I believe that God is doing something huge spiritually right now in the midst of this worldwide pandemic and all of the historic floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other disasters we have witnessed in recent years.
I’m sure there is a lot more going on than I can possibly know, but three things I do believe God is doing:
- God is refining His people and purifying us from sin, making us more like Christ.
- God is sending out a massive wake up call to unbelievers to be saved through Jesus.
- God is setting the stage for the rapture and the Great Tribulation.
I believe that Scripture most supports a Pre-Tribulation rapture. (I realize different believers have different perspectives on this. And that is fine. I am not demanding that anyone take my word for anything. Please search the Bible yourself and come to your own conclusions.)
Here is my understanding of God’s timeline according to Scripture.
- The Church Age/ the Age of Grace—This is where we are now. Grace is still available. People can still come to Jesus and be saved and all who do so will be spared from the Great Tribulation.
- The Rapture of the Church—Jesus comes suddenly in the clouds to catch believers away in the twinkling of an eye. (Luke 17:34-37, 1 Cor. 15:52, 1 Thess. 4:16-18, 1 Thess. 5:9, )
- The Great Tribulation— A 7 year period during which the Anti-Christ rules over the entire world. There will be a one-world government, one-world false religion, and one-world cashless economy. It starts when the Anti-Christ confirms a 7-year peace treaty with Israel including allowing them to rebuild their temple on the Temple Mount. All the people on earth must receive a “Mark of the Beast” to allow them to buy or sell anything. But to receive the mark, they must worship him as god. People will come to know Christ during this time, but believers will be martyred. Three and a half years into the treaty, The Anti-Christ demands to be worshipped as God in their temple. They realize he is not their Messiah. Israel goes into hiding. There are terrible judgments of God poured out over all the people of the earth, especially during the last 3.5 years. (Daniel 9, Daniel 12, Matt. 24, 2 Thess. 2:3-4) Rev. 7:14, Rev. 13:1-18
- The Millennial Reign of Christ—Israel finally repents and acknowledges that Jesus is their Messiah. He returns in the sky with His saints riding with Him and He defeats the world’s armies who have assembled at Armageddon with a Word from His mouth. He enters into the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem and begins the Millennial Reign on earth for 1000 years. Satan is bound. (Isa 2:2-4, Isa. 11:6-9, Rev. 20)
- Satan Is Released—There is one more great battle between good and evil. (Rev. 20:1-3)
- The Great White Throne Judgement—Jesus judges all the living and the dead people from all of history. He casts those who have rejected Him into the lake of fire, the second death, where they will suffer for eternity. He also casts the defeated Satan and his demons into the lake of fire to be tormented forever. His people are received into heaven to rejoice with Him as the Bride of Christ and to enjoy paradise forever. (Rev. 20:11-15)
Where Are We Now?
We are not in the Great Tribulation, as the Bible describes it, yet. But we are in a time of tribulation. Jesus said (in Matthew 24) that as the Great Tribulation draws closer, there will be more frequent and more intense “birth pangs” including:
- Earthquakes in various places
- Wars between nations/ethnic groups
- Rumors of wars
- Pestilences (plagues)
- Famines in various places
- False Christs
- Many people will be deceived
- Christian persecution and martyrdom
- False prophets
- Increase of wickedness
- Love of most will grow cold
- The gospel will be preached to the whole world
Some other biblical signs that the Great Tribulation is drawing near are things like:
- Israel will become a nation again all in one day. (Ezek. 37)
- People will be abusive, evil, and very fleshly (1 Tim. 3:1-5)
- Knowledge will greatly increase (Dan. 12:4)
- A Great Apostasy where many deliberately rebel against God and His word and truth and believe lies and delusions, instead (1 Tim. 4:1, 2 Thess. 2:3)
- Many will scoff at the second coming of Christ (2 Pet. 3:3-4)
- The Roman Empire will revive. (Daniel 7)
There are many signs that the rapture and the Great Tribulation are coming much closer. But what we are experiencing right now with this global pandemic coronavirus is not the Great Tribulation. It is merely a foretaste of what is coming. God did not appoint His people to wrath (1 Thess. 5:9)
What Happens During the Great Tribulation?
During the Great Tribulation, a large percentage of the world’s human population will die, perhaps around 50%. There will be severe plagues, wars, disasters, astronomical signs, and other divine punishments poured out on people.
The Seven Seals (www.gotquestions.org):
- The appearance of the Antichrist (Revelation 6:1–2)
- Great warfare (Revelation 6:3–4)
- Famine (Revelation 6:5–6)
- Plague (Revelation 6:7–8)
- The martyrdom of believers in Christ (Revelation 6:9–11),
- A devastating earthquake causing terrible devastation, and astronomical upheaval—the moon turns blood red, the sun turns black, something like stars fall from the heavens (Revelation 6:12–14).
- The seventh seal introduces the seven trumpet judgments.
Between Seals 5 and 6:
There will be two witnesses from God in Jerusalem during the Great Tribulation who have the power to send plagues on the world and who preach for people to repent. Eventually, the people kill these prophets from God and their bodies lay in the street rotting for three days. The people on earth celebrate and give each other gifts because these men are dead. Then God resurrects them and calls them up to heaven in full view of the entire world. (Rev. 11:1-14) Then the earthquake happens— 7,000 people die and 1/10 of the city falls.
The Seven Trumpet Judgements (www.gotquestions.org)
- Hail and fire destroy much of the plant life in the world (Revelation 8:7)
- A third of the sea turns to blood, 1/3 of ships are destroyed, 1/3 of ocean life dies (Revelation 8:8–9; 8:10–11)
- A third of all freshwater is poisoned (Rev. 8:10)
- A third of the sun, moon, and stars are darkened (Revelation 8:12)
- A plague of “demonic locusts” that torture the unsaved and sting them for 5 months (Revelation 9:1–11)
- The march of a demonic army that kills a third of humanity (Revelation 9:12–21).
- The seventh trumpet calls forth seven angels who carry the seven bowls of God’s wrath (Revelation 11:15–19; 15:1–8).
The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath (www.gotquestions.org)
- “Ugly, festering sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image” (Revelation 16:2)
- The ocean turns to blood and “every living thing in the sea died” (Revelation 16:3)
- The rivers and freshwater springs also turn into blood (Revelation 16:4–5)
- “The sun was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were seared by the intense heat” (Revelation 16:8–9)
- Great darkness. The pain and suffering of the wicked intensify so that people gnaw their tongues in agony (Revelation 16:10–11)
- The Euphrates River is dried up in preparation for the kings of the East making their way to their own destruction at Armageddon (Revelation 16:12)
- An extremely severe, world-record global earthquake happens. Cities around the world collapse. Islands disappear. Mountains fall. Jerusalem splits into 3 parts. 100-pound hailstones fall on people. (Rev. 16:17-21)
There will be people who come to know Jesus during the Great Tribulation, but they will be martyred. It will be an extremely difficult time to follow Jesus.
What Should We Do Now?
God did not provide us with this information to scare us but to help us be prepared.
We are to respond by trusting in Him and living by faith in Him, not fear. No matter what happens or what we believe about the biblical timeline of end time events, God’s desire for us is that we be prepared to meet Him at any moment. That’s what really matters.
Today is the day of salvation!2 Cor. 6:2
If you don’t follow Jesus as Savior and Lord of your life, I invite you to make things right with Him today.
When you yield your life to Jesus, you can truly live in His supernatural peace and joy even when it seems like the world has gone completely crazy.
Then let’s focus on loving and serving God wholeheartedly and loving and serving others. Let’s share the love and truth of Christ so many other people can enter the Kingdom of heaven and be saved!
We are to be about our Father’s business as we wait for Jesus to gather His people at the Rapture. And we are to lift up our heads as the signs show us that the time is drawing near. Let’s use this precious time wisely, dear sisters!
How to Have a Saving Relationship with Christ—the ABCs of Salvation
- Admit you are a sinner and you can’t be perfect and holy enough in God’s eyes to be right with Him on your own. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23
- Believe that Jesus died on your behalf to pay the price for your sin and to give you a way to be right with God – to be forgiven. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus, our Lord.” Rom. 6:23
- Confess that Jesus is your Lord – this means, Jesus is now your Master and you live your life for Him and His glory rather than for yourself. You say it out loud to others and you live it from now on. “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with your heart you believe and are justified, and with your mouth you confess and are saved.” Rom. 10:9-10
Major Events Preceding the Second Coming of Christ www.bible.org
What Is the Rapture? By Billy Graham
Signs of the End of the World – by Billy and Franklin Graham
What Is Going to Happen According to End Times Prophecy? by www.gotquestions.org
Is Jesus Coming Soon? www.gotquestions.org
What are the seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls in the Book of Revelation? www.gotquestions.org
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