PPSIMMONS News and Ministry Contributor
Let us examine two reasons I believe that American Christians
will probably not fully understand Tribulation until its too late!
1. We have never faced true tribulation!
I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that Americans have never experienced true tribulation as a result of their faith in Jesus. That statement may sound a little condescending or as though it is made with a broad stroke at first glance, but is it really either of those? I dare say it is neither. Sadly it is closer to fact than fiction.
According to recent studies, over 100,000 Christians are killed every year for one reason only, because they claim Jesus as Lord! That’s 274 per day or one every 5.25 minutes!
When you run a Google search of “how many Christians killed in the united states" you get zero results matching that exact search! However, after digging a bit further I found the chart at the following link that documents all known and reported Christians attacked and or killed by Muslims in the United States since 9/11/2001. http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Pages/ChristianAttacks.htm
Since 9/11/2001 there have been exactly 9 Christians killed in the US for their faith by Muslims. I am well aware that others besides Muslims may have killed a Christian in the U.S. simply because they were a Christian but I cannot find any evidence or statistics to support that assumption. So by using our documented number of 100,000 Christians a year killed for their faith - that would be 1.2 million Christians killed since 9/11/2001, and only 9 in the US!
What is the worst thing that 99.9% of Christians in the U.S. can claim as persecution or tribulation? Being made fun of, a lost relationship with a friend or family member or maybe, in an extreme case, the loss of a job. So can we really understand persecution or tribulation?
Jesus tells us to consider ourselves blessed for persecution because of his name!
Blessed are they, which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. (Matthew 5:10, 11 KJV)
2. False doctrines
In the early 1830's a gentleman by the name of John Darby publicly introduced the theory of the "pretribulation rapture".
This doctrine was then expanded upon and widely popularized by Cyrus Scofield. The doctrine was further promoted through the popularizing of the Scofield Reference Bible, first published in 1909 and having over two million copies sold by the end of WW2.
Let me be clear that this is in no way a judgment on these two men or their faith in Jesus Christ and the Word of God. The truth is that we have the advantage of 180 years of history to look back upon and compare to Biblical prophecy since Darby first presented the idea.
It seems obvious to me that this could be an easy doctrine to embrace for the average "Christian" sitting on a pew. Think of it: I don’t have to face the tribulation period, I'm going to be "raptured" out of here before things get really bad. Its even easier to believe and accept sitting in the U.S., where as earlier pointed out we face virtually no persecution for our faith.
The reality of what has been done with this doctrine today is what scares me the most. This doctrine has now been taught as "fact" for several generations in many churches and is now literally being used to "sideline" countless Christians in these last days. If you want to test me on this try talking to some of your "church" friends about the fact that Christians are now viewed as a potential terror threat in the U.S. Try warning them that our government appears to be arming for a civil war. I will go out on a limb and say 90% of the responses you get will be something along the lines of: Yeah I heard that but I’m not worried because God is in control. To say that God is in control is a 100% true statement on the surface and sounds like a super "Christian" thing to say, but what did they really say by giving that response? Did they really mean they aren’t "worried" in the way Jesus commanded us not to worry?
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? (Matthew 6:25 KJV)
In other words, don’t worry about the little things of life, if we are focused on Jesus, He will handle the details! Or did they mean that they aren’t worried because Jesus would never let their family face death of imprisonment? Or they don’t have to be prepared for the coming tribulation even in the US, because that could never happen here? Did Jesus ever tell us to prepare or have a plan?
Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. (Luke 22:36 KJV)
Jesus was speaking to the disciples (we are the disciples now) clearly telling them, in context, that He was leaving and times were going to get rough so get prepared!
Jesus also clearly tells us that we will experience tribulation in the "end times".
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. (Matthew 24:9 KJV)
This scripture comes directly out of a discourse of Jesus explaining to the disciples the "signs of the end". Notice he doesn’t say that some will be "afflicted" and "killed" or you will be "hated" by some nations. He clearly says you, meaning the disciples … and we are now the disciples. He clearly says, "hated" by all nations. Yes that even means the U.S.!
Please understand, this is in no way meant to claim that I, or anyone else who believes the way I do, is a "better" Christian or "more spiritual". It is only meant to try and wake people up - people we sit next to in church every Sunday. These are people who I am certain love Jesus with all their heart but have been "sidelined" and in some ways rendered ineffective in the battles we face in these "last days".
Christians all over the world are living the tribulation now! The trumpets of Revelation are blowing. True tribulation is coming here to the U.S., and unfortunately I believe it is coming sooner than many will ever believe.
In the time I have taken to write this brief article, 23 Christians have faced the ultimate tribulation and paid with their lives.
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