THE LAST DAYS
Anita Clark – Pastor, Carbondale, Kansas
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken “ Matthew 24:29.
Jesus is speaking in the above verse of “the tribulation.” The Tribulation is a period of time of seven years allotted by God for the final judgment of Christ rejecting mankind on the earth. The book of Revelation tells of this terrible time which shall soon come upon the earth.
The Scripture tells of the great calamities that will happen on the earth during this horrendous time. “The sun will be darkened and the moon shall not give light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.” Matthew 24:7 says, “... and there shall be famines, and pestilences (diseases) and earthquakes in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
Jesus Christ will take His throne in heaven (Rev. 4) immediately before the seven years begins. Then the tribulation period will begin. The counterfeit of Christ will make a covenant with Israel, no doubt for a guarantee of their safety for seven years (Daniel 9:27). He will appear to be a very wonderful gifted man, who will charm many into believing that he has the answers for the world’s problems. The beast out of the sea (known as the Antichrist) of Revelation 13:1-10, will become the ruler of the world, and with his partner, the beast out of the earth (Revelation 13:11-18), known as the False Prophet, a religious figure, will bring the world into bondage to Satan and to themselves. Those who do not take the “mark of the beast,” if caught by the evil forces will suffer beheading (Revelation 20:4), but those who take the mark will suffer from the wrath of Almighty God. Terrible sores will come upon all those who take the mark (Revelation 16:2). In Revelation 9:4 it says that the locust that come up out of the bottomless pit will hurt and torment those who are unbelievers, who do not have the “seal of God in their foreheads.” The suffering of those who take the mark will be terrible, i.e. the trees and other vegetation being burned up, great hail falling, the waters turned to blood, plagues and destruction and etc.
The believers of this age will be with the Lord in heaven. The Overcomers of this age will be helping to bring forth the judgment, in agreement with Christ who will be ruling from heaven.
There will be believers on the earth, and also a believing remnant of Israelites who will be protected from all the danger and wrath, but some will suffer death at the hand of the Antichrist and his forces. Their spirits will be instantly with the Lord. They will be rewarded for their faithfulness to stand against the evil manifested during that time.
Matthew 24:21-22 tells us, “For then shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened , there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” The last three years of the tribulation are known as “the great tribulation.” The Antichrist’s rule will be in full swing, and his wicked persecution of the believers will be in effect. The Antichrist will break the covenant he made with Israel and begin persecuting the Jews. God will miraculously protect a “remnant” or small portion of believing Jews by hiding them in the wilderness (Rev. 12:13-16). Daniel 12:1 “...and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered everyone that shall be found written in the book.” Also, Jeremiah 30:7 states, “Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.”
This message may seem terribly gloomy, but it is what the Word of God declares. The wrath of God will surely come upon this world which has turned away from the truth of God’s Word and is running headlong after Satanic things, those things of disobedience of God. However, the world’s sin is not what will cause them to experience the wrath of God, but one thing, their rejection of the salvation provided through Jesus Christ’s death upon the cross.
Apostle Paul commended the Thessalonians in saying, “...ye turned to God from idols to serve the living God; and to wait for His Son from heaven, Whom God raised from the dead even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” Through Jesus Christ and our trust in Him as our Savior, we are, “DELIVERED FROM THE WRATH TO COME.” We can claim the promise to be “kept from the hour of tribulation.” Very soon the trumpet will sound and the overcomers of this age will be taken up to be with the Lord (I Thess. 4:13-18). Let us be watching and waiting for the trumpet to sound as Jesus gives a triumphant shout, “Come up here!” The Holy Spirit will give us power to rise up to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Praise God! Praise God!