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The Tribulation 1/22/17

The Tribulation

When, where and why: Daniel 9:24-27

Intro

  • A certain man told his friend that his brother was working to get his pilot’s license. His friend said, “O, that’s great!” “No, it wasn’t great because the engine caught fire.” “Oh, that’s terrible,” said his friend. “No, it wasn’t terrible because he had a parachute.” “Oh, that’s good,” answered his friend. “No, it wasn’t good because the parachute didn’t open.” “Oh, that’s awful,” said his friend. “No, it wasn’t so bad, because he had an emergency chute.” “Oh, that’s good his friend replied. “No, it wasn’t good because that one didn’t open either.” “Oh, that’s too bad,” his friend said. “No, it wasn’t so bad because he landed in a haystack.” “Oh, that’s great,” said the friend. “No, that’s not so great because there was a pitchfork sticking up out of the hay.” “Oh, that’s terrible.” No, not really. He missed the pitchfork.” “Oh, good.” “No, it wasn’t; he missed the haystack.”
  1. It’s important to understand that prophecy shifts back and forth between 2 scenes. Last week we saw the Marriage supper of the Lamb, a great scene of joy and celebration.
  2. Today we will look at what’s happening on earth during that time. The Great Tribulation.
  3. We’ll look at the when, the description, and the why of this 7 yr. period of time.
  4. As we do I want you to know that you don’t need to experience this.
  5. Believers in Christ will be gone, if you’re not a believer, God doesn’t want you to be here!
  6. With that in mind let's take a look.
  7. Daniel 9:24-27

         I. When?

  1. When are we to look for this time of tribulation?
  2. Lots of folks assume that the Tribulation will happen right after the Rapture of the church. That’s not necessarily the case.
  3. Assumption joke
  4. The main purpose of the Rapture is to end the age of the church.
  5. I think that the 7 yr Tribulation will begin shortly after the Rapture of the church but it still might be days, weeks, months or even years.
  6. Daniel 9:27
  7. The event that begins the Great Tribulation is the signing of the peace treaty between the Antichrist and Israel.
  8. We’ve been talking about the actors taking their positions behind the curtain. Once that is complete then you’ll see the peace treaty signed which will begin the 7 year tribulation.

           II.  What do we know about this peace treaty?

  • It will be between Israel and the Antichrist but will involve others.
  • It’ll begin the 7 yr tribulation
  • It will be a ‘firm’ covenant. This probably indicates that it will be forced or compelled. It may be a ‘take it or leave it deal.’

It’s also possible that the Antichrist will really enforce an already existing treaty.

  • It will give the Jews the right to offer sacrifices in a rebuilt Temple
  • It will be broken in the middle by the Antichrist himself.
  • Charles Dyer describes it this way “What is this ‘covenant’ that the Antichrist will make with Israel? Daniel does not specify it’s content, but he does indicate that it will extend for seven years. During the first half of this time Israel feels at peace and secure, so the covenant must provide some guarantee for Israel’s national security. Very likely the covenant will allow Israel to be at peace with her Arab neighbors. One result of this covenant is that Israel will be allowed to rebuild her Temple in Jerusalem. This world ruler will succeed where Kissinger, Reagan, Carter, Bush, Obama and Kerry have failed. He will be known as the man of peace.’
  • How popular do you think he’ll be?

 

  • The Terms of the Tribulation
  1. The Bible describes the Tribulation in a lot of different ways. Just look at these phrases and expressions.
  2. Birth pangs (Micah 4:10)
  3. Day of the Lord (Joel 1:15) Alas for the day!
    For the day of the Lord is near,
        and as destruction from the Almighty[a] it comes.
  4. Day of wrath (Zeph 1:15)
  5. The Threshing Floor  (Micah 4:11-12) 11 Now many nations
        are assembled against you,
    saying, “Let her be defiled,
        and let our eyes gaze upon Zion.”
    12 But they do not know
        the thoughts of the Lord;
    they do not understand his plan,
        that he has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing floor.
  6. Day of Desolation (Zeph 1:15)
  7. The Fire of His Jealousy (Zeph 1:18) Neither their silver nor their gold
        shall be able to deliver them
        on the day of the wrath of the Lord.
    In the fire of his jealousy,
        all the earth shall be consumed;
    for a full and sudden end
        he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.
  8. Day of Destruction, ruin from the Almighty (Joel 1:15)
  9. The Great Day of their Wrath (Rev 6:17) for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
  10. The Wrath of the Lamb (Rev 6:16) calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,
  11. It’s pretty clear from these terms that this is not a pleasant experience for those on earth.

          III. Why the Tribulation?

  1. Why is this necessary? Why pour out His wrath? The Bible gives about 5 reasons.
  • First is to prepare Israel.
  1. This 7 yr period will bring the Jewish people to their knees in submission to God.
  2. Jeremiah 30:7 Alas! That day is so great
        there is none like it;
    it is a time of distress for Jacob;
        yet he shall be saved out of it.
  3. During this time God is going to refine Israel and draw them back to Him.
  4. Zech 13:8-9 “In the whole land, declares the Lord,
        two thirds shall be cut off and perish,
        and one third shall be left alive.
    And I will put this third into the fire,
        and refine them as one refines silver,
        and test them as gold is tested.
    They will call upon my name,
        and I will answer them.
    I will say, ‘They are my people’;
        and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
  5. Pentecost said “God’s purpose for Israel in the Tribulation is to bring about the conversion of a multitude of Jews, who will enter into the blessings of the kingdom and experience the fulfillment of all of Israel’s covenants.’
  6. But why? Why would God allow this to happen to His people?
  7. The answer is because of God’s wonderful grace.
  8. Sometimes it takes something tough happening in your life in order for God to get our attention. The wrong response is to blame God for your circumstance. That’s the easy way out.
  9. What did Jesus say “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his very soul?”
  • Secondly, to Punish Sinners
  1. God’s Justice is perfect
  2. Judge Horace Gray of Boston who would later go on to serve as a Justice on the Supreme Court once said to the man who escaped conviction on a technicality: “I know that you are guilty and you know it, and I wish you to remember that one day you will stand before a better and wiser Judge, and that there you will be dealt with according to justice and not according to law.”
  3. I want us all to understand what is happening here. Godless people will surrender to the Antichrist as their savior while having crucified the actual savior.
  4. Do you see the two exchanges here? One from God, one from Satan.
  5. People will worship the beast (antichrist) as god.
  6. Revelation 3:10 says that one of the purposes of the Tribulation is ‘to test those who dwell on the earth.’
  7. There’s a couple of key words and phrases here.
  8. To ‘test’ refers to painful trials that God sends to bring out what is in the heart of people. It’s a picture of putting metal in a crucible to discover its worth.
  9. ‘those who dwell on the earth’ is a phrase that doesn’t mean geography. It refers to moral condition.
  10. What’s happening here is that people are fully surrendering to Satan despite God’s judgment.
  11. You think the world is bad now, we ain’t seen nothing yet.
  12. The prophet Isaiah describes this in Isaiah 26:21 ‘21 For behold, the Lord is coming out from his place
        to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity,
    and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it,
        and will no more cover its slain.’
  13. Sounds like fun, huh?
  14. Today, God doesn’t want to punish you, He wants to save you
  • Third it is to  Prove God’s Power
  1. About 3500 years ago, Pharaoh mocked God. Ex 5:2 says ‘Who is the Lord? Why should I listen to Him and let Israel go?’
  2. What did God do about this? In the next 8 chapters of Exodus God shows Pharoah, his magicians and the entire nation exactly who He is.
  3. When God is finished with Egypt Pharoah is begging Israel to leave.
  4. In a similar show of bravado the Antichrist will deny the true God and declare himself god.
  5. God will pour out plagues to prove His power and His kingship over the entire universe. Only this time it’ll be on a worldwide scale.
  6. Think about the water? Nile turned to blood, God turns sea to death. There are locusts, signs in the heavens, disease, plague, you name it.
  7. Do people repent and believe? Nope. They curse God.
  • Fourthly, it is to demonstrate Satan’s true character
  1. As God demonstrates exactly who He is, He will also expose Satan for exactly who he is, a liar, a thief and a murderer. Satan will know that his time is short and he’ll pour out all of his venom with force and violence.
  2. Rev 12:12 ‘Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
  3. Finally, it is to provide Salvation
  4. God will use this time to harvest more souls than anyone can count.
  5. There is going to be a great revival during the Tribulation.
  6. When I pray for revival I pray first for the most radical thing: The utter devotion and allegiance of your hearts to Christ. That you would love Him so deeply and long for Him so passionately that His coming would be your great hope, and death would be gain, and life would be for Christ and His kingdom. ~ John Piper
  7. During this time the radical thing will happen because people will not be able to ride the fence and go along to get along.
  8. God will bring good out of great evil during this time. People’s hearts will be turned towards Him like never before.

Conclusion:

  1. In 1988, Anissa Ayala was sixteen years-old and diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia. The doctors said that if she did not receive a bone marrow transplant after chemotherapy and radiation treatment she would die.
  2. Neither her parents nor her brother was a match, and they could not find a donor elsewhere. Her parents, both in their forties, conceived another child and hoped that its bone marrow would be compatible with Anissa’s.
  3. To their great delight it was determined that this new baby was a compatible donor, and when Marissa Ayala was fourteen months-old they took some of her marrow and gave it Anissa. Anissa made a full recovery from the Leukemia and both sisters lead healthy lives today.
  4. In a very real sense Marissa saved her sister’s life. She says, “Without me being a perfect match for my sister, she would not be here.”
  5. Jesus was born into this world for the express purpose of saving us.