Study Lesson 4
After The Beginning Of Sorrows
Scripture To Consider:
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended [fall away], will betray one another, and will hate one another.” Matthew 24.9-10
A Few Words Of Warning:
What Should We Be Prepared For In The Future
The original word used for the word sorrows from our previous Scripture to consider, depicts birth pains. As the average nine month pregnancy process progresses closer to the birth of a child, the birth pains increase in intensity and in frequency. Finally, the miracle of birth is achieved. Immediately following all the unpleasant pain, the excruciating agony, sorrow, and much enormous internal pressure, the heart-felt sorrow of the one giving birth is quickly replaced with much joy unspeakable and great relief. The moment the child is born the sorrow of child birth is lifted.
This picture of overwhelming joy and relief must remain on the monitor of our minds as we progress through Matthew chapters 24 and 25. It must be clearly understood by all true believers alive during these end times spoken of by Jesus, that these beginning of sorrows are only the beginning. There is much more according to Jesus that we will be forced to face after the beginning of sorrows.
I sympathize with those who have been indoctrinated with the Americanized pre-tribulation escapism mantra and false doctrine. But as Jesus instructed, “…the truth shall make you free.” But in order to be set free by the truth, we must be listening to the truth of God’s Word and not the false ramblings of those more interested in the filling of the religious offering plates with the hard earned but not required money of those who maintain the lavish religious leaders lifestyles.
But, there is hope on the horizon! All these sorrowful, troublesome, perilous times must come, and therefore will come to pass. In other words, they will at some point end. Jesus admonished true believers in Luke 21.36, speaking of end times; “Watch therefore, and pray always, that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man.” We will later see in verse 13 and other verses that Jesus is not speaking of escaping things already spoken of thus far in Matthew 24, but the escaping of the eventual wrath of God by true enduring to the end believers.
Something To Consider:
Is There A Future God Ordained Biblical Escape Plan
In 1 Thessalonians 5.9 Paul emphatically declared, “For God did not appoint us [true present tense end time believers in Jesus] to wrath [God’s wrath], but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” But there is no biblical promise for present tense believing Christians to escape the evil ongoing wrath, affliction, hatred, and betrayal that is initiated by the bitterness of man, nor the revenge of Satan, or his religious and political end time pawns and financially profiteering puppets.
Therefore, after the beginning of sorrows Jesus prophetically predicted, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you.” Notice that there is not yet any God ordained escape plan put into action. There is a future God ordained biblical escape plan that is coming for all true present tense born again believers; but that escape plan will be for those of true biblical faith based on the written Word of God.
According to the writer of Hebrews 11.6, without true faith in Jesus Christ it is impossible to please God, for he or she who comes to God must first believe that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Are we seeking Him and His truth of which Jesus declared, “Your Word is truth”?
Please take heed, there is no rapture that takes place between verse 8 and 9 in Matthew 24, according to Jesus. Rather, Jesus warns His early disciples and those who would follow after their faithful example, and those who would be alive during the future end times, of the pending affliction and prophesied deaths of Christian believers.
At this point the fog created by misleading messages should be beginning to lift and clear the air of some of the end time deception that has plagued Christianity for decades. The affliction and Christian persecution began in the 1st century and now is continuing to increase at an alarming rate around the globe.
Open Doors, is a non-denominational entity that supports persecuted Christian believers around the world. They reported that the number of Christians killed doubled in 2013 from the previous year. In 2012 Open Doors documented 1,201 deaths due to individuals standing firm in their faith. In 2013 the number of those killed grew to 2,123. In 2015 the total number of Christians killed for their faith in Jesus Christ, according to Open Doors rose to over 7,000. Each of these godly faith filled believers fully understood the biblical concept of not being guaranteed an escape plan from the wrath of man or the revengeful wrath of Satan.
Something Else To Consider:
Will An End Time Hatred Of Christians Continue
The ever-increasing afflictions and the brutal killing of Christian believers continues non-stop in the world as we have entered the third decade of the second millennium. This persecution is rearing its ugly head in nations such as North Korea, China, Syria, Africa, Iran, Iraq, India, Egypt, Pakistan, Libya, Afghanistan, and everywhere the radical Islamic influence and planned global domination of religious terror spreads.
But Jesus warned of this vicious disregard, bitter hatred, and eventual betrayal of true Christians, by His declaring, “And you [true present tense believer] will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” The hatred of Christians is expanding around the world and according to Jesus; it will not be stopped, but will insidiously reach the shorelines, villages, towns, valleys, and four corners of every nation!
Does this mean that eventually even America, of which even now stands extremely divided over so many issues, including religion, will resort to Christian persecution? It must take place according to Jesus’ words; “And then many will be offended [fall away or depart from the faith], and will betray one another, and will hate one another.”
Jesus, earlier in Matthew chapter 10, revealed a snap-shot portrayal of these very end time events in verse 21, by exclaiming, “And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child. And the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.”
Jesus followed up Matthew 10.21 by declaring in verse 22, “And you shall be hated of all men [all nations] for My name’s sake; but he [or she] who endures to the end shall be saved.” The hatred, betrayal, and Christian persecution is coming to all nations. But the good news in all of the evil, sorrows, trouble, and future prophesied by Jesus persecution, is that there is promised hope according to Jesus; “…but he [or she] who endures to the end shall be saved.” That is, whoever endures to the end of either their life or to the end of these tumultuous end times, according to the words of Christ, and their faith in Christ, they shall be saved.
Please note once again, there is no promised by Jesus rapture at this point, in spite of all the human suffering, foretold persecution, hatred, betrayal, and Christian martyrdom. What then shall we do to prepare as present tense believing Christians? Should we be foolishly swallowed alive as childish sheep scurried off to the slaughter amidst the end time onslaught of false messages of peace, peace, and positive thinking? Should we arrogantly relish in the recent unbiblical acceptance of a rapture of all believers before it is proposed by Jesus Himself and in the proper sequence of future end time events?
Something More To Consider:
Will We Be Spiritually Awakened Or Ashamed
Therefore, are we truly prepared to spiritually overcome whatever awaits us as possible end time true believers in Jesus, by our willingness with God’s help to endure unto the end of the coming Christian persecution, last days affliction, sorrows on every side, human hatred, and brotherly betrayals? Or will we be sadly among the many offended by the affliction, hatred, and mistreatment of ourselves and other fellow Christians, thereby resorting to departing from the faith before we have received the end result of salvation?
Let us be ever reminded and encouraged by the words of Paul found in Romans 13.11; “And knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.”
Also according to Paul, and according to Jesus, our salvation is to be granted us after we endure unto the end and not before. I understand this biblical concept creates conflict in our 21st century name it and claim it as if it is already ours to relish in. But what do we do with Scripture that contradicts certain false teachings and end time fallacies? Of whom are we to believe, the word of man or the Word of God?
Let us therefore, continue our spiritual journey through Matthew chapter 24 and 25, and remain spiritually open to the words of warning spoken by Jesus and lovingly preserved in Scripture for our benefit. Let us not become offended by the truth of God’s Word. Let us not become offended to the point of departing from the faith simply because our pre-conceived itching ears theories, traditions, and man-made end time charts and graphs do not perfectly agree with the words of warnings spoken of by Jesus and written by biblical scribes.
Rather, let us be faithful in our continued study of the Scriptures in accordance with 2 Timothy 2.15, “Be diligent to present [study to show] yourself approved of God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing [understanding] the word of truth.” Otherwise, there is much too much at stake to be eventually proven wrong regarding our personal interpretation of Scripture. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for us to understand where the differences of interpretation of the Scriptures lead a person or a group of people or an entire nation if proven wrong in the future by God Himself?
A Few Final Words:
The Truth Of Scripture
If the principles discussed and being declared in these lessons are indeed the truth according to Jesus, then possibly some may be re-directed back to the truth of Scripture and away from the misleading false messages of these last days. If what is being put forth within the pages of these study lessons of end time importance is proven in the end to be totally incorrect, what exactly would be lost and or gained?
These principles are being proclaimed for the sole purpose of better preparing individuals to endure unto the end, due to the several admonitions of Jesus in the gospels to do exactly that, to endure unto the end, in order to thereby be saved.
In all fairness to comparisons, what would be the benefit and or eternal harm if the Americanized escapism pre-tribulation rapture messages are proven in the end by God Himself to be wrong? What eternal damage would have been done? What side of the spiritual fence in this earthly spiritual battlefield would be boasting of a great end time colossal victory?
If enduring to the end of our lives and or the end of these trial filled end times is as according to Jesus, what will eternally await those who believed in the lie of the father of lies? These issues are of utmost importance as we move ever closer to the end of time and the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let us seek first His kingdom and His discernment thereby not being deceived by the many false prophets and their false messages.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, teach us to be prepared spiritually for the future end time events spoken of by Jesus. Help us to find hope and comfort in Your biblical escape plan known as death or the blessed hope of Christ’s coming. Prepare us Father, to become spiritually awakened rather than spiritually ashamed. In Him Always, Amen!