Faith for the Future: The Tribulation

Matthew 24:21

While on vacation a couple of weeks ago, we traveled to the Mt. St. Helens National volcanic monument. It was an awesome thing to see. After nearly 25 years, the devastation was still very evident. What was just as amazing was to read about how it affected the area. I discovered that it wasn't sudden. An earthquake occurred in March of 1980 resulting in the call to evacuate the area, and that was two full months before the eruption! The residents had plenty of time to evacuate prior to the major eruption, but some chose to ignore the warnings. I read of a man by the name of Harry Truman, who ran a lodge near the base of the volcano. He refused to evacuate. He was determined to stay and doubted that the eruption would take place and seemed to think that even if it did, somehow he would be able to survive. But he didn'the and 56 others perished in the devastation. St. Helens released an amount of energy equivalent to 27,000 Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs and ejected more than a cubic mile of material. 57 people were killed along with an estimated 1500 elk, 5000 deer, and 11 million fish. In addition, 200 homes, 47 bridges, and 185 miles of highway were destroyed. This is what the area looks like now. You say, "Neat pictures pastor, but what does this have to do with the message and what does it have to do with faith for the future?" I am glad you asked. : )

The Bible tells us about a storm that is coming to the whole world. It will bring about the darkest days of human history. Though this period is called by many names in Scripture, the most common title is "the great tribulation." Let's review just a bit before we get into the message tonight. Remember we have considered seven distinct periods of time in the history of the world. The next prophetic event on the schedule is the Rapture of the believers. Then comes the Judgment Seat of Christ in heaven. But here on earth, there will be great tribulation. As the text says, "such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." The Tribulation is an important and often misunderstood subject in Scripture. Keep in mind that this will take place on earth after the Rapture. That means that we, as believers in Christ, will not be on earth to suffer during this terrible time of judgment. Let's look at the Word and hopefully answer some basic questions concerning the Great Tribulation.

I. What is the Tribulation?

II. Why must there be a Tribulation?

III. Will believers go through the Tribulation?

IV. God's Judgments Upon This World.

The seven-year tribulation will be a horrible experience. These things, and more, will come upon this earth and upon unbelieving men and women. There will be no second opportunity for people to be saved if they have rejected the gospel. We must reach folks today!