Summary: A look at the events of the tribulation and reasons for believing in a pre-trib rapture.
THE DAY OF THE LORD - PART II (TRIBULATION)
INTRODUCTION: In Matthew 24 and 25, Christ answers the question of the disciples as to the events leading up to and surrounding His return in power as He ascends to His rightful throne as the Messiah, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and the Seed of David. The events He gives are not signs which precede His return for the church. They are in fact events which take place during that first part of the Day of the Lord. As such they give us an insight into the events and nature the Tribulation Period.
I. THE NATURE AND THE EVENTS OF THE TRIBULATION
A. Deceivers - Matthew 24:4-5 "And Jesus answered and said unto them, take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." - the 1st seal - the 1st of the four horseman of Revelation
1. Revelation 6:2 "And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer."
2. 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10 "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."
3. Daniel 8:25 "And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand."
4. The antichrist will bring a false peace and prosperity to an unstable world which will solidify his popularity and acceptance.
5. Erwin Lutzer - Better to love God and die unknown than to love the world and be a hero; better to be content with poverty than to die a slave to wealth; better to have taken some risks and lost than to have done nothing and succeeded at it; better to have lost some battles than to have retreated from the war; better to have failed when serving God than to have succeeded when serving the devil. What a tragedy to climb the ladder of success, only to discover that the ladder was leaning against the wrong wall!
B. Wars - Matthew 24:6-7 "And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom"
1. Revelation 6:4 "And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword."
2. During the tribulation, the world will experience devastating warfare that will kill millions of people.
3. After one battle according to Ezekiel 39, it will take seven months to bury the dead.
4. World violence can dominate the news and lead us to believe that we are on the brink of Armageddon. But we are not. Armageddon is at least seven years away.
C. Famines - Matthew 24:7 "... and there shall be famines..."
1. Revelation 6:5-6 "And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.  And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine."
2. The luxuries of the wealthy are not hurt by this worldwide famine.
3. Lamentations 4:9-10 "They that be slain with the sword are better than they that be slain with hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field.  The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people."
D. Pestilence - Matthew 24: 7 "... and pestilences..."
1. Revelation 6:8 "And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth."