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RAPTURE or The Great TRIBULATION

Written by: The Gospel Tract Society    Posted on: 04/14/2003

Category: Prophecy

Source: CCN

RAPTURE or The Great TRIBULATION

"Behold the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it." Isa. 13:9.

"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake, those days shall be shortened." Matt. 24:21-22.

This generation has already experienced the "beginning of sorrows," but the storm clouds of the great tribulation, are yet to break upon the world and God's Holy Spirit is warning all who will give heed, to flee from the wrath to come.

Final judement falls only on sinners and transgressors who reject God's offer of full salvation through the shed blood of His only begotten Son, those who refuse His mercy till all opportunity is past. But to the penitent sinner, Jesus said, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37.

"Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them." Heb. 7:25.

"lf we confess our slns, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to clense us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9.

CHRIST THE ARK

Jesus said, ... "As it was in the day of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man." Luke 17:26.

"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth . . . and the Lord said, "I will destroy man whom I have made from the face of the earth." Gen. 6:5-7.

"Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water perished; but the heavens and the earth which are now . . . are kept in store, reserved unto fire, against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." II Pet.3:6-7.

Those who are willing to yield to the judgment of God's Spirit through the Word today, who acknowledge their sin and accept Christ as their Savior, and obey Him as their Lord and master, will be spared the fiery judement of the great tribulation, "for if we judge ourselves we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world." 1 Cor. 11:31-32.

Just as Noah's ark was the only safe place when the waters of God's judgment began to pour upon the earth, so Christ is the only place of safety today from the fires of God's judgment that soon will envelope the earth.

THE HARVEST JUDGMENT

It is upon a church fast asleep on a pillow of false security, that the end of the age is falling "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof," forgetting her great commission she has settled down to a routine of form and ceremony that has robbed her of her vision and zeal to preach the Gospel of Salvation to all the world, that her Lord may soon return.

Unless there is a renewed vision and revival of obedience in the church, multitudes of professing believers are in great danger of being found sleeping when Christ comes. "Foolish virgins," who will need the judgment of the great tribulation to make them faithful to Christ and ready for eternal glory.

Many believe that the great tribulation will be a time when God's wrath will be poured upon the ungodly after all believers have been taken out, but in Rev., chap. 14, God calls it both a judgment and a harvest, after the first fruits (the bride) have been taken out, the Son of man is seen thrusting in His sickle to reap His remaining harvest. "And He that sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth: and the earth was reaped." Rev. 14:16. "And in the time of harvest, I will say to the reapers, gather ye together the tares and bind Them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn." Matt. 13;30.

THE BRIDE

Christ is coming as the bridegroom to catch away His purged and purified bride, not His body "and every man that hath this hope purifieth himself even as He is pure." I John 3:3. As the first Adam's bride was taken from his body while Adam was in a deep sleep, so the bride of Christ, the second Adam will be taken from His body while that body too, is in a deep sleep, and a quiet purifying work of the Holy Spirit is now going on in the hearts of all who will yield to this inner cleansing, to prepare them as a bride adorned for the bridegroom. What joy and peace is filling the hearts of God's children who are loosed from this world, and walking obedient to the Holy Spirit, and this blessed peace and assurance will increase as we near the time of His appearing.

"Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found in Him, in peace, without spot and blameless." II Pet. 3:14.

"Behold I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead in Christ shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." 1 Cor. 15:51-52.

"For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout . . . and with the trump of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to merit the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1 Thess. 4:16-17.

Salvation is a gift and can only be recived by faith, but rewards of righteousness and readiness for rapture will be the result of the faithful use of the means of grace, of recieving and obeying the Holy Spirit.

"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world to try them that dwell upon the earth." Rev. 3:10.

"And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut." Mat. 25:10.

It is the work of the Holy Spirit to separate believers from a world that is rejecting Christ, but if we resist the quiet witnessing of His Spirit to truth and righteousness, and cling to this ungodly Christ-rejecting world, we shall have these unholy bonds burned off in the fire of her judgment.

"And that servant which knew His Lord's will, prepared not himself, neither did according to His will shall he beaten with many stripes." Luke 12:47

"Take heed to yourselves lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness (self-indulgence) and the cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

"Watch ye therefore and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." Luke 21:34-36.

"Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard and hold fast and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come upon thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I shall come upon thee." Rev. 3:3.

"Watch ye therefore . . . Lest coming suddenly, He shall find you sleeping." Mark 13:35-36.

"For as the lightning cometh out of the east and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the son of man Be." Matt. 24:27.

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Reprint permission was granted to Computers for Christ #22 for the expressed purpose of posting this tract in electronic form. Please DO NOT modify this file nor distribute hard copies of this file.

Printed copies for distribution are available from the Gospel Tract Society for a donation.

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The Gospel Tract Society, Inc. P.O. Box 1118 Independence, MO 64061





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