Why is it called the “GREAT” tribulation? Revelation 3:10 refers to this time as the “hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.” Jesus goes into detail in Matthew 24 and Luke chapter 21 which coincides with the book of Revelation and what the Old Testament prophets proclaimed, like Daniel for instance. The GREAT tribulation is “cut short” for a very good reason: “For those will be days of tribulation UNMATCHED from the beginning of God’s creation until now, and NEVER to be seen again. IF THE LORD HAD NOT SHORTENED those days, NOBODY would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom HE has chosen, HE has shortened them.” Mark 13:19-20
We all go through tribulations, it is part of our natural life because of the sin-nature in us, and the curse God put on the earth when Adam and Eve rebelled, and because of God allowing Satan to lie and deceived people who refuse the truth from God and reject the only way He provided for them to be saved and healed.
But there is one type of tribulation that is for faithful believers alone: the persecution of Christ Jesus. Jesus warned us that if they hated Him and tried to remove His presence, they will do the same to those who are His. But THANKFULLY God has control over HIS PRESENCE. God will always have His presence and witness on earth so that people can be saved, until that time is up for people to repent and be saved. Then comes GOD’S JUDGMENT!
Satan is called “the god of this world” for a reason, and it’s obvious when you look at all that has and still is happening on the earth that is so very EVIL. But, when it’s time for the father of lies, deception, destruction and eternal damnation, (Satan) to no longer be allowed to go up before God to accuse the Lord’s people – the devil and his cohorts will have full reign on earth to do what they want. Satan will have his ‘day in the sun’ personified, according to the Scripture – ONLY because the “power of the holy people has been removed from the earth” so that all that has been prophesied about the “the end time” will be completed. (Daniel 12:5-13)
God uses evil and rebellion for His own good purpose of drawing people to Himself so they can be liberated, healed and saved from God’s full on wrath to come upon earth. (Seals/Trumpets/Bowls of Revelation) Those who still refuse to repent and call on the Lord to save them – shake their fists at God, blaming Him, accusing Him, hating Him. They believe in Him but they love they love their sinful lives more. If they didn’t believe in God – then why would they blame, accuse and hate Him for what is happening to them? And, they choose to continue in lies and deception and forfeit God’s grace that could be theirs!
Why are people, even Christians, afraid to read the book of Revelation? They are afraid because of GREAT TRIBULATION coming. But the Spirit-filled body of Christ has promises from the Lord and we see these promise throughout the Word of God in both Old and New Testaments. God always delivered His people from the worst that was coming to spare them because they belong to Him. For example: Noah and his family saved through the flood, the Hebrew children slaves in Egypt protected from the last few plagues, and the upcoming Great Tribulation with the “escape” of the Bride of Christ. (Matthew 25:1-13 Parable of Ten Virgins, Luke 21:36, 1 Corinthians15:51-52, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, Revelation 10:7)
“The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.” Isaiah 57:1
Before we can return ‘with Him’ to the earth – we must return ‘to Him’ to where He is in Heaven. This is accomplished by either physical death or rapture (removal) of the Bride from the earth. (2 Corinthians 5:1-9) When you understand the importance of being “prepared” for what is coming and who is coming, this is how you are BLESSED.
“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are the those who hear it AND TAKE TO HEART what is written in it, because the TIME IS NEAR.” Revelation 1:3
Satan will do his best to keep you from reading anything (true from the Lord) about the end times. Satan wants all people, especially Christians, to be ignorant of what is coming that Jesus and His prophets have disclosed for our good. The fear you have about reading the book of Revelation comes from Satan. HELLO! That should clue you in that there IS A BLESSING in knowing what God wants you to know, hearing what God wants you to hear, and seeing what God wants you to see, understanding what you need to understand – about your future.
People are curious about the future, and most end up going to Satan’s servants, instead of God’s. They are misled by lies or half-truths which take them ‘unknowingly’ down the road that ends in eternal damnation. Satan’s ‘human’ servants have been seriously deceived in believing they are the chosen ones (of God) who have unique insight and power. There are NO ‘holy’ palm readers, horoscope predictors, sorcerers, covens, witches or warlocks. It’s all evil and in opposition to God.
What happens when you listen to false prophets and then “take to heart” what they teach and predict? Satan becomes your father! You are bound for Hell! You end up with Satan in the place God prepared for the devil and his angels! You can listen without taking what you hear – to heart. We are to judge all things by what God says in His Word, and by the Spirit’s conviction in our heart.
People joke about Hell being a place they are not afraid to go; that it’s somehow a place where all the ‘smart’ people will end up who think that following Jesus Christ is foolish and ignorant. They mock those who follow Jesus Christ, as if we are the ones who have been fooled and without common sense. They mock the Cross and make Jesus out to be a man like any man, an immoral man at that. These ‘unbelievers’ are all going to a place where they believe will reward their so-called superior knowledge that makes them their own god who has control over his/her future. Imagine that.
If God is our Creator, then it’s common sense to believe that God has control over everything, but God does NOT have control over our free-will. We are accountable for the choices we make, and for where we end up. If God is Creator, then it’s common sense to believe that God is the Judge of all Creation. AND, If God is both Creator and Judge, then it’s common sense that God sentences people to where they will spend eternity. And if that be true, then God has also prepared the eternal places for those who rebel and reject Him, and who obey and love Him.
We are made in the image of God, says God in His Word. We enter this world with that understanding and that’s why it is so very easy for children to believe in God and in His Son and in Heaven and in ETERNITY. The Bible teaches us that God has set eternity in the heart. Animals don’t have this, only mankind because God made man in His image.
You have to be ‘taught’ otherwise – to be trained to believe that there is no God, or that God is not who He says He is, or that you are not accountable to God for anything you do or don’t do. For there to be ‘un’belief there first has to be the belief – which every child starts out life with.
Unbelief comes from Satan, and Satan believes in God! “The devil believes but he trembles with fear.” Satan knows his doom to eternal damnation, and he’s bent on taking as many as he can with him. Satan will work his damnedest to keep a ‘believer’ from knowing their authority in Christ over him and his demons, as well as our own sinful nature and the strong pull of the world. We are told in the Bible that “all things belong to us,” as Paul was taught by the Lord, and then taught the believers. We have power over Satan and his demons, and yet we hardly exert it. And yet, our awesome Lord does not hold it against us – knowing our weaknesses.
When the disciples came to Jesus and asked Him why He speaks to the people in parables, Jesus answered them: “The knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has – will be given more, and he will an ABUNDANCE. Whoever does NOT have – even what he has will be taken away from him. This is why I speak to them in parables: ‘Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, the do not hear or understand.’ In them Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled: ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has grown callous; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise, they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and TURN, and I WOULD HEAL THEM.’” Matthew 13:10-15
And He said to His followers: “But BLESSED are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.” Matthew 13:16
What is the blessing we receive when reading and taking to heart the book of Revelation? We are ready for the Lord and prepared for what is coming so that we are NOT afraid but in position to be used by the Lord, and then ready to see Him “face to face” welcomed into His Kingdom – as we have hoped and longed for.