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Summary: Satan’s full program cannot run while the Spirit is still here in the hearts of believers...but once the salt is removed from this earth there is no more preservation found for it! Link inc. to formatted text, audio, and PowerPoint.

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Welcome to the Tribulation!

Matthew 24:9-14

http://gbcdecatur.org/sermons/WelcomeTribulation.html

This is the Lord’s final message on the End of the World, which is only the beginning of eternity! The ‘beginning of sorrows’ speaks of the birth pangs this world will feel both before the rapture and during the first portion of the Great Tribulation.

You won’t find the church in this passage because it is gone. Aren’t you glad we are not appointed unto wrath?! The same thing happens in Revelation where up until chapter 3 it’s all about the church, and over and again it says “he that hath an ear let him hear what the spirit sayeth unto the churches”...and suddenly in Rev. 4:1 it is gone...

Revelation 4:1

After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

Then we find in...

Revelation 13:9

If any man have an ear, let him hear.

Something is missing: the Spirit, and the church!

And Satan’s full program cannot run while the Spirit is still here in the hearts of believers...but once the salt is removed from this earth there is no more preservation found for it!

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. [abomination of desolation]

2 Thessalonians 2:5-8

5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 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:

The Jews are the ones being addressed at this point in Mt. 24, and here’s something about their culture I know you’ll find very interesting...

Ill.—when a couple was to be married they would embark on an engagement period [arranged by parents!] At the end of this period, they would actually part company. The bride would go home and she was instructed to watch and wait because the bridegroom could come to fetch her at any moment! She was to always be ready, always watching. And where was the groom? He was preparing a place for his bride...in those days he would just add on some rooms to his father’s house. [John 14] It wasn’t ready until his father said it was ready, and told the son, go get your bride! Usually he would fetch her in the middle of the night, approaching her house shouting, “Behold! The Bridegroom cometh!” Then they would have a Marriage Supper and live happily ever after!

The rapture is the next event on God’s prophetic timetable, and nothing is holding it back other than God’s perfect will and timing. Many in this world want rid of Christian influence and say the world would be a better place without us, and any day now they could get their wish!

But the world won’t become a better place; it will become hell on earth! When the church is gone, three things will be worldwide during the Great Tribulation:

v. 9

World Wide Anti-Semitism.

This is Jewish hatred on a worldwide scale. Throughout history the Jews have been hated and persecuted. We know of the atrocities they experienced last century under the demon possessed Hitler. But it all began long before then, just read your OT.

World Wide Chaos.

v. 10-13

You won’t be able to trust anyone. Parent will turn against child and vice versa. You think we’ve got crime problems today? Imagine unlocking every prison in the world. Remember the looting in New Orleans in ’05? That was a s.s. picnic! The L.A. riots will seem like a walk in the park. You’ll be afraid to walk into a public restroom, or even out your front door in broad daylight.

In the early 60s the USA officially kicked God out of the public school system. Since then:

560% increase in violent crime

419% increase in illegitimate births

200% increase in teen suicide

Divorce rate has tripled

That was simply the result of a change ‘on paper’...what do you think will be the result when the Holy Spirit is completely removed?! This world will go totally corrupt like never before!

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