Summary: Scripture gives some general and specific signs that will be occurring as we approach the second coming of Christ. While the church, all who have received Jesus as Savior will be raptured before this time of tribulation, it is important that we teach and
The Great Tribulation
Video - Rapture
Are you ready if Jesus were to come for His church today?
Would you be raptured or would you be left behind?
If you can’t answer that you know for sure that when Jesus Christ returns for the church that you would be caught up to meet him, you are gonna be left behind.
You will have an opportunity at the end of this message to make sure that you will be with Christ when he returns.
But what if you are here today and you aren’t so sure about all this Jesus stuff anyway.
What is so bad about being left behind, anyway?
Well, 2 weeks ago, we began this short series on the second coming of Christ and we began with the rapture, the event that could happen at any moment and will begin to usher in the prophesied events known as the “end times.”
What comes after the Rapture on the time line of end times events?
Well, sometime soon after the rapture, the Tribulation is prophesied to begin.
That is what we are going to talk about today.
Turn with me to Matthew 24.
In these verses, Jesus describes a period of time that comes after the rapture and will precede his actual return to set foot upon the earth.
Now, this is important for us to know for a couple of reasons.
First, if you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, so that if you do not receive Christ as Savior before he returns, you will recognize the truth of who He is and receive Him as your Savior while there is still time.
Second, so we who are believers might be encouraged to be sharing the good news of Christ with those who have not yet received Him because this is going to be a time of great devastation and trouble for all who are still here.
So, Let’s read and see what Jesus has to say about this time.
24 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 "Do you see all these things?" he asked. "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"
4 Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ’I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
9 "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
15 "So when you see standing in the holy place ’the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel — let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now — and never to be equaled again. 22 If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ’Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ’There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect — if that were possible. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.