One of the best parts of being a follower of our Lord and Savior Jesus is knowing that we will not be here during the Wrath/Tribulation that is coming shortly. Everything that is taking place, and gaining in frequency today, is like a “Preview of Coming Attractions” and is described in several places in the Bible. True believers are seeing all the evil unfolding, and we choose not to be a participant in all the evil activities. Despite what some people are saying, we are not yet into the Tribulation. It is close, but when it starts, there will be no doubt that it is here. (any emphasis mine)
There’s an old commercial that says, “The Best Part of Waking Up is (coffee name) In Your Cup.” Actually, that should be, “The Best Part of Waking Up Is Having Jesus In Your Heart!” There is coming a day for each of us when we will wake up for the last time on this earth. It will either be the day we die, or it could very well be the day we’re Raptured. Either way, we’ll be free from all the troubles of this world. For non-believers, it will be a different story altogether. More about that later.
Paul said in Philippians 1:21-23, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet, which I shall choose, I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.”
Some may say he was considering taking his own life; however, he was stating that he was not afraid to die. That would put him immediately with Jesus. Yet, while still in the flesh, he was totally bound to his serving the Lord by spreading the Gospel here.
In 2 Corinthians 5:6-8, “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body, we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body, and at home with the Lord.”
Going to 1 Corinthians 15:54-57, “When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality [when we have our perfect forever bodies], then shall come to pass the saying that is written; Death is swallowed up in Victory. O death, where is your Victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, Who gives us the Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”
This brings to mind the hymn, “Victory in Jesus,” which is one of my all-time favorites. (See also Hosea 13:14.)
In Revelation 3:10-11, Jesus is talking about the church at Philadelphia, which represents faithful followers. He says, “Because you have kept My word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the ‘Hour of trial’ that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon; hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.”
After condemning the church at Laodicea for just being lukewarm, Jesus goes on to give advice to everyone, including all of us today. Revelation 3:20-21, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him/her and eat with him/her, and he/she with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him/her to sit with me on My throne, as I also conquered and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
The custom of sitting down is a sign of completion, just as Jesus did in Luke 4:16-21. He went into the synagogue and read the scroll from Isaiah 61. Afterward, He sat down, which amazed everyone there. Luke 4:21, “And He began to say to them, ‘Today, this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’” Instead of being inspired and realize who He actually was, the leaders of the synagogue questioned how He could have such authority. They missed the signs that had been given centuries before.
For those who are in the minority, as true believers are, we are blessed and promised that we would not go through God’s wrath in the 7-year Tribulation. In 1 Thessalonians 1:10, “and to wait for His Son from Heaven, whom He raised from the dead, Jesus, who delivers us from the Wrath to come.” Next is 1 Thessalonians 5:9, “For God has not destined us for Wrath, but to obtain Salvation through our Lord, Jesus Christ.”
There are other verses about the Wrath, but many are warnings to those who will not accept Jesus as their Savior. As stated earlier, non-believers will have a totally different path. Luke 16:19-31 is the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Lazarus represented a faithful servant of the Lord, even though he was poor here. The rich man was totally engrossed in the pleasures of this world. Both died. Lazarus went to the “bosom of Abraham” which before Calvary represented a place of peace and rest. The rich man went into torment, a holding place for the unfaithful, where they are held until the White Throne Judgment. He was already being punished.
It should be noted, the first two occupants of the final Lake of Fire will be the ultimate antichrist, and his false prophet (Revelation 19:20). They will be followed by Satan one thousand years later (Revelation 20:10), and then all the unfaithful from the creation to the end of the Millennium, along with all the demons (fallen angels) (Revelation 20:11-15). There are no pardons given at this judgment. All who are in that line are condemned forever.
Sad part about this is the Lake of Fire was originally made specifically for Satan and his demons, as given in Matthew 25:41. However, all who were unfaithful to God before Calvary, and all who have not or will not accept Jesus post-Calvary will be thrown into the Lake of Fire (Hell) to be there for all eternity.
God does not want anyone to fail or be put into eternal punishment. He gives every one of us the opportunity to repent and call out for His Son, Jesus, to be our Savior (2 Peter 3:9). God knows there will be false prophets and antichrists who will deceive people who desire worldly things over Heavenly things. In 2 Peter 3, we’re told about how people do not believe there will be a return, because everything is going on as it has for centuries. They do not believe we are anywhere near the end of this age.
As I’ve stated numerous times in the past, anyone who ends up in hell will have chosen this for themselves. They could just as well have chosen to be with our Lord and Savior forever, but they would rather fall for the temptations of Satan. It’s the “Me” syndrome, and the “here and now” attitude. Satan knows exactly what buttons to push to tempt us all. Even true believers will slip and sin as we’re all sinners by nature (Romans 3:23). However, believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit; and as our “conscience,” He lets us know that we need to go to the Father and ask forgiveness. As given in 1 John 1:8-10, when we do confess, He is righteous and just to forgive us.
Once we’re free from this earth’s influence (Satan’s influence), we will have an imperishable body designed to last forever; and our mindset will be Christ-like. We will no longer be subject to a sin nature.
Wrath or Paradise. Doesn’t sound like a hard choice, but more will choose this earth over Jesus as stated in Matthew 7:13-14.
Once a person truly receives and accepts the Savior’s gift of eternal life with Him, our eyes are more open to what is really happening around us. As our relationship deepens with Him, we are amazed that everyone else doesn’t see they are on the pathway to destruction.
In the final 7-year Tribulation, God will send a strong deluding influence to those who choose this earth. (2 Thessalonians 2:11). It’s my belief that we’re so close to entering that period, that He has already begun to send it to some people that are here. We have never witnessed such evil and rage as is present today, and Christians are being targeted all over the world. The uplifting message for all believers is what Jesus said in Luke 21:28, “When these things begin to happen, stand up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws nigh.”
We’re there! It will get no better. The best part for us, we have to be gone before the “lawless one” can appear. He’s waiting in the wings, and it’s unknown if he actually knows his role at this time. We’re told in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10 about this action. It’s so very close; and remember, God cannot lie (Titus 1:2).
So, my final word of advice: if you haven’t already done so, follow Romans 10-9-13 and call on Jesus to be your Savior. Tomorrow may be too late. Right now could just be the perfect time to get your reservation confirmed, and your home prepared by Jesus. He’s ready for you – are you ready for Him?
Come Lord Jesus!