Have you ever been in the throes of a trial
Too difficult to save yourself
Out of desperation and as a last resort you turn to God?
These are the times that are coming
Jeremiah 30:7 Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it;
Matthew 24:21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Matthew 24:22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
God Wants to Save You From the Tribulation
Zephaniah 2:3 Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, Who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden In the day of the LORD’s anger.
Revelation 3:10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
Revelation 3:11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
What Kind of Person Should You Be?
Knowing that this is coming, how should we be acting?
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
2 Peter 3:11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
2 Peter 3:12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
We have the choice to act correctly now or later
Now and place of safety vs later and great tribulation
Today I would like to talk about being a tribulation Christian in the good times.
We have so many material distractions at this time which make it easy for us to lose focus on God and the high standards that He requires of us now.
We Need A Different Mindset Now
1. Reorient Priorities
Matthew 6:31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
Matthew 6:32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
We have been given a purpose and a goal that we are to continue to move toward
Colossians 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Colossians 3:2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
Our actions should reflect this
Romans 8:4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
This should be our mindset.
Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
These are the outcomes of two completely different ways of life.
The Example of Christ
John 4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.[This was His life]
Luke 2:49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,
Hebrews 6:12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
End time problem
Matthew 24:12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
This is talking about church members
Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
Revelation 3:15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.
Revelation 3:16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
Revelation 3:17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
From beginning (just after the time of Christ; they knew someone that knew Christ)
Until the end (as we see the Signs of the End Times happening in front of our eyes)
Matthew 25:24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.
Matthew 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
Matthew 25:26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.
Matthew 25:27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.
Matthew 25:28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
Matthew 25:29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.
Matthew 25:30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
God has given us many gifts, some that we have in common and some that are more unique to us as individuals. What are we doing with them? Are we burying them or growing in them?
5. Stay Awake
1 Thessalonians 5:1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.
1 Thessalonians 5:2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
1 Thessalonians 5:3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.
1 Thessalonians 5:4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.
1 Thessalonians 5:5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
1 Thessalonians 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. [be in the right frame of mind]
1 Thessalonians 5:7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.
1 Thessalonians 5:8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.
These are some of the gifts that we have been given that we are to grow in.
Luke 21:34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.
Luke 21:35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Luke 21:36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
When this time comes, we need to be ready for it!
6. Be Ready
We can be asleep, we can be awake or we can be awake and ready.
It is one thing to be watching for the return of Jesus Christ, but how many of those are READY for it?
Luke 12:35 “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning;
Luke 12:36 and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately.
Luke 12:37 Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.
Luke 12:38 And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
Luke 12:39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.
Luke 12:40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
7. Sense of Urgency
John 9:4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.
Matthew 24:48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’
Matthew 24:49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards,
Matthew 24:50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of,
Matthew 24:51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Ephesians 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
Ephesians 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
Ephesians 4:13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; [ridiculous to be equal; but not to aspire to it, because we are to become Christ-like]
Ephesians 4:14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
Ephesians 4:15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
Judged Now and Judgment at His Return
(If Christ were returning soon)
We will be judged at His return
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;
1 Peter 4:13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
1 Peter 4:14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.
1 Peter 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters.
1 Peter 4:16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
1 Peter 4:17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
1 Peter 4:18 Now “IF THE RIGHTEOUS ONE IS SCARCELY SAVED, WHERE WILL THE UNGODLY AND THE SINNER APPEAR?”
1 Peter 4:19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
There are times coming that, if we have visualized them, we know that we do not want to be a part of them. God is judging us now and if He sees that we are not acting like a Tribulation Christian now, then He will allow us to be a part of that terrible time so that we can be properly motivated then if we are not motivated to do it now.
Are you ready for Christ to come tomorrow…better yet are you ready for Christ to come today?