Deu 4:31 (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.
TRIBULATION: H6862, tsar, tsawr
From H6887; narrow; (as a noun) a tight place (usually figuratively, that is, trouble); also a pebble (as in H6864); (transitively) an opponent (as crowding): - adversary, afflicted (-tion), anguish, close, distress, enemy, flint, foe, narrow, small, sorrow, strait, tribulation, trouble.
Moses sees far into Israel’s future and prophecies that they will eventually turn away from Jehovah. Then inevitably, like winter follows the summer, they will experience tribulation because they have forsaken their provider, protector, and their God. Moses foresees Israel scattered among the nations and his prophecy is fulfilled not once but three times: first the Assyrians, then the Babylonians, and finally the Romans scatter the people of Israel all over the world.
However, Moses also mentions the “latter days”, which invariably means the days just prior to the establishment of the Messiah’s final kingdom on earth. Moses tells them that if they will turn back to Jehovah in the midst of “tribulation”, He will be merciful to them, and God will not forsake them like they have forsaken Him.
Thus we obtain a glimpse of God’s grand plan and why I believe the world (and the Church) must go through the great tribulation. We know from our own experience, when things are going good we tend to forget about God, but like Israel in bondage to Egypt, when we are in the middle of trouble and distress we call upon God for His divine help and deliverance.
Exo 2:23 And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.
Therefore, I am confident that the good times are rapidly coming to an end. God is gradually lifting His hedge of protection, and the world is rapidly hurtling towards the great tribulation. God has a plan to save as many people as possible before the arrival of His Kingdom and of our LORD Jesus Christ.
However, God has another reason why He allows tribulation. Tribulation not only causes people who are in bondage to cry out for deliverance…adversity also builds up and equips the saints of God. Tribulation TRIES the saints of God:
1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to TRY you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1Pe 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
TRY: G3986, peirasmos, pi-ras-mos'
From G3985; a putting to proof (by experiment [of good], experience [of evil], solicitation, discipline or provocation); by implication adversity: - temptation, X try.
Time after time in the Bible, we see people who love God suddenly being thrust into impossible and adverse situations, but through these seemingly impossible situations they become better equipped for positions they could never have dreamed of or imagined:
Joseph was sold to strangers by his own brothers, than he was brought to Egypt where he was made a slave, he then suffered a false accusation of attempted rape, he was then cast into prison, and then by a miraculous chain of events Joseph eventually became the ruler of Egypt. Joseph eventually recognized that all of his adversity served a higher purpose, he must have questioned his undeserved troubles many times, but in the end he finally understood.
Gen 50:18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants.
Gen 50:19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
Gen 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
I believe Joseph succinctly explains why the world, like Joseph, must soon go through the great tribulation: TO SAVE MUCH PEOPLE ALIVE!
If the world continues on the same rebellious course as it has been on for the last fifty (50) years, becoming ever more selfish and materialistic, can there be any doubt that billions of people will end up in hell? Can there be any doubt that we are in the last days as described by Jesus and the Apostles?
2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the LAST DAYS perilous times shall come.
2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2Ti 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
I don’t know about everybody else, but I have noticed that more and more people seem to fit the description as outlined in 2 Timothy Chapter 3. Not only people I have met, but people in positions of power, fame, and authority also fit this description. I expect that the antichrist and his followers will fit this description like a glove. Is there any doubt that God MUST intercede soon or all will be lost?
Not only does the world fit the description in 2nd Timothy, but it seems the members of the Church are also becoming more selfish, more covetous, and more proud. Therefore, the Holy Spirit has a mighty work ahead of Him. God must change and conform a world full of high minded, lovers of pleasure into the image of His Son in a very short amount of time.
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
The Church is nowhere close to being ready for the return of Jesus, not yet anyway! There are two parts to the cross of Jesus Christ. The first part, JUSTIFICATION, is the easy part that the modern Church likes to emphasize. The second part, SANCTIFICATION, is the hard part that the modern Church tends to ignore. However, God is NOT going to ignore our sanctification, God WILL conform His Church to the image of Jesus Christ, ready or not! An excellent description of sanctification is laid out by Barton Jahn in his blog christiandangerzone:
Not only did they fail to accept the first half of the cross—repentance and faith in Christ leading to salvation, but they utterly failed to comprehend and accept the second half of the cross—the DEATH OF SELF-WILL in surrender to God’s plans for their lives… https://christiandangerzone.com/home/
SANCTIFICATION, or death of self-will, is an incredibly long and difficult process. Usually, it takes a life time of experiencing trials and tribulations to get most Christians to stop relying on themselves and to start relying totally on God. I have been going through the sanctification process for forty years, and I am afraid I have a lot more sanctification ahead of me.
Unfortunately for most of world AND most of the Church, we do not have a natural human lifetime ahead of us to be sanctified. Jesus Christ is coming back in just a few short years; therefore, God only has a short time period to conform us to the image of His Son. This is the real reason that the world AND the Church will be going through the GREAT TRIBULATION.
I can tell that most of the Church is NOT “sanctified” by the very fact that most of the Church is so adamant about not wanting to go through the great tribulation. Hey! I don’t want to go through the great tribulation either, but I also know that facing and overcoming great adversity is necessary before our self-will dies, and we MUST be ready for the coming of the LORD. God will not be denied.
Jas 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Jas 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Jas 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Let me be brutally honest, when I face trials, tribulations, and temptations, I do not count it all joy. I do not have a smile on my lips and a song in my heart when I am faced with yet another trial or problem. Therefore, I know that God is not done with me yet! I suspect most of the people reading this blog are in the same position that I am, but that is alright, it proves that we are human. However, I am also convinced that before everything is said and done, most of the Church will be zealous, bold, miracle working, demon chasing, JOYFUL Christians. We will be PERFECT and ENTIRE, wanting NOTHING!
God is going to keep His Word, the manifestation of the sons of God is certain, and absolutely nothing can stop it.
Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Php 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;