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 The Church Will Face Tribulation by Zac Poonen

For the first 300 years of Christianity, almost all Christians lived under anti-Christian rulers who often persecuted them and killed many of them. God, in His great wisdom, permitted people to persecute His children, for His glory. Even today, God has permitted some of His finest children to live under governments that persecute them. The church has always flourished best under persecution. But wherever the church experiences ease, comfort, and material prosperity, in most cases it becomes worldly. As long as we are in the world, we will face tribulation, persecution, and trials. So, we need not expect an easy time - either in our workplace or in our personal life - as we approach the end of this age.

Days of financial difficulties will come. So, we must learn to live simply even now. Those who live in luxury will find things to be very difficult in the coming days. We must be wise in saving money for the future, so that we do not have to depend on others. But our trust must not be in our savings, but in the Lord alone. God is a jealous God and He will never allow us to trust in anything created. God will shake the world's financial systems, so that those who trust in created things will be shaken. As Jesus said, we will see brothers betraying brothers and our family-members becoming our enemies (Matt.10:21).

There will be active persecution of believers in offices and in factories. All this will purify us and make us better Christians. 1 Peter 3:13 says that no-one can harm us if we always seek to do good. So, we must determine, by God's grace, to do good to everyone. We must love those who hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for the forgiveness of those who persecute us. Then no-one will be able to harm us. Satan and his agents may cheat us, trouble us, harass us, rob us, injure us, imprison us, and even kill our bodies. But they will never be able to harm us spiritually.

We must prepare Christians all over the world to face persecution for their faith in the coming days. There are four commands that our Lord has given us for such days:

1. “Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matt.10:16).
We must not be foolish in our witnessing, but wise. Our lives must speak for Christ, where we live and where we work. In our witness for the Lord, we must make it clear that we are speaking about a Person - Jesus Christ - and not about the Christian religion being superior to other religions. Jesus will draw people to Himself, when He is lifted up (John 12:32). We must also be alert to discern non-Christian spies who will pretend to be interested in Christianity, when their real motive may be to accuse us of some word we use in order to take us to court for "forcibly trying to convert them". So we must be wise as well as loving - as Jesus was:

(a) “Jesus did not entrust Himself to some people, because He knew what was in them” (John 2:23-25). We must discern everyone.
(b) “Jesus was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews there were seeking to kill Him” (John 7:1). We should avoid unnecessary danger.
(c) “Pray for those who persecute you” (Matt.5:44). Be good to people. Do not become evil because others are evil.

2. “Live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt.4:4).
In times of persecution, the most important requirement is to be sensitive to the word that God is speaking to our hearts. We must develop the habit of a listening attitude to God throughout the day. The word we hear from God must then be believed and obeyed. Otherwise, it has no value. So, we must meditate more on the Word of God (especially the New Testament) – for only thus will we be able to discern God's voice. And then we must “trust and obey”.

3. “Love one another as I have loved you. All men will know you are My disciples, when you love one another” (John 13:34, 35).
Both in our home and in our churches, we must stop all judging of one another, all backbiting against one another, all quarrelling with each other, and all suspicion of one another. Discernment is a Divine quality, but suspicion is a Satanic quality. Now is the time to concentrate on fighting sin and Satan in our lives. Now is the time to actively pursue loving our marriage partners and loving our fellow-believers.

4. “In the world you WILL HAVE tribulation. But be bold. I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
God is on the throne and He will never forsake His own. Satan was defeated 2000 years ago. We are the apple of God's eye, and so He will be a wall of fire around us (Zech.2:5,8). No weapon formed against us will ever prosper (Isa.54:17). So let us “be content with what we have, for God Himself has said, 'I will never leave you, nor will I ever forsake you'. So that we may boldly say, 'The Lord is my Helper. I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?'” (Heb.13:5,6).

Let us also pray, “Come soon, Lord Jesus” (Rev.22:20).


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2023/8/26 6:22Profile
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 Re: The Church Will Face Tribulation by Zac Poonen


I lean /// toward the church will be here during the tribulation but the Lord "told me", yes I asked and He told me to not to teach pre, post, mid trub but to teach the women inmates "... to be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will." (Matt 24:44)

Everyone so far has gone and is going the way of the grave. When they die instantly in a car wreck, or die of a sickness or literally just drop dead like my brother in law did. Are they READY?

This is the need of the hour, teaching people to be ready.

God bless,
Lisa


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Lisa

 2023/8/27 14:41Profile
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 Re: Facing the final tribulation

"...this view clearly opposes the "pre-tribulation" rapture mentality, a mentality that sees the Church as being removed before the tribulation. Nothing, in our opinion, has more disarmed the Church of the necessity for preparation, discipleship, maturity and of being the Church that can stand in the Last Days and overcome tribulation, than the misguided confidence that they will not have to face it!" (Art Katz)


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David Winter

 2023/8/28 8:44Profile
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 Re:

Hi All,
Again ...Everybody Post Pan and Pre Trib believers believe and Know in practice(by living) that we face trials and tribulations in this life but this does not mean we go through a specific period of time called "The Great Tribulation"
Its poor exegesis .Why do people use this poor exegesis?
Well its because they are so anti the pre trib view.I consider it a slur on Pre Trib believers to a certain extent.
If you want to argue the end times timeline whether you are pre or post then you have to use scripture thats in context and linking tribulation with the Great Tribulation is clearly not in context,
urs staff

 2023/8/28 18:21Profile
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 Re:

Staff, don't want to argue the merit of the doctrine with my post. I will say this though because it is important for people to know. IF the pretrib rapture position is not true and it has caused God's people not to be prepared, ready for and for armed by being forewarned of the unprecedented release of evil upon the church in unprecedented degree, then it is a dangerous position. IF the pretrib position is true, then those of us who disagree with it will just be wrong. There is a huge difference therefore, that warrants those who hold to the pretrib position to be very sure of what they are saying and its obvious consequence to others if they are wrong. I don't say this in anger in the least. This is just a doctrine that deserves and demands extreme caution and certainty.

Perhaps some would argue that we should prepare people as if the great trib is possible for believers and hope with a degree of confidence that it isn't going to happen for believers based on a foundation of interpretation that is strongly held. That would seem prudent, good for the body and wise if you hold strongly to your position.


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Robert

 2023/8/28 20:07Profile
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 Re:

Hi CofG,
Well I dont want to argue the merits of my view either but rather just the double standards when it comes to exegesis.

Their are many ways to argue for the Post trib view but saying that because we have trials and tribulations in our lives means we go through the Great Tribulation.This is clearly poor exegesis and a swipe at the Pre Trib believer.This is clearly not a prudent exegesis.

As for your points

I can say the same for the Post Tribulation message as you have said for the Pre trib message.
If it is wrong then it also has consequences equally as bad as if the Pre Trib message is wrong.
It is however the Post Trib believer that always seems to bring up this arguement that if we have trials and tribulations in this life then we go through the Great Tribulation and also its the Post Trib believer who takes a swipe at the Pre Trib believer as regard to the Pre Trib believer not believing we go through trials and tribulations.All my friends are pre trib and they certainly know that we go through trials and tribulations,
The problem with the Post Trib view is that they think their are no consequences if they are wrong
urs staff

 2023/8/29 17:02Profile
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 Re: God's gift of clear simplicity

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31)

I'm thinking the timing of Christ's return was not an issue of controversy and division in the early church. They were united on many things, and the return of Christ was one of them. The belief of more than one appearance by Christ at the time of the end only appeared in the 1830s. Now, in many quarters, it seems that the utter simplicity of what scripture declares on this issue offends or stumbles many for some reason. It's almost as if they are saying, "It can't be that simple. After all, this is eschatology, therefore you can't know anything for sure or form any firm conclusions. It's all too complicated and not meant to be understood." But thanks be to the Lord, regarding His Son's second coming, He has spoken clearly and simply. Christ comes again AFTER THE TRIBULATION of those days (those days of the final tribulation). There, it's done. What is to debate or question? If He comes after the tribulation, then His saints will obviously be present during this time. He comes again AFTER the final tribulation. Clear, simple, straightforward. I'm not tooting my own trumpet as if to appear smarter or more informed than other saints. I'm just taking scripture's clear and uncomplicated revelation on the issue. It's a grief that how many times Christ will appear and when He returns is one of the major issues of division in the modern church. I can only point to scripture. It settles the issue in a most simple easy to understand manner.


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David Winter

 2023/8/31 10:48Profile
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 Re:

Hi Just to refute these points

The below argument is not an argument from Scripture and is just hearsay.
(The belief of more than one appearance by Christ at the time of the end only appeared in the 1830s.)

The debate is clearly not that simple

Jesus said that his coming will be like the days of Noah and Lot
Eating drinking planting marrying(not in Lot example)building marrying giving in marriage etc

UNTIL THE DAY

How can their be eating and drinking and building and planting if their is a Great Tribulation and Gods Wrath been poured out?
The only way Christ can come into a situation of normality is prior to the Great Tribulation and then he comes after a situation of chaos the again.
Christ comes 3 times in total
1 At when he was crucified
2 Prior to the Tribulation (until the day)
3 After the Tribulation of those days

(He has spoken clearly and simply. Christ comes again AFTER THE TRIBULATION of those days (those days of the final tribulation). There, it's done)

The only way Christ can come only after the Tribulation is if the Great Tribulation is a nothing to see here event that has little or no effect on the earth,
urs staff



 2023/8/31 13:29Profile
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 Re:

Hi
Just to say also that I as all Pre Trib believers I know believe that we have tribulation in this life,
urs staff

 2023/8/31 13:43Profile
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 Re:

For clarity's sake, I've never met a post-trib believer who thinks or teaches that pre-trib believers do not believe in tribulation in this life. They know that they do.

Nor have I met a post-trib believer who thinks that because we endure tribulation in this life that this automatically means they will go through the age ending Great Tribulation. Post-trib believers know very well there is a notable difference between the tribulation we all endure now and the final time of intense unprecedented tribulation after which Christ returns.

Thank you.


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David Winter

 2023/8/31 15:27Profile





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