Prelude To Hell :: By Grant Phillips

Daniel’s 70th week, the time of Jacob’s trouble, Day of the Lord, Wrath of God, Great Tribulation are all commonly known as the Tribulation. This future event will last seven years, progressively worsening each year, and the last 3 ½ years the most horrific of all.

It may seem that the world is getting away with mocking God. Every blasphemous thought and action is directed toward Heaven these days with not a thought of the judgment about to fall. In due time, probably sooner than we think, a holy God will pour out His judgment with a vengeance upon a sin infested world.

God’s purpose for the Tribulation is to restore Israel and to judge a blasphemous Christ-rejecting Gentile world for its treatment of Israel. Please notice just these few examples.

“Then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your God will gather you and bring you back. He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors. The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. The LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. You will again obey the LORD and follow all his commands I am giving you today.” (Deuteronomy 30:3-8)

“The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess,’ says the LORD.” ‘So do not be afraid, Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, Israel,’ declares the LORD. ‘I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid. (Jeremiah 30:3, 10)

“Come near, you nations, and listen; pay attention, you peoples! Let the earth hear, and all that is in it, the world, and all that comes out of it! The LORD is angry with all nations; his wrath is on all their armies. He will totally destroy them, he will give them over to slaughter. Their slain will be thrown out, their dead bodies will stink; the mountains will be soaked with their blood. All the stars in the sky will be dissolved and the heavens rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree.” (Isaiah 34:1-4)

“I am with you and will save you,’ declares the LORD. ‘Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only in due measure; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.’” (Jeremiah 3:11)

I first want to make clear that the true Church (Christ’s bride) will not be on earth during the Tribulation. In Revelation chapters two through three the Church is seen on earth as the “called out ones.” (ekklesia [church] meaning “the called out ones.) From Revelation chapter four through nineteen the Church is represented in Heaven as the 24 elders. Then in chapter nineteen and following, she is seen as the bride, the Lamb’s wife. The Church is never seen on earth after Revelation chapter three, but is seen in Heaven. The Church definitely will not be on earth during the seven year Tribulation.

To repeat my second paragraph above, God’s purpose for the Tribulation is to:

  1. Restore Israel and
  2. Judge the Christ-rejecting world

The Tribulation has nothing to do with the Church. Therefore, those remaining on earth after the Rapture will be Israel and all those who have rejected Christ as Savior.

Revelation 6:8 says, “I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”

Revelation 9:15 says, “And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind.”

So 1/4 of mankind will be killed in the Seal judgments (Revelation 6:8). Then 1/3 of those still living will be killed in the Trumpet judgements (Revelation 9:15). That equals 1/2 of the world’s population that will be killed during the Seal and Trumpet judgments. HOWEVER, there is no mention of how many of those still living after the Trumpet judgments will be killed during the Bowl judgments. Maybe this is why Jesus said, “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” (Matthew 24:22)

The point to be made is the Tribulation is a real event that is definitely coming upon this earth. It is on its way, and it is getting very close. The only place to be that could be worse than being left to enter the Tribulation is to be in hell itself.

Two thirds of the Israelite nation will perish and actually well over one half (probably a much higher percentage) of all the world’s population will perish.

“Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face 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 can withstand it?” (Revelation 6:15-17)

Even though God’s judgment is very severe during this time, men will become so evil, they will refuse to repent.

“The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.” (Revelation 9:20-21)

“They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him. The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.” (Revelation 16:9-11)

Did not Jesus warn of this when speaking to the churches in Revelation chapter two?

“I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.” (Revelation 2:21-23)

Jesus is definitely warning those in the churches today to repent and come to Him. He is saying to the lost in all these churches (and there are apparently many more than we realize):

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3:20-22)

All who come to Jesus now can avoid this prelude of hell called the Tribulation. How do we become victorious? He promised that all who open that door of their heart He will save and give them eternal life. He will also remove them from this earth before He administers His judgment upon mankind.

“Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.” (Revelation 3:10)

Whether you are Jew or Gentile, come to Him now by faith and He will save you by His grace. You will not come under His judgment.

“… because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.” (Romans 2:5-11)

In comparing Scripture with Scripture keep in mind that we cannot do good unless the Holy Spirit is living within us, and He cannot reside within us unless we are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. So only those who are saved will do good.

Grant Phillips

Email: grantphillips@windstream.net

Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com

Rapture Ready: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html