It Won’t Get Any Worse Than This – Intro to the Tribulation Rev 6-19, and Various Passages, August 18, 2019 I. Introduction: A. We are making a major transition this morning in the book of Revelation as we move from the letters from Jesus to the church to the prophetic section of the book, which tells us about the future things that must take place! B. But before I go there today I want to start with what normally happens at the end of a sermon, application! What should be our response to these things beyond just satisfying our curiosity regarding what is going to take place, in the future? 1. We learned in the intro to this book that Jesus was writing the whole book of Revelation to the seven churches in Asia Minor and not just chapters 2-3. So the primary application to this book is seen in those churches, which we learned that Jesus was encouraging them to persevere in holiness, allegiance to and worship of Jesus because the future reward outweighs the present suffering! a) Peter says the same thing as to how we should respond to some of the things we will see in this section of Revelation. (1) Read 2 Peter 3:10-11,13 (2) Bottom line do not live for this world because everything you are living for and working for will be destroyed in the end. Instead, we should conduct our lives in a holy and godly way! With our eye on a better life and world ahead. 2. Jesus made it clear in Matthew 24 that no one knows the day or the hour of His return. However, He did say we could know the season of His return when we start to see the signs the Bible talks about falling in place. a) And anyone who knows the Bible well and has half an eye on current events is convinced we are in the season of Jesus’ return. b) Then Jesus gives us instructions how we can be faithful and wise in light of knowing we are in the season but not knowing the specific day or hour. (1) Read 45-47 (2) What has God put you in charge of? What is God’s will for you? Be faithful in carrying that out whether that is changing diapers or helping someone come to know Jesus or grow in Him! 3. We should be thinking about these things as we work our way through the rest of the book of Revelation! • Next, as I introduce chapters 6-19 I want you to know that this time was talked about before in the Bible. The time of God pouring His wrath out on mankind and disciplining the Jews at the same time. So this is a detailed description of a fulfilment of what God already said must happen. II. The Tribulation A. Maybe the best imagery we can get of just how difficult this time is going to be is that pain a woman feels when giving birth to a child. 1. Listen to how Jeremiah describes it. Read 30:3-7,11 a) V3 – that is the future kingdom in Rev 20 – the very same land that Abraham and the other fathers lived on b) V5-7,11 Listen to what they must go through first c) He calls this the time of Jacob’s trouble 2. Listen to how mankind responds to Jesus when He first starts to pour forth His wrath in the seals! In Revelation 6. a) Turn and Read v15-17a 3. Bottom line, this is going to be a very painful, difficult and scary time for those who will live during this time. The worst time this world has ever seen or will ever see. a) Listen to what was told Daniel about this time: Read Daniel 12:1 b) Listen to what Jesus said Matthew 24:21-22 c) In chapter 7 when the question is answered as to who is able to stand this day of God’s wrath read 6:17 (1) This terrible time, it is called the Great Tribulation. Read 7:13-14 B. So how long will this take place and when will it start? We know it is in the future so let’s turn to Daniel 9 to gain a bit more insight into this! 1. Read v24 – a) A week means seven just like a dozen means 12 to us. It could be a week of eggs = seven eggs or a dozen of eggs = 12 eggs. Here it is a week of years or 7 years! b) God has decreed some things for His people, the Jewish people and Jerusalem. That is why in Rev 4:1 he says, “I will show you what must take place” these things have to happen, they must happen because God decreed them to happen. c) And part of what He decreed was to bring in everlasting righteousness and seal up vision and prophecy. That is what the whole book of Revelation is about the coming of God’s eternal righteous kingdom and the fulfilment of everything He has prophesied! 2. As I read v25, we have done the figuring on this before and it refers to Jesus coming into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to present Himself as the Messiah, the king of Israel. Read 25 3. Then we read in v26 after this the Messiah will be cut off by means of a violent death and then the city of Jerusalem will be destroyed by the people of the one who is the prince to come, the Antichrist. a) Read v26 b) These were fulfilled in Jesus’ crucifixion and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 ad by the Roman army under the leadership of General Titus. 4. So at this point 69 of the 70 weeks have been fulfilled, there is one week left or 7 years left to complete God’s program and we hear about that in v27. Read 27a a) “He” is the prince referred to in v26, which we see in the book of Revelation as the beast whom we call the Antichrist! We will talk more about him next week as we look at the main character in the Tribulation, the Antichrist b) This tribulation will start when “he” makes firm and reestablises an already existing peace treaty with Israel for 7 years. Point out in v27 c) This treaty will be for one week or seven years, so this Tribulation will last seven years d) But in the middle of that week, 3 ½ years into this treaty he will stop sacrifices to God and desolate the temple by taking his place in the temple and receiving worship as God. Read 27b e) Then it finishes by saying this will continue until he is completely destroyed, something we will see in Revelation 19. Read v27c • Welcome to picnic Sunday at MVC! At this point, I can send you all out and tell you to enjoy your hamburger and games! But it feels a bit heavy for that. So I want to encourage you with something as we finish today’s message. It called the …. III. Rapture A. Turn to and Read 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 1. We already saw in Revelation that the people recognized that this time in Revelation 6-19 was the great day of God’s wrath. 2. This verse speaks to those who have turned to the living God through Jesus that they will be rescued from this future wrath B. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:8-9 1. He is speaking to believers here and the whole context of this section is the Day of the Lord, when He returns. So he is saying that God has not destined us for this time of wrath but rather to obtain salvation through Jesus. 2. This salvation he is referring to here is known as the Rapture of the Church that he talks about at the end of chapter 4. Read 4:15-18. C. This is the same thing we saw that Jesus promised the church in His letter to Philadelphia. 1. Read 3:10b-c 2. Jesus promised them He would keep them “from” going through this hour of testing that was going to come upon the whole world, which we learn of in Revelation 6-19. D. Do something for me – twinkle your eyes! Did that take long? That is how quickly the rapture of the church will take place, the very next thing that God has already scheduled for His future program. Read 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 E. IF you are here today and you do not know Jesus as your savior, in prayer, admit to God your sin, and declare that there is nothing you can do to save yourself and your trust is totally in Jesus, and then finally thank Him for forgiving your sins and giving you new life!
Duration: 38 min