Summary: Most of the church will go through the Tribulation Period.
The church and the tribulation.
Matthew 7:13, 14 -- 21 -- 23. 05/30/04
I want to invite you to the book of Matthew chapter 7. I am going to be preaching on the subject of the church and the tribulation period.
Now when I speak of the tribulation period I am speaking of the time Jesus speaks of in this same book in chapter 24. Jesus says there is coming a time on this earth as never been before. He talks about this time as a time that the devil will have a heyday. It will be a time when it actually will be hell on earth. It will be a seven-year period with the last 3 ½ years being called the great tribulation period not because of the greatness of it but because of the disaster it will bring upon this earth. When you think of all the wars, earthquakes, floods, murders, and all the other bad things, multiply that by 100 fold and you might have just a glimpse of what that seven-year period will be like. To really know what that time will be like you turn to the final book of the Bible, the Revelation and from chapter 5 through chapter 19, you will see what that time will be like.
In this chapter, Jesus is preaching the Sermon on the Mount. When You Come to verse 13, He Is Talking about THE GUARANTEE OF SALVATION. He is saying make sure that you have come to God the way of the Scripture. Make sure you know you are saved. Make sure you are born again. Make sure you are a child of God and have eternal life in heaven. It is as though that Jesus is saying make sure you have entered in.
Now I want to ask you, have you made sure that you have come to God the way of the Scripture? Do you know for sure that when you die that you will go to heaven to be with the Lord? I want to say the only way the family can spend an eternity together is for all that family to know Jesus. The guarantee of salvation.
I want you to see not only the guarantee of salvation but also THE GUEST OF THE SAVIOR. Look at vs. 13 and 14.
Let me give you the King Shelton paraphrase here. Jesus said wide is the gate that leads to destruction and many will go that way. Then he says narrow is the way that leads to salvation and few will find it. There are two words I want you to keep in mind and those words are many and few.
Now let’s move to vs. 21 -- 23. Who does the statement Lord, Lord describe? It describes church members. It describes people who have walked the Isle during the invitation and joined the church. It describes the people who have gone through the baptismal pool. It describes the people who have been added to the church rolls. It describes people who stand behind lecterns in Sunday school to teach the class. It describes the people who stand behind the pulpits in churches and preaches a message. I am talking about all those who belong to some church, some denomination. It also describes those who do all these things and die and go to a devils hell because there is no relationship with the Lord Jesus. Maybe you came to a revival meeting where the spirit of God was real. It may have been a spiritual service when you walked the Isle gave your hand to the preacher and joined the church. But if the truth is known your mind did not change. I am talking about the guest of the savior. I am talking about those that were present when Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount.
We see not only the guarantee of salvation and the guest of the savior but also THE GIST OF THE SERMON. A want to tell you from reading our text what Jesus had to say and that is most of the church will go through the tribulation. Now before you say we have a preacher here that is saying believers are going through the tribulation, you listen. I did not say believers will go through the tribulation, I said most of the church will. I do not for one minute believe that saved people will go through the tribulation but I still believe most of the church will.
In our Southern Baptists we have some 14 million members and yet on any given Sunday the FBI could not find 60 percent of them. There is only about 40 percent of our Southern Baptists who are anyway active in their church. Then you think about all those other denominations that deny the virgin birth of our savior. You think about all those who deny the resurrection of our savior. You think about all those cults who believe they themselves become a god. Then think about even in our own denomination those liberals who deny the inherent, infallible Word of God. You think about all those churches to do not baptize a single new convert in a year. You think about all those in our churches who rob God of his tithe. There is about 10 percent of the church that give 80 percent of the money. You listen to this preacher: I would never trust a savior to take me to heaven if he doesn’t take me to church.