When Jesus left this earth and returned to Heaven He left His apostles in charge to tellothers all about Him, but they weren’t alone. The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, came and resided in each of these men, and all those who came to Christ by their teaching. Jesus commissioned them to take the Gospel, the Good News, throughout the known world, and that they did.
“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20 ESV)
At this point there were only eleven original apostles left since Judas was out of the picture. Later, Matthias was elected to replace him.
Verse seventeen says that “some doubted.” I love this about the Bible. It is very honest. God’s Word never tries to cover up anything. It just speaks the truth. Obviously, there were many at this meeting in Galilee, not just the original apostles, but some in the crowd doubted. Nevertheless, from Jesus’ original core group the Gospel of Jesus Christ has since spread around the world.
Keep this in mind. They did not have any large buildings, soft pews, beautiful music, and a big budget. In other words, they didn’t have all the ‘fancy fixins’ that we are so accustomed to today. The only transportation they had was their own two feet or maybe a donkey. On some occasions, if large bodies of water were in the picture, they could catch a boat.
How did they ever make it? No planes, trains or automobiles! No Nike walking shoes!
Today we whine if the pews aren’t cushioned enough for our every widening posterior.
No air conditioning? We won’t be there.
No heat? We won’t be there.
You mean refreshments won’t be served this Sunday? I’m not going.
The preacher didn’t tell any jokes today. I won’t be back.
Some &*$% took my parking spot and my seat! What has this church come to!?
Whine, whine, whine.
Maybe we need to go back to our roots. You know, back to the beginning. Walk a few hundred miles with the apostles in the hot summer sun and the cold winter days.
What would happen if the church doors were locked and those who claimed to be Christian were deprived of most all pleasantries? What would happen if this same group experienced the wrath of the government upon their heads? What would happen if they had to hide from their persecutors to stay alive?
During the Tribulation the True Church will be gone. Those remaining will experience what it was like during the Ephesus and Smyrna church age when it comes to persecution.
Most all in the Laodicean church age will glide right into the Tribulation. I really don’t think there will be many missing from the churches when the Rapture occurs, but they will run like a dog with its tail on fire when the beast and false prophet get to work. In proportion to the population, few will understand, call on Jesus to be saved, and stand firm to their commitment to God until the end.
For Tribulation believers the world will revert back to world-wide persecution of those who claim to be disciples of Jesus Christ, except the Tribulation will be even worse than anything in history, much worse even than the Ephesus and Smyrna church era.
It may seem hard now, depending on where you live, to stand for Jesus, but during the Tribulation all true believers will have to hide out just to stay alive. They will lose everything they own and pray day to day that they won’t be caught.
All people will be forced into making a decision for or against Jesus Christ. There will be no ‘middle-of-the-roaders.’ Those who deny Christ will be free for a while only to accompany their god into hell later on. Those who stand with Christ will lose their head if they can’t get away and stay hidden, but will reign with Him later on.
We in this country are starting to see the effects of pure evil closing in on us, but it is only a tip of the shadow of the beast from hell to come. It is so very easy for anyone to come to Jesus now and really live for Him, but the curtain is getting ready to close on this age; i.e. the Church age.
Common sense would say, “Fall on your knees now in true repentance. Give your life to Jesus Christ and live for Him, before He comes for His bride. Once the Church is gone, living and dying will be down where the rubber meets the road.”
Most of you will laugh this off and say this is foolishness, but it isn’t foolishness. It is a plea for your cause, a plea for you to come to Him now while you can. Once He comes for His Church, the bride, the Tribulation will start, and your chances are slim to none of being saved. You will only have torment, heartache, tears, agony, terror and judgment ahead.
The Christians during the age of Ephesus and Smyrna had very, very hard lives because of their love for Jesus. Satan hated them and made their lives hell. It will be even worse during the Tribulation. Don’t gamble with your soul. Act now.
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com