Study Lesson 9
Immediately After The Tribulation Of Those Days
The End Time Gathering Of His Elect
Something To Consider:
In the first half of Matthew chapter 24, Jesus warned us and every generation since, four times to not be deceived concerning end time events. In the same segment of Scripture Jesus warned of false prophets two times directly and alluded to their deception two other times. In Matthew 24.11 Jesus predicted, “And many false prophets shall rise, and will deceive many.” Again in verse 24 Jesus warned of these false prophets producing great signs and wonders which will deceive many, according to Jesus.
And, according to Jesus, because iniquity or lawlessness will abound, the love of many, one time believers, will grow cold. But, Jesus affirmed in verse 13 of Matthew 24; “But he [or she] who endures to the end, the same shall be saved.” In other words, those living in the end times who endure to the end are to be saved, according to Jesus.
Is Jesus also confirming that all those who do not endure to the end of their lives will not be saved? I personally believe Jesus to have said what He meant and meant what He said. Therefore, enduring to the end is an extremely important biblical concept. Otherwise, why would Jesus repeat Himself in Matthew 10.22, Matthew 24.13, and Mark 13.13? Why would Jesus state in the book of Revelation the importance of our overcoming or enduring to the end?
With that in mind, Jesus began the second half of Matthew 24 with these eye opening words that are seldom taught from the pulpits of pre-tribulation rapture espousing teachers. In verse 29, Jesus continued His end time events exposed exposition, by predicting, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days [those days of which Jesus has been describing thus far in Matthew 24], the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
These are not events that took place in 70 A.D. or at any other time in past history. The teaching of Matthew 24 should not be considered as historic but as futuristic and prophetic. In Revelation 6.12-14, John wrote of identical futuristic events. These events are indeed futuristic end time events though exposed by Jesus in advance and confirmed in Revelation 6, and they will take the unprepared many totally by surprise.
For the few faithful who have studied diligently the Word of God, and who are watching for certain end time events, and who are waiting as encouraged by Jesus, to this faithful few, these things will be further confirmation of Christ’s timely prophetic predictions coming to pass. Because the faithful few understand that true narrow gate Christianity may lead to difficulty as taught by Jesus and other New Testament writers, they also know God’s promise of eternal provision and His eternal presence will maintain a peace that passes all understanding.
Something Else To Consider:
And according to Jesus, “Immediately after [not before] the tribulation of those days…”; “Then the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes [peoples] of the earth shall mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” John, in Revelation 1.7, speaking of the coming of Jesus, declared; “Behold, He [Jesus] is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes [peoples] of the earth will mourn because of Him.”
The coming again of Jesus Christ will not be a secret event as will be deceivingly propagated by the false teachers and end time false prophets as warned of by Jesus in Matthew 24.23. Jesus’ answer to their lies is, “Do not believe it.” The coming again of Christ will be a world-wide spectacle unmatched even by the sun being darkened, and the moon not giving her light, and the falling of stars, as well as the heavens being physically shaken!
And yet, what follows will ultimately prove to be the most sought after fulfillment of prophetic Scripture true believers of every past and present generation have been longing for. Therefore, are we true believers?
Something More To Consider:
According to Jesus and Matthew 24.31, after the appearance of Jesus in heaven, and after the tribulation of those days; “And He [Jesus] will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect [1 Thessalonians 4.13-18, and 2 Thessalonians 2.1-4] from the four winds [from the farthest part of the earth, Mark 13.27] from one end of heaven to the other [those who were killed for their faith and those who have died in Christ].”
Finally, the event to overshadow all other events, including being killed for one’s faith, will be introduced by a great sound of a trumpet, according to Jesus here in Matthew 24 and also Paul in the New Testament and John in the book of Revelation.
The sound of a trumpet has called many a soldier down through the centuries of time to the breakfast, lunch, and dinner table. The sound of a trumpet has called many a soldier to the battlefield, to charge forward, and also to retreat. But, the trumpet sound of all trumpet sounds will in a moment of time, in the twinkling of an eye, call every past, present, and future soldier in the army of the Lord to be either awakened from the dead, or to be translated from earth and to be caught up in the air to meet their Lord and to forever be with Him as has been promised and predicted.
A Few Final Words:
At that moment, and forever more, according to Jesus in Revelation 3.12; “He [or she] who overcomes [endures to the end], I [Jesus] will make him [or her] a pillar in the temple of My God, and he [or she] shall go out no more. I will write on him [or her] the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him [or her] My new name.”
Jesus also declared in Revelation 2.17, “To him [or her] who overcomes [endures to the end] I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him [and her] a white stone, and on that stone a new name written which no one knows except him [or her] who receives it.”
So much awaits the enduring to the end true faithful few! Why then would so many exchange so much eternal rewards for so little earthly pleasure? And no one will have a single silly excuse on that great Day of Judgment, because Jesus was not accustomed to sugar coating the spiritual cost involved in true discipleship. Mark recorded Jesus’ honesty beginning in Mark 8.34; “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.”
Following Jesus in no way exempts a person from difficulty! On the contrary, following Jesus, according to Jesus, guarantees a degree of difficulty in one’s life. According to Paul writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in 2 Timothy 3.12, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” Notice Paul did not say that all who live godly, but all who desire to live godly; there is a difference.
Enduring to the end or overcoming from a biblical perspective, does not mean we are perfect people living lives of perfect righteousness every hour of every day. Neither does enduring to the end mean we never fall short of God’s standards and never sin or are never found in error. Therefore, are we enduring to the end?
Enduring to the end means we desire to live godly lives in accordance with the Word of God and that we are not willing to neglect the words of Jesus, but rather we attempt to observe all Jesus has taught while attempting to teach others to do the same. Enduring to the end and following Jesus also involves denying ourselves for the sake of Jesus and His gospel of enduring to the end, according to Jesus. And no false preaching, heretical teaching, or demonic doctrine will change the truth Jesus and others have so gallantly proclaimed.
Therefore, in closing, how will we answer the questions posed by Jesus in Mark’s gospel chapter 8 verse 36 and 37? “For what will it profit a man [or woman] if he [or she] gains the whole world [all the wealth, all the power, and the highest position within the world’s system], and loses his [or her] own soul?”
What in this world could be considered of so much more value than one’s own soul for all of eternity? “Or what will a man [or woman] give in exchange for his [or her] soul?” What could any person possibly give of all that could be accumulated here upon planet earth that could equal or compare in any way to the losing of one’s own soul for all eternity? This is indeed something more to consider before it is too late!