RAPTURE or The Great TRIBULATION
Written by: The Gospel Tract Society Posted on: 04/14/2003
RAPTURE or The Great TRIBULATION
"Behold the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to
lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it."
"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." Matt. 24:21-22.
This generation has already experienced the "beginning of sorrows," but the
storm clouds of the great tribulation, are yet to break upon the world and
God's Holy Spirit is warning all who will give heed, to flee from the wrath to
Final judement falls only on sinners and transgressors who reject God's offer
of full salvation through the shed blood of His only begotten Son, those who
refuse His mercy till all opportunity is past. But to the penitent sinner,
Jesus said, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37.
"Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by
Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them." Heb. 7:25.
"lf we confess our slns, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and
to clense us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9.
CHRIST THE ARK
Jesus said, ... "As it was in the day of Noah, so shall it be also in the days
of the Son of man." Luke 17:26.
"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth . . . and the
Lord said, "I will destroy man whom I have made from the face of the earth."
"Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water perished; but
the heavens and the earth which are now . . . are kept in store, reserved unto
fire, against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." II Pet.3:6-7.
Those who are willing to yield to the judgment of God's Spirit through the
Word today, who acknowledge their sin and accept Christ as their Savior, and
obey Him as their Lord and master, will be spared the fiery judement of the
great tribulation, "for if we judge ourselves we would not be judged. But when
we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned
with the world." 1 Cor. 11:31-32.
Just as Noah's ark was the only safe place when the waters of God's judgment
began to pour upon the earth, so Christ is the only place of safety today from
the fires of God's judgment that soon will envelope the earth.
THE HARVEST JUDGMENT
It is upon a church fast asleep on a pillow of false security, that the end of
the age is falling "having a form of godliness, but denying the power
thereof," forgetting her great commission she has settled down to a routine of
form and ceremony that has robbed her of her vision and zeal to preach the
Gospel of Salvation to all the world, that her Lord may soon return.
Unless there is a renewed vision and revival of obedience in the church,
multitudes of professing believers are in great danger of being found sleeping
when Christ comes. "Foolish virgins," who will need the judgment of the great
tribulation to make them faithful to Christ and ready for eternal glory.
Many believe that the great tribulation will be a time when God's wrath will
be poured upon the ungodly after all believers have been taken out, but in
Rev., chap. 14, God calls it both a judgment and a harvest, after the first
fruits (the bride) have been taken out, the Son of man is seen thrusting in
His sickle to reap His remaining harvest. "And He that sat on the cloud thrust
in His sickle on the earth: and the earth was reaped." Rev. 14:16. "And in the
time of harvest, I will say to the reapers, gather ye together the tares and
bind Them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn." Matt.
Christ is coming as the bridegroom to catch away His purged and purified
bride, not His body "and every man that hath this hope purifieth himself even
as He is pure." I John 3:3. As the first Adam's bride was taken from his body
while Adam was in a deep sleep, so the bride of Christ, the second Adam will
be taken from His body while that body too, is in a deep sleep, and a quiet
purifying work of the Holy Spirit is now going on in the hearts of all who
will yield to this inner cleansing, to prepare them as a bride adorned for the
bridegroom. What joy and peace is filling the hearts of God's children who are
loosed from this world, and walking obedient to the Holy Spirit, and this
blessed peace and assurance will increase as we near the time of His
"Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye
may be found in Him, in peace, without spot and blameless." II Pet. 3:14.
"Behold I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be
changed, in a moment in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the
trumpet shall sound, and the dead in Christ shall be raised incorruptible, and
we shall be changed." 1 Cor. 15:51-52.
"For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout . . . and with
the trump of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are
alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to merit
the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1 Thess. 4:16-17.
Salvation is a gift and can only be recived by faith, but rewards of
righteousness and readiness for rapture will be the result of the faithful use
of the means of grace, of recieving and obeying the Holy Spirit.
"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from
the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world to try them that
dwell upon the earth." Rev. 3:10.
"And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready
went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut." Mat. 25:10.
It is the work of the Holy Spirit to separate believers from a world that is
rejecting Christ, but if we resist the quiet witnessing of His Spirit to truth
and righteousness, and cling to this ungodly Christ-rejecting world, we shall
have these unholy bonds burned off in the fire of her judgment.
"And that servant which knew His Lord's will, prepared not himself, neither
did according to His will shall he beaten with many stripes." Luke 12:47
"Take heed to yourselves lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with
surfeiting and drunkenness (self-indulgence) and the cares of this life, and
so that day come upon you unawares.
"Watch ye therefore and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape
all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."
"Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard and hold fast and repent.
If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come upon thee as a thief, and thou
shalt not know what hour I shall come upon thee." Rev. 3:3.
"Watch ye therefore . . . Lest coming suddenly, He shall find you sleeping."
"For as the lightning cometh out of the east and shineth even unto the west;
so shall also the coming of the son of man Be." Matt. 24:27.
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