Two weeks ago I wrote in this column about the events in Paris and their possible meaning to Bible prophecy. Christ tells us of signs that He would send before His return. The most detailed list of these signs is in Matthew 24. These prophetic signs, given by Jesus, every writer of the New Testament, and even the prophets of the Old Testament, are all throughout the Bible.
Most of the signs of Jesus’ return are not specific. Scripture tells us of wars, earthquakes, famines, among others, but we do not know of specifics, such as, “there will be an attack on the theaters and restaurants of Paris.”
A description of the world shortly before Christ’s return are in Luke 21:25, “and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity.” There will be complicated problems that will cause entire nations to be troubled. This realm includes things such as worldwide economic disaster, high crime rates, and terrorism; any problems that seem not to have an answer.
I was contacted by a reader in Indiana after she had read these things. She expressed fear in looking toward the future. I emailed her about her concerns and felt the Lord’s leading to write about fear here.
To Christians, several points can be made for our having no need to fear.
God will never leave you – Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
He will be there providing guidance and comfort in life’s darkest hours – Psalm 23:4, Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
The events of the future, in particular, His return, should give – Hebrews 6:18, “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.”
The scripture plainly tells us there is a seven-year tribulation coming that will be a time like the world has never seen – Jeremiah 30:7, “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.”
However, there is an escape the Bible also tells us Christians will be removed from this earth before the time of Jacob’s trouble begins. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, 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 meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
Words of Christ’s return should bring comfort to the Christian. Yes, there are rough times ahead, but He is there, He will protect us, and for the Christian it will all work out for good. Romans 8:25, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
For those without Christ in their heart; those that have not put their faith in the blood of Christ for salvation, there is no hope. In the same passage referred to previously about the Christians being removed before the Tribulation begins; God calls the unsaved, “others which have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
Ephesians 2:12 paints the same picture, “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.”
Yes, God’s Great Tribulation Period is coming. Before it begins, Christians will suffer some. We cannot expect to be immune from terrorist attacks, earthquakes, wars and whatever other signs the world will go through, but knowing God is always with us and will rapture us out before God’s wrath is opened upon the world should give us comfort.
Christians should fear for their unsaved loved ones and the unsaved world around them. This fear, however, should spring us into action – living a godly life and telling everyone about the love and salvation Jesus has offered to the world.