Matthew 24:6–8, “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.”
Should Christians be stockpiling food, building little bomb shelters, should we have little pharmacies of our own in anticipation of all kinds of coming pestilence?
One lady wrote to a pastor and asked, how do I prepare for the Great Tribulation? How do I deal with my fear of God’s judgments and persecution?
How does the church person deal with their fear of the great tribulation? Matthew 24:6, “See that you are not frightened.”
The apostles who were given every reason to fear the great tribulation were told, “Do not fear.” Now why is that? These apostles are on the verge of building something brand new, they are on the verge of building this thing called the church. The church saved by faith has no reason to fear the great tribulation.
Why do I believe the church ought to have a faith without fear of the great tribulation? Matthew 16:18, “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”
Revelation 13:7, “It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.” If we are to believe Jesus, if we are to take Jesus at His word, we must ask and answer who are these saints in verse 7 that are overcome? When Jesus spoke to the seven churches in Revelation chapters 1 -3 He ended every letter with these words. ‘’He who has an ear let him hear what the spirit says to the churches.” Now pay careful attention to what is said in chapter 13 where these saints are overcome! Revelation 13:9, “If anyone has an ear, let him hear.”
Who is not mentioned in that verse? The church is not mentioned. Now the church is mentioned 16 times in Revelation chapters 1-3, but it is not mentioned once in chapters 4-22. Revelation 3:10, “Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” The whole world! What did Jesus say in Matthew 24:21, “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now nor ever will.”
Now then, do you know who is mentioned frequently in Revelation 4 thru 22? Israel, Jerusalem, the 12 tribes, the Jew, the woman who gave birth to the male child – and why is that? Because it is the time of Jacobs’s trouble! 1 Thessalonians 4:17, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”
If we believe that is about faith, the church person who has faith will be caught away in the air, that’s the rapture. Faith that Jesus died and rose again makes you rapture ready, and faith has no fear of the great tribulation!
Now where am I getting that? The very next chapter! 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us. We are not destined for wrath – what wrath? This one! Revelation 6:16-17, “And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of Their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”