THOSE GENTILES SAVED DURING THE TRIBULATION AGE

In our last couple of studies we have been examining those who will be saved during the Tribulation Age.  We have seen that both Jews and Gentiles will be saved in large numbers (millions).  Today we will be looking at saved Gentiles who will accept Christ during the Tribulation Age and what that means to them.

The Church is delivered from the Hour of Testing

God promised to keep the church from the “hour of trial” (The Tribulation).   John wrote to the faithful church of Philadelphia: “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the WHOLE world to TEST the inhabitants on the earth” (Revelation 3:10. NIV). 

*God did not say He would keep the church THROUGH the Tribulation, as post-tribulationists argue (see Ladd, BH, 85-86), but FROM it.

Also, notice the word KEEPone can hardly be kept from something he is already enduring.  This is likewise supported by the use of EK in verses unrelated to the Tribulation.

EXAMPLE:

  • When New Testament believers are asked to keep themselves “from” offensive practices (Acts 15:29), THEY CLEARLY ARE NOT TO PARTICIPATE AT ALL (James 5:20).
  • Even a favorite post-tribulational text – John 17:15, in which Jesus says, “My prayer is not that you [the Father] take them [believers] out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one” supports a pre-tribulation Rapture involving removal from the world system, AS BELIEVERS ARE TRANSFERRED FROM Satan’s domain to Christ’s kingdom (Colossians 1:12-14; I John 5:18).
  • In addition, the word HOUR supports a pre-tribulationism, since the only way to be kept from a section of time, such as an hour, is not to go through any of it.  The promise is not merely to keep them from the TRIALS but also from the TIME in which the trials occur.

Believers cannot be kept from part of the hour, as with mid-tribulationism or the pre-wrath view, or none of the hour as with post-tribulationism; the only way to be kept from an hour is not to be in any part of the hour. (Adapted from Dr. Norman Geisler’s, Systematic Theology, page 615).

FACT: THE CHURCH IS SAVED FROM GOD’S WRATH

It is interesting that just after speaking of the Rapture (I Thessalonians 4:16-17), that Paul encourages the Thessalonians with these words: “God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Thessalonians 5:9).  “And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath” (I Thessalonians 1:10, NIV).

As shown above, both halves of the Tribulation are characterized by God’s wrath, which persistently intensifies; Daniel considers the whole “seventieth week” (of seven years) as part of the Day of the Lord, a day of wrath (Daniel 12:1,7;  9:24).

Saved – Revelation 7:9-10) – The Throne of God

We will begin with the glorious position of the numberless multitude (saved).  Note the four facts given about them.

  1. They stand before the throne of God and before the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ. They have the most wonderful privilege. Just think about it, the privilege to look face to face with the Trinity.  They have the privilege of:
  • to be near God and Christ.
  • to be face to face with God.
  • to be honored with the very presence of God and of Christ.
  • to know God and Christ in all Their fullness and being.
  1. They are clothed with white robes. This means that they have been made clean, pure and free from all blemishes of sin and from all the corruption of the world – by the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The following is taken from the Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible [page 119].  It means 6 things:

  • they have been perfected and stand before God perfected.  The white robe of righteousness is…
  • a sign of righteousness through Christ.
  • a sign of being made free from the defilement and of sin through Christ.
  • a sign of the victory, over sin, death, and judgment through Christ.
  • a sign of being perfected forever through Christ.
  • a sign of being a heavenly creature, and have the glorious privilege of living forever in the presence of God through Christ.

3. They hold palm branches in their hands. The palms are symbols of celebration, triumph, victory, deliverance, and joy.  The redeemed before God celebrate their triumph over the terrible tribulation and the sin, evil, death, and corruption of the world.

  • They celebrate their victory in Christ.
  • They celebrate their deliverance in Christ.
  • They celebrate their joy in Christ.

 4. They shout praises for their salvation. Note what it is they shout:

“…Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb” (v. 10).

They praise God for Salvation. 

They praise God…   Notice 5 things:

  1. Because God has saved and delivered them through the great trials upon earth.
  2. Because God has given them the power to believe and to endure to the end.
  3. Because God has accepted them.
  4. Because God has given them the glorious privilege of His presence.
  5. Because God has completed their salvation, perfected them forever and ever with His glory.

Consider a statement by William Barclay that should challenge all of us.  His words should stir us to endure any trial or temptation, no matter how severe:

“God is the great rescuer, the great deliverer of His people.  And the deliverance which God gives us is the greatest deliverance of all, for it is not the deliverance of escape; it is the deliverance of conquest.  It is not the deliverance which saves a man from trouble, it is the deliverance which brings a man triumphantly through trouble.  It does not make life easy, but it certainly makes life great. It is not part of the Christian hope to look for a life in which a man is saved from all trouble and distress;  the Christian hope is that a man in Christ can endure any kind of trouble and distress, and remain erect all through them, and come out to glory on the other side.” (The Revelation of John, Vol 2.  The Daily Study Bible” Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster press, 1959, p. 32).

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

John 3:16-17) –Introduction: this is the world’s most well known Scripture.  Brief and to the point, Jesus revealed God’s great love.

  1. The fact:  God so loved (v. 16).
  2. The evidence: God gave (v. 16).
  3. The purpose: to save (v. 16).
  4. The proof: God sent His Son (the Incarnation) (v. 17).
  5. The means:  through Him (v. 17).

John 3:16  God of love:  God so loved the world.  He loved the whole world.  Note Several facts.

1. The idea that God loves the whole world was a new idea. The Jews believed God loved the religious (the true Jew) and hated the non-religious (the Gentiles).  The same thoughts are held by man in every generation, especially by RELIGIONISTS.  The fact that God truly loves is so shocking to many.  Some wonder and question how God could possibly love the…

-vile person   -wife beater   -oppressor  -thief   -murderer  -child abuser  -alcoholic  -enslaver  -immoral person  -prostitute  -street person  -bitter,  -vengeful

God loves EVERY MAN, not just the religious and the good.  He loves everyone, even the unlovely and the unloving, the unbelieving and the obstinate, the selfish and the greedy, the spiteful and the vengeful.

“And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:  them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (John 10:16).

“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:12-13).

“Who will have ALL MEN to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that All SHOULD COME TO REPENTANCE” (2 Peter 3:9).

2. The basis of God’s love is His nature.  God is love (I John 4:8, 16); therefore, He loves, He acts, demonstrates, and shows His love. 

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). 

“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love…And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.  GOD IS LOVE; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (I John 4:8, 16). 

3. Love acts; it expresses itself. Love does not sit still, doing nothing.  It is not dormant, complacent, inactive.  If love actually exists, it has to act and express itself; it has to do something good.  Love is LOVING; THAT IS, LOVE IS ALWAYS DEMONSTRATING LOVE TO OTHERS. Therefore, God’s love acts and reveals Him to be love. 

NOTE:  God wants man to know His love.  He wants to reach everyone in the world with His love.

“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us:…” (I John 3:16).

“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him” (I John 4:9).

4. (3:16) God loved: past tense. A proven fact. An outline of the greatness of God’s love is seen in this verse.  (1) Height: God loved.  (2) Depth: so loved.  (3) Length: God gave.  (4) Breadth: whosoever.

5. (3:16).  God, love, of:  There is evidence of God’s love – God gave His only begotten Son.

Further, God demonstrated His love in the MOST PERFECT WAY POSSIBLE:  He gave His only begotten Son to the world.  As God, He is perfect, which means His love is perfect.  Therefore, God not only loves, but He loves to perfection, He loves to the ultimate degree.  Whatever the ultimate degree and the perfect act and expression of love is, God shows it.

The word gave (edoken) has a twofold meaning.

God gave His Son to the world, and He gave His Son to die. The idea of a sacrifice, of great cost is in both acts.  It cost God dearly to give His Son up to the world and up to the cross.

a. He gave up His Son to be separated from Him, allowing Jesus to leave His presence, to leave the majesty and glory, worship, and honor of heaven.

b. He gave up His Son to be separated from Him, allowing Jesus to come to earth.

Jesus came into a world that was fallen, depraved, wicked, rebellious, revolting and apostate.

Further the world that was full of darkness, selfishness, greed, hostility, bitterness, immorality bitterness, wrath, barriers, anger, sin, war, shame.

c. God gave up His Son to be separated from Him,  allowing Jesus to die for the sins of men.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).               

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). 

“…in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6).

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).

(see also I Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 2 Corinthians 9:15; Hebrews 2:9; 9:28; I Peter 2:24; I Peter 3:18).

A most glorious evidence of God’s love is that God took the initiative to save man.  Man did not seek to save himself; God sought to save him.  God gave His Son so that we might be forgiven and saved.  God is the SEEKING SAVIOR.

GOD IS NOT…                    GOD DOES NOT…

angry                                   hate man

unloving                             have to be persuaded to love men

Today we have been looking at the question, “Will there be anyone who gets saved in the Tribulation period and the answer, again, is YES; see Revelation 7:9-10.  Remember, when looking at the Tribulation period, we are looking through the eyes of John.  However, in areas like salvation, the principles seen are also applicable in the age of Grace.

APPLICATION/CHALLENGE – BEING GOOD IS NOT ENOUGH FOR YOU TO GO TO HEAVEN.  The Bible says that our good works are not good enough – see Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5.

The Bible says that without Christ in your life you must one day answer to God – Romans 1:32; Matthew 25:46.

GOOD QUESTION – Are you ready to face death without the Lord Jesus Christ as your Personal Savior, when Christ says that He is the only way to heaven?  If you have never truly accepted Christ as your personal Savior (John 3:16), why throw away the only way to heaven?   Personally, it does not make sense.

See John 3:16 and accept Christ as your personal Savior by following the road to heaven in Romans 10:9-13.  May God bless you as you study and accept His Word for the eternal truth that it is.

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