Be Prepared

There is no 7 year tribulation, Jesus may return after the antichrist 

 

We must be prepared for our Savior to call us home at any time, for we could die at an instant on this earth. We must also remain prepared for the time Jesus will return for us, to take us to our home in Heaven. All children of God know our Savior is going to return for us, we just disagree on the time and circumstances of when He will return. 

*What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? Matt 16:26 NIV+

*And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. Jn 14:3 NKJV+

 

There is no 7 year tribulation period mentioned in the Word of God. The Word only tells us there has been tribulation since Adam and Eve sinned, that the end times tribulation started when Christ began His ministry, and there will be 3 1/2 years of great tribulation when the antichrist reigns over us. See Tribulation for the discussion on this.

Note: Many of those studying the prophecies of end times now realize all the prophetic events that must take place cannot be squeezed into a 7 year period. They now propose a gap theory to extend the time period to make their 7 year tribulation theory work. There is no 7 year time period if unknown years have to be added to it to make it work. The tribulation of end times will just grow stronger until the antichrist brings in a great tribulation period. Like a womb keeps getting stronger pains until she is ready to birth when she has the greatest pains.

 

Yet there are different times believers think Jesus will return to gather us up (rapture), and they are all related to the coming of the antichrist. Some think Jesus will return before the antichrist comes, some while he is in power, some 30 days after his power has been taken from him, some the same day Jesus returns to destroy the antichrist, and some after Jesus has established His Kingdom on earth. We believe Jesus will gather during the 30 days of wrath after his power has been taken from him. See The Gathering (Rapture)

*Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 2Thess 2:3-4 ESV

*And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. Da 12:11 ESV+ Note: the antichrist will reign for 1260 days then 30 days wrath of God

 

We hope Jesus will return sooner, but must be prepared if He returns later, be prepared until He does return. For until more is revealed to us we can not be sure the season in which He will return, we will never know the day He will return.

*so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1Co 1:7-8 ESV+

*"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Mk 13:32 NKJV+

 

Jesus told us a parable warning us to be prepared for Him. That it is foolish to think we know exactly when He will return for us, gather us together, and take us to Heaven to celebrate the marriage supper of the Lamb with Him.  

*Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, 2Thess 2:1 NIV+

*Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!' " And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God."  Rev 19:9 NKJV+

 

The parable is about ten virgins who were waiting for the Bridegroom, Jesus, to come for them, so they could celebrate the wedding feast with Him.  

*"Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Matt 25:1 NASB+

 

A virgin in this verse is a true believer, those who love Jesus, and are pure in heart to Him.

*For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. 2Co 11:2 NASB+

*And it was given unto her that she should array herself in fine linen, bright and pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Rev 19:8 ASV

 

The virgins were attendants to the Bridegroom, those who were blameless, and had not defiled themselves against God. They would carry torches to light the way for the Groom, the bride, and the bride’s attendants in the procession from the bride’s house to the wedding supper held at the Bridegroom’s home.

*It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless. Rev 14:4-5 NKJV+

 

Ten is a perfect number, which includes all in a cycle or period. Here it is referring to all of the believers who are living on earth when Jesus returns. 

*Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 1Thess 4:17 NASB+

 

Five virgins, half of the believers, will be wise, will be prepared to meet Jesus, even if He does not come at the time we expected Him. We will bring extra oil, let the Spirit give us patience and endurance while waiting for the return of our Savior. We will be prepared, even if unfulfilled prophetic Scriptures do not turn out as we once thought, and our Savior comes later then we expected.

The other five virgins, the other half of the believers, will be foolish, they will not bring extra oil, for they will trust their own interpretation of unfulfilled prophecies. They will not be prepared, there faith will be shaken if Jesus does not return when they believed He would.

*Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. Matt 25:2-4 NKJV+

 

No one knows exactly when the Bridegroom will come. Yet there are prophetic verses in Scripture, which now can be interrupted differently, which give us information about what must happen before Jesus will return. But until more happenings reveal a clear meaning for these prophetic verses, we should remain prepared to meet Jesus at any time, until He returns, even through the great tribulation.   

*As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept.  Matt 25:5 ESV+

*"Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Matt 24:32-33 NASB+

 

The virgins who are prepared will be full of joy, when we hear our Master’s call for us to come up to Him.

But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. Matt 25:6-7 ESV+

*The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. Jn  3:29 NIV+

*For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 1Thess 4:16 ESV+

 

Jesus tells us 5 virgins, those who once knew their Lord, will fall away from Him, for they will not be prepared, they have run short on the patience and endurance only the Spirit can give us. There faith was based the Lord returning sooner, their light of faith is going out as they run out of oil. Those who were prepared went into the wedding banquet and the door was shut.

*The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.' "'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.' "But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Matt 25:8-10 NIV+

 

After our Savior has gathered us home to Heaven, home to celebrate His wedding feast with Him, the door will be closed, no one else will be let in. We must always be prepared for we will never know the day or hour when Jesus will return for us.

*Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.' Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. Matt 25:11-13 NKJV+

*"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' Matt 7:21-23 NIV+

 

Today:

 

We must love our God above all things, not merely be lukewarm towards Him. Letting our busy schedules, the desires and cares of this world, take away from our relationship with our Lord, doing what He would have us do. For all who wisely use the gifts the Spirit gives us, more will be given them. But to those who do not use the gifts given them, even that which they have will be taken from them.

*'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. 'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, Rev 3:16-17 NASB+

*Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. Lk 12:48 ESV+

*"For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him."  Mk 4:25 NASB+

 

It would be better to have never known our Jesus, then to have known Him and not loved Him all of the days of our life. Any who knew Jesus and then left Him will be given greater punishment in Hell, then those who did not know Jesus and never came to Him.

*For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 2Pe 2:21 NLJV+

*And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Lk 12:47 ESV+

 

There is an old saying that describes how we should be prepared for Christ’s return. Two men came to a homeless shelter to receive a meal, for they had nothing, and were destitute. The first moaned to the second, “I lost everything I had because I listen to everyone.” The second replied, “That is odd, for I lost everything I had because I would not listen to anyone.”

*Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Matt 24:23-24 ESV+

*Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him."  Lk 8:18 NIV+

 

We should test all prophecies, but be patient until they are completely revealed, and not be led astray. Allowing the Spirit to guide us through the Word so we grow in knowledge of the prophecies.

*Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.  1Thess 5:19-21 NKJV+

*Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1Jn 4:1 ESV+

 

We must be prepared for the leaders who will teach us not to worry about the antichrist, because we will have already been ruptured into Heaven. Without warning us that we should be prepared for the great tribulation, if they are wrong, for the prophecies in the Word have not clearly revealed this to us. Teachers hold a large responsibility to our Lord, must act responsible, and not just say what is popular at the time. Knowing they will be judged with a greater strictness.

*For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 2Ti 4:3 ESV+

*Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. Ja 3:1 ESV+

 

Be prepared spiritually:

 

Many antichrists have come, many deceitful spirits and demons are making war against our God, in the world, in our nation, and they are now winning. Abortion, homosexuality, pornography, drugs, alcoholism, greed, spending more than we have, cursing, crude sexual language, gossip, and lying are flourishing. In fact it is hard to name a sin which is not growing, becoming acceptable in our society, especially in this electronic age where everything is quickly accessible.

We are allowing our God to be taken out of our nation, our stance for helping Israel weakening. Our God’s moral values are being destroyed in our schools, even in our own homes. We claim to be children of God, yet we are becoming more tolerant to everything which is going on around us, knowing it is wrong, but not really doing anything about it. We are more worried about what how to exist in this fast paced world, than how detestable this world has become to our God. 

*Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 1Jn 2:18 NASB+

*Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 1Ti 4:1 ESV+

 

We must be prepared with the help of the Spirit for when the real antichrist comes, for he will create miracles which will deceive all who are not in the Lord. And our Father will send out a powerful delusion, so any who do not love our God will believe in the antichrist.

*The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 2Thess 2:9-10 NKJV+

*For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. 2Thess 2:11-12 NIV+

 

We must be prepared for the physically reality of what will happen:

 

A young man sent an email to a girl he was trying to impress. In his closing paragraph he spoke of the love he had for her. How he would cross the raging seas just to be with her, how he would climb the highest mountain to just look into her eyes, how he would cross the scorching desert just to hold her hand, how he would fight the armies of the world for her if she would just be his girlfriend. Then he added P.S., I would like to come over and see you tomorrow night if it isn’t raining, do not want to get my new shoes wet. Many have a fantasy of who they are, what they would do, but never consider the reality of it.

 

Many believers are also prepared to offer words, but not prepared for the reality of what we are saying. The reality of what is going to happen both spiritually and physically to us, to those around us. We must be prepared to give our lives for Jesus, the lives of our wife, our children, our grandchildren, any and all who we hold most dear to us. And we can only be prepared when we let the Spirit give us the love, faith, and hope we need to remain one with our Savior.

*For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. Mk 8:35 NASB+

*He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. Matt 10:37 NKJV+

*When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. Rev 6:9 NIV+

 

We must be prepared with the help of the Spirit, to have the endurance, the faith, to defeat Satan. Through Christ’s blood which was shed on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. By loving our Savior so much that we will give our lives for Him. 

*Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. Rev 6:11 ESV+

*And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Rev 12:10-11 ESV

 

We must also be prepared with the help of the Spirit, to be able to resist worshipping or taking the mark of the beast, though it will mean physical death to us. Whether by the sword, starving, or sickness, for we will be unable to buy or sell anything.

*and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear: If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints. Rev 13:8-10 ESV

*Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. Rev 13:16-17 ESV+

 

Then we come to what we should ultimately be prepared for. Either eternal joy in Heaven, a joy which our human minds cannot even comprehend. Or eternal punishment in the lake of fire, something no one ever wants to think about, but it will be a reality for those who do not believe.

*"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has doneI am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Rev 22:12-14 NIV+

*The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. Rev 20:13-15 NKJV+

 

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Copyright 2013 by Ron Borkey

+ ESV “Scripture quotations marked [ESV] are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version,” copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good New Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

+ NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (1995 Update) Copyright © 1981, 1998 The Lockman Foundation, A Corporation Not for Profit, La Habra, California. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

+ NIV Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

+ NKJV "Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."