How to survive ...

The Coming Tribulation

The Bible predicts a time of terrible distress for our nation. It isn't inevitable - either for the nation or for you personally. Here's how you can survive.

The horrors of the past half century have left their mark on the human psyche. Hitler's ovens, Stalin's Gulag, the killing fields of Cambodia - and more recently the ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia, the massacres of Rwanda, the Sudan. Such murderous conduct is now all too familiar, seen nightly on our Television screens.

It's not new, of course. History records numerous similar cameos of the destructiveness of human behavior. There's a recurring pattern that mankind fails to shake off century after century, millennium after millennium. The imminent future is no different. For, as long as we give way to our unreconstructed human nature, the pattern will repeat.

But why believe Bible predictions any more than the hit-and-miss guesses of clairvoyants and astrologers? Simply because the evidence is there that previous Bible predictions have never failed [see previous issues of NH for details].

The Bible's infallible record should make you pay heed!

Still To Come

Awesome times lie ahead for the human race. Unprecedented wars, famine, disease - mass destruction on a worldwide scale is coming. Can you imagine looking skyward -and seeing the sun reel? Can you imagine the effects of our planet rolling to and fro in its orbit like a drunk? Or the deaths of literally billions of our fellow human-beings? Or great mountainous asteroids tearing into our continents and oceans? Such events are prophesied.

Within that scenario the Bible singles out the Anglo-Saxon and related nations as potentially among the first to suffer. That means Great Britain. It means the United States, Canada, The Netherlands and Scandinavia. Not even remote Australia or New Zealand will escape. Only one action will avert the calamity.

Burned into the Western consciousness is the horrific genocide inflicted in civilized Europe a mere half century ago. The "Holocaust" and its myriad victims - and just one Jew was too many - is folk memory now. But it must be seen as a dread warning of what man does to man. Recent history confirms 1939-1945 was no mere historical blip. History is set to repeat itself!

For every human trait that deserves the correcting hand of a God of love is still writ - larger than ever -in every nation. Man's perverse conduct flies in the face of the benign instruction - the Law of God - which alone is the path of harmonious relations between man and man, nation and nation. The apostle Paul looked down the ages and foresaw our day. Here's how he described it: "...in the last days [that's now] there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, fierce, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, holding the form of religion but denying the power of it" (II Timothy 3 :1-5). Quite a snapshot of modern society!

Rottenness is gnawing at the heart and core of mankind. And that distresses our Creator. His desire is our peace. God wants men and women to live in perfect harmony. No war. No disease. No conniving and corrupt politicians or industry moguls. No foul media or corrupting "entertainment". And no purveyors of perverse and false religion. [Request our article The World of Tomorrow for a view of the world that God has planned for us. The article is free]

By contrast look at modem Britain. There's blatant disrespect for our national symbols (monarchy, flag). Government legislates for the perverse (abortion, immorality, decay of family). Business caters to greed. Entertainment fuels hedonistic self-centeredness. Established religion invites scorn.

Loving Correction

How would you respond to your own beloved child who has set himself on a course of self-destruction? It hurts. It evokes sorrow, pity - and surely the urge to do something. Imagine the response of a God whose nature is untrammelled love for a people He considers to be "the apple of His eye", and indeed a love for all mankind. A God with the power and wisdom and means to do something.

That's how God views our peoples. A God of all mankind, surely. But a God who has poured out His love on us and used us as the vehicle to further His grand design for all men. And He wants us to change.

Sadly, mere words won't do. We have the Word of God as do no others. It has been expounded for centuries. We have exported it around the world - but we won't ourselves heed it.

For centuries our God has hedged us around. Victorious in battle and our lands at peace. Blessed with abundance of material wealth. Respected in the eyes of the nations. Exporters of the most benign form of governance and benign civilizations known to man. All of it springing from the good seed of the Word of God.

Learn From History

But no longer. We have ditched all semblance of true religion. And we are about to pay the price. God is removing His protective hedge.

The apostle Paul urged his Gentile readers to learn from history. Having recounted the history of Israel, God's "vineyard", he wrote: "These things happened to them for examples and they were written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come" (I Corinthians 10: 11). That's us - and now!

With that concept in mind listen to the prophet Isaiah: "I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof and it shall be eaten up. and break down the wall thereof and it shall be trodden down and I will lay it waste" (Isa. 5:5-6). He then catalogues the causes - perverted justice, oppression, hedonistic excess (alcoholism, over-indulgent feasting and entertainment), neglect of true religion And the result? Drought, crop failure, famine - and ultimately "captivity", enslavement by a foreign power.

There's a pattern to life. Follow righteous paths and our nations will benefit (Proverbs 13:34). But repeat the same mistakes and we invite the same response. Wallow in all that's contrary to the perfect law of God - and suffer the inevitable consequences. Isaiah again: "Therefore as the fire devours the stubble and the flame consumes the chaff so their root shall be as rottenness and their blossom shall go up as dust. Because they have cast away the law of the Lord of Hosts and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel" (Isa. 5:24).

Divine Law

Our governments, our institutions, our religion no longer order society according to that perfect Law. Morning prayers in Parliament have little or no influence on legislation. Rather the appearance is given that laws are drafted purposely to undermine the Bible code. Protect human life? Legislate to kill the innocent unborn, and to comfort the criminal. Support family life? Legislate to ease divorce, encourage single parents, normalize perversion. Guard true religion? Legislate to equalize all.

The divine Law - summed up in the Ten Commandments - is the way of life man was created to live by. Ignore them and, like a machine not used according to the maker's instructions, we break down. Our health breaks down, and our family and our society.

And, as a loving father corrects his children, God will correct us as His nations to ensure our long-term benefit - and survival. How He does it is called in Scripture The Great Tribulation , also known as Jacob's Trouble .

Great Tribulation

Given our present course a period of national chastening is inevitable. Unless as a nation there's a change of direction, a time of horrendous suffering lies ahead. As an article in the last NH pointed out, we are indeed in "the time of the signs". Most of the factors predicted to occur in the generation that sees the return of Jesus Christ as King of Kings are now in place!

Predicted in the Scriptures is a future holocaust inflicted on our people which may leave but one in ten alive. The prophet Ezekiel wrote for our time and for our nations. He warned: "A third part of you shall die with pestilence and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of you; and a third part shall fall by the sword round about you [i.e., in our own lands]; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds and I will draw out a sword after them" (Ezek. 5:12).

Prophet after prophet warns of this coming time of distress, Amos (5:3) lamenting that perhaps only a tenth of those taken captive will survive - maybe one in thirty of those who enter this great war. Jeremiah tell us: "For that day is great. so that there is none like it", adding "it is even the time of Jacob's trouble " (Jer. 30:7).

The message of Jesus Christ himself could not be clearer. He told the disciples in a discussion of the end times: "For then shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time; no, nor ever shall be" (Matthew 24:21).

The burden of these prophecies clearly focus their impact on "Judah and Israel". Most scholars. of course, have no difficulty identifying "Judah". But research has traced the descendants of the "House of Israel" across the world to those nations related to the core populations of Great Britain and the United States.

This concept is not some vain desire of chauvinistic Englishmen intent on giving God's "favorite nations status" to the Anglo-Saxons! It is a fact of history, of ethnology, of geography. Indeed many Jewish scholars now understand that these peoples are descendants of the ten northern tribes of ancient Israel, deported from their land in the eighth century B.C.

An understanding of this is essential to properly interpret the prophecies. It's a key to identifying who and where the "time of Jacob's trouble" will affect.

But when it comes with all its awesome suffering there is a way of escape .

Martyrdom?

Jesus spoke of the coming tribulation - just prior to his return (Luke 21:7) as a time when "not a hair of your head will perish" (v.18). But he also stated that some Christians would suffer martyrdom at the time of the end (v. 16, Revelation 12:11). A bit of a paradox!

The Scriptures teach that before Jesus Christ returns Satan will wreak havoc on the earth with all his demonic angels (Revelation 12:9). Included in his persecutions will be those who "keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (v. 17). The reference, clearly. is to Bible-obedient Christians.

Elsewhere Jesus states the fundamental principle: "He that loses his life for my sake [because he is a Christian] shall find it" (Matthew 10:39). Those who are so committed to Jesus Christ, who submit to his lordship, who "follow him wherever he goes" are destined to reign with him for ever. Even if that commitment means we lose our life in his service, there is the guarantee of resurrection at his coming again!

The apostle Paul perhaps clarifies this when he writes: "God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape that you may be able to endure it " (I Corinthians 10:13). Any "saint" - that is, anyone in whom dwells the spirit of God - is under the caring, watchful eye of his or her loving Father. Every trial we encounter, every pain, every adverse circumstance is known to Him. And if we are pressed to the point of betrayal and torture and death it is because He knows it is not beyond our inner capacity, strengthened by Him, to endure. [You are invited to request the free article What Do You Expect from God? ]

A Way of Escape

What about you? If you are not a "saint", if you have not submitted yourself to the lordship of Jesus Christ - then what? If you are not diligently searching the Scriptures to find out - and then to do - the will of God, then what? Can you, in the coming time of conflict and tribulation, expect the protection of a loving Father if you have chosen to keep your distance from Him?

If anyone can escape the tough times to come it will be only those who are truly children of God, men and women who are in submission to Him, those who have repented of their sins, and who have accepted the gracious promise of salvation through Jesus, the only Savior of mankind.

Unless we repent - as a nation, as individuals - we will be exposed to the wrath of Satan as he vents his anger on mankind and especially on "Jacob", knowing that now his time is short. [Request the article What Do You Mean - "Repent"? ]

There is a way of escape. But it's not an easy ride. It means turning now from human tradition. It means embarking on the narrow and difficult path that is real Christianity. It means acceptance of the will of God for us - whether we live or die in His service.

It is time you took those vital steps - before it's too late.


To comment on this article or request more information, please contact James McBride by e-mail at the comment form below.

For PDF or mailed copy, see CGOM. Excerpt from New Horizons Volume 1 Issue 6, November/December 1997. Edited by James McBride of the Churches of God, United Kingdom.


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