clear that Tribulation, being shortened, will be even worse and as Pharaoh experienced many calamities before he let the Israelites go, similar things could happen even before Tribulation begins. We are not given any other information other than what is contained in these verses, which is most likely deliberate but one thing is certain, we know that He can and will do it. And without being fortified with sufficient spiritual faith we may not hear what the Spirit will be trying to tell us, SO DO NOT NEGLECT YOUR FAITH IN ANY WAY. Some will make it right to the end to be raised alive, and some will be martyred during, and some will mercifully be taken home before or even during the Tribulation. God already has a plan for all of us and we must be listening for the Spirit's direction to know what it is. Daniel tells us a lot about these days and it is well worth the time to study this book. It is not yet for us to know the details of what is to come - in Daniel 12 the Spirit is telling him of these things and he answers the Spirit saying: And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. I think it is clear that whatever His reasons are, they are for our benefit.
There are many who know that the US is Mystery Babylon. Revelation 18: 4 says in part, come out of her my people and this warning will be given by the Spirit just as a small window of opportunity presents itself. There are some who misinterpret the word 'her' in this verse thinking it means the church visible, in particular the Catholic church. That is not so because there are so many cults now and many are equally as bad. Revelation 17 and 18 clearly tells us it is a country and it is the USA.
Here is the proof of a post-tribulation rapture, and many will try to convince you otherwise, looking first at 1st Thessalonians 5: 1 & 2 to lead you into it. But of the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I write to you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. (The catching away or ‘rapture’ [a non biblical term] is also referred to as the day of the Lord.) Further in 2nd Thessalonians 1: 7 – 10, And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power; When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day (because our testimony among you was believed). Now look at some verses in the O.T. that determine when the day of the Lord shall occur and compare them with what Jesus said in Matthew 24: 29 – 31.
Isaiah 13: 9 & 10: See the day of the Lord has come, for the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. These signs shall be unmistakable to all believers – but unbelievers won’t know what to think. Joel 2: 31, The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. Some think there is a ‘secret’ rapture before or during Tribulation instead of after, and are sadly incorrect – this isn’t a double event, Jesus is only coming again once, after Tribulation. Zechariah 14: 6 & 7, And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. These two verses are very specific in saying three times what time of day it will be. Acts 1: 9 – 11 tells us How Jesus ascended into heaven; He was taken up by a cloud. It goes on to say and also in Revelation 1: 7 how He will appear when He returns; on a cloud and every eye shall see Him. The most crucial thing is that we are not deceived as Jesus told us in Matthew 24: 4, 5 & 11, and perhaps also from false apparitions from Satan. In John 6: 39, 40, 44 & 54, Jesus mentions the words ‘last day’ four times. Notice it is singular tense and not plural as in last days. Anything said in singular tense is specific; plural is just a reference in general and meaning more than one or once. The last day is suggesting something that is after or at the end of an event and last days doesn’t, it suggests either before or during. Jesus mentions the last day four times so we wouldn’t miss it. Look again at these verses: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds. When will this happen – Jesus has already told us in Matthew 24: 31.
Revelation 13: 15 says: As many who would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. The mark of the beast (666) won’t be in place until after the second half of Tribulation begins and true believers won’t take the mark, so they will go through it and many will be killed. But if there weren’t any believers here at all, (i.e. all raptured out) the mark wouldn’t even be necessary, so who are they who won’t worship the beast? There can be no persecution of believers, Matthew 24: 9, unless believers are present - that is, it wouldn't be necessary for martyrdom, (being the worst of persecution) and there can be no falling away of believers, Matthew 24: 12, unless believers are present in both the first and second half!! Also look again at Matthew 24: 22, would God even bother to shorten these days if His elect didn’t go through it??? I used to believe the pre-trib lie for two reasons, as so many do – it sounded right and surely God wouldn’t put us through that! There will be many who believe in the pre or mid-trib view and may still be saved as it is NOT a salvation issue but they won’t be spiritually prepared for what is coming. And because of that, they may also be among those who will take the mark in the beginning of the second half simply by the intense pressures of Tribulation just to survive and will realise their mistake when they see Him at His return and plead to be accepted but to no avail. Anyone taking the mark has forfeited their opportunity, even in ignorance – it will be too late, taking the mark is the point of no return. And there is simply NO FORGIVENESS for taking the mark; you will have sold your soul to the Devil. There are no excuses here as everyone will receive the warning, Revelation 14: 9, 10 tells us that an angel flying in the midst of heaven will give this warning, which suggests it is audible and all will hear it. Part of verse 10 tells us God's wrath is poured out without mixture which indicates there will be no mercy mixed with this judgement. You can either spend eternity with Jesus, or you will spend ETERNITY in the lake of fire. In that light, it should be an easy decision, which shouldn't be out of necessity, but out of love.
There are two things that will adversely affect your salvation - one is taking the mark as just mentioned, the other is remaining an unbeliever in death. The first one is as per this scripture, the second one ensures your name is erased from the Lamb's book of Life simply because you refused to believe while you had the opportunity. Remember the story of Lazarus and the rich man.
Matthew 13 has a lot of parables and the parable of the wheat and the tares is a good example. In verses 24 – 30 it speaks of how a man sowed good seed in his field but an enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat. When his servants found them they asked, should they remove them and he said: Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles and first burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. The disciples asked Jesus to explain this parable and in verses 36 – 43 it is clear. The field is the world: the good seed are the children of the kingdom: but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sewed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The fact that Jesus said let both grow together, He is saying that unbelievers are still given opportunity in mercy until the end.
Having little faith now will not help you when Tribulation arrives - the more you increase your faith now, i.e., reading your Bible the better spiritually prepared you will be to face it. By being spiritually prepared, there is less chance of falling away through lack of faith and preparedness of mind. And particularly knowing He will deliver us through it in His way and not from it, as in many instances in the history of man. And being strong in belief is the important thing, lukewarm believers will be more susceptible to falling away irrespective of whatever they believe in. That is, if martyrdom is yours or my lot, by remaining a firm believer and continuing, salvation is guaranteed, a lukewarm believer is playing with fire.
A few things to think on:
Did God save Noah from the flood, (i.e. before) or through the flood? (i.e. after) Did God save both Job and Joseph from their trials, or did He deliver them through those trials? Were Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego saved from the furnace, or through it? Did God save Daniel from the lion’s den, or through the lion’s den? Jesus says in Matthew 24: 9 in part: You will be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And in verse 13: But he that endures, is it to the beginning, to the middle, or to the END? If you're a pre-trib believer, surely now you must be having second thoughts?
Those who believe in a pre or mid-trib rather than a post-trib view, always present the weakest case against the strongest case for it. 1st Thessalonians 5: 9 says: For God has not appointed us to wrath, [believers] but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. The wrath of God and the wrath of the anti-Christ (Satan in the anti-Christ’s body) are TWO different things. God’s wrath comes later – just after Jesus comes for His own at the end of Tribulation and is not directed towards believers. The purpose of the Tribulation is for the anti-Christ to pour out his wrath on all those believers who won’t bow down and worship him. Remember, God hasn't caused Tribulation, Satan has - God has merely allowed it to refine us. So then, God’s children ARE appointed to Tribulation, but the ‘children of disobedience’ are appointed to God’s wrath. We are those believers who won’t take the mark and are persecuted in the Tribulation, some even to death, looking for His return at the end of it. Look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws nigh. In Daniel 12: 10 – 13 he is speaking about the end times and he tells us of 45 days that are not explained and could be for God’s wrath to take place at that time on the children of disobedience, the end of Satan’s rule coming after. In John 17 Jesus is praying a beautiful prayer to God and in verse 15 He says: I pray not that you should take them out of the world, [before time] but you will keep them from the evil. Which means until the appointed time and to keep those who endure to the end, even though some will be martyred. We all have to endure trials and troubles in this life, which are allowed by the Lord to help strengthen our faith.
To digress a little and add a little about the millennium, which is the 7th day (1000 years) following Tribulation where Jesus reigns on earth. During the Tribulation there will be many still undecided, who for reasons of their own refuse to take the mark – those yet unsaved non-believers, (both Jews and gentiles who somehow survive the Tribulation) will enter and re-populate the millennium; otherwise none would be alive to enter the millennium. It is only those unsaved that refuse the mark who enter the millennium. Remember, all believers, alive and dead are raised at the end of the Tribulation. In God’s mercy, unbelievers will still have an opportunity if they repent. If this wasn't so, the millennium would be pointless. At the end of the 1000 years, Satan will be released from the abyss to try to deceive those who haven't yet repented. This is not a ‘second chance’ so to speak, you only get one shot at this and that must be before you die whenever that is, (as there is no hope beyond the grave - Isaiah 38: 18) and this is how it will be for those unbelievers who are not risen with believers at the end of Tribulation but live to make the right choice in the millennium. Those saved believers, both alive and dead will be raised at Jesus' return at the end of Tribulation, 1st Thessalonians 4: 16 & 17, to rule with Him through the millennium. No-one with the mark will enter the millennium - having lost their lives before the millennium begins. Just think again of what the millennium is - 1,000 years, that's a long time to us but nothing to God, and I don't know what the 'span of life' will be for those who enter it. In the millennium there will be a time of unheard of peace in the world during the reign of Jesus and the risen saints. Sin, caused by the originator of sin will have been eliminated for that time, chained up in the abyss and being free from his influence, some will still sin due to their own human nature but it won't be as prevalent as it is now. It will be dealt with by a council of saints. Hopefully, as time wears on, many will accept Jesus and change before time eventually runs out but there will still be a percentage of those who will succumb to Satan's temptations when released at the end of the millennium. So we see the millennium is a type of refining, death being the last enemy and is swallowed up in victory.
On taking the mark: DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, ACCEPT THE MARK OF THE BEAST. Not under any circumstances and no matter what – even unto death. Anyone who gets the mark of the beast is already dead – their names will be erased from the Lamb’s Book of Life, Revelation 3: 5. Everyone’s name is in His book from the foundation of the world, Revelation 13: 8. Even every unbelievers names are there until, either by the wilful act of accepting the mark, or remaining an unbeliever in death, which will seal their fate in both instances.
Something else to consider - the parable of the 10 virgins - many would know and understand the meaning but briefly it is this: The 5 who were wise kept their lamps trimmed and full of oil, the light of the lamp represents their faith, the oil is God's word, which means they were spiritually prepared and awake to face whatever comes - they knew what to expect and fully expected it sooner than later. The 5 foolish slumbered, they too, knew what was coming but they didn't prepare their lamps, their light of faith was barely flickering, their oil had run out at the critical moment - they didn't check the oil level (an analogy for reading the Bible) and God's word was not properly embedded in their hearts. Put simply, they were lukewarm. They thought it is far off yet and were unprepared to face the darkness and weren't accepted when the call came. Those who are just lukewarm in their faith will find it very difficult to survive the Tribulation simply because of being spiritually unprepared. Doesn't that sound like so many today. They lost their faith and because of that, their salvation as well. You can read about Jesus' thoughts on being lukewarm in Revelation 3: 14 - 22 and it is very stinging. As an analogy, it's like an important exam, only a very high mark results in a pass, a low mark should result in a failure but strange as it is, that isn't always the case today, and isn't that the same as being lukewarm as an example, so what was the point of the exam? - nothing more to be said. In reality though, losing one's faith is the same as no longer remaining a believer. (slumbering) The bridegroom of course, is Jesus. The 5 wise virgins represents only 50% of believers who maintained their faith (the 5 foolish were also believers too but they were only lukewarm) and this parable is also a good example that you can lose your salvation if you turn away and don't continue. Put simply - throw away faith and you throw away your salvation, keep your faith and you keep your salvation. It may help to think of faith as a type of refining, gold and silver is refined by fire many times before it is pure.
Psalm 23 is very encouraging and so beautiful to read -
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the path of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
It all comes down to the choices you make while you are alive - how much do you want and value salvation. Romans 8: 5 - 9 is something we should all consider and set our minds on as well and may be worth writing here:
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. Your behaviour determines whether or not the Spirit is in you.
There is an excellent place to learn spiritual truth, which is ichthys.com and I can promise you, you won’t be disappointed. Save it to favourites, you will be going back to it many times.
If anyone is interested and would like to read more of my articles, rather than searching for them, just click on any of the titles below and it will take you there. These articles are about salvation, some more direct than others but all will be of benefit to you. And if you deem them worthy and true, you might like to save them to 'favourites' for future reference. You don't need to save all of them as they are all here - if you'd like to have them, simply save this one. I constantly review and update these articles as the Spirit teaches and whenever I review them, if you've saved them they are updated on your computer as well. You may even want to forward them to others.
- Chronological Timeline of the Events in Tribulation
AND SO THE END BEGINS . . . .
- The Strait And Narrow Way - Not Many Really Understand These Verses, Do You?
So many put their faith in the church system, tying it to salvation but are blind to the perfect way that Jesus made available for all who would earnestly seek it. Nothing that is of man is the strait and narrow way.
- Read Your Bible - Doing So Leads to Life.
There are so many today who sadly, don't read the Bible and have no idea of the beauty it contains.
- A Short Essay On Faith
Faith is not a physical thing that you see on people at first glance but you can see the evidence of it in them by their actions. And faith is a trait that should never be hidden so don't be afraid to show it. By your actions someone else may benefit
- The Workings of the Holy Spirit
The Spirit is a gentle thing and he will come to all who earnestly seek him.
- Do You Know What Time it REALLY is?
So many are just drifting in this world on a windswept ocean without a thought of the rocks ahead that are so close. And with so little time to alter course and steer a safe passage - now is high time to think about salvation.
- SIN - The Wages Of Sin Is Death.
Sin is a subject not many are willing to address, thinking I've still got time to fix but no-one knows the hour of their departure. The past is where you learnt the lesson, the future is where you apply the lesson, don't give up in the present.
- END OF DAYS - Just How Close Is Tribulation, Have You Any Idea?
It is so sad that so many are completely unaware of the days we are living in and of what is coming in just a few short years. And even worse, much less care. Was it Jesus who coined the term 'If they only knew.'
- This Is My Commandment That Ye Love One-Another As I Have Loved You.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
- The Genesis Gap.
Was there a world in existence before the flood of Noah? Look a bit closer, scripture will reveal it.
- ETERNITY - Have You Ever Wondered, Where Will You Spend Eternity?
If you lived in the Sydney area in the 50's & 60's there's a very good chance you saw this word in yellow chalk on street corners. It was also seen in Newcastle and Wollongong.
- The Spirit of Life - God's Gift To Us
This article is about the natural and spiritual timeline of man from Birth - to death. And how God made Adam from clay and then breathed life into him, and is exactly what He did to us, which is the very life within us. But so many are blind to it.
Jack Jenn (author) from Living in hope on planet earth. on October 02, 2020:
Thank you for your kind words of appreciation - I hope you found it of benefit and feel free to use it whenever in whatever way you see fit.
So many have conflicting ideas on this subject, which is brought about by not understanding scripture - if they would only ask the Spirit for guidance instead of leaning on their own understanding.
Again my thanks Cheryl,
Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on October 02, 2020:
Thank you for such a detailed explanation of your interpretation of scripture.
Jack Jenn (author) from Living in hope on planet earth. on February 24, 2019:
Sadly, all too true and most have no idea at about how close it really is.
I hope that the content in this article was of help to you.
Again Dana, my best regards,
Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on February 24, 2019:
Its true we are in the last days and we are seeing scriptures come to life. There are so many people believing in so many different doctoring's and sadly we now have the latest craze "The prosperity pastors" giving people false hope.
People are still blind to the truth and what they worship is the almighty dollar, even though they know that we will not live in this earthly tent forever. The people are blind and the bible says that the gospel is hidden to those who are perishing.