Mat 24:21 For then shall be GREAT TRIBULATION, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Mat 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
Mat 24:21 This will be the worst time of suffering since the beginning of the world, and nothing this terrible will ever happen again.
Mat 24:22 If God doesn't make the time shorter, no one will be left alive. But because of God's chosen ones, he will make the time shorter. Contemporary English Version
GREAT TRIBULATION: G3173 + G2347, megas + thlipsis,
GREAT: G3173, megas, meg'-as
Including the prolonged forms, femine μεγάλη megalē, plural μέγάλοι megaloi, etc.; compare also G3176, G3187], big (literally or figuratively, in a very wide application): - (+ fear) exceedingly, great (-est), high, large, loud, mighty, + (be) sore (afraid), strong, X to years.
TRIBULATION: G2347, thlipsis, thlip'-sis
From G2346; pressure (literally or figuratively): - afflicted, (-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble.
Rev 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of GREAT TRIBULATION, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
There is going to be a three and one-half year period of time that the Bible calls the GREAT TRIBULATION. Jesus tells us that there will be no time like it in history, before or after, which compares in magnitude of catastrophic events, in suffering, or in death…not the black plague, not the 1st and 2nd world wars, and not the mass die off and genocide committed during the colonization of the Americas. Jesus said that if events were allowed to continue to their natural conclusion, NO ONE WOULD SURVIVE!
Matt. 24:22 If those days had not been limited, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be limited. International Standard Version.
It is very difficult for me to wrap my mind around the terrible events that will soon occur on this earth. At this very moment in time, I sit comfortably typing this article with a full refrigerator, a warm bed with clean sheets, and there is every indication that my fairly comfortable western lifestyle will continue until I die of old age… perhaps with only a few snags to occasionally break up the monotony of my average American existence. Will everything continue the same as usual until I eventually die peacefully of old age? I don’t think so.
2Pe 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
2Pe 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
2Pe 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
2Pe 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
The Apostle Peter tells us that one of the main signs of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is the confident apathy of unbelievers. Unfortunately, it appears that a lot of Christians are also pretty apathetic. People who live comfortable lives tend to be intolerant of any suggestion that their peaceful existence, and their hopes and dreams are only temporary. However, if there is anything that the Bible teaches us, it is that God’s plans for the future rarely align with our own carefully laid out plans for the future.
If a railroad engineer tells me that a train is going to arrive at midnight, it would not be very prudent for me to pitch a tent on the railroad tracks and go to sleep at nine o’clock. The intelligent person will arrange their schedule and their plans around the train’s schedule and not the other way around! Jesus is very emphatic when He warns us and His disciples to WATCH FOR THE SIGNS OF HIS COMING!
Mar 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
Mar 13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
Mar 13:34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Mar 13:35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
Mar 13:36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
Mar 13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, WATCH.
It seems to me that there is one obvious sign that Jesus is at the door…NUCLEAR WEAPONS! The Apostle Peter plainly tells us that this world is going up in flames when Jesus comes again.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be BURNED UP.
The major world powers seem to be hell bent on possessing enough nuclear weapons to ensure the total extinction of human life on earth. It is very likely that MOST of the people living within the United States will be dead within a few minutes after an initial nuclear missile exchange with Russia.
It is also likely that any survivors will wish they were dead within a very short period of time after the attack! If you live east of the Mississippi river, you will also have to deal with hundreds of nuclear power plants continually spewing nuclear radiation into the atmosphere, similar to the nuclear reactor meltdown in Fukishima, Japan. I admit this would be a worst case scenario, but it is believed by the EMP Commission that even a simple electromagnetic pulse (EMP) nuclear attack would kill just as many people, just over a longer time period. It is estimated that up to 90% of the population of the United States could be dead within a year of an EMP attack due to starvation, disease, and economic collapse.
I suspect that after an EMP attack, the story line by Cormac McCarthy in his book: The Road, about people hiding from roving gangs of cannibals, will be an all too common occurrence. The grocery stores will probably be emptied within a few hours after an EMP attack. If you think I am fear mongering, you would be wrong…I do not make any money from this blog or from my e-books. However, fear is not always a bad thing.
Psa 34:9 O FEAR the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
Psa 34:10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
Psa 34:11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
If you have been studying the Bible for the past forty years, like I have, and if you have been keeping track of current and historical events, I expect that you have reached the same conclusion as me, it is not very hard to put the puzzle pieces together…Jesus is coming back very soon!
However, God has not left us without a clue. God has given us several allegories in the Bible telling His saints how to prepare for a coming fiery holocaust.
First, we have the example of Lot and his two daughters. The angels tell Lot to escape into the mountains and not to look back.
Gen 19:15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
Gen 19:16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
Gen 19:17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
Soon after Lot escaped, FIRE rained down from heaven and destroyed Sodom.
Gen 19:23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.
Gen 19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
Gen 19:25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
The writer of the Book of Jude seems to have Lot in mind when he warns us to avoid the temptations of the flesh.
Jud 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Jud 1:22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
Jud 1:23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
We do not want to be like Lot, hanging on to the pleasures of this world until the very last minute, needing God’s angels to drag us away from imminent destruction. A better example for us is Father Abraham. Abraham was in the world, but he kept himself unspotted from the desires of the world. Therefore, Abraham was able to watch the destruction of Sodom from a distance, delivering his family and all of his accumulated wealth safe and secure.
Gen 19:27 And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:
Gen 19:28 And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a FURNACE.
However, no matter how much we would like to, some of us cannot pack up all of our belongings and flee into the wilderness. There is a story in the Book of Daniel that tells us about three young me who had to face a real fiery furnace. They had to make a life or death decision…and they made the correct choice, even though it meant almost certain death.
Dan 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
Dan 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
Dan 3:18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Dan 3:19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
Dan 3:20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
Dan 3:21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Dan 3:22 Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Dan 3:23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Dan 3:24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
Dan 3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
This story of the three Hebrew children in the Book of Daniel is certainly an allegory about the last days. The whole world will someday be faced with almost the same exact choice, and the decision will not only be life and death…it will be an ETERNAL life or an ETERNAL death decision!
Rev 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
Although it may seem to be a difficult decision as we read the Book of Revelation, if we read the entire Bible, we begin to see that the decision is actually quite easy. I can look at my refrigerator full of food, and I can look at my bed with its clean sheets, and I realize that one day very soon… EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BURN UP!
2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto FIRE against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Therefore, as we see the Day of the Lord approaching, we must stop spending our precious time and energy accumulating more stuff, and start spending our time cultivating a relationship with the one who can deliver us in the midst of the fire. There is something far, far worse waiting for those who make the wrong decision.
Mat 13:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
Mat 13:42 And shall cast them into a FURNACE of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
There is something far, far better waiting for those who make the right decision.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Rev 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
Therefore, let us all pray that everybody makes the right decision!