At least since the 1830’s, in Europe and America, multitudes have been lured into a false confidence and security that the church shall not have to go through a special seven year period of great tribulation that is coming upon the earth. Prior to this alleged great tribulation period, Christians are told they will be raptured to heaven. After the church is removed, the Antichrist will arise to war against any new converts that are saved, and to war against Israel, leading to the Battle of Armageddon. Once the great tribulation is over, the church shall return to earth in great glory with Christ, who shall set up His kingdom in Jerusalem, and rule for a thousand years.
Since this incredible scenario was first conceived, and advanced by those known as Dispensationalist, faithful voices have been raised in protest against The System which cries “Peace”, “Peace” for the church, when there is no peace. There are many reasons why God would allow His people to go through all the events that are associated with the world, including periods of great tribulation.
Christians suffer tribulation in order to honor the prayer of Jesus, who asked the Father not to take Christians out of the world. “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:15).
Christians suffer tribulation in order to fulfil the predictive words of Jesus. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Christians suffer tribulation in order to be a witness to the world, as Noah was a preacher of righteousness to his generation. The Lord “spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly” (2 Peter 2:5).
Christians suffer tribulation in order to save others. There is the principle of Blessing by Association. “And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation… 13 In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark” (Gen. 7:1, 13).
Christians suffer tribulation in order to display the grace of God in showing mercy to His own in the midst of great tribulation. Noah and his family were saved through the Flood, not by removal from it. Lot was saved despite the destruction of Sodom. The Lord knows how to deliver His own.
Christians suffer tribulation in order to give individuals a chance to obey the Lord, and manifest their faith in His word. Those who escaped the Fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 did so because they remembered the words of the Lord to flee to the mountains.
Christians suffer tribulation in order to purify the church, and separate the faithful from the unfaithful. “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Rev. 2:10).
Christians suffer tribulation in order to be an example, and an encouragement to others. The author of Hebrews wrote of those who “Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect” (Heb. 11:34-40).
The story of The Hiding Place would never have blessed the world if Corrie Ten Boom and her family not experienced the Holocaust.
Christians suffer tribulation in order to honor apostolic teaching. The apostle Paul ministered to the churches by “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).
Christians suffer tribulation in order for God to judge the church. When the truth of Scripture is not believed, God will send strong delusions so that people might believe a lie. The idea that a large group of Christians are going to be raptured out of the world to escape a special seven year tribulational period is a monstrous lie that lures careless believers into a false sense of hope and security. When tribulation in life comes, they are disillusioned, and turn away from the Christian faith, and abandon the church. Erronous teaching may offer false comfort to several generations of Christians, but it is in essence a form of God’s judgment upon the church. “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” (2 Thess. 2:11).
There are many sincere Christians who are emotionally, and psychologically, wedded to a system of belief to the point they cannot believe God would allow His people to go through great tribulation, including what they fancy to be “THE” great tribulation.
Precious souls are emotionally wedded to, and committed to defending a system of false hope, despite the evidence of the church being part of the Fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, despite the church being caught up in the global conflict of World War I, and then World War II, and despite the current world wide persecution of Christians. ISIS is cutting off the heads of Christians for the world to see on TV. Christians are being driven out of the Middle East, and still individuals believe the church shall be raptured, and not go through “THE” great tribulation.
For those who are still teachable, search the simplicity of the Scriptures. Read again the words of Jesus in John 16:33 and John 17:15, and then, believe your Lord. It will be enough to sustain you in life, whatever the future may bring.