Left Behind I
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Matthew 24:8-12 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
8 All these events are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “Then they will hand you over for persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of My name.10 Then many will take offense, betray one another and hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.12 Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold.
The persecutions that are discussed are also known as “birth pains,” “birth pangs,” and sorrows, vs 8. Consider the commentary on verse 8 from the MacArthur Study Bible.
The word means “birth pangs.” Famines, earthquakes, and conflicts have always characterized life in a fallen world; but by calling these things “the beginning” of labor pains, He indicated that things will get notably and remarkably worse at the end of the era as these unique tribulations signal the soon arrival of Messiah to judge sinful humanity and set up His millennial kingdom. Cf. 1 Thes. 5:3; Rev. 6:1–17; 8:1—9:21;16:1–21;
When you examine the events of vs 9-12, they may appear to you as being “news items” of today.”
Those birth pangs may be occurring in our world today. They may present themselves immediately preceding the tribulation. They may happen prior to, or after, the catching up (rapture) of the church (born again believers/body of Christ), or they may occur after that event, when the body of Christ is “snatched away” and taken to Heaven with Christ, “from all corners of the world,” to not be present during the tribulation (Matthew 24:21). The rapture of the church is not the second coming of Christ, when our Lord will return from Heaven and stand on the Mount Of Olives in Jerusalem. During the tribulation Jesus will inflict a series of judgments on all “earth dwellers” (those who missed the rapture because they had not been born again). The purpose of the events of the tribulation will be to judge sin and to bring Israel to accept Jesus as Messiah (Daniel 9:24). The Anti-Christ will be under the control of God. God will not be just an observer; He will be in control of the seal judgments, the trumpet judgments, and the bowl judgments, which will come upon all of those that dwell upon the earth. (Revelation 3:10). No one who is present during the tribulation will be exempted from God’s judgment. Those whom have been born again, and have the Spirit of God dwelling within their Spirits, will not be among those “earth dwellers.” At the time of the rapture of the church, all of those whom have been born again will be removed from the earth. At that time, the only dwellers on earth will be those whom have not been born again; those whom do not have the Spirit of God dwelling within their spirits. Those “unborn again” earth dwellers, and only they, will be the objects of God’s judgments. Such people cling to the things that are not of God, and Heaven. We, whom are born again, are citizens of Heaven and therefore cling to Heavenly matters because of the influence that God’s Holy Spirit places within our spirits (John 16:7-11). Those, whom have not been born again, are minus the dwelling of the Holy Spirit within their spirits, have no understanding of spiritual things (1 Cor 1:18; 2:14), and have no Spiritual leading and influence in their lives. Such people, which have not been born again, (Gentile or Jew) will have the opportunity to accept Jesus as Messiah during the tribulation, and will most likely become martyrs of the Anti-Christ and become tribulation martyrs. To believe that all people in the world will go through any part of the tribulation, is to also believe that little children and little babies will also be the objects of the judgments of God. If anyone has any misunderstanding about the severity of the judgments of God, a quick look at those judgments should provide a much clearer understanding of God’s love vs his stern judgment. Check out the seal judgments (Rev 6:1-17); the trumpet judgments (Rev 8:2-9:21; 11:15-19); and the bowl judgments (Rev 15-16). Consider the Words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30, as they relate to His protection and love for His people.
Matthew 11:28-30 New King James Version (NKJV)
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
The love of Christ for his people is very clear in Mt 11:28-30. But, did He “very conveniently” leave out of that conversation that His people would have to suffer, along with all those whom are not His people, the horrible conditions of the judgments of the tribulation? I think not! Consider, also, the love that Christ expressed for His Church, which is His Bride/His born again believers of the world that is expressed in Eph 5:25.
Ephesians 5:25 New King James Version (NKJV)
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
Jesus is the “bridegroom of all bridegrooms.” He tells all of us that His love for us (the born again body of Christ/his bride) is such that he loved us so much that “He died for us.” Jesus, through the work of the Holy Spirit, courted us and “stole our hearts from the unbelieving world.” His Word told husbands to love “their wives.” But, are we to believe that Jesus is going to leave His bride in the world to face the persecution of the Anti-Christ and God’s directed seal, trumpet and bowl judgments? I think not!
During the tribulation, Jesus will not be present on earth; He will be judging the earth. Consider where His believers will be; we will be with Him, in Him. When we were born again, our spirits became inhabitants of the Spirit of Christ, and Christ became an inhabitant of our Spirits, as we read in the following verses.
John 10:30 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
30 The Father and I are one.” (note: God the Father and God the Son are literally “One”)
John 14:11 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. Otherwise, believe because of the works themselves (note: God the Father and God the Son dwell within “The Other”)
John 14:16-17 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.17 He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you. (note: the Spirit of God dwells literally “in our spirits.” He does not dwell within the spirits of the unborn again world)
John 14:20 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, you are in Me, and I am in you. (note: we see the literal dwelling of the God-Head in us, and us in the God-Head ‘Father, Son, Holy Spirit)
2 Corinthians 5:17 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. (note: we are literally, “in Christ”)
Colossians 1:27 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
27 God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (note: Christ is literally, “in us)
Future posts will discuss scriptures that describe the rapture of the church and the Judgment Seat Of Christ “for rewards for believers in Christ;” the tribulation, the Anti-Christ, and the judgments of God (seal, trumpet, bowl judgments); the martyred tribulation saints (those which came to Christ during the tribulation) and the two slain witnesses which are resurrected; the dragon/Satan, the Anti-Christ/the Beast, the false prophet/a religious leader; the woman of Revelation 12 and the 144,000 Jewish missionaries; the mark of the beast; the preparation for the Battle of Armageddon; the marriage of the lamb and the marriage supper; the second coming of Christ at the Battle of Armageddon (with the accompanying raptured saints and angels); the resurrection of the other saints of all times (Old Testament and tribulation saints); the 1,000 year reign of Christ and the binding of Satan; the loosing of Satan and the Battle of Gog and Magog; the resurrection of those which were not born again and the Great White Throne Judgment (for those not born again); the lake of fire (for Satan, the beast, the false prophet, and for those not born again); the new heaven, new earth, and new Jerusalem; eternity for God’s born again people with God and the Lamb.
This post is one of many that can be found in the blog under the category of “Journey.” There, you will be able to find the Journey posts. If you click onto the following link you will be able to follow the blog and receive automatic updates.