Do you think the rapture will happen pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, post-tribulation, or pan-tribulation? Pan means, however the rapture pans out. One thing we know, we will face suffering and troublesome times in the last days, which I explain in Part two. Over 2000 years ago, the first century writers proclaimed that we were in the last days. How much closer are we today? In this post, I want to address the uncomfortable subject of God’s wrath and the tribulation. Revelations15:1 states, “Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished.”
The Bible says in Ephesians 5:6, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” What things is Paul referring to? Ephesians 5:5 explains, “For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” I explain this in more detail in the posts called: Are you in control of your life? And, What Will Cause You to Lose Your Inheritance. I encourage you to read them.
What is the wrath of God, and how do we avoid it?
God is Holy (perfect, untainted by evil) and deserving of reverence and worship. God has wrath on sin, which is disobedience of His instructions in the Bible. To avoid God’s wrath, you need to receive the atonement (payment) of your sins through Jesus Christ, God’s Son. 1Theselonians 5:9 tells us, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” John 3:36 tells us, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” Have you warned your friends and neighbor’s about the wrath of God and salvation through Jesus Christ?
The flood in Genesis 6 was God’s wrath on a wicked world. Likewise, the tribulation described in Revelations is God’s wrath on the wicked, who do not repent of their sins. Romans 1:18 states, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” Do you see how godless people are suppressing the truth in our world today? What is happening in America with the Leftist’s evil desire to eliminate the truth and control what they want us to think and do is concerning, but not surprising. History repeats itself.
Since the tribulation is God’s wrath on humanity’s wickedness, yet God has not destined us (the righteous) for wrath; therefore, the righteous will be removed from the earth before the tribulation begins. An example is when God saved Noah and his family from the flood. 1Peter 3:20 tells us, “Because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.” God is waiting for each of us to humble ourselves and repent of our sins. Do it now before the tribulation starts and it is too late. 1Peter 3:9 states, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” Remember the conversation between God and Abraham about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. God would not destroy the two wicked cities if there were any righteous people in them. Lot and his family were the only righteous people, so God sent an angel to lead them out before He destroyed the cities (see Genesis 18:22-33).
Who are the righteous?
Malachi 3:18 states, “Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.” How are you serving God? The Bible also explains that the righteous lives by faith. Hebrews 10:37-39 explains, “For, ‘Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.’ But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” 1John 2:28-29 states, “And now, little children, abide [remain; stay] in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29) If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.” Living by faith is active trust in the promises of God based on the evidence in the Bible and the lives of those who live by faith. Read my post on the 15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep.
When you practice something, you perfect a skill by repeating the task until you can do it flawlessly. For instance, when you practice a song on the piano, you don’t get it perfectly right the first time you play it. But after playing the piece many times, you become, near perfect. It is the same with righteousness. 1John 3:7-8, 10 explains, “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.8) Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 10) By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” In my post called The End Will Come: Part Four—Be Ready in Love., I explain why and how we are to love.
Thank you for reading this post, so to respect your time, I will continue this subject in the next post as there is so much more to cover. But before I end, I want to encourage you with what God spoke to Isaiah in Chapter 3. Replace Judah with the United States. Ponder these three verses. Isaiah 3:1, “For behold, the Lord GOD of hosts is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah [USA] support and supply, all support of bread, and all support of water;” Isaiah 3:8, “For Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah [USA] has fallen, because their speech and their deeds are against the LORD, defying his glorious presence.” And Isaiah 3:10, “Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.” What is the fruit of your deeds? The Albert Barnes commentary says, “As a farmer who sows his field and cultivates his farm, eats the fruit of his labor, so shall it be with the righteous. A similar expression is found in Pro. 1:31.”
How are you practicing righteousness? How are you living by faith? What does righteousness look like in your life?
Grace and peace to you in the coming year.
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