TRIBULATION OR ESCAPISM

Posted: January 3, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Image

 

“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.” 2 Timothy 3:1

Often, I’ve heard it said by preachers who resist anything but a pre-tribulation position that why would the church need to be “purified” or cleansed by tribulation when in fact we’ve been purified by the cross? The problem is context. To suggest that the church should not face Satan’s best is to deny the ability of God to see his people thru hard or difficult times.

Notice the words of Paul in Romans 5:3 “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;” Notice two words in Paul’s statement, “tribulation” and “Patience”. Tribulation literally means ‘suffering’, while patience, in this context literally means endurance (to wait), or for the hope which is to come from such trial, in this case tribulation, i.e., persecution.

Jesus said in Mark 13:13 that those who ‘endure to the end’, the same shall be saved. The emphasis is on endure. So is the writers of the gospel, or even Jesus himself contradicting themselves? Or maybe we have become so influenced by an American form of Christianity which says genuine suffering is not necessarily for those who dwell in the safety and confines of a Democracy, but for those who have not achieved such in their own natural world and thus we can walk in grace and comfort of our faith in Christ knowing that our faith will never be truly tested because we were apart of a system which traded sacrifice for ideology, ideology for personal comfort, which in turn yielded an untried, untested walk.

The problem with this logic? It teaches that comfortable American Christians get rescued before anything really painful happens in our world. Yes, we all know of the persecution against Christians in Syria, or Nigeria, or Egypt, or throughout China, but that doesn’t seem to count. But if the persecution which has drastically increased within the past 5 years does not count – what does? Where is the measuring stick to this viewpoint? I mean this in all sincerity to my Christian brothers and sisters in the faith who continue to promote the belief that the church won’t truly suffer “real” persecution, by whose standards are you claiming that? Because I assure you, if you ask the pastor 25 years ago in China who was arrested, and jailed for evangelizing the world that his persecution was not truly “persecution” then what was it? A mere test of his faith?

But let’s go further back, to where the nation of Israel, God’s own people, went thru MANY trials, were tested consistently, even when they were NOT rebelling, why did God send trials? Because they allowed prosperity, comfort and ease, to make them soft, unprepared for what was coming – the wilderness. The problem (apart from the flawed, out of context scripture verses) with those who preach the church has already been purified by the cross is this, it allows a spirit of pride to set in. If God had cleansed, or purified, the nation of Israel (which he did) then why did God continue to allow Israel to face such test of hardships? If God loved Job so much, why did he allow Satan to test and try him? Job was a righteous man, so why try him? Because God works thru great hardships because God likes to prove Satan wrong, that his people are not a weak people, that whatever the enemy throws at them, God’s people will continue to overcome them. Notice the words of John in Revelation 12:11 “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” Notice that? Who was John referring to? It certainly wasn’t the Jews, it certainly wasn’t the patriarchs of the past, it was the CHURCH, the bride of Christ who, under intense persecution coming in the last days where Satan will try one final time to defeat the body of Christ (Rev. 13:7), he (Satan) will do everything he can to destroy God’s people – the church, and yet with all the blood shed, all the suffering we who are in Christ will face, Satan will once again be defeated by our TESTIMONY and the BLOOD of the lamb (the cross) and THEN, at the final trump, the body of Christ will rise victorious and be removed, THEN shall come the final great wrath of God upon a wicked and evil world. That is why Jesus said that if we endure to the end, the same (meaning Christians) shall be saved. It is all about endurance, not escapism.

To my friends who continue to proclaim that the church will soon be removed, my question is this, with all the great evils taking place upon the world, such immorality and perversion setting into the hearts and minds of men – why are we (the church) still here? I contend it’s because God never intended for his people to flee from darkness, but contend for the faith, even if it counters our American form of theology. Sorry, but I jumped off the rapture wagon when I got saved – and so should you.

 

Christopher

 

Comments
  1. Michele Renecle says:

    Yes, I also believe that because Jesus gave His life for us we must be prepared to give up our lives for Him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s