The Church That Goes Through The Tribulation

Many believe God will give those who are left, during these seven years of Tribulation, a chance to become saved. But is that a false doctrine? Will a person be able to be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit? The Bible is very specific and says only those who have received Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit will be “born again”.

A recent survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life polled 35,000 adults who stated they belonged and attended an evangelical church. Of those polled, 57% said they believed there were many religions that led to eternal life. They either do not know their Bible or do not believe what it teaches. John 14:6 – “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 10:9 – “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.”

A number of surveys indicate that many churches in America are like the Laodicea church in Revelation chapter 3. The church had become complacent, financially comfortable and self-satisfied. They were not evangelizing or glorifying Jesus. They were indifferent and were not passionate for Christ. They were cold to others. Christ said they were neither hot nor cold. He said He would spit them out of His mouth or withdraw the Holy Spirit from them. The church didn’t stand for anything and their indifference lead to a condition without hope. Does it sound like some churches we know about?

The church that goes through the Tribulation will not follow or worship Jesus. It will worship the Antichrist. Revelation 13:8 – “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.” This church will be headed by the false prophet whose role is to get everyone to worship the Antichrist.

Revelation 13:15 – 17 – “He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.” What religion are you aware of that plans to kill those who will not convert? Revelation 20:4 – “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Only Islam continues to practice beheading.

What position do you think the United States will take? If Iran has its way the U.S. will be unable to intercede and Islam will be the world’s religion. Will the Antichrist worship Allah and the false prophet be a Muslim? The Bible seems to be very clear that to become a Christian during the Tribulation will not be as easy as it is today. Are you willing to take the mark of the beast? I would imagine those 57% surveyed would rationalize believing that God will forgive them. Yet, Scripture says He will not. If you miss the rapture and are saved during the tribulation will you be willing to be beheaded and die as a martyr?

This past year we had over 5400 accept Christ as their Savior. They came down front, made a commitment, signed their name, gave us their phone number so we could follow up, which we have. Why hasn’t our attendance increased by 5400? Where did they go? Do they realize that reading the Word gives them power, praying gives them power and the Holy Spirit gives them power? Are they living powerless and continue in sin?

I recently read where President Obama is advancing Islamic Sharia law, prohibiting criticism of Islam. As sad as the future looks there is still hope. According to many of us who believe that accepting Christ now will allow us to miss the seven years of Tribulation described in Revelation. As a result our name will be listed in the Lamb’s Book of Life and we will spend eternity with God and Christ.

If Christians are not raptured prior to the Tribulation, I believe those truly committed to Christ will be able to live without fear and willing to be martyred as the apostles and early Christians. They will refuse the mark and will face the consequences. I have been close to death, with little hope of living and all fear was taken away. Most Christians have no idea the “power” of the Holy Spirit that is within us. At least the 57% of those Christians polled probably have no idea. What a loss!

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7 Comments

  1. Kurt Pflegl

     /  July 16, 2010

    Here’s another question entirely about the tribulation and Revelation in particular. Is this whole view of the events in Revelation even correct? We act like John was writing to us now and that everything that is written in Revelation is primarily future. This is not necessarily true.

    Take this one area of belief that a majority of present day Christ followers have in regards to Revelation. Many people read about the mark of the beast and project those verses to some future event when no one will be able to buy or sell without that mark. Many Christ followers today don’t realize that this was already happening in John’s time! He was writing to believers to encourage them because most of them who were not slaves could not work without being attached to a trade guild. However, to belong to such a guild, you had to profess your allegiance to a pagan god.

    Many times, Caesar was that “god.” To even walk into an event in the Coliseum, you were required to grab a pinch of incense, toss it into the air, and publically praise Caesar the God. There were periods in the history of Rome when a choice to not proclaim Caesar as “god” was not a spiritual choice in the eyes of the Empire, it was absolute treason in the political sense! You could not work if you didn’t do this…or worse, if you refused publically…you would be arrested and either have everything taken away from you or be executed! And remember, Rome ruled the entire civilized world! There is the mark of the beast right in John’s century!

    And this is only one example of the historical context into which John is writing. That is why I think we have to be very careful when we write about Revelation, or any other book of the Bible for that matter. We should know what we’re talking about and all the other possible views before we write as though our view is the only one that is factual. One last thing, before you think I’m being a complete critic. Let me state that I am VERY guilty of doing this many times as well. I just want us ALL to be careful when we are speaking or writing in a public forum. Our crediblity might be at stake.

    Reply
  2. donaldboyd

     /  July 17, 2010

    Kurt, did you go to the same college Kevin Odor did? If so we probably do not agree on many parts of Revelation. We have shared our differences and agreed not to agree.
    When I have taught Revelation I have tried to cover all different interpretations. I certain realize that I am no authority on its interpretation.
    My point was to help people realize that for those who believe that the church will be raptured, those left behind may find it difficult to become a Christian. It would be better that they do it now.
    Thanks for reading my blog and I appreciate your comments.

    Reply
  3. Kurt Pflegl

     /  July 17, 2010

    Thank you for responding back, Don! I’m not sure where Kevin when to college. I graduated from Lincoln. I have actually learned quite a bit from a pastor and scholar who did his doctoral studies on Paul and his theology, which was based on his Jewish roots.

    When it comes to people’s interpretations of Scripture, I believe the more you understand basic biblical hermaneutics, the bettter. As far as interpreting Revelation, I was taught to view it from the genre it is written in. It is part of the Jewish apocalyptic writings that were popular for around 300 or so years. The only other book in the Bible that is fully apocalyptic like Revelation is Ezekiel.

    The Jewish apocalyptic writings primarily used the same symbolism and imagery to convey their messages. If one knows what the symbols and images that were used by the writers mean, as well as the history of the time in which John is writing, it goes a LONG way in helping a person understand Revelation.

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  4. donaldboyd

     /  July 17, 2010

    Kurt, if you get the chance talk to Kevin. I am guessing you both had the same professor. Your and Kevin’s beliefs are much different from the number of theologians I have studied. I enjoy sharing interpretations of Isaiah, Ezekiel and Revelation. When I write about prophecy it increases the blog’s hits by about 100 per week. It seems to create more interest. However, the basic essentials of the Bible is one thing we can all agree. I certainly do not want to get hung up on the non-essentials as to who is right. I am open to other’s view and solicit them. It would be great if we can develop an interest and get others reading the Bible more. Thanks again!

    Reply
  5. Ken

     /  July 17, 2010

    I am still searching the scriptures dilingently trying to find a scripture that points out and tells us that there will be or there is this one “Antichrist”. I have not found any! I do find a number that tell us about “antichrists”. Could this be another of those False Prophet attributes, that everyone seams to go around and dismiss, if there are no scriptures to back it up???

    The word “apocalytic” is another word I can not find in the scriptures anywhere! Man at his best or is that at his worst?

    Reply
  6. Ken

     /  July 17, 2010

    PS to the above comments and questions: You can Harmonious the Gospels and the Scriptures all you want, But the battle flag is still being raised and the drum beat goes on!

    Reply
  7. donaldboyd

     /  July 28, 2010

    If you look at the comments above you will note some disagreements. I have no problem with anyone who has a different opinion than me on the non-essentials of the Bible. In fact, when someone disagrees it motivates me to do further research. However, it bothers me when new Christians or believers who have not studied their Bibles, become confused.
    I remember the story of Job whose three friends had misrepresented God to Job. Job 42:7 says that God was angry with them for they had not spoken what was right. None of us want to teach that which is not true. Most of our beliefs result from those who have taught us.
    I became interested in Revelation when Hal Lindsey put out his first book many years ago. Since then I have followed the teachings of Jack Van Impe, John Hagee, Grant Jefrey, Daymond Duck, Edward Hindson, Tim LaHaye, N. W. Hutchings, J. Vernon McGee, Joel Roseburg, John McTernan and the Tyndale study Bible. My 116 page outline of Revelation came from having read Revelation more than 30 times so I had a fairly good idea whether to believe what they wrote or to disagree. Each time I taught we discussed those who believed differently.
    It seemed every time I wrote about prophecy it would increase those who would read my blog by about 100 per week. Therefore, of late I have been writing more about what many believe the Bible teaches about the future. One of the reasons we will rarely hear about prophecy from the pulpit is it is so controversial. If you teach that the Rapture, (a word not found in the Bible but many believe it represents meeting the Lord in the air) happens before the Tribulation, (which some believe will not happen) you will have an argument that the Rapture appears during the middle of the Tribulation. That will bother others who believe the Rapture occurs after the Tribulation. Why would you have believers teaching there is or there is not a Tribulation? Or, if there is a Tribulation the church will not have to go through it, except maybe we will go through one-half of it or maybe the church will be taken after it is over. Confusing? Some believe the Rapture may have already taken place. It was when Jesus went to Shoal or Paradise and released all those who were followers of God whose sins had not been forgiven and were waiting until Christ’s death on the cross. They could not enter heaven until each had been forgiven. (And neither can we) Were they Raptured? II Thessalonians 2:1 – 4 – “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” I don’t believe Paul is referring to AD 70 prior to the temple being destroyed as some do. John wrote Revelation around AD 96 after the temple had already been destroyed. Since there has not been a temple since then, it is the future I believe John is talking about. Scripture also says these events will not occur until Israel becomes a nation as it did in 1948. Even though Paul wrote II Thessalonians around AD 50, connected with John’s writing I believe he too is writing about the end times. Since 1/3 of the population John states will be destroyed, I believe all related Scripture refers to the future and that has yet to happen.
    When the majority of those teaching prophecy believe that there is a Rapture of believers prior to the Tribulation I find that I can agree with what I know of the Bible. I also believe there is too much evidence that the Tribulation is to come and could not happen until Israel became a nation as mentioned. If I am wrong does that interfere with my relationship with Christ? I think not! So why do I believe it? It gives me hope and I believe that a large part of prophecy was to provide hope for the children of God. Would God and Scripture be written intentionally to confuse us? One reason so many symbols in prophecy were used is they only had one meaning to the Jews.
    Have you read the paper lately or listened to news forecasts? It sounds like the Middle East is about to explode. They now believe terrorists are being flown from Iran to Venezuela. It is then possible they could come north and cross the border to the U.S. Mark 13:20 tells us there is a day coming – “If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.” This will happen and the elect are still here.
    We are told in the last days there will be the Antichrist (first beast) and the false prophet (second beast). In the Book of Revelation it tells of a beast that will perform miracles and deceive people on earth. Revelation 13:14 – 15 – “Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.” Where in history does it say all were killed? (All italics are mine)
    How would you interpret these Scriptures? Does it sound like a Tribulation has already occurred or if it has, could there be two? The total destruction of nations sounds quite bad to me regardless of what we name it. Now just in case we might make the correct interpretation wouldn’t you want to know that this could occur in our lifetime or our grandchildren’s and we would be ready for it? Can we believe Mark 13:20 really means what it says? Could we expect that more than two billion people are going to be destroyed as John predicts plus all of the other disasters? It is said that what John saw in the future, he was unable to describe in words. Could you have described 2000 years ago what 2010 would look like? What words would you have used to describe a tank or an airplane? Remember Joseph was the only one able to interpret dreams that no one else could. These were special people doing their very best to prepare us for what is to come.
    I must say, this is what I and many others believe but that does not mean it is 100% accurate. Others believe much differently. You must choose but it is hard to do unless you study Scripture and that includes the Old Testament also.

    Reply

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